WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: E&C Pod of Awesomeness w/ Dolph Ziggler on why he’s frustrated with his push, how he overcame terrible gimmicks, his current role as a “gatekeeper”

Daniel Bryan interview

Edge & Christian’s Pod of Awesomeness Recap

Guest: Dolph Ziggler 

By: Jeff Indelicato

Release Date: December 1, 2017


“For The Benefit of Those with No Time” (Top Stories)

  • Dolph’s recent experience at the Starrcade event was awesome and backstage had a WrestleMania-like feel.
  • Edge repeatedly asked to work with Dolph later in his career and the both of them are very proud of their Royal Rumble 2011 match.
  • Ziggler has enjoyed his role with the company, but gets frustrated with constantly losing, as it not only hurts his character, but the opponent who is supposed to get a push from him.
  • If nothing changes, he is considering possibly walking away, and almost did a few years ago.

“You Think You Know Them” (Recap)

Ad for What Really Happened 00:00 – 01:00

Opening Intros 01:00-14:45

The boys open the show with their usual banter. Edge is out of breath, which leads to them talking about his hectic schedule, including a recent interview conducted with Sports Illustrated. All in all, he is happy to be back home in the States and is enjoying his family time.

Edge heard from Tommy that the One Man Gang is mad at Christian. What’s the scoop? Jay wants to clear up the situation as it was just a mix up. He arrived for a wrestling appearance that many, including the Gang, were scheduled for. However, his flight was delayed, and when he met up with the organizers, they confirmed that he needed to be ready to go to the appearance between 10:15 & 10:30am. He left his hotel room at 10:22, and was in the lobby at 10:26, meaning he was technically on time; however, some of the wrestlers may have been told to be there earlier. Long story short, he and the former Akeem cleared it up, and all is good now.

Through these conventions, as well as just being in the business, both men have gotten to meet most of their heroes, so Edge asks Christian, “Who haven’t you met, or never got a chance to meet?” Jay thinks that meeting Andre the Giant would’ve been awesome, as Andre was the first wrestler that he had an emotional connection to. He specifically references the storyline where Andre got his hair cut, and how emotionally shocking it was for him as a kid. He would always go back to that specific instance and kept that feeling when he’d put matches together. Edge agrees, and notes how he was a real giant, and yet was still able to garner sympathy from the fans. This further proves his point that anybody can get sympathy on them if the storyline is done right

Interview with Dolph Ziggler 14:45 – 1:23:00

Dolph is calling from Lexington, KY. They reminisce about some fun traveling stories, since Dolph rode with both E & C at one point or another, including an instance with Zack Ryder in a hotel room where he was afraid that Christian was going to harm his laptop and went out of his way to protect it.

Talk moves to the recent Starrcade event where Dolph faced off against Bobby Roode and was the recipient of a spinebuster from the legendary Arn Anderson. How was the experience? In short, it was amazing. He walked into the building and got the opportunity to mingle with legends such as Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, then got to tear it down with The Glorious One. It was a special night that had a different feel and a great crowd. In fact, in a weird way, the backstage atmosphere had a WrestleMania-like feel.

Christian and Ziggler then talk about how they didn’t really have a storyline feud but did wrestle each other on live events. In fact, Christian wrestled against Dolph (along with Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio) in his last match. This then segues into Edge’s feud with Dolph back in 2011, which was also some of Edge’s last matches.

Edge talks about how by that point, he had the ability to pick who he wanted to work with, and help others, which is what led to him picking Ziggler. For Dolph, it was really special, as he had been riding with Adam, and was his pupil, so to speak. Their Royal Rumble match is a highlight for the both of them and it was really meaningful that they were able to get the fans invested and questioning who would actually win.

Since he was the face in the match, Edge remembers telling Dolph, “This is Boston, and at some point they’re going to get with you, and that’s ok.” After the match, they remember Kevin Nash saying backstage, “Good luck to anybody following that.” Edge even went to Vince afterwards to put Ziggler over and tell him how good he was.

Both of them wish they had had more opportunities to do matches like that, but there were some great live event matches as well, including a Street Fight in Toronto that included Edge slapshotting some Eggos at Ziggs.

We move on to the topic of his career highs & lows, and how he would naturally get stuck in a poor position because he was so good. The company would book him to lose more due to the feeling that he’d be alright because of his talent. Does Ziggler take pride in that or is it frustrating? He sees it both ways. He knows that he’s not a giant guy, so it’s natural, and he’s been with the company for 12 years. However, at some point, it becomes a burden when you are continuously passed over. It got to the point that he was losing a lot more than winning and he heard an 8 year old say to him at a live event, “I know you’re losing.” In his mind, this takes away from the match if it’s already predictable, and it doesn’t help the guy that he’s facing either.

