What’s next for Dolph Ziggler?

dolph zigglerYou know him now as WWE superstar Dolph Ziggler. Not the best name for a top star, and he may go back to being Nick Nemeth soon, and that name isn’t any better.

Whatever name he goes by, he’s at a crossroads.

“If I can’t find that happy medium, I might have to go away for a little bit,” Ziggler said on an interview with The Chad Dukes Wrestling Show on Monday, explaining why he hasn’t re-signed with WWE, with an offer on the table.

Ziggler, who turns 35 on July 27, has branched out into standout comedy with good reviews and some success, and those good reviews and success have him trying to launch himself into acting, much the same way he might famously launch himself into selling an opponent’s belly-to-back suplex.

It’s not a bad move at all, even with Ziggler, in his mid-30s, entering the prime payout years of his wrestling career. The next three to five years could be very lucrative for Ziggler in pro wrestling, but when he turns the page to his forties, well, the writing is on the wall as far as that is concerned.

One can overstay the welcome in the wrestling business, and end up working legends shows in high-school gyms in the declining years.

It’s a good time for Ziggler to be thinking this way, too, because as talented as he has proven to be in the ring and backstage for WWE in recent years, he has never really gotten the push that you’d have expected when he first broke into the mid-card four years ago, in part because of setbacks related to a series of concussions that put him on the shelf a couple of times.

But Ziggler seems to have overcome the injury bugs that had held him down, and even had a nice moment late last year, getting the decisive pinfall to defeat The Authority at Survivor Series.

Since then, though, Ziggler has been an afterthought, relegated to the lower half of the mid-card, putting on solid TV matches that nobody otherwise has any reason to care about.

So Ziggler could use the nibbles he’s getting from Hollywood to negotiate a new contract and a push back toward the main event. Though you have to wonder if the ship has already sailed in that respect for Ziggs.

“I love WWE, and I can’t picture myself wrestling somewhere else, but it’s also becoming now where that Wednesday and Thursday, I can’t just do that and get some outside live events for comedy and different movie and television options, which would only be to promote myself as a WWE superstar, to make myself a bigger star so I can advance more in WWE,” Ziggler said told Dukes.

“What I wanna do is make myself a bigger asset to WWE. If it involves leaving, that would crush me but it might,” Ziggler said.

– Column by Chris Graham

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