Dolph Ziggler Talks Past Gimmicks, His Name, Being Different & More
|By Jay Calderon | September 21, 2012 | Comments|
On being enrolled in law school before becoming a WWE superstar: "Yeah, I was enrolled in law school. Law/politics is one of my loves. But, since I was five-years-old, I wanted to be a WWE superstar.
"I wear a lot of different hats. I stay up-to-date in politics and I'm interested in all that stuff. But, my love is entertaining.
"... I wish there was some funny story about how everyone told me I couldn't do it, but I think everybody in my family has been behind me since day one. They knew that I had the talent, the discipline and the love for entertainment. It's funny, it wasn't like, 'Ah, we'll see.' It was like, 'Yeah, you'll probably do it.'
On taking a slightly less-traditional route to WWE: "Like I said, I'd been a fan. I wrestled since I was 5-years-old all the way to high school and college. I broke records at Kent State University.
"Eventually, I was lucky enough just based on my discipline and being a great college wrestler -- and just being interested, meeting a few people, shake a few hands -- I was lucky enough to get a tryout without working the independent scene."
On being sent back down after his caddy gimmick with Chavo Guerrero's "Sherwin White" run: "With this business, you never know what's going to happen. When I went back down, I said, 'OK. Is that it? Do I start packing up, do I leave? I don't know how this works.' They said, 'No, no, no. Keep working and we'll find something for you.'
"So, I knew that that doesn't always happen. Sometimes, you get that one chance and that's it. So, I was there and I'd already been going to two and three practices a day just to try and be better than everyone else there. I wanted no excuses. So, when they came looking for someone that they needed, they would want me to come join their roster because I would be a great asset.
"So, I worked hard. I went to extra practices, I went to extra shows. I did everything I could to be totally prepared for when they came calling if they did. I would be 100% ready to go."
On whether he was nervous or excited about becoming Nicky of The Spirit Squad: "It was a little of both. Once again, I was doing something that I wasn't totally comfortable with. I wasn't a cheerleader. I was an amateur wrestler and an entertainer, I can do all these other sorts of different things. But, that wasn't my specialty, you know, cheerleading. Man, how am I going to make this work.
"But, we worked so hard, all five of us. We got to be in the ring with legends on a nightly basis. We had a blast, we did a lot of fun things. It was a little scary though. We got to be in there with DX, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper and all these guys.
"But, once it came to an end, it ended really quickly, I thought, 'OK, maybe that was it. That's unfortunate that it ended that way but I had some fun. I got a chance to work here, most people don't even get that chance. And if I ever get another chance, I will not only be an asset to this roster, I will be known as the hardest working man in WWE.'"
On coming up with the name "Dolph Ziggler": "It was a little bit of a combination of the boss and myself trying to think of something that stuck, that would stand out and be totally different. And I could make my own waves with it, getting away from The Spirit Squad and getting away from being a caddy. Something totally different and now i can make my own waves in this business."
Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.