July 2 is almost upon us, which means that WWE Live (Singapore) is finally coming up soon! After months of fitful anticipation, in a mere 2 weeks all of our cihlhdhood dreams are about to come true. In the meantime, here’s a little something to feed your WWE passion.
About a month ago, Dolph Ziggler was here in Singapore a little promotion session to publicize WWE Live (Singapore). We were invited for a little media roundtable where we had the opportunity to ask Dolph some questions about WWE and about Dolph himself that we always wanted to know. First of all was of course the origin story behind his name, Dolph Ziggler. According to the man himself, he got a call one day telling him that his name was going to be “David Diggler.” His reaction back then was similar to ours today, ‘WTF.” So he goes, ‘I think it’s awful,” and was mercifully allowed 15 minutes to come up with another name that starts with ‘D.” Dolph became the front-runner because his great grandfather’s name was Rudolph but still doubts about the suitability of his name persisted. After all, if your goal is to be the best in the world, your name could be the most important part. He was thus given the name ‘Dolph Ziggler’ and was told that it’s different, it stands out and it’s going to grow on you. That’s it, the conversation ended right there and damn was the guy right. As Dolph puts it, “I’m used to being called Doph, from my grandmother, everybody.”
He was also asked about what motivates and keeps him going despite being in the business for so long, his answer was typical of both elite athletes as well as of his persona of being a showoff. His desire to have this legacy that when he’s finished, people will look back and quite like other sports such as boxing or wrestling, people can have a debate on the greatest of all time, he will be a part of the discussion. In his own words, “When I get in the ring, when I get my fight, I’m going to make it count.”
WWE is well known for being a scripted show, as such it is not surprising when people start t question the authenticity of what they see. This includes the characters that each WWE superstar ‘plays’ which for Dolph is that of a showoff. Adopting such a persona came about as he was “rambling on telling him [WWE] my life story, saying I’ve always done this, caption of all my sports team… how I’ve always wanted to be the star player, all eyes on me & was always finding a way to show off. He goes, ‘That’s it! The showoff, that’s your real life story!'” But unlike the common notion that the entire show is completely scripted down to individual moves and end result, Dolph provides a little insight. According to him, 95% of the time, something goes wrong, he’s been in short matches lasting 3-4 minutes in Raw and despite the duration, 5 things can go wrong. While “hopefully no one can tell. I live for those moments, because it’s fun, that’s where the improv comes in where the instincts come in, 10 years of being in the ring. That’s where you find out who the ring generals are, who the best are.” That’s what we love so much as fans because after all, if everything follows a script then what’s the point of it all?
WWE and its fans are being for being fickle, one moment they love you and another moment they’re booing you. For Dolph “if half the people are saying he’s the worst and half of the people saying he’s the best, that means you’re doing pretty well.” The answer I was most interested in was who he felt was underrated and which WWE star he liked. He’s “a big fan of Cesaro Tyson Kidd, those two guys for the longest time are so good, they’ve been so good at wrestling and never really got a fair shot… and all those tag matches have been stealing the show for the past few pay per views.” It felt pretty good to hear Cesaro Tyson Kidd, one of my favourite duos finally get some recognition and there’s no better validation than from one’s peers.
The interview also strayed into WWE NXT, something that I’ve heard a lot about but frankly don’t know much about other than the concept being similar to the NBA Developmental League to train the next generation of superstars. It’s exciting because it means that the competition is far more intense and the current generation has no choice but to step up their game everyday. After all, no one is going to go ‘;’hey you guys are doing great, here’s my spot come take it.” At most, they’ll echo Dolph’s sentiment “hey nice to meet you, I’ve heard really nice things, see if you can hang with me in this ring. I’m very happy to have some good competition.” While it would appear that this would be a main source of motivation, for Dolph it’s more about “5 nights a week, I’m in my underwear in front of the world especially on Monday nights and I go, I better look good!”
In a career that has spanned more than a decade, it’s surprising that his answer to the question of his favourite memory came so easily and without hesitation. “My favourite thing so far, cashing in the money in the bank the day after WrestleMania. Here’s why it was cool to me, I was told months, years before in different words, you’d never be a champion. Never be a champion, but to cash in the money in the bank contract as a bad guy on a good guy and here the reaction that I’ve never heard since is something I’ll never forgot… I will never ever forget it.” Check out what Dolph is referring to in this chill inducing video below!
WWE Live (Singapore) will be happening July 2nd in the Singapore Indoor Stadium, for more information check out the event listing on our website here! More information such as ticketing information and the lineup can be found there! We can’t wait to see you there!