As WWE’s New Generation Era faded and The Attitude Era began to take hold at the tail end of 1997, the longtime pillars of WWE — Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart — finally crumbled. By the start of ’98, the “Hit Man” was already trudging through a depressing run in WCW while HBK had left the ring for an extended hiatus. Other Superstars would step up, but no one truly stepped into the spots they left behind.
Dolph Ziggler — with his ability to shift between the arrogance of Michaels and the grit of Hart — would have been the man to fill both of these vacant roles. Part mat-wrestling badass, part hip-swiveling heartthrob, The Showoff could have joined DX or warred against them and been completely awesome either way. Besides, what Superstar outside of Ziggler shows so much attitude in everything they do? The answer is no one. Everyone else just wishes they could pull it off.