Dolph Ziggler: I Don't Get It

Well, it isn't really that I don't get why others do, but I do not particularly care for Dolph Zigger.

There, I said it, I'm sure to get plenty of grief for it! That's not to say he sucks- he doesn't. As a wrestler, he doesn't have any massive deficiencies that are apparent, that detract from his matches. He possesses a decent enough ring repertoire, and unlike John Cena or CM Punk (and others, I am sure) he isn't repetitive- I've noticed being fairly choreographed in not the moves that they use, but in the order that they do them in, to the point of being able to call what move is next in the string of combos. People like to say that he's the best seller the WWE has on their roster today. I personally like Evan Bourne better, but I'm not going to disagree that he makes other guys look good. On the microphone, I don't think that he is as great as some other people seem to say he is, but I think he certainly can hold his own. But, outside of these things I don't think Dolph Ziggler is anything particularly special. Many at Cageside Seats, obviously, feel different.


Maybe it starts with his name. ‘Dolph Ziggler'. There is something about the name that I never liked, long before Ziggler began feuding with Zack Ryder, long before receiving his current push. Maybe it's the overtly German overtones that I associate with ‘Dolph', and his lack of being an overtly German-stereotype. Maybe it is, as Asterisk has asserted, the fact that his name is a rip off of Boogie Nights protagonist Dirk Diggler, and his relationship with Vicky Guerrero shades of Dirk Diggler's relationship with Rollergirl. For whatever reason, though, when I hear the name ‘Dolph Ziggler', and see Nick Nemeth, I have some sort of cognitive disconnect.

Maybe it's his look. The bleach blonde curly hair with noticeable roots at times aggravates me irrationally. His former look/logo- "I am Perfection" written in a blue and white in a font meant to look like a retro neon light sign- looked like it belonged in Tron. His new look/logo- "#Heel", written sideways in a simple white font- further intertwines Twitter into WWE broadcasts. While I'm not necessarily opposed to that- Zack Ryder got where he is today with his skillful use of Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube- the constant pop-up ads and mentions by Michael Cole on RAW informing us that so-and-so is trending on Twitter is distracting and annoying. His "#Heel" doesn't say much about him, either; it's not very imaginative, though simple and succinct. Is he a heel? Sure. So is half of the WWE roster. CM Punk is the "Best in the World". The Big Show is a "WMD". The Undertaker is "The Deadman". Kane is the "Big Red Machine". "#Heel" is dull, in terms of catchy phrases and logos. And, I won't even go into the zebra-print tights he's been wearing in matches as of late...Suffice to say, I don't like them.

Maybe it's his gimmick(s)- and I won't even bring up his being Nicky from the Spirit Squad, because it's not relevant to ‘Dolph Ziggler'. Until recently, Dolph was ‘The Natural', who, as reflected in his entrance music and merchandise, was "perfection". Now he is ‘The Showoff', who, well, shows off. Neither does anything for me. As ‘The Natural', Ziggler was perfection. While not exactly shades of Mr. Perfect or anything, considering himself perfection did not make me connect for his character, dislike his character, or evoke any kind of emotional response. He considered himself good- him, and every other guy on the WWE roster considers themselves good. His future was so damn bright, he had to wear shades? What guy is going to say that he doesn't see himself as skilled enough to be meaningful? Now, as ‘The Showoff', Ziggler shows off during matches. He does sit-ups while his opponent is on the ground groggy and slow to get up. He does handstands while holding his opponent on a headlock on the ground. It does a little more for me in evoking a reaction to him, but in my case, it's not all that much, nor does it make me like him any more or less. I see him do a handstand and I say to myself, "OK, he can do a handstand". I see him do sit-ups and I say to myself, "OK, he can do sit-ups". Physically, it's almost a shrug with either slight annoyance or slight amusement, based on what he is doing and when.

Maybe it's because of the pushes he has received, and the reactions that he's gotten from the crowds. Looking only at his RAW tenure in the past year or so, until Zack Ryder began gunning for the US Championship, Dolph Ziggler didn't feel particularly relevant (which is a shame, given that he was a title holder). On June 9th, at the Capital Punishment PPV, he defeated Kofi Kingston for the US Title. It wouldn't be until September 18th at Night of Champions that he defended his title, in a four-way match against Alex Riley, Jack Swagger, and John Morrison. So, for over three months, he held the title, but engaged in no title defenses. The night after Night of Champions, his feud with Ryder took full stage, and seemed to give Ziggler purpose. That three-month program or so had Ziggler best Ryder in their first two title matches, but with trickery and cheating. While it certainly helped Ryder and the chip on his shoulder that got him where he is now, it didn't make Ziggler look particularly convincing as a champion. His current feud with CM Punk, much of the same is happening. He's bested Punk on three consecutive occasions now, but none of them make Ziggler look any better, given that all three were a result of meddling by the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the Interim RAW General Manager John Laurenitis. While Ziggler is being elevated from midcard to main event, and is taking on Punk for the WWE Championship, his being a puppet in the conflict between the other two does not make him look better, as an actual threat. All of that shows, I think, in the reactions that he gets from the crowd.

When he and Vicky come out, they get booed. Who is the ire of the audience focused on primarily? The #Heel, or Vicky Guererro? The #Heel, or John Laurenitis? You would figure that the intensity of cheers that CM Punk, or Zack Ryder receives would be inverted, and would resemble the intensity of boos their opponent, Ziggler, would received. That hasn't been the case with Ziggler, as far as I have noticed. People boo him, sure, by virtue of being the bad guy in the relationship, but it doesn't seem to be any deeper than that. They boo Vicky with a passion, because she's Vicky. They boo John Laurenitis with a passion, because he's John Laurenitis. They boo Ziggler half-heartedly, and only because they're supposed to, because he's the guy in the way of the guy the overall audience wants to win. If they're just booing (or cheering, for that matter) you out of necessity like that, I think something is wrong. As a kid, I booed Ted Dibiosi because he was an evil son of a bitch. I booed Hollywood Hulk Hogan because he betrayed everyone. I booed Vince McMahon because he was a power hungry corporate suit. I don't think anyone boos Dolph Ziggler because of who he is, but rather, because of who he is facing.

Might I someday warm up to Ziggler more? Of course. All it takes is a good story and a few matches with memorable moments. Is he better than a lot of other guys the WWE has on their roster? Sure. As the combination of things stand right now, Ziggler does little for me. It's an unpopular opinion, but it is what it is.

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.

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