WWE on ESPN: Most underutilized wrestlers of 2016

Dolph Ziggler
It’s hard to understand why the WWE brass refuses to make this guy a focal point. With respect to Lex Luger, Dolph Ziggler is the total package. Between his incredible in-ring performances, his visceral likability and his down-in-the-dumps promos, there is little reason Ziggler shouldn’t still be main-eventing consistently. For years, he has pingponged up and down the WWE hierarchy, and this year, after consistently coming up short against The Miz, Ziggler finally upended his opponent in a career-saving duel at No Mercy to become the Intercontinental champ for the first time since 2014. Thirty-seven days later, it was over. It’s easy to recognize the importance of keeping the Miz as a top-tier heel, but in the process, Ziggler finds himself floating in Smackdown Live purgatory. Is he a star among stars, or not? And let’s be real here: With Dean Ambrose’s act getting a little jaded, Smackdown needs a baby face fans can really get behind. — Matt Wilansky

Source: ESPN.com

WWE.com’s Top 25 Matches of 2016

18. Dolph Ziggler vs. Triple H (Raw, March 14)
WE SAID: Of all the tests that plagued Dolph Ziggler’s Sisyphean 2016, none were as seemingly pre-ordained as a long-brewing showdown with Triple H on Raw. Animosity had lingered between The Game and The Showoff’s for some time, but their meeting in the ring was a measured, disciplined showcase that left nobody in doubt as to their mutual respect, to say nothing of their skills: One was living legend, and the other was hot on his heels. — ANTHONY BENIGNO

THEY SAID: “It was cool being in the ring with Triple H not being in my first year of wrestling. In The Spirit Squad, I got to be in the ring with Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair on a nightly basis, and that’s where I learned the most. It was kind of cool to have a chance to apply those skills I learned from the best ever. Sadly I lost, but it was still a hell of a fight, which, all my matches are.” — Dolph Ziggler

10. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler — Title vs. Career Intercontinental Championship Match (No Mercy)
WE SAID: In one corner, you have The Miz, the reigning Intercontinental Champion and self-proclaimed “Hollywood A-lister” who constantly criticized everyone who questioned his accomplishments to date. In the other corner, you have Dolph Ziggler, a challenger so frustrated with his career trajectory that he elected to risk it all for one last chance at championship glory. Each Superstar fought with equal parts intensity and desperation, knowing full well that their Title vs. Career Match at No Mercy 2016 was guaranteed to change at least one of their fates. Despite Miz’s resiliency and interference by Maryse and The Spirit Squad, Ziggler kept the battle in the ring. He didn’t stop fighting until he emerged victorious in a match that will always be remembered as one of The Showoff’s best, and there’s some stiff competition there. — MATTHEW ARTUS

THEY SAID: “Miz and myself, for maybe three or four years off-and-on, have had hundreds of matches. The sad thing is that even when they were for titles, they meant almost nothing and no one remembers them. And then, Miz had a rebirth, and I found myself finding a voice on the microphone that I hadn’t allowed myself to be a part of in a really long time. And all of a sudden, people went from, ‘Ugh, Miz and Dolph again: Boring,’ to, ‘I can’t wait to see what happens next week.’ It became the focal point of SmackDown [LIVE], when it wasn’t supposed to be.” — Dolph Ziggler

Source: WWE.com

Smackdown Live: Results and Photos for December 27th, 2016

Smackdown Live: Results and Photos for December 27th, 2016

Backstage: Dolph Ziggler is in the back and Renee asks Dolph about the risk he took last week and being the Triple Threat Match tonight. Dolph says Baron was looking for a fight and he got it. It might not have been the best decision to put the title match on the line. Tonight, you have the Lone Wolf Baron Corbin and the Phenomenal One at the top of his game. Where does that leave Dolph? Opportunity after opportunity has been presented to him. Maybe he is the wild card in this thing. He gets your hopes up. Every once in a while, that wild card changes the whole damn game.

