Two nights after Brock Lesnar returned and became Mister Money in the Bank, Dolph Ziggler came back and laid his claim at a op spot as well. The Showoff attacked WWE champion Kofi Kingston on the May 21 edition of SmackDown Live and now the two men will wage war for the title.
That war will take place at Super ShowDown on June 7. Ziggler wants to be world champion again and Kofi is the man standing in his way. Of course challenging for the championship and actually winning it are two very different things. So is this a reset for Dolph Ziggler in WWE?
Common sense says no. Dolph has made it very clear in recent months that he’s been perfectly happy living his life outside of a WWE ring. He’s on the road, he’s doing standup and he’s undoubtedly feeling great. Ziggler has had time to heal up and he’s discovered a new existences that does not include getting dropped on his head every night.
So coming back full-time to WWE at age 38 may not be something that Dolph wants to do. The company has had no desire to elevate Ziggler back to the world title scene on a consistent basis and that call was made a long time ago. Dolph surely understands this, just as he understood it before. But what does that mean for his upcoming championship match with Kofi Kingston?
Watch Ziggler’s shocking return against Kofi!
The fact is that Kofi has held the WWE title for nearly two months and he’s still an unproven champion. He’s had some good moments and many fans are still on the journey with him. But many others have perhaps jumped off the bandwagon. It’s not that they don’t like Kofi anymore. It’s just that his booking has become something of a problem.
Kingston is still the smiling, carefree entertainer of The New Day. He’s happy, he’s upbeat and he’s always in a great frame of mind. But he’s always throwing pancakes as well. Instead of changing his game to suit his new position in the company, Kingston is doing the same schtick as before.
This is due to WWE, of course. While no one really expected Kofi to immediately transform into a highly motivated and highly intense champion, they did expect he would rise to the occasion. He has in many respects. But WWE is keeping him in the same place he was before winning the title and that has not helped his cause.
So what began as a feel-good story for a deserving veteran, has now labored under the weight of storytelling with no direction. Kofi Kingston has stumbled through no fault of his own and if he’s going to get back on track, he needs some meaningful wins against quality opponents. This is where Dolph Ziggler comes in.
Listen to Dolph explain why he attacked Kingston!
Of all the Superstars that could step up and face Kofi, Ziggler is perhaps the best choice. He’s always been in the top five best hands in the company and he’s arguably been the best on more than one occasion. He will push Kingston to his limit when the two men clash on June 7. More importantly, Ziggler will bring out the best in Kofi.
The two men are a natural fit together and that chemistry should be evident every step of the way. It’s not about making Kofi look good because that’s not a prerequisite to working the champ. Kingston is one of the most underrated talents in the company and he’s always been fully capable of having a top notch match with anyone on the roster.
But this is about giving Kingston a great heel to work with. Dolph has no redeeming qualities when his arrogance is at its peak. After all, it’s incredibly hard to cheer for someone that is so fully convinced that he’s better than everyone else. The fans are content to play along with Ziggler because he is such an effective heel.
But he’s also been one of the most popular Superstars in recent company history. That’s thanks in large part to the respect level he’s earned with his years of hard work in the ring. Dolph Ziggler has shown time after time that he is one of the most passionate workers in the business. He cares about his matches and he also cares about his place in the world of WWE.
Watch Ziggler talk about life away from WWE!
So it’s entirely possible that this new feud with Kofi Kingston is Dolph Ziggler’s best way to get back in the groove of things. Maybe it’s not about winning the WWE Championship, as much as it’s about reestablishing himself as one of the most dependable entertainers in the company. But will that be enough?
Was it ever enough before? Ziggler does indeed have respect for who he Is and what he’s done. But what is his WWE legacy? Is it really about delivering well-worked matches on a regular basis? Or is it about staking his claim as one of the best world champions of his generation? Is that where Dolph is headed this time out?
The truth is that despite what happens, Dolph Ziggler is coming back at the right time. He’s the most ideal choice to face Kofi Kingston and it’s happening precisely what it needs to happen.
Ziggler feels like a breath of fresh air in a company that needs it and he will remind everyone of who he is at Super ShowDown. Dolph Ziggler is at his best when he’s on the big stage and if anyone knows how to shine, it’s him. That’s exactly what he will do on June 7.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, boinkstudios.com and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live