Dolph Ziggler recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated where he talked about the recent storylines he’s been involved in as well as the work he’s done outside of wrestling. Ziggler gave his thoughts on the Edge-Randy Orton match at Backlash praising Orton’s work throughout his career.
“I’ll address them in reverse order,” Ziggler said. “I don’t watch wrestling, so I didn’t see their match. But it was friggin’ amazing to be there backstage. I don’t have any ass to kiss here, I have no horse in the game, but these two are two of my favorites. One, because I know a lot of people hate Randy because he’s so damn good. It’s amazing.
“I’ll be watching RAW, and say, ‘Dammit, he does this better than anyone.’ It makes me so mad. There are only a handful of true naturals, and he is one, and I hate that. So when Randy messes up, I call him out on it. A lot of people are afraid to do that, and that’s fine, but he won’t hear the end of it from me. But good god, no one is as good as he is, and that really pisses me off.”
Ziggler also reflected on his match against Edge at Royal Rumble. He recalled his status at WWE at the time and the veterans he was able to learn from.
“And Edge, that Royal Rumble match [from 2011] we had was so cool,” Ziggler expressed. “I was a guy that lost 99% of the time. I didn’t talk. Vickie [Guerrero] talked for me. When we got to the match, I was so fortunate to have traveled with and be friends with Adam and Jay [Edge and Christian], Tommy Dreamer and [Chris] Jericho. They’re so good, they’re so smart, and me being around them, I became almost as smart. We had this match, a guy that loses every week in a world title match against Edge, and there was no cool backstory.
“I didn’t cut a 10-minute promo with my life story, nothing like that. But we built this up for a couple weeks and maybe, maybe, I had a 1% chance of winning, which I’ve made a career out of over the past 15 years. I learned so much from Adam on the road during the live events we did together. I mentioned earlier that I wish I could have done a bunch of live events with Mandy, Sonya and Otis because I could have helped them even more. Getting that time with Adam meant so much to me.”
Ziggler talked more about the atmosphere of the match. He credited Edge for the work he put into that match and controlling the emotions of the crowd.
“I almost forget how having fans sounds, but we opened the show that night at the Rumble with a world title match and the crowd was hot,” Ziggler recalled. “Everyone knew I was losing that match for the first 10 minutes, but the rest of the match was back-and-forth. People weren’t sure what was going to happen, and no one sat down during those last 10 minutes.
“As much as I try to take credit for everything I do, that was just me trying to hang with Adam. Back then I thought I was great, but I go back and watch that now and there are a million little things that piss me off. But the reaction from that crowd, going from thinking I couldn’t win that match to not knowing if I was going to become world champion, that’s a credit to how good Adam is.”
Ziggler shared more praise for Edge. He says he would love to have another match with Edge again and talks about stepping up his game watching guys like Edge and Randy Orton still at the top of their games.
“I can’t speak highly enough about Adam, and that is one of my absolute favorite matches, which also has to do with our history outside of the ring,” Ziggler stated. “If there is a chance where him and I get to go toe-to-toe in the ring again, I would love it. Adam might be in the best shape of his life, which again, like Randy, is starting to piss me off. They’re out there doing 45-minute matches, crushing it, and looking like a million bucks. I need to step up my game.”
Ziggler and his brother Ryan Nemeth have come out with a #HeelPride shirt to help raise money for the Center for Black Equity. He talked about getting involved in with CBE and what it means to him.
“It’s really cool. I don’t want to make money from it, I’m excited to support the cause,” Ziggler said. “It’s Pride Month, which is awesome, and working with Sonya and wearing a little Pride Flag on my wrist, I’ve seen Sonya be so outspoken and so cool about giving back. Because of the climate that was happening over the past few weeks, I also wanted to give to a Black equity organization.
“I wanted to get the word out a little bit and show that I’m behind everybody; 100% of whatever we make goes to charity, and I’m going to double it. And then because we got the word out, anonymous donors said they would double it. And then a third person said they’d double it. This is going to be several thousand dollars, so I’m blown away.”
Ryan Nemeth has also made a film called “HEEL”. Ziggler talked about the film and more about CBE and giving back like he has for the wrestlers that were released back in April.
“My brother really helped get the word out. I’m very proud of him for making the movie HEEL,” Ziggler stated. “It’s behind-the-scenes stuff, it’s gritty. It shows that this is not exactly a glamorous life and it reflects some things that are taking place in society right now. He is so good at stuff like this.
“Every couple weeks, I get an extra 30 seconds of what’s been edited down and almost finished, and I can’t believe how cool and real and excellent it is. I’m very proud of him, we’re very proud to be giving to the Center for Black Equity. We have all these followers online, and instead of showing a bench press picture, it really is so cool to give back.”
You can view the #HeelPride shirt below:
? Nic Nemeth (@HEELZiggler) June 2, 2020