After weeks of anticipation, Zack Ryder was finally able to take down Dolph Ziggler at the TLC PPV and become the United States champion.
Although this was a big night for Ryder, it can be said that it was an even bigger night for Dolph.
Ziggler's loss is by no means a demotion to the lower mid-card. In this situation, Dolph lost the title in order to focus on bigger and better things.
That is why Dolph Ziggler is poised to win the Royal Rumble match.
Looking at the current champions, Ziggler would make an excellent opponent for both. CM Punk looks destined to walk into WrestleMania as the WWE champion, and the two already had an excellent match on Raw a few weeks ago.
Assuming Daniel Bryan holds on to that WHC for over a week, Bryan vs. Ziggler would make for an excellent WrestleMania encounter. These two had one of the best matches of 2010 when they went at it for almost 20 minutes to open up Bragging Rights in late October.
Obviously there are many obstacles to having either one of these matches. The rumored return of Chris Jericho has him involved with Punk, and Randy Orton hasn't been involved in a title match the last two years. While guys like this may still get involved, Ziggler is the new fresh face in the main event for the WWE.
We have proof that the company is not afraid to give the young guys a shot at the biggest PPV of the year. The Miz is a prime example of that, headlining the show a year after he participated in a two minute tag team match to kick off the festivities.
One year, Ziggler is fooling around with Snooki. The next, he could be challenging for a major singles title.
Dolph has the look and ability to get it done, and because of this, he has the best shot of winning the Royal Rumble come January 29th. Youngsters like Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett are being primed for their time in the spotlight, but Ziggler is the one who could get it done in early 2012.
The only bad news in this scenario? Vickie Guerrero will have plenty to say.