Spoiler alert, for anyone who has yet to watch this past SmackDown LIVE’s January 3rd episode: Dolph Ziggler snapped, and if you were a face on the roster, you felt the wrath. He laid a Super Kick on Kalisto for coming into the ring for the save after his match against Baron Corbin, and then he attacked Apollo Crews backstage when he questioned Dolph’s actions.
Was anyone getting tired of Ziggler’s whining? I know I was. The fact that his character has been on a losing streak (minus the IC win and short reign he had in the fall) has been tiresome to watch. Losing matches to help push over talent is one thing, continued losing is another. Ziggler is a solid superstar, that has put on some great matches. In fact, whenever he is booked for any match – PPV, television, or live events – you are guaranteed an entertaining match. He’s that good. His feud with The Miz was one of the better rivalries of 2016, and if they were booked for another match this next SD LIVE, despite seeing them fight 100 times already, I’d be excited to see them go at it again; their matches have been stellar. So, it is for these reasons and more, that it has been so disheartening how the WWE has booked Ziggler as of late.
But can a heel turn break this cycle? I’m hoping so. Dolph has been a face for about four years now, and the character has clearly fallen into a rut. I also blame bad booking for this on Creative’s part, but maybe the reason he was booked to lose was to build up to the January 3rd snap. If that is the case, then well done on the writer’s part to integrate and extend the story around Ziggler. Mr. Nice guy has lost too many times, so it’s time for Ziggler to head to the dark side and start winning.
Because of this, Ziggler probably doesn’t even need to cut a promo to tell fans why he super kicked Kalisto and then attacked Apollo Crews; the story is already laid out for him. He’s told it, without having to explain: Ziggler is tired of being attacked, he’s tired of losing, he’s tired of having championships pass him by. The arc has already been written and as predictable as his heel turn may, or may not have been, I think this is something that will be good for Ziggler in the long run. It’s a good thing to be able to play good guy and bad guy so well, and I do believe Ziggler can do both.
His character is in desperate need of a shake up, some added aggression, something to move on to. It seems unclear if next steps mean that Ziggler will pick up a program with Kalisto or Apollo Crews, but I hoping that moving forward we will continue to see less show off and more hostility from Ziggler. I also hope we see a build up to a more confident Dolph, a push that sees him win more than lose, and just overall a different path for Ziggler to move along. Face Ziggler has always been great, but Heel Ziggler rode a huge wave of success the last time around. Here’s hoping that Dolphy experiences some of that now that he is playing for team bad guy.