Dolph Ziggler Has Opportunity to Restake His Claim on WWE SmackDown


The former World Heavyweight Champion has struggled lately, but a fresh start on Smackdown Live may be just what Dolph Ziggler needs.

Dolph Ziggler’s career has been a perfect mirror for the hopes of most WWE fans over the past few years.

Ziggler has had his fair share of ups and downs, to say the least. The former Money in the Bank winner has had two opportunities at World Heavyweight Championship runs, but both were short, limited in storyline, and were as forgettable as most of the WWE mainstay’s fickle, meteoric rises to the top of the WWE that just as quickly fade back into mid-card jobber roles.

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Since his impressive stint as a thorn in The Authority’s side at the 2014 Survivor Series, where he held off Team Authority until Sting made his momentous debut in relief of Team Cena, Ziggler’s hot streak once again cooled off. Ziggler struggled to put on entertaining matches in recent feuds, which many attribute both to a lack of booking in his favor and a played out move-set that seems to bore the WWE Universe rather than excite the crowd recently, with thunderous comebacks or selling vicious beatings.

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Let’s take a quick look at Ziggler’s booking as of late: The former World Heavyweight Champion is 2-8 in his last 10 matches, which includes five-straight losses to Baron Corbin. All eight losses came clean, too. Ziggler’s stock has undoubtedly dropped in the WWE, but a roster rearrangement could not have come at a better time for the man who many are afraid peaked at Survivor Series 2014.

But when Ziggler’s name was called as Smackdown Live’s 10th overall pick in the WWE Draft, there seemed to be a switch in the attention that the former main eventer was given. The focus on Ziggler turned to what he can do now, where he fits in, and how a “fresh start” might be what he needed. And it’s true, regardless of the Gorilla-fed lines Michael Cole was spitting out as Ziggler’s name was called last night. A fresh start is exactly what Ziggler needs right now and clicking the reset button on Smackdown seems to be the right move for his individual career.

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There’s no question the competition level will be through the roof in the Smackdown Live locker room over the next few months, but with a smaller, sleeker roster that’s focused more on technical wrestling rather than the brute force being paraded around at RAW (i.e. power guys like Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Kevin Owens, and so on), Ziggler’s matchup with in-ring style is going to work in his favor. Not only will the former champion’s in-ring presence fit in better and make more sense with similar statured guys on the roster, but with talented guys like AJ Styles and American Alpha, who Ziggler has yet to face, he might be forced to change up some of his move-set in order to go toe-to-toe with the rest of the newfound Smackdown roster.

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Opportunities to make a name for yourself or restake your claim in the main event are going to be boundless over the next couple of months in the WWE, especially on Smackdown Live, which features a wealth of NXT graduates on its roster. It’s now or never for Ziggler to seize an opportunity and prove himself in the ring, hopefully taking a few more shots at the World Heavyweight Championship he never truly hung on to.