Just a few days ago, it seemed almost guaranteed that John Cena and Dolph Ziggler would face off in one of the main matches at Survivor Series.
But the WWE flipped the pay-per-view’s card completely upside down on this week’s Raw.
There will be no more Team Punk vs. Team Foley. Instead, we’ve got Team Foley vs. Team Ziggler and a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship, featuring CM Punk defending his title against both Cena and Ryback.
Clearly, the WWE decided that having no WWE title match at Survivor Series wasn’t a good idea, but changing things up so much, in all likelihood, prevented us from seeing Ziggler vs. Cena at the PPV instead.
That’s unfortunate because I think the WWE is missing out on a monumental opportunity here.
I know what you’re thinking—you’re probably glad that Cena isn’t facing Ziggler at Survivor Series because “all Cena would do is bury Ziggler.”
That may indeed be what would have happened, but now we won’t get the chance to find out. And that’s a real shame.
Cena and Ziggler have never had any real, extended feud, and it appears as if the WWE is cutting the legs out from underneath this one before it even really got started.
I don’t like that decision at all, mainly for two reasons: A Ziggler/Cena feud would have a fresh feel to it, and having him beat Cena on a “Big Four” PPV could do wonders for his career.
As we all know, Ziggler is currently holding the Money in the Bank briefcase, which means that he has the opportunity to cash it in and win the World Heavyweight Championship at basically any moment. Unfortunately for Ziggler, he hasn’t been booked all that well since winning the briefcase back in July.
He lost to Chris Jericho at SummerSlam, lost to Randy Orton at Night of Champions and even got absolutely destroyed by Ryback on an episode of Main Event a few weeks back. While he delivered stellar matches with both Orton and Jericho, Ziggler’s incredible abilities as a bumper and seller came back to bite him in the butt again.
“The Showoff” is just so good at making his opponents look good and delivering great matches that he’s been relegated to a role where that’s exactly what he does week after week. It’s good match after good match—nothing more, nothing less.
In fact, it’s the same booking that’s applied to many Money in the Bank holders, including Daniel Bryan. You book him to lose often while he’s holding the MITB briefcase to make it seem like a “surprise” when he cashes in and actually wins a World title.
I’m not a fan of this booking, though. Why turn someone who’s a borderline top superstar into someone who loses all the time?
That makes no sense to me and is exactly why I think Ziggler needs to beat Cena in a major match at some point in the near future.
If Ziggler doesn’t start beating some of the WWE’s bigger babyfaces while holding the Money in the Bank briefcase, then no one is going to realistically expect him to defeat the company’s top good guys (especially not cleanly) whenever he eventually becomes the World heavyweight champion.
You can look back to a couple of previous MITB holders—guys like Jack Swagger and The Miz, for example—and recall that the World title reigns that followed their cash-ins were, overall, pretty forgettable.
Why? Because they were booked poorly before the cash-in, not taken very seriously afterward and therefore, booked poorly after their cash-in (and during their World title reign) as well.
Now, just imagine how much more successful the title reigns of The Miz and Swagger would have been had they picked up major victories over top-level faces on a pretty consistent basis prior to becoming World champion. Odds are that would have resulted in the fans taking them more seriously as World champions and the creative team booking a better title reign for them.
The same logic applies to Ziggler.
If he ever picks back up on his feud with Cena and goes on to defeat him, he’s going to look a lot more dangerous both before he cashes in and after he becomes the World Heavyweight Champion, which is pretty much a lock at this point.
The WWE needs to make this happen, unless, of course, it just wants Ziggler to be another Money in the Bank winner who wasn’t booked like he should have been.