To borrow a phrase from The Rock, FINALLY. As in, "finally, Dolph Ziggler has cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and become the World Heavyweight Champion." But by now, everyone knows that.
By now, everyone is also probably aware that Dolph Ziggler lost to Jack Swagger on Monday night. While one lone match does not necessarily mean anything, Ziggler losing in his first Raw match since cashing in does not bode well for him.
Ziggler has his fans and his critics. One thing that most everyone agrees on is that Ziggler is great at selling in the ring. The guy can make almost anyone look good. But that can be a double-edged sword. If Ziggler keeps making people look good while he loses, he may diminish his chances of actually winning on a regular basis.
Whether you like Ziggler or hate him, what he needs is a long title reign. Fotr fans of Ziggler, they want to see him hold the title for a long time to validate him as a main event wrestler. Even Ziggler critics should want a longer reign. Not necessarily because Ziggler is the best wrestler, but because the World Heavyweight Championship can not continue to look weak.
After John Cena won the Royal Rumble in January, he publicly debated which title he should challenge for. Unfortunately for fans of the World Heavyweight Championship (and anyone competing for that title), John Cena completely disrespected the title. He called it "the easy way out." So the World Heavyweight Champion has already been diminished by the top face in WWE.
Cena basically buried anyone contending for the World Heavyweight Championship. That includes Ziggler, Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio, the wrestlers that will compete for the title at Extreme Rules.
With the credibility of the World Heavyweight Championship being questioned by WWE's top face, the title needs a long, credible champion to return some of the luster it once had. After all, the World Heavyweight Championship is the title of Triple H, Randy Orton, Batista, Chris Benoit and many of the best wrestlers Raw had during the Ruthless Aggression Era. This title was once the premier title on WWE's flagship program. How times have changed.
Many people believe that Ziggler is the next Shawn Michaels, and if that is the case, then who better to return credibility to the title? But if Swagger, Del Rio and Ziggler get into a program where the title changes hands often, the World Heavyweight Championship will continue being seen as a second-tier title.
That is why Ziggler desperately needs to hold this title for a long time. Questions over the longevity of the Swagger character remain, and Del Rio, while popular, just hasn't brought back the luster of the title.
Ziggler needs to win, and that should start soon. Heels may be built to lose matches to faces, but champions need to win in order build credibility. A champion that always loses is just a holdover champion. Ziggler needs to hold the title for a lengthy period of time, both for his sake and for the sake of the World Heavyweight Championship.