#10 – Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler’s career path looks like a steady heart rate monitor. A plethora of peaks and valleys, very rarely settling between the two. Watching him struggle so mightily to maintain any sort of top status, it can be easy to forget that things could still be a lot harder for him. No matter how far he falls, we have to remember that there was never any guarantee that he’d reach that high to begin with.
After all, Ziggler began about as low on the totem pole as you can get. He was the caddy sidekick of Kerwin White, a character that himself scarcely ever managed to get past Sunday Night Heat. Imagine being Riddick Moss’ henchman foil today, and that’s about what you’re looking at.
His first repackaging was an upgrade for sure, but a short-lived one. He became Nicky, of the infamous Spirit Squad stable. The male cheerleader was still an easily thwarted lackey, but atleast now he was working for Vince McMahon. He became one half of a five-way tag team title winning team and battled D-Generation X on the regular. Of course ‘battled’ is pretty generous wording. Together HBK and Triple H tore through them like a hot knife. They were a pretty overpowered duo, really.
Once they put the kibosh on Nicky’s squad goals, he was back in developmental purgatory. But eventually the day came where he got another makeover and the unforgettable name of “Dolph Ziggler” was born. This guy would go on to win damn near every title available him, and he’s stuck around under this guise for 12 years now.
Funnily enough, the gimmick that worked best for him was by far the least gimmicky. He just burst onto the scene as your everyday arrogant wrestling prick, and that seemed to be all he needed.