Welcome to the next installment of the From...To series. I can say that the first installment on R-Truth was a moderate success, and in our next installment right here, we will now be taking a look at former World Heavyweight Champion, Dolph Ziggler.
What? You didn't know that Ziggler was a former World Champion. Don't worry, I'm sure most have forgotten as well. His reign lasted about ten minutes, more or less. Still, the fact that he was a World Heavyweight Champion shows how great he once was.
Ziggler's rise to the top began when he was paired up with Vickie Guerrero. Before that, he had it all to be a top player: looks, charisma, decent mic skills and great ring skills. The one thing he lacked, though, was heat. He just could not generate heat on his own, and so Vickie Guerrero would be the solution, as she was the biggest heat magnet in the WWE.
The pairing found success soon enough, as with the help of Vickie Guerrero, Dolph Ziggler won the Intercontinental Championship. Although the reign got a bit of a rocky start, it soon became one of the most successful Intercontinental Title Reigns in recent memory.
Ziggler held the title for five long months, and he defended it against the likes of Kingston, Kaval, Swagger and Masters. He defended the title successfully about nine times, I believe, and even managed to retain the title in a Triple Threat Ladder Match at TLC.
Also during his reign, he had a series of show-stealing matches against Daniel Bryan, starting at Bragging Rights. These matches were highly praised, comparing them to matches on ROH, and WWE even tied it with HBK/Undertaker as the match of 2010.
WIth all these factors, WWE finally gave Ziggler a main event push.
Immediately after losing the IC Title to Kofi Kingston, Ziggler won a No. 1 Conteder's Match to challenge Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble.
At Royal Rumble, Ziggler looked like a star. He gave a performance worthy of a big-match situation, and although he lost in the end, Ziggler looked as if though he had won several times—like he belonged in the main event.
After several weeks of chasing the World Title, Vickie managed to strip the World Title from Edge, and awarded it to Dolph Ziggler.
But that didn't last long, as Teddy returned and then had Ziggler defend it immediately against Edge, who reclaimed it. Ziggler and Vickie were soon fired from SmackDown, and they headed over to Raw.
While Ziggler was given a joke of a match at WrestleMania, many thought that he was still primed for the main event. Heck, he was part of the No. 1 Contender's Gauntlet Match and even got a pin on Randy Orton, albeit dirty. He seemed destined for great things.
Then the worst thing happened to him: He got his looks entirely rearranged and his gimmick altered.
The next week, Ziggler came out with his hair cut short and black or brown, I can't tell. He wore generic tights, and instead of being cocky and brash, he was now silent and deadly serious all the time. Vickie announced him as the "New and Improved" Dolph Ziggler.
More like "Generic and Downgraded."
Ziggler's an amazing athlete, without a doubt. He deserves to be in the main event, but the change in his character and looks really took away any chance of that.
Ever since this change, Ziggler has gone absolutely nowhere, and maybe down a bit on the ladder of success. He began jobbing to Randy Orton soon enough, and won a squash match against Santino Marella. He has rarely been used on Raw as of late.
A far cry from his World Title bouts with Edge.
His blonde look was unique, and had the aura of main event all over it. His cocky, loud and brash persona really suited him and he felt comfortable with it.
Then they cut his hair, turned it black or brown and began coupling it up with generic tights. He was now aggressive and completely serious—all signs of arrogance gone as he has not talked since the change.
Can you really take this guy as a World Champion now?
For me, it's no. He's got some great skills, but the new look makes him look so generic, so bland. You need a unique look to be a main event, and Ziggler no longer has that. And his character has now become bland and boring; he doesn't even seem interesting in the slightest anymore.
Also add the booking. He no longer seems relevant to the happenings of Raw now. He's shown up in a few matches and backstage segments, but he has no storyline, and just seems placed on Raw at times to remind us he's still there. He's been lost in the shuffle on Raw.
Ziggler had a lot going for him in the WWE, but once they took from him what made him interesting—his persona and looks—all his charisma was sapped from him. Now, he's a guy who wins squash matches against jobbers, but jobs to the top dogs.
This is a great fall from his days in the main event on SmackDown.
It really angers me when WWE makes such changes to wrestlers, thinking that it will be improvement, when it just really destroys their credibility and gets them lost in the shuffle. WWE thinks they know all, but it's become unreal that Ziggler was once seen as a future main-eventer.
It's really hard to believe he went from main event blonde perfection to generic black wrestler.
There's still some hope that Ziggler might be able to get past this and make his way back to the main event, but considering how WWE has been booking things lately, I'm not holding my breath.
Ziggler deserves better, and WWE has ruined what could have been a future star.