WWE WrestleMania 34: The Case For Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre


Not currently scheduled for the Wrestlemania 34 card, why Dolph Ziggler deserves a booking and why Drew McIntyre should be his opponent.

As if the booking of Dolph Ziggler hasn’t been atrocious enough throughout the past five years, the last seven months may possible be the worst of it so far. Back in August, Ziggler began a gimmick change where he’d come to the ring and mock entrances of past and current superstars of the WWE. And sure, as much as his impersonations of John Cena and The Undertaker were somewhat entertaining, it was clear that the gimmick wasn’t working.

This change in personality eventually led Ziggler into a program with the then newly main roster debuting Bobby Roode. In what many expected to be a tremendous pairing, the Roode/Ziggler program fell surprisingly flat. After about two months of uninspired promos and underwhelming matches, Ziggler somehow weaseled his way into a triple threat match that included Roode and then United States Champion, Baron Corbin at Clash of Champions in December. In a somewhat stunning upset, Dolph walked out of Boston that night with his second U.S. title win.

Two nights later on SmackDown Live, Ziggler came to the ring and did a retrospective on his WWE career and all his accomplishments. After a searing promo that left the fans of the WWE clamoring more for that side of “The ShowOff”, Dolph left the belt in the ring and walked out, making people wonder if he finally quit the company that had left him frustrated for many years.

The blue brand moved on without Ziggler and vacated his U.S. title which Roode would go on to win after an 8-man tournament. But it begged the question: what was the deal with Ziggler? Was he gone? Was he going to take some time off and then come back with a vengeance?

Well all those questions were answered about six weeks later when Dolph entered #30 at the Royal Rumble. Would this be the big pay off? In a word: no. Ziggler lasted just over two minutes before being ousted by 2018 Rumble iron-man Finn Balor. This whole booking package has left Dolph exactly where he was when the gimmick change first happened last August: fluttering around the mid-card.

credit: wwe.com

So with just less than three weeks away from “The Showcase of the Immortals” and with about a third of the blue brand roster already booked, Ziggler’s options are limited. So why not look outside the box? And when you do, the first name that comes to mind is Drew McIntyre. The Scottish behemoth returned to WWE last April after being away for nearly three years and made an immediate impact. Once seen as Vince McMahon’s “Chosen One”, McIntyre washed away all of his past failings when he defeated Bobby Roode for the NXT Championship at TakeOver: Brooklyn III just four months after his return.

However, McIntyre’s reign was cut somewhat short as he dropped the strap to Andrade Cien Almas after just 91 days at TakeOver: WarGames in November. The loss of the belt was not the only bad news for “The Celtic Colossus” as after the match it was revealed that he tore his bicep.

Now, the normal recovery time for an injury of this nature is said to be 4-6 months. But if you believe a report from sportskeeda.com that came out in January, McIntyre is well ahead of schedule in his rehab.  It’s a very real possibility that his time of recovery may fall exactly into the Wrestlemania 34 timeline.

The reality of the situation is that McIntyre never seemed long for NXT as it was, so there’s really no need for him to return there and go after a second  NXT Championship. At 32 years old and already a 16 year veteran of the sport (half that time already with the WWE), McIntyre has achieved the level of success in his career that would make him more than worthy of immediate promotion to the main roster.

A former tag team champ, Intercontinental champ, not to mention a world champion under the TNA banner in 2016, McIntyre is not just ready to be on Monday or Tuesday nights, but he’s poised to make a major impact. A victory over a former world champion at the biggest show of the year may be exactly what the Scotsman needs to jump-start himself again after this injury.

Unfortunately with only three episodes of SmackDown Live left before Wrestlemania, trying to force an angle like this could potentially backfire. But why not have Ziggler, still frustrated about his lack of direction, make an impromptu appearance and in-ring promo at “The Show of Shows”? He could issue an open challenge which would create a perfect opportunity for McIntyre to make his move. McIntryre’s surprise appearance would bring the house down in New Orleans and would create a massive amount of support for the returning superstar.

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With ten matches already announced for April 8th and with at least one more to come in the form of a blue brand tag title match, the deck might already be pretty stacked against this idea coming to fruition. But one thing is for sure, McIntyre deserves to pick up the ball where it was once dropped for him, and continue on to be the main event star everyone knows that he can be. That could all start again in New Orleans.

WWE, make it happen.