Category: Interviews

SkySports: Dolph Ziggler – I never wanted to leave WWE

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

Sports Illustrated: Dolph Ziggler on redefining the IC title & why he loves his feud with The Miz

Dolph Ziggler has been with WWE for 11 years but he’s never been more proud of a storyline than his current feud with The Miz.

I am very proud of it, purely based on having some freedom in the ring and on the microphone,” said Ziggler. “We need to keep adding these pieces of real life into our characters.”

In addition to fighting over the Intercontinental title, the feud between Ziggler and The Miz—two 36 year-old veterans in WWE who grew up in Ohio—felt personal, real, and genuine. It also involved both sets of parents, Miz’s wife Maryse, and the evolution of Ziggler’s career with the return of former Spirit Squad members.

The world has seen Miz and myself sixteen different times over a period of time,” said Ziggler. “He’s always very solid and puts the time in to work, which allowed him to revolutionize his career with his wife, Maryse, coming back. We had that freedom on the mic to mix our real life selves in with the television show and make it as real as possible. It’s great to feed off someone you’ve known for years, and just kind of play back-and-forth and just feel it, and that’s something I really haven’t been able to do in about ten years.”

Ziggler captured the Intercontinental championship over Miz at No Mercy on October 9. He also confirmed that The Miz is as much of a handful behind the scenes as he is on Smackdown. “The Miz is our annoying little brother, but he’s also the one who also got all the money in the will,” laughed Ziggler. “He’s the annoying little brother who has his sunglasses on with his $10,000 suit backstage just waiting to get a touch-up done so he can go eat in catering. At the end of the day, the core is I appreciate the part where he works as hard as anyone else, or harder, at being that douche.Continue reading

Inquisitr: Dolph Ziggler And Charlotte Say They’re Ready For Victory

World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) second biggest show of the year, SummerSlam, will emanate from Barclays Center this Sunday, and two of the company’s biggest stars are ready to steal the show. Dolph Ziggler, 36, and Charlotte, 30, will both compete in championship matches as the 11-year WWE veteran Ziggler faces Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Championship while Charlotte looks to regain her WWE Women’s Championship from Sasha Banks. However, three days before SummerSlam, Ziggler and Charlotte made an appearance at JC Penny in the Manhattan Mall to promote the newest line of the WWE sponsored apparel Tapout, which includes a new women’s line. Charlotte, who has been on WWE’s main roster for just over a year, and Ziggler, an established veteran, spoke to the Inquisitr before their big matches and covered everything from their roles as brand ambassadors to their love of the craft.

Mark Suleymanov: Charlotte, you have been on the main roster for just over a year now, what does it mean for you to be in an ambassador role [for Tapout] and have all this responsibility on your shoulders?
Charlotte: “It’s a huge opportunity, I’m usually in gym clothes when I’m not at work so being able to wear Tapout all the time and be an ambassador for it is a perfect fit.”
Dolph Ziggler: “It’s also a play on words… perfect fit… that was a great line I thought. We just kind of glossed over that but I thought that was a great line.”

Mark Suleymanov: Is that your plan for this Sunday? To Tapout Dean [Ambrose]?
Dolph Ziggler:
“I might, through some guidance from some people behind-the-scenes, I have gone back to some old school, amateur roots where I used to win like 99 percent of the time…and that’s me being humble about it. So I think that’s something I need to get back to. It’s not that we lack it, there’s just not too many superstars who do that type of in-ring material so I’m really looking forward to it. And like Charlotte said, I’m in gym clothes all the time, I’m in sweatpants, shorts, sleeveless t-shirt one way or another. This stuff is squishy and stretchy, I love it.”

Mark Suleymanov: Speaking of tapping out, Charlotte, your dad Ric Flair recently said that you, Dolph, are one of the few that could take on Conor McGregor in a real fight after he bashed the WWE roster. What was your reaction to McGregor’s comments and Flair’s endorsement?
Dolph Ziggler:
“First of all, McGregor’s comments were probably just trying to get more people to watch his pay-per-view [fight vs. Nate Diaz at UFC 202]. That’s great, that’s smart. Whether it’s a joke or not, you act serious, then we take it seriously. If I wanted to get people to watch SummerSlam, I wouldn’t badmouth somebody’s life choices for the last 10 years. Flair, I grew up watching him and all the hard work he put in and to kinda it a joke and say those guys aren’t tough? Those guys are some of the toughest guys I’ve met in my entire life and a lot of them are behind-the-scenes and I look up to a lot of them. I made a little joke back that said ‘yeah, I’m one of the smaller guys on the roster and if I lost 40 or 50 pounds, I’d still be bigger than him.’ So even if he’s really good at what he does – which I’m sure he is – I’m also really good at what I do, I just happen to do it and get punched in the face a lot less for real.” Continue reading

Men’s Journal: WWE’s Dolph Ziggler’s Training Secret – Empty Stomach Cardio

Dolph Ziggler has been a WWE mainstay over the past decade, known to fans for stealing the show with his awe-inspiring performances. On August 21, he faces WWE Champion Dean Ambrose for title at WWE’s SummerSlam. Ziggler, 36 (whose real name is Nick Nemeth), spoke to Men’s Journal about how he stays fit and trains for his performances. His secret? Empty-stomach cardio. Here’s what that’s all about and three more of his training secrets.

