There have been ongoing rumors over the past couple of years about Dolph Ziggler exiting the WWE, and as it turns out, there was indeed a plan in place for him to depart from the company.
According to a report from Cassidy Haynes of Bodyslam.net, Ziggler had a "handshake deal" with Vince McMahon, where the WWE chairman would release The Showoff from his contract following SummerSlam. In doing this, Ziggler would be able to work on "other projects," as he continues to work on on a stand-up comedian career.
Vince actually wound up going back on his word. Before this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, Ziggler went to thank McMahon on his way out. But according to the report from Haynes, Vince informed Dolph that he won't be releasing him after all. In fact, the chairman let Ziggler know that he'd "rather just pay him to stay home."
Even though Ziggler can't fully get out of his contract, he at least has the ability to step aside and work on other endeavors. But for all we know, Ziggler may be done in the WWE for the long run, and it could be a while until we see him in the ring again.
Ziggler spent four months away from WWE before making a comeback on the May. 21 episode of SmackDown. He entered a short feud with WWE Champion Kofi Kingston before moving onto a rivalry with Kevin Owens, who was just beginning the start of a major babyface run.
The Showoff then went up against Hall of Famer Goldberg at SummerSlam, but Ziggler was put away in just a matter of minutes. And with that, it's anybody's guess if and when we would see Ziggler return to wrestling.
What This Means
Ziggler has been vocal about his frustrations in WWE, admitting back in 2017 that he wanted to leave, but the company convinced him to sign a new deal. Ziggler is one of the most underused talents in recent memory, so hopefully he doesn't go out like this. But at the same time, he deserves to try out another career in which he can do things on his own terms.