Dolph Ziggler has been clawing at WWE main-event status for the past two years, even briefly holding the World Heavyweight championship back in February 2011.
As far as WrestleMania is concerned, however, he has been overlooked as a singles competitor in his three appearances on the card despite his prominence in major storylines on SmackDown and Raw.
In 2011, for instance, despite being World champion a month earlier, Ziggler was thrust into a feud with John Morrison which looked promising but culminated in a sub-four-minute, six-person mixed tag match that featured Snooki.
Similarly in 2012, Ziggler appeared to be on his way to finally attaining main-event status when he feuded with CM Punk for the WWE championship at the Royal Rumble. Nonetheless, "The Show Off" was once again relegated to the midcard at WrestleMania, competing for "Team Johnny." Despite enjoying team success, Ziggler would go on to put over "The Funkasaurus" Brodus Clay in a four-minute match at Extreme Rules later in the month.
So far, WWE has been unwilling to give Ziggler the ball in the build to its biggest show of the year. Of course, the blame can be put on part-time stars such as Triple H, The Undertaker and The Rock, but these rare appearances are arguably what makes WrestleMania the spectacle that it is.
While it goes without saying that part-time superstars are likely to dominate the main-event matches once again this year, upper-midcarders such as Ziggler need to be featured prominently at WrestleMania if we are to buy into them as full-time main-event-caliber Superstars.
His recent ladder-match victory over John Cena, although tainted, is an indicator that the creative department is finally building Ziggler as one of its top-stars; yet, this has been brought into question after a duo of subsequent Cena victories, both of which could be described as beyond clean.
This could finally be "The #Heel's" time, but equally, he could once again be overshadowed by returning superstars.
Yet, if WWE entrusts one of its most gifted talents in a one-on-one matchup, the exposure and show-stealing opportunity might be all Ziggler needs to finally cement himself as a top heel worthy of carrying the World or WWE championship.
Let's just hope his only match isn't a two-minute cash-in contest with Sheamus or Randy Orton.
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