Since being repackaged from his Nicky/Spirit Squad days, the man we know as Dolph Ziggler has stood out as one of the best heels in all of WWE, and given people dozens of reasons to hate his guts every time he puts a microphone near his face. He exudes smarmy charisma and a cocky strut that reminds one of both Ric Flair and the late Mr. Perfect.
When the bell rings, he shows off just as he says he can and will. Ziggler can wrestle, brawl, fly and pick apart a vulnerable limb until he decides a way to eliminate his opponent. He has held the Intercontinental Championship and United States Championship, as well as the World Heavyweight Championship…the latter for about the length of an average segment on Raw. The only thing missing from Ziggler’s resume is a one-on-one match that stands out as a true show-stealer, one that when people look back at a pay-per-view will be singled out as a reason they were glad they saw it.
That’s where the old Lionheart comes in.
It is now a fact that Chris Jericho does not need to be with WWE. His band Fozzy has become a massive name in the world of heavy metal, and their next North American tour begins two days before Summerslam. Not only do we not know what Jericho has planned for his WWE future, we also do not know how much longer it will be. With Fozzy selling more and more tickets and albums, plus the fact that Jericho has publicly stated his band being his number one priority, we need to be thankful for all the Jericho screen time we get.
With one Codebreaker on Monday night, we can hopefully get excited for what will be the dark horse candidate for best match of Summerslam.
Dolph Ziggler touched a raw nerve of Jericho’s when Jericho interrupted Ziggler on Monday, questioning when the last time was that Jericho won an important match. The truth is, he hasn’t. With the exception of winning a number one contender’s battle royal to face CM Punk for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania, Jericho has been in desperate need of a big win. He lost at Elimination Chamber, Wrestlemania, Extreme Rules, Over the Limit and Money in The Bank. He was also the final man to be eliminated at this year’s Royal Rumble, if you’re keeping score.
Ziggler, on the other hand, has gone nowhere but up. Since dropping Jack Swagger from his side, he has been able to shine on his own. He had a very strong showing at No Way Out, giving Sheamus a hell of a fight as a last-minute replacement for the concussed Alberto Del Rio. With a briefcase in hand and the services of Vickie Guerrero, Ziggler looks poised to keep rising and meet Jericho on his way down. And Jericho wouldn’t have it any other way.
Nine years ago, Shawn Michaels and Jericho did their own show-stealing at Wrestlemania XIX, a match that had a tall task ahead of it to stand out against Brock Lesnar vs. WWE Champion Kurt Angle, Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon and the final encounter between Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. This year’s Summerslam, amazingly, has a very similar card in store. Triple H will be facing Brock Lesnar, and I imagine some combination of John Cena, CM Punk and The Rock facing off. It is going to be Jericho’s job to once again get his match in the spotlight, but this time his role is that of the industry vet making a star out of the younger guy.
If Jericho and Ziggler get the green light for a match at Summerslam, we will witness a career being made. Ziggler could use a huge win over a future Hall of Famer like Jericho to add another selling point to his resume, and with Jericho set to take some more time away from the ring for the Fozzy tour, I expect him to leave everything he has in the ring not only for himself, but to make Ziggler look like a million bucks. Hell, I will take it another step – if/when Ziggler beats Jericho at Summerslam, he will cash in on Sheamus at the end of his match (possibly against Randy Orton?) and be the only man to ever beat Chris Jericho and another man to become the World Heavyweight Champion in one night. Jericho has already had two five-star matches against CM Punk this year, and one of them came about as close as you can get to an authentic ECW match.
If Jericho is headed out, he will be sure to hand the ball to someone who will run like hell with it.