WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler suffered a severe concussion last week (May 7) when he was punted in the dome by Jack Swagger during their confrontation at the SmackDown taping at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ziggy, by his own admission, doesn't even remember anything that happened the night before on Raw.
When news first broke of his accident, I had envisioned some magnificent bump, worthy of multiple GIFs that would expose its glory from every possible angle. What I didn't imagine, is that it would have instead been caused by some plodding oaf who can barely walk on his hind legs.
Concussions are serious business.
They're even more serious when they happen to a guy like Ziggler. Let's face it, this isn't a performer known for his epic promos, or larger-than-life physique. He's known for taking crazy bumps and selling like hotcakes. This is almost like Captain Merrill Stubing getting seasick, in that it's just the worst possible scenario.
Fortunately, WWE made the right call.
You can't send a guy coming off a concussion -- complete with memory loss -- into a ladder match on pay-per-view (PPV). And I don't think it's outrageous to suggest Ziggler is a soldier and would have done every spot he had planned to, and perhaps even more, in defiance of his previous injury.
Bench him for his own good.
Not that we should be throwing a party to congratulate the company's decision, as it was pretty much a no-brainer (no pun intended). Still, this is WWE, so you always have that shadow of doubt lurking behind every major decision as Vinny Mac weighs the positives and negatives.
Even when there aren't any positives, I feel like Vince will just make some up to balance the argument.
So, for once, WWE made a great decision. What's unfortunate, is they didn't parlay it into another great decision when it came time to slap a Band-Aid on Ziggler's Extreme Rules match this Sunday night (May 19, 2013) at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio, two of the original three participants, will now compete in an "I Quit" match this weekend, which is only fitting, since I quit on this feud months ago. WWE had a chance to do something really special here and they blew it.
Big Not-Read-E Langston.
Ziggler's untimely injury would normally cause chaos behind the scenes, as creative scrambles to figure out a way to salvage the match. But in this case, there was nothing to do except give Big E. Langston a microphone and kick him in the ass.
"You're taking Dolph's place on Sunday to get revenge on Swagger, even if you have to crush Del Rio to do it. Now get out there and make magic happen."
It's really that simple. Maybe there was some apprehension over using Langston because he's a little green and wasn't really part of the storyline, but I thought this was supposed to be Raw? As in raw, uncut, unscripted, blabbity, blah, blah.
There's nothing Raw about Monday nights anymore.
Maybe Langston would have choked. Or maybe, just maybe, he would have hit a home run and injected some life into a match that, without the champ, no one cares about anyway. Who is excited about Swagger vs. Del Rio for the rank of number one contender? Swagger gets booed because he's lame and Del Rio gets moderate applause.
Team Sell, No.
Sure, Langston is hardly "over" himself, but if he goes out there and kills it, there's no reason to think he won't have the same kind of buzz The Shield had after they tore the house down at last year's TLC. For Pete's sake, the storyline is already there.
Big E. and Dolph have been in cahoots for five months.
Wouldn't it make perfect sense to have him and the luscious AJ Lee show up at Extreme Rules to finish what Ziggler started? Probably, which is why it isn't happening. Even the "I Quit" match plays perfectly to his style and it would have been great to have Zigs at the announce table as the entire thing went down.
WWE really missed a chance to do something special here, for whatever silly reason they have.
He isn't ready, he hasn't paid his dues, it's too soon, he didn't shake everyone's hand in the locker room on SmackDown last February ... pick whatever dopey reason you can imagine. It's probably coming from the same brainiac who keeps jobbing out Antonio Cesaro, despite the fact that he's probably the most interesting man in the "Universe."
Big E. Langston is known for "The Big Ending." Perhaps if WWE had a little more faith in its performers, we might have finally seen the big beginning.