The Biggest Party of the summer is slowly closing in as the WWE approaches their second biggest PPV of the year, SummerSlam. For the second year in a row, the WWE will host this event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and this year has been described by fans as having the potential to be one of the best PPVs of the year, as well as one of the best SummerSlam event in years. With the long awaited NXT Superstar Finn Bálor being shot into the main event scene with Seth Rollins for the new WWE Universal Championship, the dream match between Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton occurring, as well as the rematch between Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and Charlotte, the WWE is trying their best to shake things up, as well as give fans what they want. However, one of the more controversial matches that will be taking place at SummerSlam is the SmackDown showcase between Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Championship.
While fans were happy to see Dean Ambrose finally win the World Title a few months ago, they were also wondering what interesting feuds Ambrose would be involved in following the brand split and the eventual Triple Threat Match that occurred at Battleground this past month. And for many fans, Ziggler was not the ideal opponent for the second biggest show of the year. Now this wasn’t Ziggler’s fault, as his momentum and credibility had been destroyed prior to this point, but the fact remains that he got a title shot and some fans didn’t feel he deserved it.
So to look at both sides of the argument, this article will look at the eight Reason why Ziggler should be pushed now and the eight Reasons why he shouldn’t be.
16 16. For - Never Really Given A Chance
When people discuss upper midcard guys who were once given runs at main events, most people think of Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, The Miz, and Dolph Ziggler. However, Ziggler’s opportunities at the main event were relatively limited in comparison to the other wrestlers previously mentioned. Where Del Rio and Sheamus were pushed as main eventers pretty much from the beginning of their WWE careers, Ziggler had to work his way to the top and change his gimmick and appearance multiple times. From the caddy of Kerwin White to Nicky of The Spirit Squad and finally to his current character, Ziggler truly had to bide his time until he was given a chance to be a main event player.
15 15. Against - Far from New
While it is true that Dolph Ziggler has been given limited chances in the past, the fact remains that Ziggler is far from a new wrestler. And in an era where the WWE is focused on their newer wrestlers becoming stars, how does pushing Ziggler accomplish that goal?
14 14. For - Shows He Still Has Value
Following the events of the 2014 Survivor Series PPV, Dolph Ziggler had a lot of momentum that could’ve led to an eventual main event run down the line. With a string of good matches as the Intercontinental Champion and the crowd still very much behind him, all it would’ve taken was a few matches for the WWE Championship to show the fans that he could still be used as a main event player.
13 13. Against - He's Stale
Dolph Ziggler had been a heel throughout the majority of his career following his debut in 2008. Slowly but surely, fans were waiting for when the WWE would hear the cheers he was garnering and turn him face. This would eventually happen at the Payback PPV when he would lose the title to Alberto Del Rio in a double turn.
12 12. For - He's Trying His Best
When Ziggler was announced as the number one contender for the WWE Championship, many fans believed that he wasn’t the right person to put in a feud with Dean Ambrose. With a lack of buildup and credibility working against him, Ziggler getting a main event push seemed like something that should’ve happened later rather than sooner.
11 11. Against - Not Very Exciting
When people describe Dolph Ziggler’s in-ring skills, most people can only ever talk about how he sells moves. Other than that, Ziggler’s in-ring ability is relatively basic and not very exciting. His moves don’t involve any high-risk feats, anything really technical, nor are they done better than other wrestlers who have done the moves previously. The most well-known moves in his arsenal are the superkick, the fameasser, jumping DDT, facebuster, and his finishing move, the Zig-Zag.
10 10. For - He Fits The Underdog Narrative
Anyone who has watched the WWE over the years will know that the one storyline they love to utilize is the underdog story. Whether it be a wrestler who keeps getting screwed with or a wrestler who doesn’t fit the traditional mold of a WWE Champion, or sometimes both, the WWE will always try to push this narrative; especially for their big PPVs. An example would be the recent push of former NXT superstar Finn Bálor as a main event level Superstar. Bálor is wrestler who’s taller than Daniel Bryan, but leaner than him as well to the point where he makes just about everyone next to him look bigger. Aside from that point, Bálor is also completely inexperienced in regards to the main roster of the WWE since he’s only been there for a few weeks now. In this scenario with a two-time World Champion in Seth Rollins, Bálor is clearly the 'underdog'.
