What Should Dolph Ziggler’s WWE Future Hold?

Despite losing repeatedly over the past few months in high profile matches, Dolph Ziggler has had competitive without the results, until his recent title win. What does this mean for Ziggler moving forward on Smackdown Live?

He is a former World Heavyweight champion, who loves to state that whenever he goes in the ring, he steals the show. Dolph Ziggler is without question a world-class athlete. There is no denying what he can do in that ring, and makes those in the ring with him look like a million dollars. The old saying ‘He could sell igloos to Eskimo’ could be used to describe how convincing Ziggler is in the ring. While bumping and selling are important for any wrestler, in the case of Ziggler, one has to wonder if that is the primary focus of the character.

Although he can fire up and make a huge comeback after receiving an onslaught by his opposition, he finds himself on the losing end time and time again. There has to come a point where fans, while noting that what Ziggler does in the ring is entertaining, lose faith that he will ultimately pull out the win. In Ziggler’s most recent high profile matches on either Smackdown Live, Backlash, SummerSlam or No Mercy, we have seen a valiant effort all be for naught.

This leads us to question what exactly is in store for him moving forward. It’s fair to suggest a change of character would help him, but with the likes of Baron Corbin and The Miz as prominent mid-card heels, where would that leave Ziggler? He is currently in the mid-card to upper mid-card face mix with Apollo Crews, but with Crews’ recent string of losses, is moving Ziggler down really the best option available? He is a credible competitor, there is no question about it. His recent matches, fighting essentially on behalf of Daniel Bryan against The Miz, has seen him come close and put on entertaining matches, but the booking has seen Ziggler lose until everything was on the line for him.

There has to be something inevitably happening for Ziggler; his character has seen dogged efforts go for naught. It would be logical character progression to have him take shortcuts to ultimately earn respect and championships, after putting out a tremendous effort caused him to get the short end of the stick. The problem with a switch is how the faces and heels balance out, and if it would create an imbalance on the heel side. Wyatt, Styles, The Miz and Baron Corbin are among the top heels, and Ambrose, Orton, Crews and Ziggler round out the face side of the card. The only reason we don’t mention John Cena is his limited schedule, though his addition could create a bit of an imbalance as far as the face side.

The addition of Jack Swagger to the Smackdown Live roster creates opportunities lower on the card, but could put Ziggler’s position somewhat in limbo. It would be ideal to see a heel Ziggler face-off against the likes of Orton, Crews, and Ambrose. So why not simply do that with Ziggler? Rather than have him stagger between being a face or a heel, have him blur the lines between what is right and just, and what is right, for him. It says a lot about competition when talent do what they can get themselves over. Ziggler has been over for the longest time, but needs to be in a position of being over when it counts.

Wins and losses may not necessarily mean anything, but they can when there isn’t character development. If the story that we see being told is that Ziggler is the ‘loveable loser,’ it’s insulting. It’s insulting to his commitment to and time with the company. What makes the most sense for him is to blur the lines, be questioned about his actions, and go in a direction where he is doubted by those that most respected him.

It will be an interesting turn of events as Survivor Series approaches as to what will ultimately be done with Ziggler as the Intercontinental champion. Will he continue to zig or will his character Zag? That remains the question. A heel run for Ziggler could provide a fresh dynamic to the character on screen.

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