I just love the way WWE books Dolph Ziggler. I don't know about you, but I've always wanted to see a World Heavyweight Champion lose a whole bunch of matches in the lead up to him winning the title, before cashing in Money In The Bank over a vulnerable Alberto Del Rio. That makes Dolph look really strong to me, and I have no problem buying him as a legitimate threat to anyone on the roster because of it. Hey, just for fun, let's have a look at Dolph's incredible win/loss record after Royal Rumble and leading up to his post Wrestlemania World Title victory, just to see what a fantastic job WWE did of getting him over as a viable World Champion:
Freestyling: Dolph Ziggler's Super Awesome Booking
May 1, 2013 - 10:16:23 AM
RAW 28.1.2013: Lost to Team Hell No (teamed with Chris Jericho)
Smackdown 1.2.2013: Lost to Alberto Del Rio
RAW 11.2.2013: Lost to Kane
Main Event 13.2.2013: Lost to Alberto Del Rio
Elimination Chamber 2013: Defeated Kofi Kingston (!!!!) (/icon thumbs up)
RAW 18.2.2013: Lost to Alberto Del Rio
RAW 25.2.2013: Lost to The Miz
RAW 4.3.2013: Lost to Tyson Kidd
RAW 11.3.2013: Lost to AJ Lee
RAW 18.3.2013: Lost to A.J. Styles
RAW 25.3.2013: Lost to A.J. Cook
RAW 1.4.2013: Lost to Dane Cook
Wrestlemania 29: Lost to Team Hell No (teamed with Bobby Lashley)
RAW 8.4.2013: Defeated Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Yeah OK, I may have made a few of those up, for example, I don't remember Dolph wrestling Alberto Del Rio three times in February, but the rest is pretty accurate. Now, looking at that record, you'd be forgiven for thinking that WWE were building up the next Goldberg, judging by how strong Dolph was booked leading up to his big title win. Oh, you thought that actually winning matches was the way to book a dude who's about to win a World Title? You poor damn fools. No, the best way to go about this is to make your next champ look like a total bag of piss before handing him the strap- just see Kofi Kingston's recent United States Title win as the best example of that. In fact, this is exactly why I'm predicting Zack Ryder as the next WWE Champion, once he's lost to everyone in WWE, TNA, ROH, WCW, ECW and One Direction.
Some of you may look back further than Dolph's pre Wrestlemania hot streak to his feud with John Cena as the point when he truly became a star. Many say it was Ziggler's win over Cena at the TLC Pay Per View that cemented him as a main event player, however I think it was his subsequent matches with The Doctor Of Thuganomics that really sent Ziggy's career into the stratosphere. Just for fun, let's have a look at Ziggler's record against Cena post TLC:
RAW 17.12.2012: John Cena & Vickie Guerrero defeated Dolph Ziggler & AJ Lee.
Smackdown 21.12.2012: John Cena & Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler & The Big Show.
RAW 7.1.2013: John Cena defeated Dolph Ziggler.
RAW 14.1.2013: John Cena defeated Dolph Ziggler in a Steel Cage match
RAW 21.1.2013: John Cena defeated Dolph Ziggler in a Bikini Contest
Main Event 23.1.2013: John Cena defeated Dolph Ziggler in a high stakes game of tiddlywinks
Smackdown 25.1.2013: John Cena defeated CM Punk, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Kane, Samoa Joe, The Shield, The National Guard and Dolph Ziggler by pinning Dolph Ziggler.
Now that's what I'm talking about. Fresh off possibly the biggest win of his career, WWE then chose to push the Ziggmeister not by having him defeat Cena again, but to have him lose every single rematch the two had, including the rubber match of the feud. Ah, but Ziggler did at least look strong in defeat, as not only did he have AJ Lee, Carlton Banks and the entire WWE roster interfere on his behalf, he also hit Cena with everything he had, and still couldn't win the match. Fuck, Ziggler could've blown up Cena with dynamite and he still would've kicked out at two and a half. Is that how you build up a future World Champion who's going to win the title in a few months? In the words of Team America, fuck yeah!