9 9. Against - Not Really Original
When looking at Ziggler’s character, attire, and his in-ring work, most people can’t help but compare him to past wrestlers like Mr. Perfect, Billy Gunn, and Shawn Michaels. The Mr. Perfect comparisons are often associated with his selling ability and similar look, the Billy Gunn comparisons mostly come from the fact that he uses the fameasser, and the Shawn Michaels comparisons are way too obvious not to notice.
8 8. For - Other Wrestlers Are Preoccupied
It goes without saying that many fans would’ve probably preferred that Ziggler’s push not happen at this moment and that other wrestlers get the opportunity for the World Championship instead. Many fans would’ve entertained the idea of Bray Wyatt receiving the opportunity or perhaps John Cena or AJ Styles. All of those wrestlers have far more momentum and popularity amongst the fans than Ziggler did at the time of the number one contender's match.
7 7. Against - This Doesn't Help Dean Ambrose
While looking into the reasons why it’s good or not good for Dolph Ziggler to get this push right now, one of the biggest reasons actually happens to be the current WWE Champion Dean Ambrose.
6 6. For - Homegrown Guy
When looking at the WWE over the past few years, there are very few homegrown talents that have been pushed by the company. Ever since the end of Ohio Valley Wrestling, most of the WWE’s talent have come from the independent circuits as opposed to the WWE’s own developmental systems. Look no further than The Shield to exemplify that as Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins made names for themselves in independent promotions while Roman Reigns was purely a product of the WWE’s Developmental System. And with so many wrestlers from other independent promotions getting pushed, the narrative has mostly become that the WWE is struggling to create their own stars, so they have to take them from other promotions.
5 5. Against - Not A Credible Opponent
Initially, Dean Ambrose’s credibility was ruined by the WWE when they had him face every big name they had to offer only for him to fall short. For Dolph Ziggler, he’s dealt with the same issue, except it has been much more severe in his case. Since the beginning of 2015, Ziggler has been relegated to that of a lower midcarder. He’s been placed in a few big matches like the two Intercontinental Championship ladder matches these past few years at WrestleMania, and even managed to get a match against Triple H on Raw, but other than that he’s been in no major feuds that would make him a credible opponent for the biggest prize in professional wrestling.
Now many would recall Daniel Bryan losing a few matches after WrestleMania and then receiving a title shot by John Cena, but those losses were morphed into a story that began long before the buildup to SummerSlam. In Ziggler’s case, there’s been no buildup and it seems like a random title shot.
4 4. For - No Longer Wasted Talent
When fans think about Dolph Ziggler and all the potential he had following his debut in 2008, the one thing that comes to mind with the fans is the phrase “wasted talent.” To say that Ziggler was always a main event level Superstar would be the furthest thing from the truth, but he was as ready as he would ever be in 2013.
3 3. Against - Not Built Up
As stated before, due to the consistent losses Ziggler has sustained over the past two years, he doesn’t seem anything like a World Champion contender. His overall lack of credible wins prior to becoming the number one contender made him closer to an enhancement talent than World Championship material.
2 2. For - Fulfills The Purpose Of The Brand Split
When looking at the brand split of previous years, the one thing that it can be credited with was the creation of newer stars in the WWE. John Cena, Randy Orton, and Brock Lesnar are three of the biggest and most well-known WWE Superstars on the roster and they were each products of the initial brand split that started in 2002. The brand split was effective in making stars for the company which ultimately contributed to the enjoyment of the WWE by the fans during those years, enjoyment that isn’t as strong as it once was.
1 1. Against - Push Isn't Genuine
Due to the lack of genuine star power on the roster, many fans were expecting that overlooked talents like Dolph Ziggler and Bray Wyatt would be given a chance in the future to compete for the world title. These opportunities would come relatively soon as Ziggler became the number one contender on the first week of SmackDown Live. Now there have been many arguments made against Ziggler getting this main event push right now, but the biggest reason of all of them is that this feels like a forced push.
While Ziggler did seem like someone that the WWE would push as a main eventer, they missed the boat time and again with his booking. They’ve had moments where he had the momentum necessary for a push and the WWE failed to capitalize on them. Now, two weeks into the brand split and Ziggler’s push seems like nothing more than a moment for the hardcore fans to look at as the sign of WWE “doing things right.” No buildup, no foreshadowing, no credibility, and no storyline all make this push a forced one as a result of the brand split. Nothing more, nothing less.
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