Dolph Ziggler seems to be on the cusp of the main event scene in World Wrestling Entertainment.
After a tumultuous, up and down beginning to his career as Ziggler, the current WWE Intercontinental Champion is enjoying perhaps the hottest few months he has ever experienced as a professional wrestler.
Ziggler got his start with the WWE back in 2006 as a member of the Spirit Squad. Going by Nicky, close enough to his real name (Nick), the Cleveland native was able to lay claim to being a WWE Tag Team Champion and was placed in a major feud between Mr. McMahon and D-Generation X.
His time in the Spirit Squad ended in late 2007 when the group was disbanded and sent back to the WWE’s developmental territory of Ohio Valley Wrestling, but Ziggler was able to gain an invaluable amount of knowledge during his first year in the big leagues.
After spending time in OVW and the current WWE developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling, Ziggler returned to Monday Night Raw in late 2008. His shtick involved him mostly walking around backstage, constantly introducing himself to anyone and everyone who crossed his path.
It was a unique, if not somewhat annoying way, of making sure the WWE universe would remember his somewhat goofy name.
It has been just over two years since we first heard the words, “Hi, I’m Dolph Ziggler.”
He is currently approaching his third month as the Intercontinental Champion and is embroiled in a love triangle with Vickie Guerrero and her NXT (season three) rookie, Kaitlyn.
He is also consistently putting on some of the best matches on Smackdown each and every Friday night.
On this week’s episode, Ziggler took Edge to the limit before falling to the “Rated-R Superstar” in a Bragging Rights qualifying match. It was the type of excellent back-and-forth match which makes one wonder why the WWE doesn’t book matches on Raw the way it does with Smackdown.
By hanging close with Edge and nearly picking up the victory on several occasions, Ziggler continues to show why he has the in-ring ability to be a top-tier WWE superstar in the near future.
It took a while for him to reach this point. Last summer, it seemed as if Ziggler could do anything but become the Intercontinental Champion. He was given chances to take the strap from both Rey Mysterio and John Morrison and he came close, but it simply was not his time.
Once Ziggler became the apple of Guerrero’s eye, he was able to finally gain his first singles championship in the WWE by taking the Intercontinental title from Kofi Kingston.
While the influence of Guerrero has been a major reason why Ziggler won the championship and has been able to hold onto it during several rematches with Kingston, we have also seem him step up his game and become as fierce as just about any wrestler currently on the Smackdown roster.
The sleeper hold has once again become a feared move in the WWE thanks to Ziggler’s proficiency with it. He has used the classic finisher with great efficiency and has continued to rely on his patented Zig-Zag maneuver as a way of keeping his opponents’ shoulders on the mat for the three-count.
What does the future hold for Ziggler? How much longer will be able to keep the Intercontinental Championship around his waist?
Now that Kingston is out of the picture, it will be interesting to see who the next superstar to make a run at the IC strap will be. Perhaps MVP will seek revenge after Kaitlyn’s interference cost him the match when he challenged Ziggler for the belt a few weeks back on Smackdown?
Speaking of Kaitlyn, will she be able to sway Ziggler’s affections away from Guerrero?
While the power that comes along with a relationship with Smackdown’s “official consultant” is extremely beneficial to Ziggler, the beauty advantage clearly rests with the NXT rookie diva.
How this love triangle plays out over the next few months could be crucial to the career of the man whose theme song claims he is perfection.
There is one thing that Ziggler cannot claim perfection in: the ever-important ability to cut a promo.
His mic skills are not abysmal by any means, but there is obviously a reason why the creative minds behind the scenes are letting Guerrero do all of the talking for the IC champ.
If Ziggler can continue to improve on the stick, he very well could be the total package of wrestling skills, charisma and character. The elements are all there for the 30-year-old, but his evolution towards undeniable superstardom still continues.
Performances like the one he had against Edge will go a long way in convincing the WWE universe that Ziggler is a real threat inside the squared circle.
If he can deliver quality matches like that on an even more consistent basis, the thought of Dolph Ziggler as the World Heavyweight Champion might not seem so far-fetched.