The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Intercontinental Title vs. Career match
Dolph Ziggler is a loser.
At least that’s the reputation he’s acquired up in WWE. Is it fair? Not completely. Ziggler has had some big moments in the company. He’s a two-time World heavyweight champion. He’s a four time Intercontinental champion and a one time US champion. He was the sole survivor in a big Survivor Series match in 2014 to oust the Authority, for however briefly.
But if you take a closer look at those stats, some of them aren’t as impressive as they first seem. His first World title was handed to him by Vickie Guerrero and he lost it to Edge within ten minutes. His second he was not able to successfully defend a single time, losing it in his first title defense. His secondary titles were held mainly during a time where there were two major titles in a company that was no longer strictly branded, lessening the prestige of those titles.
His resume looks impressive on paper, but take into the fact that encompasses the better part of a decade and there was plenty of meandering during that time. How many huge moments has Dolph Ziggler had? Two? Even though his resume is solid, it’s surely left plenty to be desired for the man himself and the fans who cheer him.
When the brand split occurred last June, Dolph Ziggler was drafted to SmackDown. With less of a roster to contend with, this was a fresh start. And he took advantage immediately, winning the right to face Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam for the WWE championship.
He lost, in less than spectacular fashion.
Then he turned his attention to the Miz looking to claim the Intercontinental title. He lost. He tried again on a recent episode of SmackDown. He lost again.
With the big match losses mounting up, Dolph was starting to unravel. He seemed on edge more and his promos were more emotional than usual. And then he made a rash decision. In order to get yet another shot at the Intercontinental that he’s already failed twice to claim from Miz, he put is career on the line. That was too much for the Miz to turn down.
For the Miz’s sake, his record in WWE isn’t that much different than Ziggler’s. He’s only a one time champion, but his reign was more impressive and included a main event WrestleMania match (even though he was completely second fiddle to John Cena and the Rock). He’s a two time United States champion and a five time Intercontinental champion. But he’s had his share of losses in between his accomplishments as well.
It’s quite possibly his similarities to Ziggler that fuels his desire to the retire the man. These are two men from Cleveland who have had a decade of mediocrity WWE that have had short bursts of success. In that sense, they’re more alike than they are different.
Prior to their big match tomorrow, Miz took it upon himself to needle his opponent. He first played a superb video mocking Dolph’s shortcomings in WWE. And then he brought back two members of the spirits squad, the tag team that Dolph was first introduced as part of, who ended trying to attack their former mate. This may have only served to add more fuel to Dolph’s fire, but the Miz is too confident to care about that.
The Awesome One is on an up swing that mirrors Dolph’s downswing. Miz, with help of his wife Maryse, has successfully held onto his Intercontinental title since the day after WrestleMania back in April. He turned heads with a fire promo on his oft rival Daniel Bryan on Talking Smack. While the Show Off is experiencing his biggest slump, the A Lister is doing some of his best work.
While Miz looks to keep his momentum rolling, Dolph Ziggler looks to derail it, win the Intercontinental title, and live to fight another day in WWE.
These two will do battle tomorrow night at WWE No Mercy, which starts at 8 EST. Keep it here at Cageside Seats for all of your No Mercy coverage.