Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Ziggler Window

With all the justified praise bring reigned down on Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose, and with the Reigns push coming and NXT brimming with top level talent like Joe, Balor, Zayn and Itami has the window officially closed on Dolph Ziggler?

He was the Internet darling leading up to his cash-in, looked great at Survivor Series conquering the Authority and then... NOTHING.  He's been a middling 50/50 upper midcarder for so long that even his pops seem to be dying out, and with his contract up it seems, ala John Morrison that he can leave and get a job elsewhere and quickly.  You see any potential push for Dolph, or does he go the ROH/LU route?


​I think it would best for all concerned if Dolph left when his contract expires and goes off to pursue his dream of stand-up comedy, because he'll still be young when he returns and he'll be a bigger star in theory for having been gone for a while.  ​Dolph seems like he's given up anyway, and it's hard to blame him.  

111 comments:

  1. ThebrazilianpsychoJune 20, 2015 at 4:22 PM

    Dolph Is a guy I think would work in Japan.

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  2. One problem. Dolph isn't funny. He's also an attractive guy, another strike against him being funny.

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  3. I haven't given a damn about Ziggler in a long time, and its not because of him. The company made it crystal clear to me many times that they don't really care about him, so why should I.

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  4. I'm surprised he isn't in the Amy Schumer movie but Cena is.

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  5. Have you seen his stand-up?

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  6. WWE probably wouldn't let him audition even if he had the chance.

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  7. If Dolph were to want to work a few matches in ROH. I don't know, maybe against Adam Cole, ACH, and Kyle O'Reilly, I wouldn't exactly criticize his decision to do so. Like, if he did so on shows that I would have to pay to watch, I might even be willing to part with several of my moneys in order to do so.

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  8. He can't say he's been on Inside Amy Schumer, but he can say he's been on and inside Amy Schumer.

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  9. Not being funny is no impediment to success in comedy.

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  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oShTJ90fC34

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  11. I know a lot of people on this blog don't like Ziggler but his case is pretty sad. Yes, some of it is his own fault with his mouthiness or whatever...but the guy works his ass off ever week in the ring. Any match he's in on RAW, Smackdown and PPV is at least three stars.

    He's not an elite worker but he's very good and he's a great athlete. I look at how bad he was when he first started as he wasn't an experienced Indy guy and basically made himself into someone who can hang with the best by sheer will and determination. After that Survivor Series match, Dolph should have become a major player but it's not just meant to be in the current climate.

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  12. But he's an independent contractor, why would the WWE have any say? :D

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  13. You're right. Dane cook exists

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  14. I'm all for Dolph broadening his horizons in such a way I don't see him weekly.

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  15. News to me that to be funny you have to be homely!! Will pass this news along to friends of mine. "Sorry, you're too good looking for me to laugh at these jokes anymore"

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  16. His shitty offense would be laughed at.

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  17. I don't hate Dolph, but everytime he's on TV, I just simply don't care. And I can't even entirely fault him for that, due to WWE's schizophrenia when it comes to who to push and who to bury.

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  18. I don't know about that - given the number of other competitors who got the same 50/50 booking or worse and still get better reactions, I would lay 80-90% of the blame on Dolph.

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  19. He needs to let himself go.

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  20. Teaming him and Lana up has been just awful. I actually liked Ziggler and Lana before all that, theyre in sheamus territory for me now. That's the gooker award winner this year.

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  21. Agreed. Ziggler, Lana and Rusev are all nothing to me now. And I was obsessed with the Lana/Rusev storyline.

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  22. Rusev is doing great work, but it's on a busted, stupid angle.

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  23. I think Lucha Underground is the perfect landing spot for Dolph/Nick. The writing is fun and experimental, the vignettes are entertaining, the workrate is high, and the taping is infrequent enough to allow a stand up career. Johnny and Alberto are far more compelling there than they were during most of their WWE runs.

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  24. It's an old cliche of standup comedy. Rogan talks about it on his podcast every now and then.

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  25. He doesn't have a niche anymore. He's not the workrate guy, he might not even be in top 5 anymore if you count guys on NXT's roster. His window for being the "we like this guy because we're not SUPPOSED to like him" guy closed long ago and it's hard to get that back especially given how many interesting guys are coming down the pipeline.

    He's just not interesting enough. It would be best for everyone if he just left and went away for like 4 or 5 years or something.

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  26. NewKidsOnTheBlogJune 20, 2015 at 7:05 PM

    With all of the (Wrestler ABC) is the new (wrestler XYZ) talk, no one has pointed out Ziggler is the new Shelton

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  27. He's not black

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  28. That last part isn't true. Source: I'm fucking hilarious.

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  29. Robinson TilapiaJune 20, 2015 at 7:51 PM

    I've been beaten down with Ziggler. At this point, give Breeze his spot and, not only would I not blink, I may actually prefer it.

