Ziggler ended his feud with Cena after losing to him on the January 7, 2013, episode of Raw, in a singles match and in steel cage match the following week, despite outside interference from AJ and Langston in both matches. On the January 21 episode of Raw, Ziggler won a Beat the Clock Challenge to earn the right to choose what number he can enter in the Royal Rumble match, first or second. Six days later at the Royal Rumble, Ziggler entered at number one and lasted nearly fifty minutes before being eliminated by Sheamus. During the match, Ziggler resumed his feud with the returning Chris Jericho, who Ziggler managed to eliminate. The following night on Raw, Ziggler and Jericho were placed in a “Strange Bedfellows” match against WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane). The match ended with Ziggler being chokeslammed and pinned by Kane after Jericho framed him for pushing Kane. On the February 18 episode of Raw, Ziggler was defeated by World Heavweight Champion Alberto Del Rio via submission in a non-title match. Afterwards, Langston attacked Del Rio and then Ziggler made a failed attempt to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase after Del Rio’s ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez ran off with it. After defeating WWE Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan and Kane in singles matches due interference from Langston, Ziggler and Langston were given a shot at their titles. The title match took place on April 7 at Wrestlemania 29, where Ziggler and Langston unsuccessfully challenged Bryan and Kane for the WWE Tag Team Championship.
The following night on Raw, Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on an injured Alberto Del Rio to win his second World Heavyweight Championship. After gaining the World Heavyweight Championship, Ziggler began feuding with Del Rio and Jack Swagger over the title. Ziggler was originally booked to face Del Rio and Swagger in a three-way ladder match at Extreme Rules, however, Ziggler suffered a legitimate concussion at a SmackDown taping, thus removing their match from the pay-per-view and resulting in Ziggler being absent from television for a month. On June 16 at WWE Payback, Ziggler faced Del Rio in his first title defense of the World Heavyweight Championship and during the match, a double turn took place; Ziggler turned face by displaying a never-say-die attitude when Del Rio repeatedly and ruthlessly targeted his head to take advantage of his concussion, win the match, and end Ziggler’s reign at 69 days. On July 14 at Money in the Bank, AJ cost Ziggler his title rematch against Alberto Del Rio, after she prematurely snuck into the ring and hit Del Rio with her own title, prompting a disqualification. On the following Raw, Ziggler ended his relationship with AJ due to her actions the previous night. AJ exacted revenge by costing Ziggler a non-title match against Del Rio, then she attacked Ziggler and unleashed Langston on him.
On the July 29, 2013 episode of Raw, Ziggler defeated Big E Langston via disqualification after AJ Lee attacked Ziggler.In a rematch on the following week, Ziggler was defeated by Langston after a distraction by AJ and Kaitlyn. This led to a mixed tag team match at SummerSlam, where Ziggler and Kaitlyn defeated Big E and AJ. Ziggler was later unsuccessful in capturing the United States Championship, when he lost to Dean Ambrose, at Night of Champions and on the October 16 episode of Main Event. Ziggler also failed to win the Intercontinental Championship from Curtis Axel on the November 11 episode of Raw. In December, Ziggler lost two number one contender matches for the Intercontinental Championship, first to Damien Sandow and later to Fandango.
On the January 9, 2014 episode of Superstars, Ziggler sustained another concussion during his match with Ryback. He returned at Royal Rumble, competing in the Royal Rumble match, but was eliminated by Roman Reigns. The following night on Raw, Ziggler defeated The Miz in a Battle of Cleveland match where Dolph was acknowledged as being from Cleveland and was billed from there ahead of the match. Ziggler later earned a shot at Big E’s Intercontinental Championship, but was unsuccessful in capturing the title. On April 6 at WrestleMania XXX, Ziggler competed in the 31-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, but was eliminated by Alberto Del Rio. On June 29 at Money in the Bank, Ziggler competed in the Money in the Bank ladder match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship contract, but the match was won by Seth Rollins.
Ziggler later competed in a battle royal for the vacant Intercontinental Championship on July 20 at Battleground, however, he was abruptly eliminated from behind by The Miz. After Ziggler defeated Miz in a non-title match the following night on Raw, he received a rematch at SummerSlam, where he defeated Miz to win the championship for a second time. The following night on Raw, Ziggler successfully retained his title against Miz, after he was counted out. At Night of Champions, Ziggler dropped the title to Miz, only for Ziggler to win it back the following night on Raw. Ziggler then retained the championship against Cesaro on September 26 episode of SmackDown, in a triple threat match against Cesaro and Miz the following week on Raw and at Hell in a Cell against Cesaro in a 2-out-of-3 falls match. On the October 28, 2014 episode of Raw, Ziggler and John Cena shook hands together backstage, which The Authority interpreted as a deal to plot against them. As a result, Ziggler was put in a match against Kane, which Ziggler won. Ziggler then announced that he would be part of Team Cena at Survivor Series. On the November 3 episode of Raw, Ziggler was brutally attacked by the returning Luke Harper. The following week, Harper was awarded a title match against Ziggler, which Harper won with assistance from The Authority, ending Ziggler’s reign at 56 days.
