By Maurice Kneisel
The man we know as Dolph Ziggler came a long way from being a caddy for Kerwin White and a male cheerleader to the WWE main event caliber talent he is today. After a reign as World Heavyweight Champion that only lasted 11:23 minutes back in January 2011, the Showoff has finally established himself in the upper card and is considered one of the future top-notch superstars.
Maurice Kneisel: Hi Dolph, we saw you perform twice a night on several Pay-per-Views during the past few months. What’s up with that?
Dolph Ziggler: I just love going out there and showing off to everybody, showing them how good I am and how good my endurance is.
Kneisel: You used to be a World Champion before. What did it feel like winning the title from Edge?
Ziggler: It was cool back then and I worked hard for it, but it was such a quick championship run. I know I have a few real championship runs in me, for a long, long time. As much as it was fun to be in that match and become the champion, losing it a few minutes later is nothing against my legacy. I’m looking forward to proving myself and showing that I can be a long-term champion.
Kneisel: I noticed you’re receiving a lot more cheers recently. Is it weird to you?
Ziggler: Honestly, I always wondered why I was booed. I understand I happen to face a lot of people that fans enjoy in the WWE, but I also work really hard at what I do and I go out there to steal the show every single night. So I’m not surprised I get some cheers, like “Oh, you’re really good at what you do” – I know! You don’t always have to like who’s good. I understand that I’m not well-liked, but I love going out there and proving that I’m better than everyone else every single night.
Kneisel: Do you think it has something to do with you being considered maybe the best seller in the business?
Ziggler: I’m sure it has something to do with that. Like I said, anytime people realize that you’re really good at what you do, it becomes harder and harder for them to boo against you. It’s hard to go like “Oh, this guy is really good at his job. Why am I booing him?”
Kneisel: You got compared to Curt Hennig quite a lot. I think there are quite a few parallels, regarding the looks as well as your wrestling style. Do you like being called a modern “Mr. Perfect”, or does it bother you?
Ziggler: Being compared to any WWE Hall of Famer is obviously a dream come true and a huge compliment. I don’t base myself off of him. We both have blonde hair that gets a little thrilly at the end of the matches – I understand that. And I understand that he was respected for doing his job while being awesome, I love that. I don’t try to emulate anyone, I just go out there to be myself and be the best Dolph Ziggler I can be. I’m not trying to be the next Mr. Perfect or the next Shawn Michaels, I’m just trying to be the first Dolph Ziggler.
Kneisel: Speaking of legends, you had a segment with Mick Foley on RAW a couple of weeks ago and he put you over on Twitter afterwards. Do you agree that you should get more mic time?
Ziggler: Honestly, I had like maybe three chances on the microphone during the last year. I’ve done nothing but entertain, especially during that segment, which I thought was pretty funny. Not just making fun of Mick Foley, but I went out there and told the truth. I was telling the truth about everything, and the fact that it was funny and I got the audience to cheer for a guy that most of them don’t like for a few minutes – before they started booing me again – I think that should answer your question in itself, without me even having to say: Yeah, obviously I deserve to be on the microphone.
Kneisel: Absolutely, I agree. Do you consider the internet to be some sort of an alternative? We saw Zack Ryder get over that way. Is the whole “#heel” thing another way for you to express yourself and get more recognition?
Ziggler: Yeah, of course. That’s been a really fun outlet for me since I don’t get to talk on the microphone very often for some reason. It’s a chance for me to get my character out there and let everybody know that I’m not just a wrestler, but I actually have thoughts and feelings, I like certain things and don’t like others. I’ve got to be on Zack Ryder’s YouTube show several different times and actually have a recurring role. I love it, it’s fun. I get to do what I want without anyone telling me “No, you can’t talk today” or “No, you won’t do that”. I love that I can do what I want and it’s entertaining, and that’s the key for the WWE: to be entertaining! This was only the start; several things will be coming in the future, so you’ll see a lot more of me.
Kneisel: Sounds good. Tell me: what’s so great about being a heel?
Ziggler: Oh, I love it! I don’t pretend that I’m a good guy, I don’t pretend anything. I don’t like most people, but I love my job, I’m good at it. I love beating up the guy that people cheer for, I love cheating while I do it and I love winning. I don’t know any other way to say it, most people in my position would be like “Oh no! I think I should be the good guy.” No, I love being the bad guy. I love it!
Kneisel: Despite being the bad guy – what does it feel like to be put over by a true legend like Mick Foley?
Ziggler: That was awesome! I thought we had a pretty cool segment in the ring together. For him to appreciate my mic work as someone who’s known for being really good at being on the microphone… I always followed him and his career, and in the ring you get lost when he’s talking, because it’s so real. He’s out there telling a story, and for him to get behind me like that is pretty cool. Anytime you have someone in the business, a mentor or someone backstage, appreciating your work, that’s cool. But for Mick Foley to go out in public and let everyone know that they’re missing out when not putting me on the microphone – that’s as good as it gets around here.
Kneisel: Speaking of people who are really good on the microphone – you get to work with Vickie Guerrero since quite a while. What’s it like and what does she do for your career?
Ziggler: It’s great. A lot of people ask me: “How do you stand her?” and I honestly don’t get it. She is great, me and her make a great team, she listens to what I say and we help each other out. She should be a role model for most people out there since she’s in such great shape now that she’s been on a strict diet. She works out all the time, looks great and she’s great at what she does. I don’t even know a single thing I could complain about regarding her.
Kneisel: So you’re a way better team than she and Edge used to be, right?
Ziggler: Her and Edge were in a little more of a high-profile position than I am. But I’m working on it right now and we’re going to be there.
Kneisel: Speaking of teams, you’re also working with Jack Swagger at the moment. Let me know: who’s the better amateur wrestler, Jack or you?
Ziggler: I’m the better amateur wrestler. He is tall, and that’s great, and he was an All-American while I ended up one match away from being one. But he was in the heavyweight division, so long story short: he’s a tall, skinny, muscular guy who competed against bigger guys who couldn’t move that well. Meanwhile I was in the middle at 165 pounds with people who were finely tuned athletes going back and forth. Right now we had a couple of matches without the cameras on, and we’ve gone back and forth with each other. But any good amateur wrestler’s mindset is he’s better than everyone else, so I’m sure Jack would give you the same answer.
Kneisel: Does he brag about being an All-American to you at times?
Ziggler: (laughs) Sometimes he does, yes, of course. And hey: If you’ve got it, flaunt it! He actually became an All-American, so he’s allowed to throw that in my face on occasion.
Kneisel: The RAW brand will be coming to Germany again in April, to Stuttgart (13.4.) and Berlin (14.4.). What can we expect from you and the other WWE Superstars on the tour?
Ziggler: We always look forward to it, it’s always fun for us to be outside the United States. I like getting back to Germany, one of the first oversea matches I ever had was in Leipzig, Germany. It always reminds me that this was the first match I ever had out of my comfort zone, out of the United States. I know you don’t get to see us very often, so we pull out all the stops to give the best possible show and we’re looking forward to it every year.
Kneisel: … and you’re going to bring the title with you, right?
Ziggler: I was just going to say: I can’t wait to be representing the United States as the WWE Champion when we come there.
This interview was originally published at SPOX.com
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