On the most recent (and very first) episode of SmackDown Live, Dolph Ziggler won a six-pack challenge to become the number one contender for the WWE Championship. He’ll face the champion Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam in Brooklyn. This win set off a cavalcade of bitching online that he wasn’t credible enough.
That his win somehow ruins the credibility of the most prestigious title in the history of the business.
How could they start the new era with Dolph Ziggler versus Dean Ambrose?
What the hell, SmackDown? Raw came out the gate with Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor for the WWE Universal Championship, and you bring Dolph vs. Dean to the table?
That pretty much sums up the tone of everything I’ve read. According to the internet, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley took a big ol’ stanky dump on Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon with their first episode of Raw, and it was all because Dolph winning was a bad decision.
It got really annoying to read. First off, there were six competitors fighting to get one pin. Even within kayfabe, anybody could have won that. The odds favor no man. Dolph Ziggler was in the right place, at the right time, and he hit a Superkick on AJ Styles for the W. That right there should show you all what a stroke of luck it was.
I mean, who wins matches with a Superkick?
On top of that, Dolph Ziggler is a former World Heavyweight Champion. Within kayfabe, that puts him a step above everybody else. Sure, he’s lost a lot since he came back from his Survivor Series 2014 firing. Like, almost exclusively, but anyone can hit a slump. It happens. Part of the game. That doesn’t take away the fact that he is an outstanding athlete.
I hope the word “outstanding” truly gets through to anyone reading. The man set records in wrestling at Kent State. He was as good as good gets. There is absolutely no issue with his credibility as a wrestler. Again, yes, he lost a lot, but so what? He’s also won a lot. He’s won the Intercontinental Championship (4 times), the Money in the Bank contract, the Tag Team Championship (1 time – with the Spirit Squad), the United States Championship (1 time), and the World Heavyweight Championship (2 times).
The guy was red hot after the cash-in on Alberto Del Rio, and then he got struck down with a concussion. Soon after, he lost the title back to Del Rio in a glorious double turn. Unfortunately, that was the beginning of Ziggler’s fall. As a face, he never recovered the phenomenal wave of momentum he was riding. He got close after Survivor Series 2014, but that eventually cooled. Other than that, he was the previous generation’s poster boy for an underutilized talent.
Why wouldn’t SmackDown start the “New Era” by giving him a title push? It’s a simple move that effectively shows they’re not interested in any of the bullshit that reigned through The Authority’s rule. I can’t think of a better way.
Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan said they wanted their show to be about wrestling. In-ring performances would be key. That sounds right up Ziggler’s alley. The man can wrestle.
Don’t get me wrong, I have my problems with him. I mean, get a haircut, am I right? Goddamn hippy. His gear is also dumb, and I personally think he should stop the HBK stuff. Stop tuning up the band, bro. The most it does is make people miss him, not appreciate you. Nobody pays big money to see a tribute band.
I don’t mind that he uses the Superkick. I’m actually pumped he won the six-pack challenge with it. I just…the stuff he does reminds me of “Single White Female.” Like he wants to be inside HBK – Buffalo Bill style. He’s a good enough character on his own. I don’t know. I guess I should be thankful all he cribbed from The Showstopper was the Sweet Chin Music.
Silver lining: if Shawn Michaels wants to step out of retirement, there’s a built-in storyline. The Show Off vs. The Show Stopper. That’s really HBK’s only option now that Daniel Bryan’s retired for good.
Okay, time to close this out. I decided to write this because I spent the week reading all about how Dolph Ziggler isn’t credible enough to challenge Dean Ambrose for the WWE Championship. It bugged the crap out of me. I am a huge fan of Dean Ambrose, but a record-setting collegiate athlete and WWE Grand Slam Champion isn’t credible enough to take on a man who uses a move called “The Wacky Line”?
Dolph Ziggler was in the right place, at the right time, and he earned a shot at the gold. That’s where we are. It’s the beginning of the journey. I, for one, am more than willing to ride out the whole story. We have two of the best on the microphone in Dolph and Dean, and they know they’re leading the pack. These are not men who are going to waste the incredible chance they’ve been given.
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Courtesy of WWE.com.