WWE SmackDown Superstar Profile and Grades: Dolph Ziggler


Dolph Ziggler is the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship as he challenges Dean Ambrose for the prestigious title at SummerSlam on August 21. Here’s an in-depth look at The Showoff.

Name: Dolph Ziggler

Age: 36

More wwe: WrestleMania 33 Match Card Projections

Career Accomplishments: World Heavyweight Champion 2x, Intercontinental Champion 4x, United States Champion, World Tag Team Champion, 2012 Money in the Bank winner

Main Roster Debut: January 2006 (Spirit Squad), September 2008 (Dolph Ziggler)

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Ziggler is a lifelong wrestling fan that had a successful amateur wrestling career at Kent State. About a year after that, he signed with WWE. He is a rare WWE performer that didn’t spend any time working on the independent wrestling scene. He was signed by WWE when he was 24 in 2004, started out as Kerwin White’s golf caddy, then debuted with the Spirit Squad as “Nicky” and in 2008 was locked into the Dolph Ziggler persona he’s most known for.

He worked as a heel for the first five years of his career, but then he turned face after winning the World Heavyweight Championship in 2013. The ovation he received when he beat Alberto Del Rio for the World Title the night after WrestleMania 29 was one of the loudest ovations in WWE history. It remains the career highlight for him.

Workrate (In-ring Performance)

Ziggler is one of the best in-ring performers in WWE and has been for a long time. Even though he was very successful as an amateur wrestler, he really doesn’t use those skills as much as guys like Kurt Angle or Brock Lesnar. That’s mainly because he’s around 200 pounds (or less), so when he’s smaller than his opponents he tends to just sell from underneath, make the big comeback with his signature spots and go from there.

There are several moves that he has in his arsenal that he does very well such as the neckbreaker, leaping DDT and Fameasser, which was Billy Gunn’s finisher. Even though he’s a smaller guy, he doesn’t really do top rope moves very often. The Zig Zag has been his finisher for many years, but lately he has been pinning people with the Superkick. That’s not a bad idea because it looks great. However, nearly every match on WWE TV has somebody doing a Superkick at some point, so it feels like the move is being done too often.

He is a guy that is going to deliver an above average match every time as long as he’s given a chance to do so. A few years ago he may have been considered among the top three workers in the company. Now there are some others that have passed him, but he’s still at an age and point in his career where he’s going to deliver awesome matches on a consistent basis. Grade: B+


Ziggler speaks with a lot of passion and believability, which really helped him win over the fans a few years ago. He’s at his best when he’s just able to speak from the heart. The problem is, they don’t let him speak as much as he should. Last year when he was in that awful storyline with Lana, Rusev and Summer Rae it really didn’t benefit any of them. Earlier in his career, they stuck Vickie Guerrero with him so she could talk and get heat. However, when given the chance to talk he’s shown he’s more than capable of holding his own.

Two weeks ago on Smackdown, he got in the face of Dean Ambrose and delivered an awesome promo about how people have always doubted him, yet he’s still there. That’s the kind of stuff that he needs to be saying on a regular basis. The problem is he hasn’t been consistently pushed, which hurts the amount of times he gets to actually talk. When he is allowed to do promos, he is pretty good. Grade: B

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Ziggler has tried a lot of different things with his look over the years. His usual look is having long blonde hair with trunks. He’s switched it up of late by darkening the hair and wearing tights. There was even a time when he had short hair that was dark, but that didn’t last long. In the last couple of years, he changed things up so that he looked like a 1980s rock star. Needless to say, he is willing to change all the time.

The theme song he has fits him well because it begins by saying “I’m here the show the world” and there’s a lot of energy behind it, which fits his persona well. His signature pose for his entrance is turning around to show his butt to the crowd. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if he altered that a bit.

There are ways to give him more star power by giving him some pyro for his entrance or do something to make him stand out more. A lot of what he does is pretty basic even though he has an outgoing personality. Grade: B-


Is he the lovable veteran that is always trying to get to the top or just a guy that whines a lot because he hasn’t been in a top spot for the majority of his career? It could go either way, really. From 2008 to 2013 it was easy to define his character because he was a cocky guy that bragged about how good he was and tried to back it up. Sometimes he succeeded and other times he didn’t, but we always knew what kind of guy Ziggler was.

As face, the only thing he really does is talk about how long he’s been there, how much he loves the business and how he always has a chip on his shoulder. Can there be something more for him? He just doesn’t have enough character depth. It’s not always his fault because the creative team does a poor job at developing layers with their performers.

There’s a chance that he turns heel based off this SummerSlam match with Ambrose. If he loses the match, it would be easy to turn him heel by having him say the fans don’t believe in him anymore. That could be the best thing for his career right now because he was usually better as a heel anyway. That’s something we’ll find out at SummerSlam. Grade: B-

Future Outlook

Ziggler is at a point where he’s been in WWE for over a decade, yet he doesn’t come across as a guy that is going to retire any time soon as long as he’s happy with his role. At 36 years of age, he’s still in the prime of his career because there are a lot of wrestlers that do their best work in their mid-30s simply because the experience they have leads to them improving as performers. The more time you have in the ring, the better you are at building up a match or a storyline for a better payoff.

It seems unlikely that Ziggler will ever become a full time main eventer in WWE since there are younger guys already in better positions as well as newcomers such as AJ Styles that are older, but would be considered better performers by most people.

Ziggler is easy to root for because he is living the same wrestling dream that a lot of people had, but the difference is that he actually made it happen. He’s considered a small guy, yet he’s got a big personality (when he’s allowed to show it) and is very capable at having memorable matches. The optimistic fan might think that he’s a future WWE Champion and that he could win it a couple of times, but others may think that he’s merely just a guy for Ambrose to beat at SummerSlam.

Look for Ziggler to impress at SummerSlam. It’s arguably the biggest match of his career and if you’ve followed his career, you know The Showoff will be ready for it.

Overall Grade (Not An Average): B

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Next wrestler profile: Raw’s Roman Reigns.