Superstar Spotlight: Dolph Ziggler: World Champion

Bill Pritchard

Superstar Spotlight

Dolph ZigglerDolph Ziggler finally cashed in and won the World Heavyweight Championship on RAW. The crowd was the best we've seen in some time, and RAW was a great show. Why didn't Dolph cash in the night before, at Wrestlemania? I have heard every reason not to do it Sunday, from it wouldn't have worked in the show, to the pop wouldn't have been as good because it was an open air stadium. I'm calling bullshit on it all. Dolph winning Sunday would have given Wrestlemania 'that' moment, and honestly, it needed one. I was there live, it was fun, and there were four good matches, but the show overall could have been better. I believe Dolph cashing in would have done that, and I don't think it would have changed the mood of Monday's crowd at all.

Dolph can wrestle and sell like the best of them, but what does he do now? A rematch with Alberto Del Rio seems like an obvious choice, but what else? Zeb Colter made a comment about Dolph 'cherry picking' Alberto to win, so I really hope Swagger stays involved here. A heel versus heel feud between Swagger and Dolph could work, given their history together, and Dolph would probably (all but guaranteed) be the face if their had to be one. Several people have compared Fandango's week to last year's Daniel Bryan hype, but I want to take it a step further: why can't Dolph be this year's Bryan in terms of workrate, and maybe actually feud with Bryan himself? Punk versus Bryan took up much of last spring and summer, and there's no reason this feud couldn't be just as good.

I could name a bunch of feuds for Dolph to start, in addition to the two previous ones, but the point is Dolph deserves to have a good run with the title. I know it's in the record books, but who really counts Dolph's "first" title reign as anything but an asterisk? If you want to read into it further, look at his facial expressions before and after the cash in; he was ready and this one meant something. AJ and Big E even looked thrilled because they knew Dolph was the guy who deserved it, and he finally got the ultimate prize. Asshat forum trolls aside, I haven't heard a bad thing yet about Dolph winning the title, and everyone from Curt Hawkins to Sean Waltman to Jim Ross gave praise to a guy who earned it.

I never loved Dolph the way that some people do, but I do respect his work and think he is a hell of a wrestler. His time on television is well used and he has a good character, and now he's finally being given a chance to be 'the man.' Dolph's win means more than just being champion because it also elevates the Money In The Bank concept, and the people around him. Sure, Dolph took advantage of an injured champion, but he didn't just knock him out and make the cover like others have. Alberto looked like he knew it was over, but Dolph still had to fight for that win. Alberto almost retained his title and both guys looked good, so it was great to see (in my opinion) the most effort put into a cash in since Rob Van Dam. Not only does Dolph rise, but AJ gets more attention and Big E does too. Big E hasn't really had too much attention, but I think it only helps him gain more of a natural presence, so Dolph winning is that much more important.

Spring title runs have been met with different reactions the past few years, and outside of CM Punk, there's been a bit of bad luck during and after Wrestlemania. Jack Swagger's reign wasn't great, Christian got "robbed" (depending who you ask), and while it may have elevated his character, Daniel Bryan lost in record time last year when (again, my opinion) he should have gotten more of a match as a reward for his work. Dolph Ziggler can work and he's over, so why not continue the momentum and have him look strong? I'll never know why WWE changes their minds so often, and while I may not be a huge fan, a guy like Rey Mysterio should have had better title reigns. He was always looking weak as a champion, and yes his size is an obvious factor, but if you are going to give him the belt in the first place you shouldn't ruin it as soon as it starts. Dolph looks to be in a better position than any of these other guys were, so if Monday is any indication, he will be fine, and he'll just be that much cockier.  

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