Baron Corbin versus Dolph Ziggler versus AJ Styles for the WWE Championship
All three men try to figure out how to take the early advantage and Corbin goes after Styles. Ziggler with a drop kick to Corbin. Styles with forearms in the corner and kicks to Corbin. Ziggler with a splash and Corbin catches Ziggler as Styles sends Ziggler into the ring. Corbin knocks Styles off the apron and Ziggler drops Corbin on the top rope. Corbin waits for Ziggler or Styles to get back into the ring as we go to commercial. We are back and Corbin with a hard Irish whip to Styles and then he goes to the floor to run Ziggler into the apron. We see footage from the commercial break when Corbin sent Styles high into the air for a back body drop. Corbin is done wtih Ziggler so he goes back to Styles and he runs AJ into the apron. Corbin sends Styles back into the ring and he gets a near fall. Corbin wtih a knee to the midsection and then he picks AJ up. Styles with a kick and chops. Corbin catches Styles but Ziggler with a drop kick and Styles gets a crucifix cover so Ziggler breaks up the cover. Styles blocks a suplex and then so does Ziggler.

Ziggler and Styles with punches but Corbin with a double clothesline and Corbin gets a near fall on Ziggler. Corbin kicks Ziggler and then picks him up. Corbin taunts Ziggler and sends Ziggler sternum first into the turnbuckles. Corbin looks at Styles on the floor before he continues to work over Ziggler. Ziggler with punches and then Ziggler stomps on the foot. Ziggler is sent into the air. Corbin goes for End of Days but Styles blocks it. Styles punches Corbin and sends him into the turnbuckles. Corbin sends Ziggler into the same corner. Ziggler wtih an elbow to Corbin and Styles with a boot. Corbin goes to the floor and comes back in with a clothesline to Ziggler and an STO to Styles to get a near fall. We are back and Corbin punches and kicks Ziggler. Corbin punches Styles and we see Corbin punching Styles when AJ went for a springboard move. Corbin continues to work over both men. Ziggler with punches to Corbin and Styles joins in and they both work over Corbin. Ziggler with a head butt and then they clothesline Corbin over the top rope to the floor. Styles and Ziggler also go to the floor and Corbin sends Styles into the ringside barrier. Ziggler gets on Corbin’s back and Corbin with a snap mare. Corbin rearranges the announce table and then he misses a shoulder as he hits the ringside barrier. Styles with a forearm off the steps and Ziggler with a super kick that sends Corbin onto the table. Ziggler and Styles go to the ringside barrier and Styles with a leg drop while Ziggler hits an elbow drop at the same time that destroys the table. Continue reading

Smackdown Live: Results and Photos for December 20th, 2016

Smackdown Live: Results and Photos for December 20th, 2016

AJ takes a mic and he says he is sorry that you had to witness that. AJ says it has been building up for six weeks and it was a long time coming. Now, Rudolph and that chinless reject can go back to the Island of Misfit Toys. AJ says he can move on to some more important things. AJ says he has done the most important things already this year. It is time for 2017. AJ says he does not have to ask Santa for anything because he has everything. It looks like it is a Merry Christmas for AJ Styles and a Happy New Year.

Dolph Ziggler’s music plays and he walks to the ring. Dolph congratulates AJ and he wishes him a Merry Christmas. Before the end of the year, there is one more thing. Dolph says he is next in line for the WWE Title. AJ says it will be a cake walk because you are so good at losing. Dolph says he is aware of his win/loss record, but this is coming from a guy who needed four chances to beat James Ellsworth. AJ says he will only need one try to beat Dolph. Dolph says it won’t be that easy. Dolph says he put his career on the line for a shot at the Intercontinental Title and he came out on top. Dolph asks AJ if he knows what he will do to get that WWE Championship.

Baron Corbin’s music plays and he makes his way to the ring. AJ leaves the ring and Baron says it should be him versus AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. How many chances are they going to give you . . . little man? Dolph says you might be new around here, but you don’t get chances, you earn them. Dolph says he earned his shot while you took the week off. Baron says the only reason why you earned anything was because he wasn’t there. He says that Dolph will lose because that is what you do. You don’t steal the show, you steal opportunities and you waste them. Corbin with a punch and Ziggler gets in some shots but Corbin hits End of Days.

Backstage: Daniel Bryan is with Dolph Ziggler. Daniel tells Dolph not to let Baron draw you in. Ziggler demands Baron Corbin tonight. Daniel gives Dolph the match, but he tells Dolph if Corbin beats him, he gets the title match next week. Dolph says he will go out with a fight. Continue reading

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