From Chavo Guerrero’s Bodyguard to NXT Champion. 15 titles, three characters and unique ability in terms of selling. Dolph Ziggler has had a remarkable journey in WWE for almost two decades.
Born on July 27, 1980, in Cleveland, Ohio, Nicholas Theodore Nemeth, his real name, decided that he would become a professional wrestler when he was just 12 years old, but in reality, he started to make a name for himself in amateur wrestling, with winning titles and a very high percentage of victories.
In 2004, he signed with WWE, starting with the Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) developmental territory, where he debuted as Nick Nemeth. In September 2005, he debuted on the main roster as a bodyguard for Chavo Guerrero, who at the time played golfer Kerwin White. However, Eddie Guerrero’s death caused Chavo to abandon Kerwin White’s character, which resulted in Nemeth being returned to OVW.
However, in January 2006, he reappeared on the main roster as Nicky, one of the five members of the male cheerleading faction Spirit Squad. Three months later, the group won the World Tag Team Championship, through Kenny and Mikey’s victory over Big Show and Kane. However, all elements of the Spirit Squad were recognized as champions, due to the Freebird Rule.
Still, Spirit Squad only lasted until late November 2006, when, after a loss to DX and Ric Flair, they were placed in a box stamped “OVW, Louisville, Kentucky”.
After nearly two more years at OVW, Nemeth re-debuted on the main roster in September 2008, under the ring name Dolph Ziggler. There began a journey that would take him to the World Heavyweight Championship (twice), the United States Championship (twice), the Intercontinental Championship (six) and the NXT Championship (one), as well as three tag team titles and the Money in the Bank Ladder match in 2012. It is therefore worth recalling the ten best fights of Dolph Ziggler’s career, in chronological order.
SummerSlam 2009 | WWE Intercontinental Championship :
Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
After defending the Intercontinental Championship against Chris Jericho on the July 10, 2009, episode of Friday Night SmackDown, Rey Mysterio was attacked by Dolph Ziggler.
The following week on WWE Superstars, Mysterio and Ziggler had a verbal confrontation that led to it being announced that Mysterio would defend the title against Ziggler at Night of Champions. On the pay-per-view, Mysterio came out the winner, after a 619.
On the August 7 episode of SmackDown, Ziggler regained top contender status by beating R-Truth, Mike Knox and Finlay in a fatal four-way match, thus securing a new title match at SummerSlam.
Night of Champions 2012
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler
On August 24, 2012, episode of SmackDown, Dolph Ziggler wanted to take advantage of Sheamus’ vulnerability, who had been attacked by Alberto Del Rio, to cash in the Money in the Bank suitcase, but was stopped by Randy Orton, who gave him an RKO.
A week later, Orton beat Ziggler on SmackDown, but on the following Raw, it was Ziggler who beat Orton. That said, a fight was scheduled between the two for the Night of Champions.
TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2012
Ladder Match for the Money in the Bank contract:
Dolph Ziggler (Contract Holder) vs. John Cena
John Cena had been accused, since October 2012, of being involved in an inappropriate relationship with Raw General Manager AJ Lee, something that Raw’s newly appointed administrative supervisor Vickie Guerrero, as well as her boyfriend Dolph Ziggler, have been accused of. They were trying to prove it.
During the December 3 episode of Raw, Vickie Guerrero, after being persuaded by WWE President Vince McMahon, arranged a ladder match between Ziggler and Cena for Ziggler’s Money in the Bank World Heavyweight Championship contract at the pay-per-view. view TLC.
TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2014
Ladder match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship :
Luke Harper (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
On the November 17 episode of Raw, Luke Harper beat Dolph Ziggler to win the Intercontinental Championship with the help of Seth Rollins, Jamie Noble, and Joey Mercury. Harper defended the title against Ziggler on the November 28 and December 5 episodes of SmackDown, having lost both matches, but via countout and disqualification, which made him retain the belt.
After the second title defence, Harper attempted to attack Ziggler with a ladder, but Ziggler counterattacked, which led to a ladder match between the two being announced for the TLC pay-per-view.
