Views From The Turnbuckle: The Glory Of Dolph Ziggler As Champion, How Far Can He Go?

Views From The Turnbuckle: The Glory Of Dolph Ziggler As Champion, How Far Can He Go? Photo: Todd Twilley
After what felt like forever, Dolph Ziggler finally successfully cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and pinned Alberto Del Rio last Monday to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. For a lot of fans, it felt like something that was long overdue, a reward for a worker who had been busting his tail for over 4 years in the mid-card and who had been doing a ton of jobs as of late. Seeing him finally succeed was a great feeling for a lot of fans who had felt that Dolph was not getting his due in the WWE.

While the WWE Championship may represent more flash and sizzle, the WHC has begun to garner a reputation as more of a workers belt. Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger may not be the most entertaining individuals, but they are far superior workers to the Rock and John Cena. Ziggler, in my opinion, is one of the most well-rounded performers currently lacing them up. His mic skills are impressive if underutilized, and his combination of amateur mat skills and athleticism are rarely matched on the pro-circuit. With Ziggler at the helm, Smackdown just got a lot more entertaining.

Despite his recent string of losses, the WWE has actually done a fairly good job at making Ziggler as powerful as a heel as possible. They saddled him with AJ, who is by far the most popular female in the WWE, turning her heel and aligning him with a manager-of-sorts. Big E Langston was also brought up from NXT to serve as an outside enforcer. With a strong core group surrounding him, the WWE has opened the door for a lot of different things to flow through Dolph, especially that he is champion now.

Ziggler's championship win on Raw was the most excitement I have ever felt during an episode of Raw since CM Punk's pipebomb promo almost two years ago. After what was really a lackluster Wrestlemania where the WHC match was completed swiftly and free of any real drama, the WWE hit it out of the park with Ziggler's cash in the following night.

The golden touch with Ziggler's cash in was that instead of having Ziggler quickly pin Del Rio, they made an actual match out of it. When Del Rio locked in the cross-armbreaker, it was entirely conceivable that Ziggler might actually lose the match. The WWE had booked Ziggler so bad in his matches in the past few months that of course they would have him fail to cash in the money in the bank. That extra drama made it that much sweeter when Ziggler escaped and hit the Zig-Zag on ADR to win the WHC.

In addition, the WWE made a very smart move in having Ziggler cash in on the night after Wrestlemania, when the crowd was going to be at its hottest. Ziggler getting the three count will easily be one of the five biggest pops of 2013. By having a crowd be red hot for Ziggler, it shows people watching at home that may not be sold on Dolph just how popular and important he really is.

A lot of people predict that Ziggler will soon go from being the darling of the hardcore fans to attracting a large group of detractors similar to the way CM Punk did, however Ziggler has several things going for him that Punk did not.

First, when Punk became a top-flight competitor in the WWE, he was often chasing the WWE Championship on Raw. Punk was always on Raw, getting a ton of exposure to the point that some people got sick of him and his whiny character. Ziggler is taking on a smaller role with the WHC and Smackdown than Punk did, so perhaps he will not suffer some of the same exposure problems.

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