Hi there. It is almost the end of 2016. I am sure most of us will be quite happy to stay up until midnight on December 31 to see this year die a cold, cold death. Count me among those who can not wait for 2017 to come around the corner.
In the wrestling world, the new year tends to symbolize newness – new horizons, new opportunities, new jobs, etc. Some promotions start to purge dead weight. Others start to look towards bolstering their rosters with new talent. Still others look at how much money they can spend on surprises, mainstream acceptance, and bringing elders back into the fold.
We also come into a very exciting season for the WWE. Often referred to as the Road to Wrestlemania, I’m talking about the time period from the Royal Rumble through the week after Wrestlemania. Next week, I will start some Fantasy Booking for this period of time, including a rundown of some possible Royal Rumble scenarios. So look forward to that.
But for today, well, I feel that we have to talk about this again. In fact, I will address it directly to the man himself, Dolph Ziggler.
Dolph, Dolph, Dolph. It doesn’t really matter if you are a great athlete if you never win. It doesn’t really matter if you put on exciting matches if you never win. It doesn’t really matter if you are the “Show Off” if you never win. It doesn’t really matter if you try to steal the show if you never win.
And here is a newsflash, Dolph. You never win! Like ever! You had a good little feud with The Miz going earlier this year (helped immensely by The Miz’s work as well). You even held the Intercontinental belt for a brief period of time (which we’ll get to in a minute). But at the end of the day, The Miz walked away from you looking like the better man, the better champion, and the person with the brighter future.
When the brand split happened, I think most people thought you could benefit most of all. A new environment for you we believed would allow you to shine. We believed in the new Smackdown Live! line of the “land of opportunities” would give you the chances you needed to get over and shine.
And it started off okay. You got a shot at the World title immediately. Which you lost. Then you lost another shot to challenge for the big belt. Then you moved onto the Intercontinental title scene. Okay, maybe it is a step down from the World title, but still it is reasonable. But you lost. Time and time again. I started having Baron Corbin flashbacks from when you played Corbin’s rag doll for what seemed like months.
Then, you did it. You won the Intercontinental title. Of course, it took putting your career on the line in order to get that win. And unless your contract was up and you were ready to move on to a mediocre stand-up comic career, everyone in the world knew you wouldn’t lose a retirement stipulation match. So you won the title! Then, The Miz beat you in his rematch. Then you lost again in a Ladder match to end the feud with The Miz once and for all.
Following that though, you oddly got a chance to challenge for the world title again. All you had to do was win a fatal four-way match. And somehow, surprisingly, you did. But then you face Baron Corbin AGAIN and put your Number One Contendership on the line, because you are an idiot. Even though that match ended in a no contest, Daniel Bryan added Corbin to your title match opportunity. And the match was a good match. Somehow, you and AJ Styles together made Baron Corbin look credible. But, guess what? You lost. Again.
So now what? Look, I have said this before as many people have. Your babyface act is just not working. Your losing streak gimmick is not working. Your “underdog” status is not working. AJ Styles, who is normally very good at making his opponents seem like a big deal, couldn’t even start to do that with you. Because you aren’t taken seriously any more. The crowds don’t take you seriously. No one thinks you are going to win anything significant.
So, for the love of God, barge into a creative meeting and demand that they turn you heel. And not the wishy-washy, under the thumb of Vickie Guerrero heel you were previously. But someone who is just tired of losing so you will resort to anything and everything. Become so Machiavellian that Vince will have to think about changing your name. Stop smiling. Stop smirking. Stop with the “I’m so good” routine you’ve developed. Dye your hair. Grow an evil goatee. You can still do all of your regular and impressive moves in the ring, but with a twist. Create a character that pushes and fights and manipulates and tricks and schemes and eventually comes away with victories. Because that is what you need. Victories. Wins. And quite a bit of them. Quickly.
It was teased, before the brand split, that your declaration of love to Nikki Bella could start a career-making feud against John Cena. That didn’t really come to fruition though. Now, though, you need a big-time feud that you can win. Since The Miz has already moved past you, I suggest this – Dean Ambrose. Get mad at Ambrose for some reason. Say he isn’t good enough to be a top guy. Say he stole your opportunities. Say he stole your gym bag. I don’t know, just spend a couple months fighting with Ambrose all over every arena. And, this is the important thing, come away from the feud as the undisputed victor.
Dolph Ziggler in 2017 needs to not be denied. Dolph Ziggler in 2017 needs to be ruthless. Dolph Ziggler in 2017 needs to be seen as a winner at all costs. Or else, Dolph Ziggler in 2017 could be future endeavored without much consternation from the WWE fans.
You aren’t the best on the mic, so maybe they pair you with a manager. Or another valet. Maybe you become part of a group again – Spirit Squad Version 2.0? Hell, joining the Wyatt Family might be a pretty good idea, actually. But, dude, something has to change. I don’t want to have this conversation again next year.
May the best be with you in the new year, Mr. Nemeth.
Until next week, everyone be safe in your merriment.
Tags: AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, John Cena, Nikki Bella, Spirit Squad, The Miz, Vickie Guererro