Dolph Ziggler 'Re-Debuts' on WWE SmackDown: What's Next for The Showoff?

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterSeptember 6, 2017

Credit: WWE.com

Dolph Ziggler didn't make things any clearer on Tuesday's WWE SmackDown.

For weeks, The Showoff had been teasing a major change in persona. He talked of finally figuring out what fans wanted and what would make him a star. 

When the time arrived for his "re-debut," though, he didn't undergo a metamorphosis as much as he trolled the audience. And where he goes from now is tough to guess.

Ziggler first strutted out to John Cena's music, mocking the world champ's mannerisms. He emulated Randy Savage next, complete with a replacement Miss Elizabeth at his side. Mockery of Naomi's glow-in-the-dark entrance followed.

The parodies combined with berating the audience isn't a new gimmick.

The act was a showcase of Ziggler's frustrations turned up a notch. It's only a dressed up version of his old act.

Toronto Raptors writer Blake Murphy made fun of the minimal change for Ziggler:

The Showoff making fun of other wrestlers' gimmicks isn't sustainable. That's not a character trait he can really build on. He's essentially re-doing Charlie Haas' old impersonation routine with an added supply of bitterness.

This is the kind of thing WWE is likely to abandon after a few weeks, leaving Ziggler in the same spot he was weeks ago. 

Getting ignored and underutilized once more is going to grate on Ziggler. His start-and-stop pushes throughout his career have to be maddening. And if he's going to take a backseat to new acts like Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura and Chad Gable, the whispers of him wanting to go elsewhere will return.

Dolph Ziggler does his best Randy Savage impersonation.
Dolph Ziggler does his best Randy Savage impersonation.Credit: WWE.com

In 2015, speculation ran rampant about Ziggler looking to head to Impact Wrestling or New Japan Pro Wrestling. PWInsider reported (h/t Top Rope Press), though, that Ziggler signed a new deal for at least two years. 

Things like Ziggler's cheeky reference to an appearance on Fox Business will only stir up those rumors again:

History says Ziggler will put his back into this newish gimmick. He'll pour his insides out onto the ring and in the mic each time he gets a chance to shine.

There's likely to be few opportunities to do so, however. SmackDown's limited stage has left a number of talents, from Mike Kanellis to Becky Lynch, without much of anything to work with. A 37-year-old Ziggler won't be a priority, not with so many young and emerging stars in the mix.

And the new Ziggler isn't a winning shtick. His repackage is a Band-Aid that won't stay in place.

Amid questions about whether his career with WWE is winding down, The Showoff is poised to fade into the background. 

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