Dolph Ziggler is a WWE veteran that has been through it all in the company, including periods where even the WWE Chairman doubted him as a superstar.
Ziggler was signed by WWE after a successful run as a collegiate wrestler at Kent State. After his days as “Nicky” (his real name is Nic Nemeth) in the Spirit Squad, he was repackaged as Dolph Ziggler in 2008. Most of his career has been spent as a heel, but he has had success as a babyface as well.
During his WWE career, Ziggler has held multiple titles including the Intercontinental Championship six times, the US Title two times, he’s been a Tag Team Champion four times, he won Money in the Bank in 2012 and even went on to win the World Heavyweight Champion twice. One of those World Title reigns lasted less than two hours while the Money in the Bank cash-in on the Raw after WrestleMania in 2013 was probably the best moment of his career. Sadly, that World Title reign only lasted 70 days.
Ziggler opened about some of the struggles early in his career in an interview with SevenVenues. Ziggler talked about how WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon didn’t necessarily see him as a top guy, so Ziggler had to try to change his mind.
“Sometimes it was second-hand by other people but not in a condescending way. ‘Hey man Vince (McMahon) doesn’t see it in you.’ A few times it was pretty close to the top. ‘Hey man, we just don’t see it. It just doesn’t work for you.’”
“Every day it was like I can take it but if I can get just 30 seconds let me try to prove them wrong. So, for the next couple of years, something would happen, somebody would get hurt, they would put me in that spot, and I would go out and if they could put me into that spot a little more, after that if I could just win a few times and after that maybe I could just retain. So it was baby steps, little goals all the way through. Somehow the timing worked out and sometimes it happens.”
Ziggler is currently a part of the Smackdown roster as a tag team partner of Bobby Roode. Together, the two veteran wrestlers are known as “The Dirty Dawgs” and have been Smackdown Tag Team Champions together.