Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler have spent the bulk of their respective WWE careers in the mid-card level, but the former finally broke through as a main eventer at WrestleMania 35.
Kingston, the long-time fan favorite, defeated Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania to capture the first WWE Championship of his career. With that, the beloved member of the New Day had launched himself into the main event picture once and for all.
During this time, Ziggler was away from WWE as he began working on his stand-up comedy career. He returned on the May 21 episode of SmackDown Live and began a program with Kingston. Ziggler fell to the current WWE Champion in a pair of title matches - at Super ShowDown and Stomping Grounds.
In an interview with Chris Van Vliet (h/t Ringside News), Ziggler opened up about the jealousy he has towards Kingston, as The Show-Off continues to await his big break in WWE:
"I’m genuinely jealous that Kofi got this, he has everyone behind him, he has the locker room behind him but then he went above and beyond to get that Kofi Mania a real-life thing happen to where people in the back are cheering...I was out and to get behind that and still be rooting for someone else, it’s weird because we’re all wanting ourselves to be the champion."
Ziggler has opened up about his frustrations in WWE in the past, expressing his desire to headline a WrestleMania, and that he was close to leaving the company altogether before signing a new contract. Wrestling legend Batista has also been critical of WWE misusing Ziggler.
Now, Ziggler still has a tremendous resume to talk about. He's won two World Heavyweight Championships, six Intercontinental titles, a pair of Tag Team Championships plus two United States titles. Ziggler was also winner of the 2012 Money in the Bank ladder match.
But with superb in-ring abilities and tremendous microphone skills, it's easy to understand Ziggler's frustration. He had all the tools to be a perennial main event superstar, but Vince McMahon and officials just didn't see it that way. Ziggler has been great in WWE, but it'll always feel like they could have done more with him.
What This Means
It's understandable that Ziggler is jealous of Kingston. Any veteran in the locker room that never got that giant push probably feels the same way. But at the same time, Kingston provides hope for talents like Ziggler. It's never too late to get that big push; they just have to stay patient and keep putting the work in. It might come around one day, when they least expect it.