During a recent interview on After the Bell with Corey Graves, Dolph Ziggler discussed dealing with frustration in WWE and his ability to play a variety of roles.
“You rarely get to do what you want to do. You might be a champion one day, and the next day you’re not on the show. ‘What did I do?’ It’s show business. It’s what have you done for me lately, one day you’re hot, one day you’re not. You’re like, ‘I’ve got these ideas, everybody is reacting to me in the crowd, why am I not on the show?’ You will drive yourself mad because sometimes, it’s not personal. ‘We need to get this Roman/Brock story on, and this is this, and you’re gonna have to sacrifice.’ A lot of times, two-thirds of the roster is being sacrificed, and that’s gonna be you no matter whether you’re new or old. When you get a high once in a while, it almost makes it worthwhile because you’ve trucked along and a year went by and you didn’t even get a win anywhere. You’re like, ‘What am I still doing here?’ They’ve never missed one check, so I appreciate that. But when I have to defend myself, I go, ‘I don’t know why I’m not doing this. I did this part, I get hugged when I came to the back for my match and told how great it was.’ Then the next week, you’re not used. You go, ‘What?’ Months and years will go by for someone who will one day be champion or one day main event WrestleMania to where you’re just not part of the show, and you think, I deserve to be and what the hell is going on here? You’ll drive yourself mad.”
“It’s weird, I feel like that’s why I’m still employed, which is great. There is that tiny little thing in the back of people’s heads where even if I’m not featured exclusively, a couple of weeks go by and it’s Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler in the main event for the title and you go ‘uh, okay maybe.’ Other than somebody who’s like, ‘This guy’s not even on TV, we’re not invested in him, we don’t know.’ I can be in that spot, so being able to do any of those things – you have to be a renaissance man or woman in the business now just to survive. I could fight for the world title in a couple of weeks and it wouldn’t be a crazy thing. I feel like that investment of putting in the time, putting in the work – I think I’ve missed three or four weeks of work in 17 years, like get the hell out of here.”
“Even when I’m sitting at home and try to turn off wrestling, ‘Don’t care, I’m gonna sit back and relax and read in my backyard.’ Five pages of reading, and I’m wondering, ‘I wonder if Breakker could do that screwdriver that Scott Steiner does?’ All of a sudden, it’s two hours of me plotting pieces of how the story could work to get us to that. Even when I go, ‘See you guys on Monday, don’t care,’ I can’t not try to make some story happen in my head. I can’t stop thinking that way.’
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