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  30. Obviously someone will tell me I'm wrong but I've never seen Zig have a great match, ever. He's had good matches before, but never great ones, and I don't think he's capable of having one.

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  31. He's Tito Santana right before he became El Matador.

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  32. Survivor Series 2014 main event was his masterpiece.

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  33. He needs a more compelling character. I always felt his "showoff, stealing the show" character made little sense, especially as a face. He always came off as someone who rather do something that looks good than as someone who wants to win matches. How could I get behind someone who seems like he doesn't even want to win. Even this dumb Lana storyline, he seems happier that he bagged the hot chick rather than seeing her and her jealous ex as distractions.

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  34. That's an interesting idea. Bring him in as Marty "The Moth" Martinez' second cousin.

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  35. I was going to say something against this, but then i thought about it. Can anyone name 5 male attractive standup comics? They're all kinda eh looking.

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  36. Summerslam 2009 comes to mind.

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  37. I love Dolph but he's been on the roster as this character since 2008. Seven years seems like the natural life cycle of a guy that's not a tippy top guy.


    Looking at guys throughout modern WWE history that never quiet made it as tippy top but were well-regarded as being there for good, long, memorable runs we have:


    Jake: 86-92 (seven years)
    Perfect: 88-93 (six years)
    Jericho: 99-05 (six years)
    Big Show (1st run): 99-06 (seven years)
    RVD: 01-07 (seven years)
    Booker: 01-07 (seven years)
    Morrison: 06-11 (six years)
    Del Rio: 10-15 (six years)


    I'm sure there's more but seven years seems like a good run for an upper-midcard guy.

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  38. Ziggler has had at least three rubber band pushes over the past five years.

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  39. Against Bryan for the US title at Bragging Rights 2010

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  40. Has Ziggler ever cut a particularly good or memorable promo?


    What is his character exactly? Poor man's Mr. Perfect + nicknamed "the showoff" - is that about it?


    This thing with Lana isn't helping (either of them). I like his work in the ring, but he should go somewhere else.

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  41. Ziggler is really awful on the mic

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  42. And Dolph is only doing the jump and bump style of wrestling, which is tiresome. His offense is poor

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  43. IMO, he'd get exposed in RoH. He isn't that strong of a wrestler

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  44. Like nearly everyone, he sounds awful when he's scripted but the rare times he talks normally, he's quite goood

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  45. I am not dure that i would put Morrison in that group but yeah a Dolph needs a year or 2 out of sight. Look what happened to Big Show after he returned, he was part of heavily hyped matches for the next 2 WMs.

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  46. AverageJoeEverymanJune 20, 2015 at 10:48 PM

    Vs Cena at TCL 2012

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  47. Thanks. Nobody was understanding that here.

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  48. Jeff Dye
    Anthony Jeselnik
    Daniel Tosh
    Nick Thune
    Chris Hardwick
    Donald Glover
    John Mulaney
    Baron Vaughn
    Josh Wolf
    Andy Haynes
    Dane Cook
    Michael Che
    etc.

    (...YMMV as to their attractiveness, but they've all made various lists of "attractive male stand-ups" lists.)

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  49. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogJune 20, 2015 at 11:35 PM

    I wish I cared more, but I don't. If he wants to keep wrestling, maybe go to ROH or Japan. His ceiling at this point is as enhancement talent for the next crop of rising stars.

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  50. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogJune 20, 2015 at 11:36 PM

    The Ziggler/Swagger tag team with Vickie Guerrero would have been better if there was an actual tag division at that point.

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  51. The names I recognize are all either ugly, not funny, or both. (Aside: there was a time I thought Tosh, Jeselnik and Cook were the same guy.)

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  52. Donald Glover isn't really a stand-up anymore.

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  53. I'd say that he's a great 'wrestler', and a great bumper, but he's not much of a worker.


    He's like the opposite of Cena. Cena isn't a great athlete and he's weird, slow and awkward in the ring, but he's one hell of a performer and would tear the house down in RoH. Dolph would fizzle because there's no actual depth to his moveset or wrestling, he's set-up with no finish.

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  54. I always wanted him in a trios with John Morrison and Jack Evans as the obnoxious pretty-boy white guys.


    That or he can join the Bullet Club as an annoying white guy doing 20 year old impressions of wrestlers.

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  55. If we're just talking WWE, all of the following are better than Dolph.


    Cesaro
    Seth Rollins
    Neville
    Owens
    Kidd
    Kalisto
    Orton
    Rusev
    Cena


    If we're including NXT, throw in Sami, Hideo, Finn, Joe and the Four Horsewomen as better workers. That makes him at least sub-10, even if you want to smudge it so he's better than Rusev/Orton/Cena.


