Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Retraction: Dolph Ziggler Claims He Hasn't Signed an Extension

One foot out the door?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Via WrestleChat

Well, it turns out that the report from Mike Johnson from The Site That Shall Not Be Linked of Dolph Ziggler re-signing with WWE was premature (surprise). Ziggler has not reupped with the company, and is openly talking about leaving the company for a little bit in order to increase his worth to WWE. He spoke at length on the Chad Dukes Wrestling Show yesterday about his future, where he claimed to love WWE but didn't like that he couldn't do outside promotional appearances for his standup comedy without having to represent WWE first.

Ziggler isn't stupid, even if his strategy of wearing his feelings on his sleeve might seem a bit foolish. He apparently sees that WWE craves crossover appeal more than anything else, and that even guys whose success outside the ring is fleeting (Hi, Chris Jericho) get the royal treatment when they come home. I just don't know how wise it is to proclaim all these intentions in public. WWE doesn't seem like the kind of company that won't play hardball with a wrestler in negotiations. Then again, Ziggler has always been outspoken for better or for worse. Asking a leopard to change his spots feels like a Sisyphean task at this point.

The "can't picture myself wrestling elsewhere" comment is telling, as it appears to put the kibosh on any fantasy booking scenario elsewhere. He seems to be dedicated to getting his film and comedy career rolling if he can't be in a WWE ring in the near future, which is actually an intelligent plan. If you're going to leave the wrestling company that can pay you the most and you want to move up in the world, you don't take a step back financially with Ring of Honor or Lucha Underground. It also makes Dixie Carter's reported aggressive push to sign him look goddamn asinine when she has to use the Harris Twins to bully people into not bitching about their back pay. I mean, I wouldn't be shocked if some high-draw local promotion like, say, Pro Wrestling Syndicate or Northeast Wrestling, shelled out money for a one-off, but I don't think Ziggler is going to wrestle regularly outside of WWE. Or he could be working everyone; who the fuck knows at this point?

Still, things feel very much up in the air at this point. It's not a given that Ziggler is going to leave, but the possibility feels more tangible now that he's opened his mouth about the subject. A change of scenery could do him a lot of good, and if it can unlock even a Jerichoesque second run where he gets to have more spotlight on him (even though Ziggler does deny that the idea he'd leave over titles or pushes is untrustworthy at best), then it would have been a successful gambit.