If that doesn't convince you of the awesomeness of WWE's booking, then try this. Just one week after winning his World Heavyweight Title, Dolph faced Jack Swagger in a non title match and lost. Let me just repeat that for everyone; Ziggler, the World Heavyweight Champion, lost, to Jack Swagger, the guy that just lost clean to former champion Alberto Del Rio at Wrestlemania. If you were unsure of Dolph's credibility as Champion before that particular incident, then hopefully that put aside any doubts or reservations you may have had. Dolph has also looked unstoppable recently by picking up two victories over Chris Jericho, the man who just lost to Fandago at Wrestlemania, and Kofi Kingston, the man who just lost to more people than Dolph did pre Wrestlemania. As a side note, did you know that Chris Jericho was the first ever Undisputed Champion in WWE? Did you know that he beat Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock in the same night to achieve that distinction? WWE should really reference that on television more often.
This is exactly the same kind of booking style that lead to CM Punk and Daniel Bryan being so successful. In the case of Punk, it had nothing to do with his talent or connection with the audience that got him to the level he's at today, no, it was WWE cooling him off during his hottest period in 2011 and booking him as an afterthought to John Cena, despite him holding the top title in the company, that really cemented him as a bona fide main eventer. In the case of Bryan, I'd argue that WWE's awesome and obvious long term planning, which saw Bryan get screwed at Wrestlemania, turn two everyday words into a catchphrase to get insanely over, only for WWE to go ahead and keep him out of the main event despite him clearly being ready, is what contributed to his success so far. It's this kind of long term and well thought out booking style that has to lead to previous Money In The Bank winners Jack Swagger, The Miz and Alberto Del Rio becoming hugely over with live crowds and transformed into huge draws in the process.
So yeah, in summary, keep it up WWE. Keep booking Dolph Ziggler as a loser. Keep booking him as a guy who can't hang with John Cena, or even Kofi Kingston. In fact, don't just limit this style to just Super Ziggler. Make sure everyone else gets the same treatment, having them lose a bunch of matches with no direction before handing them a championship. Because really, that's what I think of when I think of the real top draws in WWE's history. Guys like Hogan and Austin were never over and were never draws because they used to win all the time. In fact, you know what would be a really good idea? Let's take a guy like Ryback, and tell the audience he's a serious threat to Cena's WWE Title. To really get him over as that threat, how about making him look like an absolute joke in the build up to Extreme Rules, by having Cena show absolutely no fear towards him, not take him seriously and give him an Attitude Adjustment in the middle of the ring after he single handedly saves him from The Shield. That's what I call master booking, really making the challenger look strong and giving us that face in peril storyline that sells so well. So yeah, if we could keep a similar style with Dolph Ziggler, then I'll be satisfied.
As Lance Storm would say, if I could be serious for a minute...
Dolph Ziggler may or may not succeed as World Heavyweight Champion, or even as a main event talent. One day we may cast our eyes back to this time period and be full of praise, nostalgic eyes and hard erections as we relive the point where Dolph Ziggler truly became a star in WWE. Or we'll look back at this point in time full of rage and fury at the point where WWE seriously dropped the ball with Dolph, didn't take him seriously and allowed him to leave the company to go and light up TNA by putting on five star matches with some of their top in ring performers such as A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels and Rob Terry. No matter what happens though, there will always be one consistent stand out entity. One constant to keep us going. One ray of hope to always believe in. One shining light in the darkness of random booking, crappy segments and boring shows. One dynasty of hope that will always lift us from the depths of despair no matter what this crazy life throws at us. A prophet of such sacrosanct proportions that it's as if it were sent from the heaven's above. Yes my friends, we can always rely on that fact that, no matter what...
AJ Lee will always have a nice bum.