Let’s be honest for a moment. There was once a time when we marked out when we heard our favorite superstar’s theme music hit. That first note, the sound of glass shattering, and that familiar guitar riff sent an uncontrollable burst of excitement that only the squared circle could bring out of us. Those were the days of competition between two leading wrestling organizations. After the demise of WCW, WWE grew stale to me. And like many others who experienced the attitude era, I eventually moved on from sports entertainment while it slowly embraced a younger audience with no intentions of ever returning to it. But that was before I discovered the IWC. And the one superstar that change how I viewed the current state of wrestling.
After tuning in to actually sit through Raw one Monday, after many failed attempts in the past, I was blown away by Dolph Ziggler. This was during his stint as the Money in the Bank winner. Out of all of the hand picked “superstars” the WWE were trying to shove down our throats as the next big thing such Ryback and Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler stood out as one of the best performers WWE has had in years. He may not have sold as many shirts as they would have liked, but he sells moves like a boss and lives up to the name of “The Show Off” in the ring. I can go on and on about how the stars who are over the most in WWE are the ones their creative team ignores in favor of their idea of a top guy, but that’s a story for another day. But what killed me the most is how misused Dolph was as a heel at the time. Imagine how awesome a feud between Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler would have been with the world heavyweight championship in the picture.
I’ve found a new love for wrestling within the dirt sheets. The backstage politics are stronger than ever, which is always entertaining. I watched one of the most interesting superstars home grown by the WWE get buried for what felt like an eternity before winning the IC Championship. And while they may have treated Dolph like trash, he was the doorway back in to enjoying wrestling for me. I marked out at my first live Raw since the attitude era when his music hit. And even though I only have a hand full of favorite performers out of WWE’s new home grown talent, that’s enough to keep me watching this time around. Let’s just hope they actually start developing new stars organically in the future for a new era.