No Mercy 2016 / WWE Intercontinental Championship Vs Career :
The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
(If Ziggler lost, he would be forced to leave WWE)
On the August 23 episode of Talking Smack, intercontinental champion The Miz engaged in a sour exchange with general manager Daniel Bryan, who accused him of fighting like a coward for fear of getting hurt. On the following week’s edition of SmackDown, Dolph Ziggler confronted The Miz and challenged him to a match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, which Daniel Bryan scheduled for Backlash.
In that pay-per-view, The Miz retained the belt after his wife Maryse pepper-sprayed Ziggler in the face. And two weeks later, The Miz hit Ziggler again after using the spray again. The following week, Ziggler announced that he would put his career on the line if The Miz gave him one more shot at the title, something the intercontinental champion accepted, with a match between the two being scheduled for No Mercy.
However, until the event The Miz was making some mind games, remembering the times when Ziggler was part of the Spirit Squad, bringing to SmackDown two other members of the faction, Mikey and Kenny, who attacked the old teammate.
TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2016
Ladder match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship :
The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
At the No Mercy pay-per-view, Dolph Ziggler defeated The Miz in a Title vs. Career match to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship and in the days that followed offered a rematch for the title to The Miz, but the Miz declined.
However, when Ziggler had already planned to defend his belt against Sami Zayn at Survivor Series, The Miz was entitled to a title shot on the 900th episode of SmackDown on November 15, and ended up being crowned champion again, with Maryse’s help, having later defeated Zayn in a title match at Survivor Series.
On the SmackDown edition following the pay-per-view, The Miz achieved a controversial victory over Kalisto and after the match was surprised by Ziggler, who hit him with a Superkick. Later, General Manager Daniel Bryan scheduled a Ladder match between The Miz and Ziggler for TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs.
WWE Intercontinental Championship :
Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins
At Extreme Rules 2018, Dolph Ziggler beat Seth Rollins 5–4 in a 30-minute Iron Man match to retain the Intercontinental Championship thanks to interference from his tag team partner, Drew McIntyre. However, a rematch was scheduled between the two for SummerSlam, with McIntyre in Ziggler’s corner. However, on the August 13 episode of Raw, Dean Ambrose returned to action after recovering from injury and announced that he would feature in Rollins ‘ corner.
The Horror Show at Extreme Rules (2020)
Extreme Rules match only for Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Championship :
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Former tag teammates who won the Raw Tag Team Championship in 2018 were reunited on the June 22 episode of Raw, with WWE Champion Drew McIntyre being interrupted by Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler recalled their history together, claimed credit for McIntyre’s success and claimed the Scotsman owed him a title match. McIntyre, who needed an opponent for Extreme Rules, recalled that it was Ziggler who gave him the nickname Scottish Psychopath and accepted the challenge.
During the signing of the contract the following week, McIntyre gave Ziggler the choice of match stipulation, but Ziggler opted to wait until the event to reveal his choice.
NXT (February 22, 2022)
#1 Contendership for NXT Championship :
Dolph Ziggler vs. Tommaso Ciampa
On the February 8 episode of NXT, Dolph Ziggler surprisingly appeared at the event and interrupted a one-on-one between NXT champion Bron Breakker and then-leading contender Santos Escobar. Ziggler listed his achievements but noted that he had never been an NXT champion. Tommaso Ciampa appeared and became involved in a feud with Ziggler. At NXT Vengeance Day, Ziggler interfered in the title match between Breakker and Escobar but was attacked by Ciampa, who made him return backstage.
However, it was announced that Ziggler and Ciampa would face off on the February 22 episode of NXT to determine the new main contender for the NXT Championship.
NXT: Roadblock (March 8, 2022) | NXT Championship
Bron Breakker (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Dolph Ziggler
On the February 22 episode of NXT, Dolph Ziggler beat Tommaso Ciampa to become the main contender for the NXT Championship, benefiting from interference from Robert Roode. The following week, Ciampa and Breakker beat The Dirty Dawgz ( Ziggler and Roode), with Ciampa laying the groundwork for Ziggler, which led to the Sicilian Psychopath being added to the match.