Dolph Ziggler hasn’t lost his passion for wrestling since the first he entered the WWE ring. Even in 2005 when he came up to the main Roster as Nick Nemeth and part of the Spirit Squad, his confidence never wavered. Through the times even though he was a part of a group he always looked at himself as an individual identity. Fast forward to 2015 and it’s the turnaround he has been imploring for. Ziggler has shown that he has a huge support from the WWE Universe and he expects more when he steps into the ring at WrestleMania 32. He took time to talk to Fansided about his time as a cheerleader, his thoughts on the Ladder Match and a lot more.
FanSided: Looking back at your time as a Spirit Squad member, what were those experiences like for you getting your first taste of the WWE roster?
DZ: “It didn’t really progress my career but behind the scenes it really did. For about 12 months straight, being some one who was relatively new, less than a year into learning how to wrestle and the business, I got a chance to be in there with Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair almost on a nightly basis for about six months. That was a dream come true and a crash course in learning how to react and how to listen. At the end of the day, I left that year with zero credibility and back to square one, in the minors.”
FanSided: Looking back at the way you debuted on the main roster, would it be something that you would have liked to change?
DZ: “No. I’m glad I had a chance to do it. Thinking about it now, it was years before the Nicky chants ever went away. I feel like they pushed me to go I am going to make my own identity here, be awesome at wrestling, outdo everybody, and then you’re going to forget that I was a stupid cheerleader for a year. You’re going to remember that I am the guy who set the bar on how good you have to be in this ring.”
FanSided: You were a three time All-Mid-American wrestler at Kent State University. How hard was it for you to adjust from collegiate wrestling to professional wrestling?
DZ: “Well if I wasn’t a fan of professional wrestling, transitioning for most collegiate wrestlers is very difficult. If you are hurt you can’t let anyone know about it, you can’t show any emotion. You got out there as a machine to win. Luckily, since I was 5 years old I have been a fan, so I had fun with it. My whole reason for doing collegiate wrestling was just to break records in college so I would have a chance to get my foot in the door with the WWE. Since I became the all time winningest wrestler at Kent State, that was one of the reasons I got a try out. I didn’t know anything, but I was a fan and I knew there was all this showmanship and entertainment to it and I loved that part. I kind of thrive on it.”
FanSided: The WWE Universe has been very vocally supportive of you over the last year, yet the WWE hasn’t given you the push many fans expect for you to get. Does that bother you that you are very over with the audience yet management has yet to move you to that next level?
DZ: “Of course it bothers me, it pisses me off, but it also drives me to be that much better. Listen, everybody’s favorite can’t always be champion, can’t always be on top, can’t be in the main event, and can’t be in the main story of the show. But if you stick around long enough, killing it with an A+ every single night, there’s a chance you can sneak in through the cracks and break that glass and become the guy. A couple of different times I’ve been pretty close and just missed out. The reason I’m in the position I am, it’s not just hard work, it is because the fans know that if there is a tiny chance, he can pull it off and he can be our guy. They live by that every single Monday and every single Thursday and that’s what drives me to keep going. I don’t care about the money, I don’t care about the fame, I love doing this job and having the respect of the fans going ‘this one day could be our guy. One little inch and nudge in the right direction and he could be the man.’” Continue reading