The #1 contender for the WWE Championship, Dolph Ziggler, sat down with talkSPORT before this Sunday’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view. Ziggler will be competing for the WWE Championship against Drew McIntyre in a match with a stipulation of his choosing which will be revealed at the pay-per-view event.

During the interview, Ziggler looked back at his lengthy career with WWE, and revealed that he was given an interesting note about a decade ago from some higher-ups in the company. Apparently WWE officials told him that his blonde hair gave the impression that he had no credibility for a World Title.

“One time a long time ago, I was told the reason I’m not credible for world championships ? this is 10 years ago, maybe longer, whatever ? the reason I’m not credible enough to be winning world championships is because of my hair. Not because I get beat up, not that I lose every match, not that I don’t talk. It was because of my blonde hair,” Dolph explained. “So it got cut short and dyed black and I was serious, I went out there and beat the hell out of Santino, and it was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. I didn’t want to do it. I said, ‘This isn’t me, we can find a way to introduce more of my shooting background and things’. Nope.”

Dolph explained that this was the reason he cut his hair short and died it a darker shade back in 2011. He says that eventually, WWE officials changed their minds and gave him an “our bad” regarding the situation.

“That’s what they wanted [the hair cut]. Then after three weeks they said ‘Oh, our bad,'” Dolph recalled. “Sometimes people don’t see [it]. How about I just beat some people up sometimes? Or won a couple matches? Or talked? Or talk like I am right now and defend myself and say, ‘Hey, I should be out here tying people in knots, winning world titles, getting on the microphone, hopping on a jet, doing a press conference and strutting away with Ric Flair!’ And they go, ‘Yeah, but? I dunno. We should just cut your hair.’

“So I tried to get out of it as much as I could, but sadly, I guess that’s the vision that they have and you have to go with that and try and fight them every single day and I do fight the good fight behind the scenes and in the ring every damn day,” he added.

Dolph says that somewhere down the line, he would enjoy creating a stable with his real-life friends, John Morrison and The Miz. He recalled an interaction between the group backstage that opened his eyes to the potential success they could see together.

“Maybe if I owned the company [I could make that stable]. ‘Hey, my friends [Miz and Morrison] are here, I’m just going to be on there team!’ But that’s not how it works,” Ziggler explained. “There were a handful of times where we were working together and we did a couple of backstage things. It was like, this is really, really easy to turn into a team just like that. As usual, there’s other things going on and there’s other factors. The goal is something else and you go ‘OK, we just showed you the chemistry we have here and what we can do, but no problem.’

“It’s one of those things and maybe we go back to it, we really could,” Dolph continued. “In one day, we did like a two minute thing where we talked to each other and then we were a six-man team. We were tagging and laughing and I go ‘This is just the first day! This is something that could easily be special without us even knowing.’ So maybe we’ll go back to it, I would love that.”