During an appearance on Edge & Christian’s E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness podcast, SmackDown Live Superstar Dolph Ziggler revealed his frustration of not being pushed.
Below is what he said:
“I’m not a giant guy so maybe in some other world I would have worked here for a year-and-a-half as a caddie and a cheerleader and then went away. So I see the positive, like, hey, man, I’ve been here for 12 years, almost always regularly on TV, but I think at a point that becomes a burden of not going away, of always getting passed over.
You get passed over a handful of times for a couple of years then you start to have more of a cult following and it gets hot, but after a couple of years of not having the trigger pulled and the 8-year-old kids now know that you’re in that role… I’ve noticed in the last two years that my, even my live event matches are a little hard for me to do my job because when I come out a 10-year-old kid goes “I know you’re losing.”
It’s one thing to have, you know, 40-year-old guys going ‘I know what’s going to happen.’ That’s fine, I’m here to put on a show and we still have fun. But when you get in that role and you miss years of not going with it, it becomes a burden.
Now my job of making somebody that should be ready for a World Title picture becomes harder and it’s not as much of a shove and if you see the last six months or year of TV basically I am a gatekeeper to the guy from NXT coming up who they have high expectations for, but if I lose for eight consecutive months before they show up, they’re no longer getting that pat on the back from me to go up a notch.
So I feel like it’s almost taking back from my role. So I don’t know what the change would be, to switch things up or disappear here and there or… I’ve said this to the boss on several occasions, I go ‘I’ve made a career out of almost never winning, which is awesome. But at some point I have to be seen as someone who could win, not just like pulling a needle out of a haystack or a lottery ball and finally that being the night because it loses all that luster.
Even now like one night I had a hell of a live event. Bobby Roode and I opened the show. We’re usually given free reign to go, 15-20-25 if we want, because it’s so good and fun and they buy into it and they love it, have fun. It’s not the same you have to have…… Wins and losses don’t matter unless you’re the guy who loses every single night and if you’re that guy, then you should be maybe in the dark match, you know, not fighting someone to see who goes for the World Championship the next night.
And even if you do pull that rabbit out of the hat, people know that it’s not long term. But still I guess even I had, fun 20-something minute match with Bobby Roode before. Great spot. If you’re not the champion, that’s a hell of a spot to be in and I can make ten-year-old kids believe that I’m walking out of there a winner and that’s like that is a pat on my back to myself.
But it’s also he’s really good and you get to give him that little nudge at the end when he wins. It means something. And that is such a huge part that is missing in a bunch of areas of our business, but I can do it. I do it.
I hate it. But also I’m someone who, I hate that I’m not the champion. I hate that the show is not about me because that’s the mentality you should have if you’re in the business. If you’re there like “hey, I want to be that opening guy that works for 10 years and can save a bunch of money”, that’s great.
But there’s a thousand other guys that are sitting in the back that say – “I want to be the best, I want to main event WrestleMania, I want the show to be about me”. So you have to have that mentality, but also I’ve been around long enough to know the score, to know what’s going on.
So I hate being in that position. I think I should be a bigger part of the show, but so does everybody else and not everybody else has proven that. So I feel like after a while you proving it so much even that becomes the thing like – “hey, sorry you have the curse of the worker or you’re like hey you’re kind of like our Shawn Michaels guy who can work with anybody and it could seem like a main event somewhere”. Well shouldn’t be a bad thing, but sometimes it is.
Even at Starrcade (2017 Live Event), just normal things were like elevated because it was like almost like chills on my arm for a couple different positions of it, but also when I was trying to get back to TV after they cancelled the Spirit Squad I go – What are things that no one’s doing?
Okay at the time it was really cool to be Randy Orton and by that I mean short buzzcut, black trunks and everybody was like smirking, but like everybody wanted to be tough, everybody want to be straightforward, no one wanted to give anything and I went – How can I stand out?
I went pink trunks, dyed my hair blonde and grew it out and said – “Okay, no one wants do that”. I go – “I’ll go above and beyond” and I started watching genuine boxing knockouts and I would try and wear your arms buckle, wear your knees buckle and I was trying to apply that only to finishers or like the strongest false finish of a match because at the beginning of my career it was a bunch of stuff was….I was trying to be Mr. Perfect and just do everything big.”