Dolph Ziggler joined Dave Lagreca and Doug Mortman on Busted Open. You can hear Busted Open on Sirius 92, XM 208 and on Sports Zone on the app. Here are highlights from the interview:
If 2013 is going to be his year: "I feel like 2011 and 2012 were supposed to be. I have at least two and a half more months on this Money in the Bank contract so worst case scenario I find a great way to cash this in and smash someone with a briefcase, win the World Heavyweight Championship, the lights go out and then I don't know a broom pins me or something but no. I'm really looking forward to, I thought 2012 was going to be my year and it was half my year and half not and that's fine it just makes me that much angrier to go out there and show up everyone else on every single card."
The slippery slope of making everyone look great in the ring: "It is a slippery slope because mentally I refuse to let myself not do my job the best I can. I've thought about it, I've been pulled aside and go hey you've got to protect yourself. You're so good at losing that you may always lose because you'll be kind of okay. I go out there and I want the match to be the best. I put that first and foremost. I don't put myself first and foremost enough but I've thought about it and I can't. If someone's going to throw my into a turnbuckle I'm going to hit it one hundred percent and it's going to look amazing. I can't not do it so that may be my down fall but what the hell I'm entertaining the fans. If I'm this good at this I'm not going to let this go. I'm not going to let someone do this better than me."
Possibly becoming one of the greatest faces in the WWE: "I've never, except for a couple of weeks in OVW in a couple of tag matches, really done that which is great. What happened to this WWE Superstars look like movie stars and they look great? Now it's like we're going in a different route it seems with a couple of people like Daniel Bryan looks like a garden gnome, CM Punk looks like a tattoo shop guy, like I worked on this chiseled face and body and I was like I'm going to look like a movie star that's stepped out and they are lucky to have me here and it's like 'Oh we're kind of looking for a garbage man right now.' I think that I could be that face because there's just such an upside to what I can do and who I can work with. I can go on a movie, I can do a cross over show, I could go on a radio show, I can do whatever you guys need to have some kind of crossover appeal to someone else so I think one day down the line that's just going to have to happen if we hit New York enough times where everyone's cheering for me than we're going to have to try it out at some point."
On Doug's comments that he's The Miz but he can wrestle: "I almost say that with different words almost all the time. Me and Miz have a fun rivalry and I make fun of him for being fat and not being able to wrestle but obviously it's a joke. I hate his guts. We have this rivalry going. Both of us want so bad to be that guy and he was so close to having it and he had a good try and he works so damn hard for this company. I work hard in the ring and seven days a week he's on some red carpet or going to some event and he's not sleeping, he's catching a red eye and meeting up with us and I respect that. It's him and John nonstop and so I have to respect that part. I want to be in that position. I want to be complaining about no sleep and going out, stealing the show in the ring, and doing it on FOX News or whatever the hell you need so I appreciate that he does that. We'll have that rivalry. He'll never be in the shape I'm in and he'll never be able to wrestle as good as I do but does that always matter?"
Whether he wants The Miz's story for himself: "I feel like if I ever got the opportunity, he had like four or five months with the title and he was talking every night and people were booing him out of the building and he loves talking and he's good at it and that's his thing, I don't want to say it's his fault. It's just how things work sometimes and I feel we as a company sometimes take for granted the things that he can do, the places he can go, and the doors he can open up to all the girls who watched him on the Real World like ten years ago. I'll have a main event with John Cena for thirty minutes in Madison Square Garden and the place will go nuts and we go out to the bar and there are 20 girls who are like 'Hey Real World' and you're like come on. Really?"
Wrestling fans hating The Miz: "I wonder to just add fuel to the fire of everyone on the internet and hardcore fans hating on Miz anyway but if you think about it Miz wears really nice suits. I don't know maybe that's a good tie in. Miz is a really good talker, Flair's promos bring a tear to your eye if you're paying any attention and Flair's an idol of mine. He's someone for so many years who would just travel around the world, making the local guy look like the hero that he is and doing a job that no one else could do and I've always modeled myself after Flair in that respect so not only did him going with Miz make me mad even at the match we had a couple of weeks ago on RAW, I was like "Flair you backed the wrong guy man. You should have came this way. I don't know how you didn't."
His ability to get the best out of his opponents: "I pride myself on that. If I'm out there with Daniel Bryan or some kind of technical match with somebody, it's usually those guys having those moves and that repertoire. I can just adapt to things and make them the best. Whatever they do I can somehow add a little bit to it to because a lot of those guys have such great minds for the sport like Daniel Bryan and I hate him for but he does. Out there with John Cena, where you know you're going to get some yays and boos for Cena but are you going to see some awesome five star match? Maybe once a year. But we had matches overseas and just tore the roof down cause there's just so many different things that I can do to feed into what Cena can offer. It was some of the most fun couple of months in my life."
If the WWE should have kept he and John Cena going: "I don't know. I also was like wow this is really starting to be something and in certain places it's sixty/forty I'm being cheered, the guy who loses every week, to the face of the company like this is kind of fun we can have some fun with it but also it was time for him to start moving on toward The Rock, if that was going to be the situation, because I felt those two were going to meet up again somehow."