    Honestly, just replace Dolph with Tyler Breeze, he's younger, a better talker, and honestly has better offense. Maybe Dolph's a tad more athletic, but they're equal in selling and Breeze has an actual character to him.

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  56. WWE don't seem to realise that just because an "act" is over, like Lana and Rusev, it doesn't mean you can dissect it and keep the popularity as strong for the individual parts. Although this issue is why the Tag division has lacked actual teams for years so I shouldn't be surprised.

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  57. He's one of the worst babyfaces ever.


    As a heel, his insincere smugness and snide condescension work but as a babyface he just comes across as an asshole who's rubbing his superiority in your face or an insecure tool that needs to be validated.


    I remember when he first turned and he blew all his momentum with a series of promos about how bitches be crazy and Mexicans be cheating and it was terrible.

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  58. I saw nothing in the question that demanded that they be currently working stand-up comedians. (Even if Childish Gambino never goes back to it...)

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  59. Rusev getting hurt really fucked up that angle, but they just had nothing with Lana. Yeah, she didn't do much as Rusev's manager, but she cut promos and got to show personality.


    Playing lovesick schoolgirl to Dolph Ziggler when they have no chemistry is...terrible. It makes her come across as a sap or a liar. She was strong, cold, Russian ice queen and now she looks like a junior high student stumbling through her first kiss.

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  60. That's fair, but he was a writer who did stand-up and acting and then became a rapper.


    I guess when I hear "Donald Glover" my first instinct is never "oh yeah, that comedian". But I'm a huge Community mark.

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  61. You never said that they had to be funny (which is as subjective as someone's attractiveness and, thus, impossible to debate.)

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  62. Michael Tarver was the new Shelton.

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  63. Orton? Sorry, I disagree in that one.

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  64. They need to get back together. Hoping that's where it'll end up. "We we're playing you like the rest of the stupid American's".

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  65. My only gripe has ever been how sloppy he can be.

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  66. And much of that is his fault.

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  67. Yes, unfortunately.

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  68. He's the ultimate example of why you don't turn someone just because they're getting a few cheers.

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  69. VadersBuffetShitJune 21, 2015 at 2:41 AM

    There's no coming back from the "MEGADEATH" fiasco for zigs.

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  70. I don't. I know he's not loved on the net though.

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  71. Cena and Bryan can have great matches with a lot of people.

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  72. I fucking love Breeze.

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  73. Motivated Orton trumps motivated Dolph.


    Orton is just usually a slug.

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  74. I think a babyface turn for Rusev is where the money's at.

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  75. Such a waste, the concussion and his awful promos just derailed everything he had.


    He ambushed ADR, then ADR just cleaned his clock in the rematch and Dolph looked like a joke and a choke artist who could only win after pinning a crippled champion.


    He just comes across as a giant pussy. Michael Cole could whoop Dolph's ass.

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  76. Would be fun to let him cut a CM Punk type pipe bomb, give him a WWE Title match on his final date...and have him lose clean.

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  77. In other words, he can't do what WWE wants him to do.


    "I can't talk well with the customers at my stuffy bank job, but I'm great when I'm shooting the breeze with my buddies!"

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  78. Kane: 1997 -


    It's only recently that smarks have started hating on him.

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  79. I think they don't see him as legitimately "tough enough" to be the top guy. When has Ziggler ever fought anyone and not seemed like the underdog? He needs to act/talk/sell differently, maybe turn heel but just generally take himself more seriously because he's a bit corny even though he has flashes of awesomeness

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  80. I'll rewatch it today, but it doesn't stick out as being great.

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  81. No idea. I'll watch it today.

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  82. Against? And that was 6 years ago. He hasn't had anything over good in 6 years?

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  83. That wasn't a great match. It may have been a great performance but he hasn't had a Cena/Owens match ever IMO.

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  84. This. I forget who said it, but the quote that always stuck with me about Ziggler was something to the tune of "if the only thing you're really good at is selling, that's all you're ever gonna be asked to do."

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  85. The ugly truth is that Ziggler simply isn't as good as people want him to be.

    He doesn't suck, mind you. His selling is top notch (if a bit unnecessarily HBK/Hogan-ish at times), he's got a handful of moves that look pretty crisp, etc.

    That said? He gets all this support from the internet because he seems like the prototypical "guy the company keeps overlooking." The guy the "company won't utilize properly."

    Nobody seems to remember that Ziggler has torpedoed his own pushes multiple times because of his own behaviors and actions. At one point, he complained about his lack of pushes on Twitter. Dude was inches from being Zack Ryder wearing "PUSH ME" tights on TV.

    And yet, through it all, the WWE kept him around and in high visibility. He didn't disappear like Ryder and why? It's not because he's some massive merch mover or ridiculously over. It's pretty clear the company saw something in him and presumably still do. If they didn't, Ziggler wouldn't be on Raw every week.

    He's just not as good as people want to believe.

