Hello all and welcome to My Pinterest Is Piledrivers. I am James A. Sawyer and @todaysjimsawyer. Thank you for reading, and I can only hope some disastrous PPV or shocking new wrestling development doesn’t overshadow this column, which is always among the most important things posted on the internet ever. The actual most important thing on the internet is this right here.
So a friend (I think, although now I’m not so sure…) was wondering what the big deal was with Dolph Ziggler, who I’ve long been a booster of, even perhaps helping others see him in a better light. BD, I’m taking credit for this. I did a recent column on exploring why someone or some people (i.e. 99.7% of WWE fans) might like Daniel Bryan. This will be my attempt at explaining why I both personally like Dolph, and why I think the company should too.
He’s got the “Look”
It seems like in today’s wrestling environment, having male model-like looks is not just a style for a chosen few (your Mr. Perfects, HBKs, Rick Martels) but the default. There’s a sea of short-haired brunettes who look like they live in the gym (Evan Bourne, Cody Rhodes, The Miz, etc) so by virtue of having long, blonde hair often paired with a pink or turquoise shirt and silver or pink tights makes him stand out. It lets you know on looking at him what his character is- a vain, cheesy himbo who probably doesn’t take himself too seriously.
He makes his opponents look like superstars
Some of wrestling is looking like you’re destroying people. A lot of wrestling is looking like people are destroying you. No matter who he’s up against, wherever they are in the card, he makes them look like capable and dangerous opponents. Some people might resent selling for someone new (like, say, a rookie Daniel Bryan judging from his looks in that clip), Ziggler does it. A lot of the guys might not want to sell for a female wrestler, even one as “awesome” as Kharma (see what I did there?), but he did it. He made her move look like it knocked his soul loose. The dude could make Gillberg look like Goldberg, and Goldberg look like someone who wouldn’t give you a concussion!
Lookit that, selling the effects of a move during and after a match. Funny, I think that’s how it’s supposed to work.
Dolph can cut a promo
That’s an intense and effective promo. When the situation call for it, he can be cold, cruel and ruthless. Also effective to his character is how he didn’t strike AJ back, but didn’t hesitate to kneecap Cena and spear him into a stall. Man… imagine if they had him look like a badass bastard more often. Do you readers think that heels are more effective when they seem legitimately tough? Just thinking out loud.
That’s another quality promo. Mentioning something newsworthy or topical (America lagging behind in things), dissing the hometown crowd (Tennessee) while also emphatically stating that he has a surplus of ability while the rest of the world has a deficit and that everything he’s ever wanted he has. He really makes you believe in him, whether you want to or not.
I’ve used this as an example several times but it’s still good. The way his pauses get more frequent and his tone gets lower is awesomely creepy, and a good example of a possible Patrick Bateman-ish switch. Also…
He has/had three good catchphrases
There was a rumor a year or two or I can’t remember back that the WWE was gonna market some clothing with “insider” terms like Heel or Babyface or I’m Staying At The Marriott. Don’t know what happened with that but I know Ziggler was the most vocal of calling himself a heel.
The fans care
Of course we all remember this, one of the all-time great crowd reactions to a cash-in. But there’s also-
Technically, Ziggler was a heel in that match. You wouldn’t notice it when in minute two of the video the crowd starts chanting “Let’s go, Ziggler.”
Hopefully the above clip is still up as of this publishing as it’s from this year’s Royal Rumble. It’s the crowd popping big for Zig and chanting “Let’s go Ziggler” within seconds of his entrance into the ring. For those of you who didn’t catch this past Royal Rumble… quit braggin’. But I will say that the crowd was hot for him, and booed mightily at his elimination. Not too many others got that reaction. Also impressive for the losing streak and disappearing acts he’s had.
Just like CM Punk for years before 2011, just like Daniel Bryan for years until now, people are behind Ziggler. They like him. They like him more than your Cenas, Ortons, Sheamuses, Big Shows, Rybacks, Swaggers and other experiments that have blown up. The WWE didn’t have to shove Ziggler down our throats (phrasing!), he slowly and organically built an audience through hard work. Like you’re supposed to, and then, in a just world, be rewarded for with higher profile matches, championships, and talk show appearances.
He’s actually funny
I actually LOLed at his interactions with the women, and those had to have been improvised. Less than a month after cashing in the MITB briefcase, Jack Swagger did something American and gave him a concussion. While recuperating, Ziggler decided to live-tweet RAW the following week. These are some of his tweets…
if @realjackswagger ever says he wants to ‘kick it’ dont do it!!!!#RAW
Oh good…its Sheamus, someone please tell me why he talks every week & I have to tweet?JK JK I mean: FELLLLAAAAA #raw
#raw @wwe guys I cant keep this up for 3 hours…..JK JK we all know I can, right babe? @wweajlee
I like @wwe3mb & I have a nice rivalry with @mikethemiz, good to see him back!(rather see him in wrestling school)
Ugggg and just like that, I die a little inside #raw #figure4 @mikethemiz
Aww that little kid does the @johncena ‘u cant see me’ wonder if he knows how to do all 4 moves, too? JK JK #raw
@truepeep: @heelziggler ur tweets are more entertaining than ur promos.” #raw hahaha WHAT PROMOS??? jk jk i had 2
Well that was fun…for YOU. Oh & if @vincemcmahon asks, MY TWITTER ACCOUNT WAS HACKED!!!! Oh no!!! #LaterMarks
So what’s the prob?
Well in a true coinkydink he gave a promo recently that kind of put a point on it.
If you want a calmer, less intense version he discusses some things here, too.
But basically he steps on toes when he speaks his mind. Raven apparently used to bitch backstage in WCW, Bischoff said he could walk if he wanted, and Raven literally left the meeting. Unfortunately there’s not really an ECW or WCW for Ziggler to go to anymore. Since I’ve started writing this article, Punk left. As of February 4th, it’s still unknown whether it’s a work or a shoot. Nevertheless, it’s not good to grind your guys down too hard. You just might make them leave, and with them, some of your shrinking audience…
Tags: aj lee, big show, cm punk, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, evan bourne, gillberg, goldberg, hbk, jack swagger, john cena, kharma, money in the bank, mr perfect, Rick Martel, royal rumble, ryback, sheamus, The Miz, vince mcmahon, WWE