It’s been a while since we’ve last seen Dolph Ziggler on SmackDown Live. What’s up with the Show-off, and is it true WWE’s creative team may have nothing for the former two-time World Heavyweight Champion?
Earlier this week, Bryan Alvarez and Tom Lawlor were talking about the latest SmackDown backstage rumors on the latest episode of the Filthy Four Daily show on F4WOnline. According to Uproxx, Lawlor had some interesting information on Dolph Ziggler’s lack of television time, suggesting that the 37-year-old veteran is “probably going to be repackaged.” No further details were disclosed, but Lawlor and Alvarez both made references to Ziggler’s very first WWE gimmick—caddy to Kerwin White, aka Chavo Guerrero’s thankfully short-lived gimmick where he renounced his Latino heritage in favor of embracing the suburban white stereotype.
The Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer added his own inside information on Ziggler’s current SmackDown Live push, or lack thereof. According to Meltzer, creative simply has nothing for Dolph at this point — he’s working live events at the moment, but doesn’t have any program to work with after putting Shinsuke Nakamura over to welcome him to the main roster. Meltzer says this puts Ziggler in a similar boat as former Wyatt Family members Erick Rowan and Luke Harper, and recent NXT call-up Tye Dillinger, all of whom have been largely absent from blue brand programming as well.
All in all, this new development is the latest sign that Dolph Ziggler’s WWE career has seen better days. At 37-years-old, Dolph has been with WWE or its developmental companies for a good 13 years, and he’s won numerous singles titles, most recently, a brief Intercontinental Championship reign late last year. And while Ziggler’s IC title win over The Miz at No Mercy 2016 was well-received among fans, it’s looking more and more like a dying gasp of relevancy in hindsight, given his recent lack of creative direction and TV time.
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There are many ways in which WWE could repackage Ziggler, and he just might end up as SmackDown Live's latest successful reclamation project. But the odds of that happening just aren't in his favor, due to his age, as well as the plethora of younger and/or newer talents WWE could also reward with a nice upper-mid-card push or better. And with all those persistent rumors of his leaving once his contract comes up, this repackaging just might be Dolph Ziggler's last WWE gasp before he tries his luck with other companies.
We would just ask one thing, though, if WWE really wants to repackage Dolph–please, for the love of all that's good in wrestling, don't pair him up with Lana. Because we all know how badly that went.