The 2014 Survivor Series event saw Ziggler emerging as the sole survivor for a second time. Ziggler contributed to Rusev being counted out, then after all his team-mates were eliminated, he pinned Kane and Luke Harper. Triple H twice prevented Ziggler from pinning final opponent Seth Rollins, but the debuting Sting provided an assist to help Ziggler win the match, thus ousting the Authority from power.At TLC on December 14, Ziggler defeated Harper in a ladder match to capture his fourth Intercontinental Championship. On the December 16 episode of SmackDown, Ziggler finally defeated Seth Rollins in a singles match after failing numerous times previously. Three days later, Rolling Stone named Ziggler as the 2014 WWE Wrestler of the Year.
On the first Raw of 2015, the recently reinstated Authority forced Ziggler to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Bad News Barrett and he initially won. After Barrett then attacked and injured Ziggler’s shoulder, Kane declared the match as a 2-out-of-3 falls match, Barrett proceeded to defeat Ziggler for the title after Kane distracted him. Later that night, Ziggler alongside Ryback and Erick Rowan received a storyline firing by the Authority.
On the January 19 episode of Raw, Sting provided another assist, as John Cena won Ziggler, Ryback and Rowan’s jobs back. Ziggler returned to television on the next SmackDown and qualified for the Royal Rumble match by beating Barrett in a non-title match. In the 2015 Royal Rumble match, Ziggler entered as the last entrant, scored two eliminations but was quickly eliminated by Big Show and Kane. At Fastlane, Ziggler competed together with Rowan and Ryback in a six-man tag team match against Rollins, Big Show and Kane, which they lost. On the March 5 episode of SmackDown, Ziggler was announced as a participant in the 7-man ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 31, which was won by Daniel Bryan.
After losing an Intercontinental Championship match against Daniel Bryan on the Raw following WrestleMania 31, Ziggler was attacked and Brogue kicked by the returning Sheamus. Claiming that “the era of underdogs (like Ziggler) is over”, Sheamus and Ziggler started a feud, with Sheamus challenging Ziggler in a Kiss Me Arse match at Extreme Rules, which Ziggler won. However, Sheamus refused to follow the stipulation, and instead made Ziggler kiss his arse. Ziggler lost the rematch against Sheamus at Payback. Ziggler participated in the Elimination Chamber for the vacated Intercontinental Championship; other participants were winner Ryback, King Barrett, R-Truth, Sheamus, who eliminated Ziggler, and Mark Henry, at Elimination Chamber. At Money In The Bank, Ziggler competed in the Money in the Bank ladder match, which was won by Sheamus. On July 4th, at The Beast in the East live event in Japan, Ziggler and John Cena defeated King Barrett and Kane in the main event.
Ziggler became involved in an on–screen love affair with Lana, the former manager of Rusev, when she kissed him at Raw on May 25, with Lana serving as Ziggler’s valet during his matches. During this time, Ziggler started incorporating elements of 80’s glam rock fashion into his entrance and ring attire; typical of 80’s bands like Motley Crue and Poison. In June, after Ziggler and Lana confirmed their storyline relationship, Summer Rae allied with Rusev to even the odds. After an attack by Rusev, Ziggler suffered a bruised trachea in storyline, which was to give him some time off to film a new WWE Studios movie, titled Countdown. Ziggler returned on the August 17th episode of Raw, aiding Lana during a confrontation against Rusev and Summer Rae. This altercation prompted a match between Ziggler and Rusev, six days later, at SummerSlam, which ended in a double count–out due to interference from Lana and Rae. In a rematch, on September 20, at Night of Champions Ziggler emerged victorious.On October 11, when TMZ reported the real–life engagement of Rusev and Lana, this officially ended their feud. The following night on Raw, Ziggler unsuccessfully challenged John Cena for the WWE United States Championship.
On the October 22 episode of SmackDown, Ziggler started a feud with the debuting Tyler Breeze, who aligned with Summer Rae and attacked Ziggler. Ziggler entered a tournament for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship, defeating The Miz in the first round match before being eliminated by Dean Ambrose. Ziggler and Breeze continued their feud, which culminated in a match between the two at Survivor Series, which Ziggler lost.
Ziggler entered the 2016 Royal Rumble as the 28th entrant, lasting 7 minutes, but was eliminated by the eventual winner, Triple H. The next night on Raw, Dolph Ziggler faced Kevin Owens in a losing effort, but defeated him the following two weeks in a row. On the February 15 Raw, Ziggler was involved in a Fatal 5-Way Match for the Intercontinental Championship, where Kevin Owens regained the title after pinning Tyler Breeze. At Fastlane, Ziggler challenged Owens to a match for the Intercontinental Championship, which he lost.
In the following weeks, Ziggler began to re-ignite his feud with The Authority, and on the March 14 episode of Raw, confronted Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. This resulted in Ziggler being granted a match against Triple H where if he won, he could pick his match at Wrestlemania 32 (excluding the WWE World Heavyweight Title match); however, Ziggler lost. On March 21st, it was announced that Ziggler would compete against Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, The Miz, Stardust, Sin Cara and Zack Ryder in a ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMaina 32.