Storylines being cut short because the part-timers come back in time for Wrestlemania: "I say it as political as I can, it pisses me off but when it comes to Wrestlemania and all the hardcore fans and people like me who've been watching since I was five years old, we want to see people like me and Daniel Bryan going sixty minutes and cheer for it but you have to remember they wouldn't be coming back as part-timers if it didn't pay off somewhere business wise so you got to go with the smart business. Like I said, I hate it. Vince wouldn't do it if it didn't make fiscal sense if not there's some long term story there. Undertaker works one day a year but that's the most mystical thing. In my mind, that's bigger than the World Title Match and the WWE Title Match. This is such a crazy thing that this had turned into. By the way, Miz is undefeated at Wrestlemania so maybe one day we'll be talking about Miz's streak. It's such a big thing. You want to get pissed at the Undertaker working one day? No way, that is an amazing thing. People are there to see that streak match no matter if he's wrestling a broom. That's part of the deal. You want to see the Undertaker come out, see what kind of entrance he has, and that's just part of the deal. Until one of us crosses over or becomes… The Rock's the biggest movie star in the world right now, how can you not see the positive in that?"
AJ and Big E being part of the Ziggler act: "As a mentoring role, it's been positive for Big E who was brand new. AJ, who's also been around and also like myself grew up as a big fan, so she's a real hardcore fan. Sometimes Divas come in from something else and their not into it. Big E wants to learn, AJ loves the business, and the part we can kind of spit back and forth and just learn and I can pass down things since I've been here for eight years and that part behind the scenes has worked out really well. When we've got in the ring we've had some fun. As a group though, we've cheated every week for four months and lost. We've gone into other people's matches and cheated and still lost the match somehow. I used to lose really well on my own and now I have three people that I'm responsible for and we're still losing. I don't understand this so we've been trying to take it up a notch and trying to make the best thing possible. We're trying to be like something special. After Wrestlemania, I feel like whether we have all the gold or not that we're going to go into something special and it's going to be our time there and if we get this much of a chance we will kill it. I will not let it be unsuccessful."
If he's nervous fighting at Wrestlemania with someone new to the WWE: "No it doesn't. I love it and I live for it more than anything but I've had talks with him 'Listen you're going to be nervous. You have to, if you're not nervous than you shouldn't be in this business walking out in front of 80,000 people and a million watching at home or whatever the deal is.' We've focused on something's and he's such a hard worker and such a good listener which I appreciate, not everyone does that and he is one of them. He has listened, he's listened to the crowd, and he's listened to me. He's listened to me and it's been great talking about it and when we get it done he's going to deliver. I think he's going to do, I'm sure, something amazing. He's one of the strongest guys in the world like for real so I'm waiting to see something special that he's going to bring out to show the world on his debut."
What Wrestlemania will he be the headliner: "I told myself three years ago that this one would be it. Apparently, my time charts are off with everyone else. I feel like if everything moves at the pace that it has that next year I'm in a very significant singles match and the year after that I'm in the main event of Wrestlemania and if I can do anything to help that I will and if there's things that are out of my control than it just might be. I can only give everything that I have and then some more out there and hope for the best."
If being featured on every Raw is any consolation: "It's some. I have to find a way to stand out and do my thing so sometime's on Monday Night Raw you have a minute and a half and we have to go to commercial break and then you're done and it's like how can I stand out? How can I give these fans every penny worthwhile in my match alone and I just find a way to do it. I am on pay-per-views, I'm on every show we have, and I do commentary on the Saturday Morning Show. I love it. I would do more if I could. I would wrestle twice a night if they would let me just because I love it so much so it's kind of consolation. I'm constantly in the public eye and being acknowledged for my work but at a point it feels like you're in somewhat of hamster wheel and the middle of the pack and there's so few guys on top and you want to find a way to get in there and get on top and actually as much as I hate Cena… I hate him, I hate everything he does. I hate how awkwardly he runs. I hate everything he does but being out there with him is such a special thing to learn and listen and that connection with the audience that no one else has. It's been years of build up but he has it and it's so great to learn from him and even once in a while if I have a match with someone else, I hate him and I don't talk to him, and I'll see him and he'll give me some little piece of advice and he's been there and done that kind of thing so I hate him but we need him so it's great. I wish we had five more Cena's but we don't."
Money in the Bank being both a great thing and a hindrance: "It has been because it used to be that this was the new Mr. Perfect with the Intercontinental Championship. This was like Oh here's our guy let's see where we're going with it. Like you can watch people and hope they stand out over the course of six months or a year or you can go this guy has that case I can't wait to see where he's going now and it has been a hindrance because at the end of the day it's like I guess Dolph can lose every single match because he has that briefcase. It just drives me to go at some point this has to get cashed in. Somebody is actually going to take it away from me before I get broke kicked in the face so this is going to get cashed in and whatever happens, I don't know what's going to happen, it's going to be special, it's going to be fun, and if something crazy happens when it's cashed in or on a big stage, I think it's something people will remember one way or another."