10 Wrestlers We Had To Hate Before We Could Love

10. Dolph Ziggler

Dolph Ziggler 2009

In order to fully understand how bizarre and counter-productive the introduction to Dolph Ziggler was, you probably have to understand the context. Even back in the mid-noughties, Nick Nemeth was a quality worker obsessed with becoming even better. He'd been a peripheral part of the whole godawful Kerwin White fiasco that had threatened to kill Chavo Guerrero's career in 2005, and when that died, he was sent back to OVW, where he became a member of the Spirit Squad in 2006.

Nemeth was one of the more interesting members of the stable of male cheerleaders, but when that angle fizzled (ie, when D-X buried them and literally shipped them back to OVW), he was eventually repackaged as Dolph Ziggler - a man who went around introducing himself and shaking hands. The idea, seemingly, was that a new addition to the roster would wind up the veterans with his toadying - all whom kept their pants on, incidentally - and in turn irk the fans.

As far as crap ideas go, it was up there. Why saddle a brand new character with a 'sh*t rookie' gimmick? Fortunately, Ziggler was allowed to look fairly impressive against Batista in his first singles match on WWE television, beat Charlie Haas via pinfall and after defecting to SmackDown in the 2009 draft, and went over United States champion MVP in a non-title match. Fans began to forget about the weird-ass gimmick he'd come in with, and Ziggler began to get over - just a little bit - with his big-bumping style and furiously energetic offense. Too bad ten years of underachievement turned the Dolph milk sour once more.


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