Dolph Ziggler returns to WWE Raw, but is he still just a gatekeeper?

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Dolph Ziggler unexpectedly returned to WWE during the main event of Monday Night Raw, and fans should be wondering if this time will be different from his last appearance in the main cast. There was a moment when Ziggler had a ton of fan support, and his money in the bank in 2013 was similar to the ones surrounding Liv Morgan right now. Baby Face is an outsider who had to pay more than his fair share of contributions before he won the top prize at the company.

However, DZ claimed the title of champion, and it never seemed that WWE fully supported him as the best guy in the business. He also unfortunately suffered a concussion during his time as champion, which also didn’t help his running. This reign of the world champion lasted just over 60 days, and his slow decline of the card began in the summer of 2013. Ziggler has had several title feuds with players like AJ Styles, but has generally never been considered a serious threat to any of the WWE. the best performers. This is at least partly due to the veteran’s ability to make almost everything work in the ring. He is one of the most extravagant sellers in professional wrestling, and it is difficult to arrange a frankly bad match with him. This is what led to his position as a WWE gatekeeper prior to his recent involvement with NXT, where he won his first world championship in almost nine years.

There were no rumors about Ziggler’s return to Raw, which is what made his appearance on July 11 so unexpected. Theory and Seth Rollins were fighting Bobby Lashley and Riddle in a tag team match involving intersecting feuds when DZ music started playing and he stepped into the ring. During the final part of the fight, the Theory went for an illegal pin, using ropes as leverage. Ziggler pushed Theory off the ropes, which cost him the victory. And before Raw went off the air, The Showoff inflicted the superpink Theory, effectively turning his face. WWE has an acute shortage of decent good guys right now, so in this regard, Ziggler’s appeal makes sense. And again, the company knows that this person can make a strong match for any representative of the brand.

But why Dolph Ziggler and why now? Theory is already waging an ongoing feud with Lashley over the U.S. Championship, Brock Lesnar and Roman Reines before their last Survivor fight at SummerSlam, as well as with John Cena as WWE tries to rekindle the fire for a future match between them. What does the inclusion of a Ziggler here mean in the long run? It’s hard to shake the feeling that a 41-year-old man is just here to eat a few pins from Theory, since everyone else he works with is so protected, and DZ, well, isn’t and never has been. He always makes his opponents look good and always comes back to normal.

The fact that Ziggler beat Theory during last weekend’s house shows is at least noteworthy and intriguing. Then it’s up to WWE to make this feud convincing, at least to the point where fans actually believe Ziggler poses a threat to Vince McMahon’s protégé. If anyone can make an audience believe, it’s Dolph Ziggler. One can only hope that he is being treated as something more than just an instant obstacle to the advancement of Theory.