Recently on E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness, WWE legends Edge and Christian were joined by fellow former world champion Dolph Ziggler. Among other things, Ziggler talked about being passed over and how constantly losing has made his job more difficult. Additionally, Ziggler expressed his frustration over his current role with WWE and he indicated that he will have to make a decision about returning to WWE shortly.
According to Ziggler, he understands why fans believe 'The Show Off' has been overlooked by WWE brass; however, he also recognizes how easily he could have been kicked to the curb at Titan Tower along with his box of failed gimmicks.
"I see it both ways. Like, I don't know. I'm not a giant guy, so maybe in some other world I would have worked here [in WWE] for a year-and-a-half as a caddie and a cheerleader then went away. But, so, I see the positives, like, 'hey, man, I've been here for 12 years and almost always regularly on TV, but I think, at a point, that becomes a burden of not going away, of always being passed over. You're passed over a handful of times over a couple of years then you start to have more of a cult following and it gets hot. But after a couple of years of not having the trigger pulled, and the eight year-old kids know you're in that role, I've noticed in the last couple of years, even my live event matches, it's harder for me to do my job because when I come out the 10 year-old kid goes, 'I know you're losing' and I go, 'oh crap' because it's one thing to have 40 year-old guys going, 'I know what's going to happen - that's fine. I'm here - they put on a show and we still have fun,' but when you get in that role and you miss, like, years of not going with it, it becomes a burden."
In Ziggler's estimation, losing has made his job of building up NXT call-ups more difficult because he has lost credibility with the audience.
"Now, my job of making somebody that should be ready for a world title picture becomes harder and it's not as much of a shove and if you see the last six months, a year of TV, basically, I'm a gatekeeper to the guys from NXT coming up that they have high expectations for, but if I lose for eight consecutive months before they show up, they are no longer getting that pat on the back to go up a notch, so I almost feel like it's taking back from my role. So I don't know what the change would be, either be to switch things up, disappear here and there, or, I've said this to the boss on several occasions, I go, 'I've made a career out of almost never winning, which is awesome,' but I go, 'at some point, I have to be seen as someone who can win, not just by pulling a needle out of a haystack or a lottery ball saying tonight is finally going to be the night because then it loses all of that lustre.'"
Similarly, Ziggler says wins and losses are irrelevant unless you are the one losing every night.
"Wins and losses don't matter unless you're the guy who loses every single night. And, if you're that guy, then maybe you should be in the dark match, not fighting to see who becomes world champion each night. And even if you do pull that rabbit out of the hat, people know it's not long term."
Ziggler went on to say that he wants to be a bigger part of the show, but everyone thinks they should be.
"I hate it, but also I'm someone who hates that I'm not champion. I hate that the show's not about me because that's the mentality you should have if you're in the business [of pro wrestling]. If you're there to be, like, 'hey, I'm that opening guy that works for 10 years and can save a bunch of money,' that's great, but there [are] 1,000 other guys that are sitting in the back that are saying, 'I want to be the best. I want to main event WrestleMania. I want the show to be about me.' And so, you have to have that mentality, but I've also been around long enough to know the score, to know what's going on, so I hate being in that position. I think I should be a bigger part of the show, but so does everybody else, but not everybody else has proven that, so I feel like after a while, proving it so much, even that becomes a thing like, 'sorry, you have the curse of the worker' or 'hey, you're kind of like our Shawn Michaels guy who can work with anybody and it could seem like a main event somewhere.' And I go, 'well, that shouldn't be a bad thing, but sometimes it is."
Also during the podcast, Ziggler claimed that he has to make a decision on his future with WWE very soon.
"I have a very short amount of time left to figure out if I want to do that again or if there's something to reach for. All I could reach for is fun-ass matches and tearing it down on the weekends because it doesn't seem to be a specific great prize to be reaching for here that I can attain, so I can be patted on the back and told, 'you're our guy - you're our Shawn Michaels. You're so good at this - we can't do this without you!' and then kind of see a bunch of guys not in that position coast right by. So there [are] no feelings hurt. It's a show business thing where I love it and in a very short time, I will have to decide if I need to go away and do my own thing or if I need to find a different role here."
Ziggler suggested that his current role of "gatekeeper" is a great role, but maybe not for him. Moreover, the former Money In The Bank briefcase holder averred that he needs to attain a higher level of success within WWE to make putting others over more meaningful.
"Gatekeeper is a great spot for someone who hasn't been world champion, who doesn't excel at the seven out of the possible eight things you can do here as a sports entertainer and it's really weird that I can't get more, but trust me when I say I'm knocking on the door every other day and almost demanding it, so we will see what happens in a very short while, but I would love to keep doing this, just at a different level and I need to know that the company is on my side with taking it to another level, so I can give back and help at another level."
Check out the show here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness