Dolph Ziggler's Status, JR Rips WWE's Usage of Asuka and Enzo Amore in Roundup

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2019

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR JCPENNEY - WWE Superstar and Tapout Brand Ambassador Dolph Ziggler teams up with JCPenney for a meet & greet with shoppers to promote the  Tapout fitness apparel line for men and women, at JCPenney in the Manhattan Mall, New York City, Thursday,  Aug. 18, 2016. (Photo by Stuart Ramson/Invision for JCPenney/AP Images)
Stuart Ramson/Associated Press

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe. 


Ziggler Discusses WWE Status

Dolph Ziggler hasn't been seen on WWE programming since the Royal Rumble match in January, but he cleared the air regarding his status with the company.

In an interview with Wrestling Inside The Ropes (h/t Joshua Gagnon of WrestlingInc.com), The Showoff revealed he is still technically under contract with WWE:

"Technically, I am, yes. It's weird because for the last two years I've had somewhat of a handshake agreement, kind of behind closed doors deal with WWE. I've been able to do a lot of things, on my own, not at WWE, just because of the relationship we've had for the last 14 years. I have a bit of a handshake agreement right now, but we'll know some more details in the coming months."

During his time away from the company, Ziggler has been focusing on his outside endeavors, including his burgeoning career in stand-up comedy.

Although his comments don't suggest there are immediate plans for him to return to the ring, it does sound as though he will continue to work with WWE in the future.

The 38-year-old has essentially done it all in the company, and he is coming off a good run that saw him team with Drew McIntyre and win the Intercontinental Championship before the Scot turned on him.

There is no clear role for Ziggler with WrestleMania 35 approaching, but there will likely always be a place for an all-around talent of his caliber in WWE for as long as he wants to continue wrestling.


Ross Believes WWE is Misusing Asuka

Jim Ross may be on his way out of WWE, but the Hall of Famer isn't pulling any punches when it comes to his thoughts on some of the company's creative decisions.

Specifically, JR addressed the use of SmackDown women's champion Asuka on a recent episode of The Ross Report (h/t William Windsor of WrestlingInc.com). Ross is of the belief that WWE isn't getting all it can out of The Empress of Tomorrow:

"It has been mismanagement [of Asuka]. I thought Asuka ... the ball was dropped last year at WrestleMania after she lost her undefeated streak to Charlotte. They had a great match. Anybody that watches that match and tells me it wasn't any good doesn't know anything about [pro] wrestling. I think the ball was dropped there. It [has] been hard to get the momentum back going.

"But man, as many people are tuning into the female elements of creative storytelling on Raw and SmackDown, for example, you've got to believe that there's a place for another major star and I think Asuka's it. I think she [has] been grossly under-utilized. Maybe that'll change."

Asuka had never lost a singles match in NXT or on the main roster prior to tapping out against Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania last year. After that, she struggled to find her place in the SmackDown Live pecking order.

WWE finally put the title on her when she beat Charlotte and Becky Lynch at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in December with help from Ronda Rousey, and she then submitted The Irish Lass Kicker at the Royal Rumble.

Despite beating two of WWE's biggest stars, Asuka still hasn't been a featured part of the show, and she most recently beat Mandy Rose in a relatively short match at Fastlane after losing to the same opponent on an episode of SmackDown.

Asuka is a hugely popular and skilled performer with a chance to be a top star in WWE, but with no clear program in front of her for WrestleMania 35, she isn't likely to be featured heavily on the card.


Enzo Talks Relationship With Vince McMahon, Triple H

Former WWE Superstar Enzo Amore recently spoke with Title Match Wrestling (h/t Robert Gunier of WrestlingInc.com) about his time in WWE.

Amore specifically addressed his relationship with Vince McMahon and his belief that the company chairman was one of his biggest supporters:

"I wouldn't be remiss to say that I think I was probably his favorite character he had on that show for about a year. Maybe he hated me, maybe he thought it was the funniest thing, I don't know, but I was booked more than any other guy with a microphone on TV for a year. In our rookie year, me and Big Cass were the No. 1 merchandise sellers in the company. And that is what Vince likes, money. So, Vince loves John Cena. Why does he love John Cena? Because he's the top guy in the company, he makes money, he shows up to work every day and does his job to the best of visibility. Nobody can ever say that Enzo didn't show up and get his f-----g ass kicked, hop up, and do it again the next night."

Although Amore came up through NXT, he felt brand founder Triple H viewed him in a different light: 

"I knew that I was Hunter's red-headed stepchild. Hunter will sit in the room, browbeat me, and tell me I'm about to be fired, and then the next night, I get handed a microphone in the main event of Monday Night Raw. Vince is the one calling the shots."

Amore and Cass were hugely popular as a team both in NXT and on the main roster, and the former also enjoyed a successful run on 205 Live as cruiserweight champion. His WWE run was cut short, though, when he was released in January 2018 amid sexual assault allegations.

The case was never pursued due to a lack of evidence, and Amore is now pursuing a career in music as a rapper.


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