Dolph Ziggler is set to be in WWE for a good while yet after saving his career and winning the Intercontinental Title at Smackdown’s No Mercy pay-per-view earlier this month. The Show Off went into his match against then champion The Miz in California knowing that defeat would force him to retire from the company he signed for way back in 2004. Ziggler triumphed in a spectacular bout, dealing with interference from Miz’s wife Maryse and former Spirit Squad pals Kenny and Mikey to prevail with a Superkick. However, the Cleveland-born star admits he did fear his WWE tenure could be coming to an end before his big victory – and had begun plans for a life outside the ring.
“I’d been in talks with an agent for about a year and told him to have a couple of things ready after the date after the No Mercy pay-per-view just so I had my bases covered,” Ziggler told journalists during a conference call ahead of WWE’s UK tour in November. “But while I was prepared to go, I sure as hell never wanted to go. WWE is a business but [WWE chairman] Vince McMahon is a human being and if I went to him and said I need to leave because I can’t go higher on the card, I believe he would understand and let me go.”
“I could go and do other things, too – I am fortunate that I have a stand-up career, while I have also gone on Fox News to talk politics, something I study, write about and have lots of ideas about. But I am still prepared to be the best WWE Superstar I can be and I want to keep doing this.”
Ziggler says his WWE career was “at a crossroads” ahead of No Mercy, having failed to win the WWE World Title at SummerSlam in a match against Dean Ambrose and then been unable to prise the Intercontinental strap from The Miz at Backlash and on Smackdown. The 36-year-old subsequently agreed to put his career on the line for one last shot at The Miz’s title, and reckons the emotion and backstory of the bout made it his best ever. “Any world championship or WrestleMania match I’ve had didn’t have the build that this match did,” said Ziggler, who is now a five-time Intercontinental Champion. Continue reading