Dolph Ziggler is Mr. Money in the Bank, and rightfully so. Over the past year and a half, you could argue that there has been no more consistent performer than Dolph Ziggler outside of wrestling mega-star, and WWE Champion, CM Punk.
Ziggler has made a name for himself as one of the top workers in the company and a performer who could sell ice to an Eskimo. His natural charisma does not end when he puts the microphone down, but continues into his in-ring performance. To put it simply, the man is a natural.
So when you have a guy waiting to burst onto the scene, the question begs, how do you turn him into a breakout, main event star? We’ve seen the vast majority of Money in the Bank winners use their guaranteed title contract to surprise the reigning champion after a long, hard fought battle. This has been the model from the first winner, Edge, through two-time winner CM Punk, and even with veterans such as Kane. In fact, the only man to cash in and lose, John Cena, did so after giving his opponent a week to prepare for the match.
But has that model become trite?
While the surprise cash-in most certainly kick started the main event careers of guys like Edge and Punk, it may no longer be the most efficient way to turn a Money in the Bank winner into a bonafide, top level star. We’ve seen Jack Swagger go from Mr. Money in the Bank, to world champion, to a complete after-thought all within a couple of years, which is why they need to be extremely careful in handling Ziggler’s situation.
Dolph has already had a number of failed cash-in attempts, which has lured the audience into a deep anticipation for his inevitable successful cash-in. Perhaps the best way for him to go would be to do what nobody has yet to do… cash-in at Wrestlemania.
We’ve seen Edge hold onto the briefcase for nearly a full year and the results of his cash-in were incredible, going on to become an 11-time world champion and a WWE Hall of Famer. However, those who cashed-in after a shorter period of time have gone on to have rather forgettable title reigns. Swagger has been noted, Del Rio’s reign lasted barely 3 months, and both of Punk’s World title runs were fairly forgettable.
This is why it is imperative for them to handle Ziggler’s cash-in correctly. By holding onto it from July all the way up until April’s showcase of the immortals, there will be a huge buzz for his match. If they allow him to set the date beforehand instead of going the surprise route, it gives the match a certain mystique.
Similar to Stone Cold’s 1998 Royal Rumble win and subsequent match with Shawn Michaels or Rey Mysterio’s 2006 Rumble win and Wrestlemania main event match, Ziggler declaring his cash-in to take place at the Super Bowl of sports entertainment could be the best possible way to make him a top, money drawing star.
How would you have Ziggler cash-in his Money in the Bank contract?