Just what is happening to Dolph Ziggler? Monday's edition of Raw was yet another reminder of just how far Ziggler has slipped down the pecking order in the minds of WWE creative.
It wasn't supposed to be like this. His face turn was supposed to be the launching pad to keep him at the top end of the WWE roster for many years. Bizarrely, though, once that transpired, it led him to a feud with his former ally Big E Langston, who himself has now turned face.
Ahead of one of the most anticipated pay-per-view shows of the year—Hell in a Cell—Ziggler has had a ridiculously small amount of TV time. He hasn't been involved with any storylines concerning him and isn't even booked to wrestle at this Sunday's PPV.
Which, to be perfectly honest, is a crime.
One of the moments of the year so far was Ziggler's cashing in of the Money in the Bank briefcase on the April 8 edition of Raw. It was the Raw just after WrestleMania, and the crowd reaction to him cashing in on Alberto Del Rio was electrifying. Ziggler is a guy who can work a crowd—heel or face. That is a valuable commodity for a Superstar who has aspirations of reaching the top.
It feels as if Dolph is becoming a forgotten man. To go from a World Heavyweight Championship reign in June to not even being booked for a pay-per-view four months later is nothing short of bizarre. Sure, his spells of concussion-like symptoms haven't really helped, but it's hard to imagine this happening with anybody else.
It's a struggle to think of anyone currently within the WWE who can both work a mic and wrestle as well as Dolph Ziggler. Sure, CM Punk is perhaps a candidate, but Ziggler certainly has heaps of charisma and heaps of wrestling ability.
Sadly, he's now been resorted to jobbing. He lost to Randy Orton on Raw this week. Could creative not have found anyone else to let Orton work over before his championship match on Sunday? Ziggler is too good for that, and most of the crowds in attendance every week know it.
It's time creative find a space for Ziggler at the right end of the card. Maybe a heel turn is required to once again give him that push he needs. That would be a shame, though, as Ziggler has impressed this humble wrestling fan in his short stint as a face. He would still be able to get the crowd on his side even as a heel, though. Such is the potential of Ziggler.
It feels like creative seems to be digging around in search of ideas for Ziggler. He seems to be in and out of main event storylines on a regular basis—perhaps summed up perfectly by his 11-minute reign as World Heavyweight champion the first time around. Perfectly acceptable if he was to remain in the picture, but he drifted off into midcard obscurity.
Dolph has come a long way since the days of Nicky from the Spirit Squad. He's become one of the best wrestlers on the roster—a man who can make the crowd laugh and then turn around and make them angry. He has all the necessary tools in his locker; WWE just now needs to take advantage of them before Ziggler becomes confined to the memory.