Dolph Ziggler talks Extreme Rules
MATTHEW ASHER - SLAM! Wrestling
|Dolph Ziggler at the WWE Live show at Toronto's Ricoh Coliseum on Friday, April 25, 2014. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea.
A lot can happen in just a year. Just ask Dolph Ziggler. Last year this time he was the World Heavyweight Champion, but was unable to compete in the Extreme Rules PPV following a concussion suffered preparing for his title defense. While the Showoff may not currently be on the card for the PPV, Dolph took some time to talk about his thoughts on some of the more intriguing matches currently on the card.
WWE World Heavyweight Title: Kane vs. Daniel Bryan
Hey, another example of how a lot can happen in a year. At last year's Extreme Rules, Kane and Daniel Bryan were the tag team champions, still known as Team Hell No. This year the two will be facing off for Bryan's newly-won WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
"I've seen Daniel Bryan versus Kane hundreds of times," Ziggler said. "We all have. Now we have Kane going through this change of character on television where he's not just this corporate guy in a suit that can jump you when you're not watching. This is the old-school Kane that I grew up watching. Now you don't know what Daniel Bryan's in store for because even though he knows Kane, this is going to be very hard to judge because he'll be facing Crazy Kane, no longer Corporate Stooge Kane. One way or another, bodies will be flying around."
When asked about his prediction for the strap, Dolph believes the champion will retain. "I feel like Daniel Bryan has worked so hard to get where he is," Dolph said. "I have a good feeling about Daniel Bryan, but you never know."
Six-Man Tag: Shield vs. Evolution
That slight hesitation by Ziggler about never knowing might also run true in the six-man tag match between Evolution and the Shield, due in part to both matches involving corporate members of the WWE.
"Just like with Kane, I've seen Evolution before," Ziggler said. "The first time it was amazing. Now they're almost forced to be back just to protect Triple H. I don't feel like this is a natural, cohesive unit like The Shield is. They're a bunch of young, hungry up and comers. So I gotta go with the kids, The Shield.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Big E vs. Bad News Barrett
While Dean Ambrose's U.S. Title won't be on the line (when is it ever?) the other secondary title, the Intercontinental title, will be on the line this Sunday. Dolph said that his favourite to win the tournament was Cesaro, and while that didn't happen, he's still very happy with what the tourney has done so far.
"That tournament has brought eyes back on the Intercontinental Championship and made it that stepping stone that it once was to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship," Ziggler said. Since his favourite was out of the picture, Dolph should still be happy in knowing that #BNB will be facing his former protégé for the title.
"I'm a huge fan of Barrett. Always have been," the Showoff said. "Always been hoping for that guy to get a shot. Now he's transformed into Bad News Barrett. I'm really looking forward to watching him. Whoever wins that match, it's going to be a great one."
While Extreme Rules may not have the glamour of a WrestleMania PPV, the past two editions of this post 'Mania PPV have shown that the WWE still takes it very seriously. Back in 2012 the WWE Universe was treated to a dream match of Brock Lesnar against John Cena and the 2013 edition featured The Shield winning both the tag titles and the U.S. title, which Dean Ambrose has to finally put on the line on Friday's Smackdown.
Dolph Ziggler bio and story archive
Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist currently living in Atlanta. What do you think will/should happen at Extreme Rules this year? Email him your thoughts.