Will Dolph Ziggler Finally Realize His Full Main Event Potential in 2013?

Tom Clark@tomclarkbrFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2012

photo by wwe.com
photo by wwe.com

Dolph Ziggler has a couple of nicknames. He’s the Showoff, he’s Mr. Money in the Bank, and many fans now believe he is earning a third moniker, that of the Next Big Thing.  And 2013 could very well be his year.

All apologies to Brock Lesnar for the use of the nickname, but if it fits anyone in WWE right now, it has be Dolph.  

Of all the young up and coming Superstars who are making their way in the company, working hard inside the ring and out, Dolph Ziggler is the one with the most edge and the most hype.  He has done more, and been more patient, than any of his peers and the time is coming that he will be rewarded for his efforts.

But it seems we have heard this all before, right?

Dolph Ziggler has been just on the verge of reaching that main-event status for what seems like forever now.  But every time he’s gotten close, he has fallen short.  

WWE dangles the carrot of success in front of Ziggler and then pulls it back as soon as the man’s fingertips graze it.  It has happened for so long now that for me, even Dolph’s Money in the Bank win was not a real reason to celebrate.  Why?

Because the moment he won, I immediately wondered who would take it from him.

This is not a reflection on Dolph or his ability, far from it.  This is more about WWE creative, and how they tend to go left instead of right.

The fact is that as wrestling fans, we can be an impatient bunch.  Sometimes we don’t want to wait for a guy’s character to evolve, for him to reach the point that the company is ready for him to take that next step.

As soon as we see value in a Superstar, and believe he can carry the weight, we want to see him advance.  

Like, yesterday.

This has possibly never been more true than in the case of Dolph Ziggler, a guy who, week in and week out, continues to impress in the ring.  It is that same work ethic that transformed him from just another annoying heel, to a guy who is championship caliber.

And that notion is perhaps made even stronger now by the addition of AJ Lee to the mix.

When the heat between Dolph and John Cena began a few months ago, it was obvious that the feud would lead to a showdown, probably at a pay-per-view.  What was likely not so obvious was how that match would end.

The sight of AJ pushing over the ladder holding Cena is one that will surely be a highlight of 2012 for many fans.  It may have only been a spot designed to turn AJ heel, but it quite possibly represents a lot more to those who saw it as Dolph finally being given the nod over Cena.

With a win over Cena, one of the last remaining hurdles had been removed.  And, AJ’s presence at Dolph’s side signaled another effort by WWE at investing time and energy in promoting the Showoff.  

Once again, we are confronted with the very real possibility that Dolph Ziggler’s time is coming and once again we are anxious to see how it plays out.

Will 2013 be Dolph’s time?  Could we see Ziggler hoisting the World Title above his head in January after having cashed it in at the Royal Rumble?  Will all of the questions surrounding Dolph finally come to an end?

Dolph Ziggler made great strides in 2012 as his main event career finally began to take shape.  Now that 2013 is here, many fans are ready for that career to be fully realized.

But then again, it seems we have said this all before.