The always shy Dolph Ziggler was a guest on Fox Sports' podcast The Buzz with Jimmy Traina last week, promoting WrestleMania and also talking about his interests outside of WWE, like stand-up comedy.
As you'd expect, The Show-Off makes it abudantly clear where he stands on the pressing issues of the day. Really, the only question you walk away from the interview with is, "will he get in trouble for this?"
Case in point, the former Intercontinental and World Heavyweight Champ spoke on Roman Reigns and his main event spot for this upcoming Sunday's show in Santa Clara. And he's definitely complimentary of the Big Dog...but in a way that still lets you peak behind the curtain a bit - and let's you know who he thinks should be getting the same chance Roman is:
All of those Shield guys, who came in protected, have done nothing but deliver, in my opinion, and I am a harsh critic of everyone. I wish I could be in the main event. I feel that I am better than Roman Reigns, but you know what? He hasn't wrestled as long as I have. And if he does anything that comes up short of delivering, I'll be all over his case and I'll be the first one to go on Twitter and go, 'Yup, told you it should've been me.'
He's equally forthright about his own showing in one of the matches Reigns' won to earn the right to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE title at 'Mania, this year's Royal Rumble match:
I was pissed. I was out there for a minute at the most and I was so disgusted with myself and so disappointed with the position I was in.
But long-time followers of Ziggler will notice that he's careful to couch his complaints in statements where he places most of the criticism on himself to make the best of what he's given, which is a bit of a departure from the comments that allegedly got him in hot water in the past:
You don't just go to your bosses and say, 'This sucks, I'm supposed to be winning everything.' If you have an awesome idea or a story, or something great, you go, 'Hey, how about we do this,' but when the story is not you, you have to find a way to make it work.
Through it all, one of the things that differentiates Dolph from some other guys with a reputation for bemoaning their position is that he's clearly a wrestling fan. In fact, he tells Traina that sometimes helps him through his own problems with his situation:
I'm a bitter, chip-on-my shoulder guy who doesn't care about anybody else, but there's a little bit of that tiny wrestling fan inside me that gets excited to see Sting for the first time ever at a WrestleMania. Or to see if Undertaker's going to have his entrance or to see if I can go out there and, not just outdo myself and have fun, but it's like wow, millions of people watching, 80-something-thousand people are in attendance at this event. This is a huge monumental deal. And no matter how jaded or bitter you are, it's a very special thing, no matter who you are or what match you're in to, take a look out there for five seconds and look around and go wow, I'm a part of history.
Check out the whole podcast for more on his comedy career, attending Comedy Central's roast or Justin Bieber, offers of sponsorship from porn websites and more.
What do you think, gang? Is Ziggler better than Reigns? Should he have gotten a shot at a main event run by now? Will he face any blowback for his comments here?