Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler proved once again Sunday night at Hell in a Cell why he is indeed WWE's resident show-off as he defeated Cesaro in a scintillating 2-out-of-3 Falls match.
Ziggler vs. Cesaro was a late addition to the card, but there is no question that they put on one of the event's most entertaining bouts to start the night.
As WrestleZone.com notes, the bout only lasting two falls was a welcome surprise:
Robert Littal of BlackSportsOnline.com illustrates how dominant the champion looked en route to retaining his strap:
The two supremely skilled combatants faced each other on numerous occasions leading up to the pay-per-view and proceeded to trade wins and losses. Because of that, WWE made the wise decision to add a 2-out-of-3 Falls stipulation to their Hell in a Cell clash.
This rivalry began a few weeks ago when Cesaro won a battle royal to become No. 1 contender for the IC title. Ziggler won the championship match, but there was controversy involved, as Cesaro's hand was grabbing the rope during the pinfall.
That resulted in a series of additional matches, including a non-title match that saw Cesaro win on the go-home edition of Raw. After that victory, the Swiss Superman was confident he would take the strap from Dolph:
Cesaro netted himself another tilt for the Intercontinental Championship on SmackDown, but Ziggler made it clear that he would not relinquish his title without putting up a fight:
The incumbent champion ultimately came out on top, but he would later accept Cesaro's challenge for Hell in a Cell to settle their feud once and for all.
Although neither Ziggler nor Cesaro have been booked particularly well as of late, it is blatantly obvious that they both have world championship potential. Ziggler has already reached that level—albeit briefly—while Cesaro has all of the tools necessary to ascend to that pinnacle as well.
They don't have much control over how they are built by the creative team, so all they can do is put their best foot forward and deliver the best effort possible. Most would probably agree they did precisely that Sunday night.
Both Superstars also deserve a great deal of credit for taking to other platforms in order to further their feud. WWE put the program on the back burner for a week, but they used Twitter to take shots at each other, such as this tweet courtesy of Ziggler:
Now that Ziggler has dispatched of Cesaro, conventional wisdom suggests they will go their separate ways. WWE unquestionably has enough talent to put together a quality midcard and entertaining feuds over the midcard titles, but it hasn't shown any commitment toward doing so.
Among the midcard heels who could conceivably chase Ziggler's gold next are Bray Wyatt, Bo Dallas or even Rusev. Ziggler will put on great matches with whoever is placed in front of him, but he needs to be given some leash creatively.
As for Cesaro, he continues to search for answers after seemingly having so much promise on the heels of WrestleMania. His run with Paul Heyman was squandered, and WWE hasn't allowed him to regain his momentum.
Sunday's match between Ziggler and Cesaro further proved that the roster is stacked with talented individuals; however, WWE must now figure out how to harness it.
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