As time has gone on, he has become sort of the gatekeeper for guys coming up in the company, and due to that fan perspective, he remembers telling the bosses, “If I lose for 8 consecutive months, people aren’t getting much out of it. We need to either switch things up, or if not, it’s time I disappear for a while.” He notes that he’s made a career out of almost never winning, which is awesome, but it does lose its luster. Christian agrees, and notes that there’s something to be said about credibility. When that goes away it’s difficult. Dolph adds that the perspective is that wins and losses don’t matter, but if you’re losing every single night, it does. Therefore, if you’re that guy, that should be in a dark match.

With that said, how does he personally feel about it? He hates it, but not for the reasons that you may think. He hates that he’s not the Champion and he has a competitive mentality. He’s been around long enough to know the score, and while he thinks he should be a part of the show, so does everybody else.

This has now been Dolph’s third run with the company after being Kerwin White’s caddy, and then being a part of the Spirit Squad. What were his thoughts in trying to come back after those roles? He was motivated to be different, and remembers studying and asking himself, “What is something that no one’s doing?” At the time, everyone wanted to be Randy Orton with the look and wrestling style, so he did the complete opposite. He bleached his hair, grew it out, and wore pink trunks. He also started watching genuine boxing knockouts to understand the best way to sell. That way when someone would hit a finisher or big move, fans would think that he was legitimately knocked out. He would always question how he could make something look devastating.

They talk a little bit about Dolph’s amateur background, which we learn that he made the choice to do this at the age of 5 after going to a WWE show. It was his dream to become a WWE wrestler, so he felt that the best way to do it was to be an amateur first. He did very well, and ended up become the all-time winningest wrestler at Kent State. It was great for him, but he admits that it was purely to put on a resume to get a job with the WWE.

Because of how great he was, many people, including Arn Anderson and Edge, have been on him about not using amateur moves in his matches. Firstly, he didn’t want to be a boring college wrestler, but he’s definitely given it more of a consideration. Usually when he does, the match gets time cuts, and that’s the first thing that goes. They all agree that you shouldn’t go into business for yourself, but if it’s something that can benefit everyone, you pick the right moment, and go over the time allowed. There’s been a handful of times where he has done that, but recognizes that it doesn’t revolve around you, and that you can’t just do whatever your want.

E & C bring up how despite the ups and downs, he has had quite a career, going from a caddy, to a male cheerleader, to a feud against Cena, as well as being a former World Champion. What does he want to do? 2 ½ years ago, he was debating and questioning what he had left. In fact, he had made the decision to leave when his last contract was up. He was loving his job, and was treated well, but with everything that was happening, he just felt it was time to step away. That obviously didn’t happen, and after being asked to stay, and help out, he agreed.

With the current contract coming up, he doesn’t have a prize that he can attain right now. There’s no hard feelings, but in a short amount of time, he needs to decide if it’s time to leave, or come up with a new role. In his mind, being the gatekeeper is a great spot if you’re not a former World Champ. It frustrates him that he can’t get more of a fulfilling role/storyline, so we’ll see what happens. He needs to know that the company is on his side, and if they’re not, it could be time to take a break. In order to build his portfolio, he’s been doing things outside of the company, including a recurring segment on Fox Business and standup comedy.

They spend a few minutes talking about his recent stand up gigs and how he takes it very seriously. It is a tough job, but he continues to do more of it to become better and has gotten some good pointers and compliments from those in the business. It is something that he would like to do more of, and whenever he has an opportunity to perform, he takes it.

We then close out the interview with compliments from both E & C, and they wish him well, calling him one of the best in-ring performers of all time.

Wrap Up & Close 1:23:00-1:29:00

The boys thank their guest again for joining them, and hope that the end is not anytime too soon for The Showoff. They talk about how it’s a tough position to be stuck in for him, but that you can’t deny talent, and he’s very talented. He’s gone far in his career, but they haven’t let him hit his full potential.

They encourage fans to follow the show on Twitter @EandCPod, E-Mail them at ecpodofawesomeness@gmail.com, and call their Voicemail at 929-367-8204.

Jeff’s Take:  8 Kazoos out of 10

Good episode this week. It was good to hear from Dolph and get his honest perspective on his career and present thoughts. While interesting, it did seem to take up most of the interview, and became a little repetitive, but that’s just a little nitpick then anything. It was still very entertaining, and I respect him for his honesty. Good also to get insight into his selling, and matches with Edge. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @the_Indel or send me an email at indelpw@gmail.com. See you next week!

5 Second Pose of Timestamps”

00:00: Show Introduction
14:45: Interview with Dolph Ziggler
31:00: Feud with Edge
40:00: Present thoughts on career
51:00: Debuting as Dolph after Spirit Squad
1:06:00: Dolph’s Future
1:23:00: Wrap Up & Close

About the Author

Jeff has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was knee high to a grasshopper (little kid), after coming across the Wrestling Challenge episode after WrestleMania 7, and has not looked back. His passion has led him to winning wrestling trivia contests in his city, and even won him his Senior Talent Show by dancing to Shawn Michaels theme song. When not annoying others with wrestling talk, he loves spending time with his family and friends, and focuses on his other passion: movies.


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