1. He swears by “empty-stomach cardio.”
Empty-stomach cardio is the idea that you can boost weight loss and get better gains at the gym by not eating before working out. “I wouldn’t advocate anything to anybody ­­— everybody’s different. Some people can put on those toe shoes and think they’re having a better work out than those in tennis shoes. Everybody can advocate their own way of doing something,” Ziggler says. “[But for me,] I prefer not to eat at all, maybe a handful of berries or something, just to have something in my stomach. I don’t eat anything before, but I can still go kill it at the gym and be in and out in 45 minutes or an hour, even doing workouts in the sauna to get the blood and sweat flowing.” For Ziggler, working out on an empty stomach helps him amp up his training sessions and allows him to maintain focus at the gym. If you’re curious about trying, don’t eat for three to five hours before your workout, but still be sure to hydrate with plenty of water.

2. He takes no breaks.
“I don’t stop, I don’t take breaks. I do circuit training — different workouts without stopping. I like having that stamina, where I’ve never been too tired to put on a match or go above and beyond,” he says. “Afterwards I’ll go eat a huge meal. That’s my reward — It keeps me hungry mentally and physically, so I know If I can power through the last few minutes, I’ve got a big plate of food waiting for me when I’m done.”

3. He mixes his training up.
Ziggler is a fan of circuit training. “I hit an exercise — arms and legs, a set of curls, a set of tricep pushdowns, and then grab the bar and squat 40-20-30 and do it over again. I hit that a couple times through, then go in the sauna, I’ll do a couple calf raises, then hop on a treadmill at 15 — the highest incline it can have while maintaining a fast-paced walk,” he says. Every two minutes or so, he shocks his body by doing 30 seconds of an all-out sprint, repeating this for 15 to 20 minutes straight before hitting the sauna again. After that, he bangs out torso twists (like a lateral crunch), and ends with a final round of arms and legs strength building, more crunches, and a final trip to the sauna.

4. He adds weight when lifting to avoid plateaus.
“Every couple of months I’ll get stagnant,” he says. “So out of every three or four months, I’ll do a month [where I’m] lifting a little heavier with less reps. Mixing it up and shocking your body [is fun].” If you’re looking to up your max, check out the simplest way to lift heavier.


WWE Exclusive: Did the WWE Universe give up on Dolph Ziggler?

Sporting News: Dolph Ziggler talks ‘Swerved’ Season 2, upcoming brand split

It’s no secret that Dolph Ziggler enjoys a good laugh. The 12-year WWE veteran also is a stand-up comedian who works on the craft whenever he can find time away from his busy schedule, which is easier said than done.

It’s no surprise, then, that Ziggler is part of the WWE original comedy series “Swerved,” where he and other superstars play pranks on each other. Season 2 of “Swerved” will premiere Monday on the WWE Network on-demand immediately after “Raw,” with all nine episodes available for a binge watching session full of laughs. Sporting News spoke with Ziggler about the show, people who aren’t good at taking a joke, and why he is excited about the upcoming WWE brand split.

SPORTING NEWS: What is the biggest difference between this second season of “Swerved” compared to the first season?

DOLPH ZIGGLER: In Season 1, we had so many superstars on the edge of their seat every week at the television waiting to see who was going to get screwed with that day. And now, we’ve turned them all on our side. We’re using them as props in our evil genius of these pranks. Now, it’s more having some fun with the WWE superstars on our side having some fun at some fan’s expenses and, of course, at the end of the day, putting a smile on their face and having a blast.

SN: What was it like during Season 1, because so many guys didn’t see it coming and there were some pretty elaborate pranks?

DZ: (Laughs.) Yeah! There were tons of elaborate pranks, so much that it seemed like when we were pranking someone else, it was actually on you. There were so many different swerves. It came down to nobody trusted anybody. I would walk in some days and get a text message that said, “I don’t know if I’m involved with you today but stay the hell away from me.” Just from random people, random superstars and divas who didn’t want to be screwed with. Everybody was looking over their back, over their shoulder and didn’t trust anybody. Now, we’re using that to our advantage. We have superstars in different roles that you wouldn’t even recognize. They’re all on our side.

SN: How many people were flat-out scared during Season 1 and now want to be a part of the pranks?

DZ: That’s the thing. It becomes so screwed-up, you get so mad or scared or freaked out. And then when it’s all over with, you have a blast and go, “OK, I have the perfect idea to go get somebody else with this.” That just goes to show just how sadistic we all are at the end of the day but also great sports about it. No one has ever went too far with it. Anyone who got screwed with was so polite and, at the end of the day, would just go on to say, “All right, you got me. Let’s go get someone else.” Continue reading

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