Book or Cook? The Booking of Dolph Ziggler

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Craig Wilson & Brian Damage

The WWE roster is filled with “superstars” at every level. There are the main roster guys who regularly appear on Raw and SmackDown, those who are used as glorified jobbers and those who are barely used at all. In this series of pieces, we will take an individual wrestler barely or poorly used and decide if they are worth keeping or should they be let go. Today we decide if we Book or Cook Dolph Ziggler.

Craig: The lifetime of this blog makes for an interesting timeline on the fortunes of Dolph Ziggler. For several years, with the benefit of hindsight, I erroneously predicted several times that this year would be the breakout year for him.

On every occasion I was wrong. I recently wrote about the WWE’s 5050 booking which sees performers trade wins and loses and how Ziggler, arguably more than anyone else, suffers the most.

On the WWE’s watch in the last few he are he has gone from a very popular performer that the fans practically demanded become world champion to a guy that loses to The Miz in a minute on Raw and being an also ran in the IC Title picture.

Is there any hope for him? Is this the most obvious cook or is there a hope for him?

Brian: Normally, I would be quick to defend Dolph Ziggler as a star with so much to offer the WWE. He is by far a gifted wrestler with a great look and an excellent skill set. The thing is, he has been grossly misused for years. Some of it was his own fault whether it was his mouth…some of it just bad luck with injuries at the wrong time and some of it the WWE’s fault by bad booking decisions.

I think that too many years have gone by with so much erratic booking that I just don’t see Dolph as a future main event guy. If it were going to happen…it would have happened by now. Dolph isn’t even getting those loud responses from fans anymore. They are becoming indifferent to Dolph and that in itself is a really bad indicator for me.

Craig: I absolutely agree. The fans have lost interest – although in their defence the way he’s been booked it is tricky to remain interested. He’s still a superstar with a tremendous talent but could really do with a prolonged absence off of our screens. One of his undoubted problems is one of his abilities: selling. It means when the WWE need someone to job to make someone look good, more often than not it is Ziggler that lands that role. That hurts his character a great deal.

Ultimately, though, he still remains in that ‘showing promise’ position. But showing promise can only take you so far, soon you have to deliver and for various reasons – some not his fault like the aforementioned injuries – he’s not had a chance to deliver. I guess he’s another one the clock is ticking on. Right?

Brian: If I am not mistaken, Ziggler recently signed an extension with the WWE, so he won’t be going anywhere…anytime soon. I think we need to accept that Dolph will never be anything more than a mid card talent. A great mid card talent…a misused mid card talent…I just don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel for him.

Craig: Absolutely. I think he’ll increasingly be used to get the latest talents over on our screens. The only way for him is down, and it’s sometimes difficult to imagine that he can go any further down.

What could have been with that run after defeating ADR though. If only it wasn’t for that stray kick from Jack Swagger eh?

Brian: Yeah, some unfortunate incidents occurred that stunted Ziggler’s WWE growth as a main event star. Most of it not his fault…but some of it was. Dolph Ziggler does have a habit of running his mouth a little when he doesn’t like something and when you are not at that level of star yet…it can be damaging to a career.

There we have it – our take on Dolph Ziggler. A man that could, and should, have reached the top but a few things have transpired to stop that becoming a reality. Could he still make it to the very top? Time is on his side that’s for sure. But what would you do? Would you book or cook Dolph Ziggler? Leave your thoughts below.

You can read all previous ‘Book or Cook?’ pieces here.

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6 thoughts on “Book or Cook? The Booking of Dolph Ziggler

  1. Here’s someone that became one of my favorites when he won the World Championship and I was hoping he would be a top guy or something. Bad luck, awful booking, and a lack of direction I think destroyed whatever momentum he once had. The fact that he and Daniel Bryan were considering just having a match together at WrestleMania 31 where it was just the two of them would’ve been a masterpiece. Instead, Vince realized what they were doing as the two would try to steal the show the next night only for that Irish shithead to ruin everything for everyone. If I was Dolph, I’d leave. The company is pretty much fucked at this point for someone as good as him.

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  2. Absolutely no, you do not a cook a guy like this. When Shane takes over, I hope WWE lets Ziggler shine like we all know he can. Plus, he just signed that contract, so I doubt WWE lets him go soon. Still, if all Vince is gonna do with Dolph is just let him rot all the more, then Ziggler needs to leave. He’s getting stale quick, and he doesn’t deserve that.

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  3. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 12 | Ring the Damn Bell

  4. I don’t think it’s too late for Ziggler to be a big player in the promotion. Fact is, the WWE hasn’t had a worker like him since Shawn Michaels. A repackaging needs to be done. The easiest way to book him and to get him over would be to book him over as a heel. Very simple how it could be done too. Have Ziggler go on a losing streak. Towards the end of the streak, he snaps and goes off about how he’s done all sorts of things for the company and fans, but received nothing in the end. Rather than continue this streak, he quits the company in frustration. He walks off and leaves the microphone behind. Triple H and others go to try to talk him out of it, but he gets into his car and takes off. Six months pass by and during a match on RAW, a commotion at ring side breaks out. During the commotion, Ziggler comes in from the other side and super kicks the hottest face in the company at the time and pulls said heel over the face and the heel gets the pin. Afterwards, Ziggler proceeds to destroy said face. He gets on the mic afterwards and he talks about how the time away opened his eyes to everything and that he sees the company for what it is – Triple H and Stephanie’s personal playground in which their hand picked guys get over while the rest are stuck fighting for table scraps. Eventually, Ziggler goes on to state that he’s declaring war on the WWE and anyone standing in his way will be trampled over. John Cena comes out and tries to reason with Ziggler that this is not the way to do it. Ziggler punches Cena. Cena goes to strike back, but Ziggler has a new group that backs him up. First to come out is Sami Zayn. They can’t take Cena down. Out through the crowd, Baron Corbin comes in and they stomp out Cena. They stand victorious and they go on to win the heavyweight title (Ziggler), the Intercontinental championship (Zayn) and the U.S. championship (Corbin). One last thing – they add a female member to the group in Becky Lynch and they add a manager. They go on to be the hottest faction in WWE. That could work.

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    • Wow, Jeff, that is a very well thought out plan, and I think that could actually work. But let’s change one thing: instead of Lynch (which I agree, could really work well), let there be a wild card: put either Bayley or Natalya in there. Bayley, simply because out of all the Ziggler faction members, she would be the least likely one you’d expect to be a part of that group, and Natalya, because I feel she’s in the same boast as Dolph. we’ve already seen a “Book or Cook” on her like Zig has. So that would work out incredibly well. And have one of the announcers take Zig’s side on everything, Ranallo would be a great choice because noone would want to hear him be a 100 percent shill for Dolph, but because he’s the best announcer WWE has had since Jim Ross was unceremoniously fired, people would listen anyway.

      Regardless, I think your storyline is an awesome one, Jeff, and WWE could really take a lesson from you.

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