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  86. Motivated Orton has great matches and does an outstanding job of drawing you in.

    Motivated Ziggler does an extra somersault on his monkey flip bumps.

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  87. Yeah. WWE is pretty much the only option for Dolph, given his style of flash over substance.

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  88. Exactly.

    After "Survivor Series", we really should have gotten a big Rollins/Ziggler feud.

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  89. TseugThatsGuestSpeltBackwardsJune 21, 2015 at 7:32 AM

    I actually think he's done quite well for a guy named Dolph Ziggler. Honestly, his window started closing when they came up with that name.

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  90. He could be an outstanding heel partner for Johnny Mundo in Lucha Underground.

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  91. TseugThatsGuestSpeltBackwardsJune 21, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    I'm trying to remember, but I think he went by Nick Nemeth when he was Kerwin White's caddy.

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  92. And maybe a way to save Ziggler if he and Lana can turn heel in this process.

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  93. Rey Mysterio. Forgotten classic. I highly recommend it.

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  94. You know what's crazy about the way they occasionally turn guys because the crowd's reacting a certain way? The inconsistency of it.

    Ziggler gets a few cheers and they nuke his momentum by turning him face.

    Cesaro gets the Superdome standing and shouting and... They make him stop doing things that get a reaction.

    Bad News Barrett is getting face pops for his music and singalongs with his catchphrase, so... They take away the "Bad News" nickname and stop letting him cut promos.

    I guess because it was vital that Cesaro and Barrett remain heels so they could do whatever the fuck it was they did that I can't remember for the life of me afterwards.

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  95. Just re watched it and I would not consider it a great match at all.

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  96. I'll try it, just watched Cena Ziggler again and there was a reason I didn't remember it.

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  97. >​I think it would best for all concerned if Dolph left when his contract expires and goes off to pursue his dream of stand-up comedy


    How would this be best for Dolph given the money he can make from professional wrestling versus the uncertain world of standup comedy?

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  98. I got in an argument with some dork who tried to tell me Dolph was "hands down the best worker in the company" a few years ago.

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  99. People are such marks. Yeah, let me give up my six figure gig so I can go draw 50 people at a comedy club.

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  100. Tell that to Jeff Hardy.

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  101. I forget that Dolph is almost, from start to finish, a WWE project. He wrestles kind of like an indie guy who modified his style for the WWE. There would probably need to be a transitional period where Dolph cultivated the seems of his work, but I think he could do it if he wanted to. But if he's going to stick with wrestling, it would be pretty crazy to turn down WWE money. Unless he was just looking to build his value somewhere else, like Christian did with TNA. In which case, ROH wouldn't be a bad place to do that, given the success many of their alumnus are having at the moment.

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  102. I think there's two ways to Vince's heart.


    Leave, and tell him you're an independent guy (Brock, Punk, Hogan).


    Or do everything he asks of you while having him like you (Hunter, Taker, Cena).

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  103. Lana's staying babyface.


    Ziggler becomes the abusive boyfriend that Rusev was hinted at, or is just a cad/rake that's breaking her heart. And Rusev reunites with Lana while stomping Ziggler's smug ass.

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  104. Orton really is a great wrestler that probably could've been the king of St. Louis like Lawler was the king of Memphis. He really has a sense of everything good about old school, while also having a moveset that doesn't bore the piss out of people.


    It's just that most of the time Orton is a lazy bastard.

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  105. The reason that Orton and HHH get along so well, I think, is that they're the same. When they have something they can sink their teeth into, they're unparalleled performers. When they're bored? They're godawful and boring.

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  106. I think that Trips is a lot smarter than Orton or maybe he's just more aware of what the big picture is/can be.


    Like, I don't think Orton would ever give as many fucks as Trips does about NXT or the next generation of stars or whatever.


    Also, Orton seems a lot more debauched/hedonistic than Hunter, who seems to be more willing to play the political game. I have a feeling if Vince pisses Orton off, Orton will just slum it in a match as opposed to playing a power move.

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  107. No, I'll agree with that. I don't think they're that similar as human beings (although I bet they've got something to bond over), but rather as professionals with their outlooks on the same business.

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  108. You know, that would not only be aweskme but also a storyline direction I legitimately don't remember the WWE taking before!!

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  109. I don't know if they're the only people with a "fuck everybody but me and my own" philosophy.

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  110. Dolph is such a rom-com villain already, plus Rusev has a great regular-guy quality to him. Him trying to legitimately change and win back Lana (his real SO) makes so much more sense than Lana hanging around with the walking 80s stereotype in Ziggler.


    Plus, Lana's staying face, Rusev has nothing to do as a heel and Ziggler needs a turn to see if he has anything left in the tank.


    And if he doesn't work as a solo heel, bring up Tyler Breeze and do a Hollywood Blonds part 2 or something.

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