There’s a clear disconnect with WWE’s booking of Dolph Ziggler, which continued at Elimination Chamber.
Dolph Ziggler stepping into a match against two babyfaces — Apollo Crews and Kalisto — made little to no sense from the beginning. Handicapped bouts are meant to have the face overcome the heels, not the other way around. It would have further provided a disconnect with what we already saw on SmackDown. This had Ziggler attacking Crews and Kalisto with chairs when he couldn’t take them on at once.
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Well, to get the heat back on the Showoff, he would attack Kalisto as he entered the venue to make this a one-on-one match. A logical decision and something to get the fans against Ziggler, the one who they’ve been for, right?
After this happened, the former Intercontinental Champion received cheers and positive chants from the crowd. They want to see the guy succeed after losing so much, so often, especially in the latter six months of 2016. That’s why he went on this heel turn to begin with.
Ziggler would wrestle Crews for about 10 minutes, until Kalisto came out. He joined the match and helped his partner win, proving that Ziggler couldn’t overcome the odds. Why cheer two people defeating one heel? That’s supposed to happen and usually is with heel stables like the Wyatt Family or SAnitY using the numbers advantage.
After the match, Ziggler attacked Crews and Kalisto with chairs and still got cheers. He then got a “Thank you, Ziggler” chant to further put the icing on the cake that not only does the fans want to root for this Superstar, but also how they aren’t invested in two directionless faces like Crews and Kalisto.
Ziggler’s run as a heel has also given him a more interesting personality, much like every other face-to-heel transition. The personas are more outlandish and anti-hero-esque, something this generation of fans have wanted to see for nearly two decades. The problem is these Superstars are being treated like heels, while the happy-go-lucky ones, which have been outdated for years, as the faces. It’s part of why people have booed John Cena and Roman Reigns.