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Top 7 Dolph Ziggler Moments

September 29, 2023 | Posted by Steve Cook
Dolph Ziggler Image Credit: WWE

Dolph Ziggler was one of those wrestlers that never got his due. Not sure how mad he is about that since he got those WWE paychecks for nearly 20 years. It’s an interesting question that doesn’t matter here since we’re here to look back at his career. Dolph put the work in and earned more than whatever he got from that WWE teat.

Today, we look back at Dolph Ziggler’s seven most magnificent WWE moments.

7. His First World Championship

Vickie Guerrero was Acting General Manager of SmackDown during the early months of 2011 due to a backstage attack by an unknown assailant putting Theodore Long out of commission. Edge was an old flame and held the World Championship. Dolph was the current flame at that point, and Vickie did all she could to get him a title reign, including making Edge’s finishing move illegal.

Most first World Championship titles are a historic moment for a wrestler. Ask anybody that won the NWA World’s Championship and they’ll tell you the first time was one of their best times. Mostly because it wasn’t on a technicality and stolen away soon after it happened. I doubt Dolph feels bad about this, but I feel bad on his behalf. It was a World Championship reign that was never meant to mean anything other than giving Edge another title reign to add to his record. Except if Dolph got fired soon afterwards, then he could have billed himself as a “Former World Champion” on the indies.

6. Winning Money in the Bank

Ziggler appeared in six Money in the Bank ladder matches, tied for second-most in the history of the match. He was a good guy to have in those matches, as he was willing to take part in crazy spots & fall off of high places. Giving him the win and a future World Championship opportunity only made sense. Back when Ziggler won the MITB ladder match, it still made stars.

5. Title vs. Career

We know there were a couple of people that Dolph loved wrestling because he was friends with them. One of them was The Miz, a fellow Cleveland local that shared the same passion for wrestling. Miz & Ziggler were very similar in many ways. Similar personalties for sure. Miz got a bigger push from the office, and Internet fans appreciated Ziggler’s work more. They were two sides of a coin. Dolph drew from this in the promo shown above.

Ziggler did end up getting the win & the Intercontinental Championship. As he deserved, even though Miz probably complained about it.

4. KOed By Hugh Jackman

We tend to not look back fondly on the Guest Star/Host Era of Raw. Too often, the guest would be some celebrity that was clearly just there to plug whatever they had going on, and had no interest in doing anything beyond the bare minimum. Some celebrities were into it and at least tried, but it didn’t work and made everybody involved look silly. They weren’t all duds. Some guests added to the presentation and made the show more fun. Hugh Jackman was one of these people. He was confronted by Dolph & Vickie Guerrero after plugging his upcoming project, and they started talking about underdogs. Jackman said he would find the biggest underdog he could find in the locker room and lead him to victory over the then-United States Champion Ziggler.

The fans had somebody in mind and Jackman agreed with them, tapping Zack Ryder for the gig. Ryder’s YouTube show was at its zenith at this point, and people wanted WWE to do something with the guy. Ryder got to do something on this episode of Raw, scoring a pinfall win over Ziggler with a little bit of help from his celebrity friend.

Some of you are probably wondering why this would appear on a list of Dolph Ziggler’s best moments. In my eyes, the best quality Dolph Ziggler had was his ability to make other people look good. It probably held him back from moving even further up WWE’s pecking order, as has happened to countless wrestlers over the years that excelled at the art of putting people over. Not too many people could have taken that punch from Jackman and made it a memorable moment like Ziggler did. He did it repeatedly with many different opponents, but to do it with Hugh Jackman and help elevate Zack Ryder in the process took an exceptional talent.

3. The Mandy/Otis/Dolph Love Triangle

Dolph was involved in a number of romance storylines during his time in WWE. We mentioned his relationship with Vickie Guerrero earlier. There was the time he & Lana hooked up for a couple of weeks before Lana & Rusev told the world they were getting married and killed the storyline. There was also something with Nikki Bella that came up on one of the reality shows, I don’t have too many details on that one. The failed Dolph relationship that I found most entertaining happened in early 2020 and involved the lovely Mandy Rose & the indefatigabile Otis.

