Dolph Ziggler and 5 Best 'Sellers' on the WWE Roster Today

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterOctober 28, 2015

Dolph Ziggler and 5 Best 'Sellers' on the WWE Roster Today

0 of 6


    It's no wonder that WWE asks Dolph Ziggler to lose so often; he sells his opponents' moves so well that he makes them all look superhuman. 

    Hit Ziggler with a punch to the gut and he will make it look you have hands of stone. Clothesline The Showoff to the mat and he will flip over like he's been hit with by a bus.

    As much of the art of pro wrestling is hitting realistic strikes and pulling off breathtaking moves, it's just as key to make one's rival's attack look devastating. Ziggler is a master of that facet of the game. And it's one that Heath Slater and Seth Rollins are renowned for nailing every night.

    Selling is a combination of utilizing body language to express pain, using facial expressions to convey emotion and dramatic reactions to moves that fans in the cheap seats can see. 

    As over the top as wrestling is, too much of that aspect gives the matches a cartoony feel. Good actors and those willing to fling their bodies around make for the best sellers.

    The following is a look at who best combines those skills to make their opponents look better and to force fans to sympathize with their suffering. 

Honorable Mentions

1 of 6
    • Daniel Bryan
    • Finn Balor 
    • Dean Ambrose

    This trio is not nearly as emphatic when taking a speedy trip to the canvas as someone like Heath Slater, but they all excel in showing pain throughout a match.

    Bryan does well to stay consistent. If the story of the bout is that his arm is banged up, he clutches it often and grimaces through the entire contest.

    That's a big part of why his WrestleMania XXX moment was so effective. The punishment that Triple H doled out early in the night coupled with the beating that Randy Orton and Batista handed him later felt more real thanks to his reaction to the pain.

    Ambrose excels at making fans believe he's gutting out a battle with a bad leg or injured ribs. His facial expressions are top notch.

    Neville's best selling skill comes when he takes a DDT. That move is amplified by him acting as if he were planted into the mat, his body sticking straight up in the air before falling limp.

    The wrestlers who made it on the list proper grab a higher spot thanks to being more demonstrative, catching the crowd's eye more with the torture they take throughout a match.

5. Heath Slater

2 of 6

    Watching Heath Slater take a beating is more fun than watching him beat someone up.

    He is the loudest seller on the list. If everyone else is painting with oils, he's using neon spray paint.

    Slater will scream in a submission as if a ligament came loose. He flies around the ring like a rodeo clown. It's clear that he cares about making his opponent look good and has made a niche out of mostly just doing that throughout his whole career.

    That over-the-top style goes too far at times, though. It can feel like we're watching a scrum on Looney Tunes rather than a wrestling match.

    Dolph Ziggler, Seth Rollins and the others higher up on the list than The One-Man Band have found a better balance between hammy and realistic. 

4. Bayley

3 of 6

    Bayley approaches the art of selling far differently than Heath Slater and Dolph Ziggler. Where they use wide, exaggerated strokes, she works more tautly.

    Her strength is conveying pain during the course of an entire match.

    During her bouts, she's often holding her back, clutching her knee or making it clear by her general body language that she's in the middle of a war. Great use of facial expressions is a big part of that. It often looks like she's just a moment away from tears.

    That skill has helped her craft some of 2015's best matches.

    She's not quite the expert at delivering a big reaction to a single blow, though. She doesn't make fans say "Wow!" after getting clotheslined or flung across the ring like wrestlers like Ziggler or Seth Rollins.  

3. Seth Rollins

4 of 6

    Watching Seth Rollins suffer a beatdown, one has to wonder if he did a selling apprenticeship under Dolph Ziggler.

    He has that same disregard for his body, that same holding-nothing-back approach to being on the receiving end of someone's offense. Rollins flies onto the mat, flips over and lets his body loose to create the image that he's been in an in-ring car crash.

    The Architect's selling is less cartoonish than Heath Slater's. It's more dramatic and eye-catching than Bayley's.

    And should he start working as a babyface more, we're sure to get him trying to drum up more compassion, playing the resilient hero gutting it out through the pain. For now, though, Dolph Ziggler has him beat on that front. The Showoff is more adept at selling the entirety of a match, convincingly looking spent and punchy as the battle draws to a close.

2. Dolph Ziggler

5 of 6

    Dolph Ziggler amplifies the power of any move his foe throws at him. In his hands, a dropkick becomes devastating and a simple body slam sends shock waves through his spine.

    The Showoff's selling skills are celebrated. Cageside Seats collected a series of GIFs of some of his biggest sell jobs. Fans compile video countdowns like this one for his best reactions to moves.

    None of that is surprising in the least. He is extremely fun to watch when he's on the receiving end of an attack.

    Ziggler throws himself around with abandon to a higher degree than Seth Rollins and Heath Slater. He's even better than the two of them at going limp after a big move, at looking as if he's knocked out following a match-ending blow.

    How then is he not No. 1 on this list?

    Blame him turning the volume up too high at times. Wrestling creates its own twisted sense of physics and is by nature an overblown spectacle, but Ziggler pushes his matches into the comical territory at times. His reactions are so big that they can sometimes take away from the story.

    In the end, the job of the seller is to generate sympathy and to make their foes look tremendous. No one is better than Ziggler at the latter, but an expert at the former surpasses him overall as a seller.

1. Sami Zayn

6 of 6

    Many fans will tell you that Dolph Ziggler is the king of selling, but Sami Zayn has usurped him for that title. The former NXT champion has found the perfect balance of realism and exaggeration. He is the best WWE wrestler at creating pathos through pain.

    Jim Cornette called Zayn's selling ability "impeccable" on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast.

    Like Ziggler, Zayn holds nothing back when he sells a power move. If he's thrown into the turnbuckle, his body contorts, his legs fly up into the air. He doesn't bounce around quite as dramatically as Ziggler, but that's part of why he's a touch better than him as a seller.

    Zayn's reactions to the pounding he takes doesn't slip into cartoon territory the way Ziggler sometimes does.

    His acting looks more like something that belongs in a movie. He will wobble in the ring after taking a lot of punishment. He looks punch drunk at times and convincingly out cold on the canvas at others.

    His selling acumen was a huge part of why his match against Kevin Owens at NXT TakeOver: Rival worked so well. Fans couldn't help be concerned for his health as Owens beat on him. He made that beating so believable that the audience gasped, held their hand over their mouth or simply stayed mute thanks to being stunned.

    That was his magnum opus as a seller, a masterwork in projecting in-ring anguish.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.