Dolph Ziggler “needs” Ric Flair as his manager, or says a very vocal group of WWE fans.
For some reason or another, these fans have been proclaiming for months upon months that they want to see “The Nature Boy” serving as the mouthpiece for one of the WWE’s fastest rising stars, “The Showoff.”
I just don’t understand why.
Sure, there are similarities between the two—the bleached blonde hair, the egotistical attitude and now, Ziggler mimicking Flair’s famous strut—but that’s not reason enough to think the two should be paired together.
That’s like saying, “Hey, Rikishi is an overweight dancer, so maybe he should come back and manage Brodus Clay” or “Mae Young and Darren Young have the same last name, so perhaps we should say that they’re mother and son.”
While it’s OK to want to see Flair and Ziggler join forces because they’re two great performers, the comparisons between the two have grown to ridiculous proportions largely because of a few coincidental similarities.
Ziggler is not the “next Nature Boy.” He’s not Ric Flair 2.0 just because both guys bleach their hair more than a maid bleaches clothes.
Most importantly, though, Ziggler does not “need” Flair. He never has. He never will.
The only thing that Ziggler has ever needed is for the WWE to give him the opportunity to branch out on his own, which quite frankly, is something that he’s never really been able to do.
As John Cena alluded to on last week’s Raw, Ziggler first was a caddie, then a cheerleader and has since become someone that the WWE has only kind of, sort of pushed.
The biggest problem with Ziggler so far hasn’t been anything he himself has done. Rather, it’s the WWE’s seemingly unrelenting desire to keep Ziggler paired with a female figure.
The creative team had Ziggler join forces with Vickie Guerrero in 2010, and it was a great move at the time. Guerrero is easily one of the WWE’s most hated heels, so it made sense to use her to get Ziggler over.
But by late 2011, it was becoming pretty clear that Ziggler had outgrown Guerrero’s services and was ready to venture off on his own. Still, he didn’t officially part ways with Guerrero until a year later in the fall of 2012.
The move seemed to be the best thing for Ziggler’s career. Finally, he would get a real chance at proving that he’s more than just a good in-ring performer and is indeed one of the WWE’s most well-rounded stars.
Or so we thought.
As it turns out, Ziggler parting ways with Guerrero was only really done so that he could be paired together with yet another female, AJ Lee.
Now, Ziggler appears to be in the early stages of a relationship with Lee, which marks the third time “The Showoff” has been involved in a romance angle with a female character.
First, it was Maria (remember that?), then it was Guerrero and now, it’s Lee.
The common link between the first two women is that they did more to stifle Ziggler’s development as a performer than they ever did to advance it. Odds are that Lee will do the same.
With Ziggler constantly being associated with female counterparts, the WWE is running the risk of having him labeled as someone who will never truly emerge as a breakout singles star.
This notion that Ziggler should be paired with Flair is something that fans have created because they want to see Flair in a high-profile role on WWE TV, and they think that it will benefit Ziggler.
But at this point in his WWE career, no manager is going to benefit Ziggler more than Ziggler himself.
Over the past several months, he’s proven to be more than capable of holding his own in backstage segments, skits and in-ring promos, and entering his sixth year under the Ziggler character, it’s “make or break” time for “The Showoff.”
Let him branch out on his own, and sink or swim, see what he can do.
His relationship with Lee is already a step back because all it does it put more of the spotlight on her and less of it on him. The last thing he needs is to be paired with a Hall of Famer who will take the whole spotlight away.
This is 2013, and Ziggler should be the guy who makes his way to the very top of the WWE and solidifies himself as a bona fide main eventer. This is not the time for Flair to come in and have all eyes on him.
Now is the time for Ziggler to do what does best: steal the show.
He can’t do that with “The Nature Boy” by his side.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!