Dolph Ziggler is in desperate need of being repackaged in WWE, otherwise, his long stay with the company may be coming to an end.
Dolph Ziggler has been with WWE in some form or fashion for thirteen years now. That’s pretty unbelievable, right? Even the WWE runs of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock didn’t last as long as his. As of very recently, however, The Showoff has disappeared from our TV screens, and it would seem that Ziggler and WWE may have realized what many of us have known for a while—Ziggler needs to be freshened up and repackaged. The former World Champion has been treading water now for years, and if he wants to extend his thirteen-year stay at pro wrestling’s top table, then he needs to shake up his character.
Despite being with the company for well over a decade, Dolph hasn’t exactly undergone any massive gimmick changes. In fact, aside from his brief foray on the main roster as Chavo Guerrero’s caddy and then being repackaged as one fifth of the Spirit Squad, the Ziggler we see on our screens today is the same one we’ve always seen. Also, let’s be honest, the persona Ziggler has been sporting for all this time isn’t exactly that imaginative. The Showoff is effectively playing the love child of Shawn Michaels and Billy Gunn and doesn’t particularly make much effort to mask the fact that he has simply combined those two Superstars to form his own on air character.
Okay, let’s cut Dolph a little bit of slack. You don’t get to remain an employee of WWE for as long as he has without doing a few things right. Ziggler has had a pretty successful professional wrestling career and has reached heights that most of his peers will only ever dream of. It wasn’t as if we were always as disinterested in Dolph as we find ourselves in 2017. Once upon a time, an extremely large proportion of the WWE Universe were clamoring for the now absent Ziggler to be deservedly crowned World Champion. Low and behold eventually he was, and WWE doesn’t listen to the fans unless at least a part of them agrees with what they’re demanding. Alas, a man or a woman who does not tweak their gimmick can not remain atop the WWE mountain for long, and before we knew it Dolph was reduced back to the non-world title status that he had previously become all too familiar with.
A little over a year ago, WWE’s roster was split into two, and half of its Superstars became the exclusive property of SmackDown Live. The blue brand was aptly described as the land of opportunity, and one of the first men who looked set to prove that statement right was Dolph Ziggler. The very first WWE Championship match arranged by SmackDown Live was none other than the subject of this article up against then champion, Dean Ambrose. It was clearly an attempt by WWE to not only prove that SmackDown Live indeed was the land of opportunity but to also give Ziggler a much needed shot in the arm. Needless to say, their plan did not work. As we’ve already covered Ziggler’s character has not changed, so WWE’s reinsertion of him into the World Title scene last year felt like they were simply forcing a mid-carder into a position above his station because that’s exactly what it was.
Since then, the only thing Ziggler has had to boast about is an Intercontinental Championship reign. Other than that, The Showoff has resumed business as usual which is a gradual descent down the card. His feud with The Miz only furthered the progression of his opponent, and even a program with Shinsuke Nakamura did little to grab fans’ attention. The only time that Ziggler piqued the interest of the WWE Universe is when he threatened to leave WWE if he lost his shot at the aforementioned Intercontinental Title and, let’s be honest, there was probably a large chunk of fans who tuned into the match with the hope of seeing him lose.
Back to the heart of the matter, why does Dolph Ziggler need repackaging? Well, it’s simple really, because he has been playing the same worn out character for so long now that even he himself must be getting bored of it. If his current absence from television is because he is being rejuvenated before an eventual return then hopefully he is using his time wisely. Studying the likes of Chris Jericho and The Undertaker and discovering that minor tweaks to your persona every now and then can keep you relevant in wrestling for decades. What’s next for Ziggler is unclear, and only one thing is for certain, if he decides to carry on with WWE then something about his wrestling character needs to change before we see The Showoff on our screens again.
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