Otis had quite the crush on Mandy, which one couldn’t blame him for if they’d seen her. Mandy seemed to appreciate & possibly even reciprocate his feelings, and things led to a date being made for Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately for Otis, he showed up a little bit late and found Dolph Ziggler in his place. Dolph was quite the scoundrel here, but…I mean, it was Mandy Rose. One has to do what they have to do in these situations. We all felt bad for Otis, and it led up to a WrestleMania match where Dolph put Otis over, the good guy got the girl, and everybody lived happily ever after.

This story really got over with the WWE fanbase. The only issue? The climax happened in the middle of a pandemic. Dolph has said in interviews that one of his main regrets is that WrestleMania XXXVI took place in the Performance Center instead in front of a live audience. It could have been one of the great WrestleMania Moments of all time. Instead, it was part of a WM we would all rather forget except for the Boneyard & Firefly Funhouse matches that got the proper cinematic treatment for that time period. I feel like if this story had properly played out in a normal setting, Otis would have dethroned Roman Reigns & became the Undisputed Universal Champion of Everything. Boy, would I love to live in that world! In any event, Dolph was the perfect foil to make the Mandy/Otis story work.

2. Ending The Authority

Survivor Series 2014 was headlined by a good ol’ fashioned 5 vs. 5 Survivor Series Match. Since it was WWE, things had to be somewhat complicated. If Team Cena won, The Authority would lose their power. If Team Authority won, everybody on Team Cena except John Cena himself would be fired. Our man Dolph ended up being the last person left on Team Cena and was up against Kane, Luke Harper & Seth Rollins. Not ideal!

Dolph worked his way through ham n’ egger Kane & the late & great Luke Harper. Rollins & Ziggler worked their way to a climax, then Sting came down and made sure The Authority lost. As much as I love Sting, I try to forget his WWE dalliance. That didn’t age well. But it did lead to one of Dolph Ziggler’s biggest wins in WWE. It also ended the Authority, and thankfully the Authority hasn’t come back in full force yet.

1. The Greatest MITB Cash-In Of All Time?

April 8, 2013 is a date that I will remember for the rest of my life, even if the NCAA would like me to forget. That night, the Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team defeated Michigan to win the NCAA Tournament. It was a good time, one of the last good times many U of L men’s basketball fans would have in their lives.

It was also a pretty big night on Raw. It was the night after WrestleMania XXIX, back when #RawAfterMania would live up to the hype. I was distracted from the proceedings, but managed to keep up for the most part. People were Fandangoing and chanting all sorts of things. The most notable event on Raw took place after Alberto Del Rio’s match with Jack Swagger & Zeb Colter. Ziggler, who had been holding onto the Money in the Bank briefcase for several months, took the opportunity to cash in, and won the World Championship from Del Rio. To say the fans went banana would be an understatement.

People have lots of opinions on who did the best MITB cash-in. Seth Rollins’ WrestleMania XXXI main event run-in was pretty epic. Miz got tons of heat when he finally cashed in on Randy Orton. I’m not sure any cash-in got the reaction from the audience that Dolph Ziggler’s did. People were ready for Dolph to get his chance.

Nobody knew what the future would hold on April 8, 2013. How things would go downhill for Dolph Ziggler as World Champion, or go downhill for Louisville as National Champions. All we knew was that it was a good night, and we wanted to keep Fandangoing. Y’all can’t even understand how much I would love to keep living in that moment. I can’t describe how much things have gone downhill since then. Not for everybody, just me.

Thanks for reading! Hit me up at [email protected] or on the social media with thoughts, comments or suggestions. Until next time, true believers!

article topics :

Dolph Ziggler, WWE, Steve Cook