I was asked a question recently in an edition of Ask WNW about whether or not Dolph Ziggler was copying Shawn Michaels and almost taking similar characteristics to the man known as the Show Stopper. It's not the first time the question has come into my mind. On a couple of occasions now I have seen Ziggler come out to the ring and my first thought was "wow, 1990's Shawn Michaels is in the house". So it seems like there are definitely some similarities between "the Show Stopper" and "the Show Stealer", and there are obviously enough for fans to have taken notice. If you haven't noticed it yet, allow me to explain the similarities between the two.
The first place to start this comparison is the look. Up until recently Dolph Ziggler wore normal trunks. However he had recently started to wear tights with rips in along with a vest type deal with chains on the back, which is a look that very much reminds me of an early Shawn Michaels when he was managed by Sensational Sherrie. Which leads nicely on to the ladies man gimmick that Dolph seems to portray. He's always been a hit with the female fans and seems to be a hit with the Divas on screen just like Shawn was when he portrayed the whole 'Sexy Boy' gimmick. Add to that the fact that both men like to have a show off and standout entrance and it's almost like travelling back in time.
Not only do you have the look but you also have the mannerisms. Ziggler now uses the Super Kick, much similar to the way HBK used Sweet Chin Music. You could argue that a lot of guys use a super kick but aren't imitating HBK because of it. And while that may be true it all links back to Ziggler having that same look as HBK. There is also the way Dolph hits his head into the turnbuckle and ring post off a slingshot similar to how Michaels used to do. I had noticed it before but I never really noticed it until I watched Smackdown last week, which gave me the idea to really go with this piece. Both know how to add drama and emphasise a move like taking a slingshot into the turnbuckle. I'm now just wondering whether or not Ziggler will start to do the same think as Shawn did when he is Irish Whipped into the corner and do that flip type move into it.
What is crucial to really point at when it comes to comparing these two is their unique ability in the ring. Ziggler has the ability to take his matches up a level every night and steal the show, just like Michaels had. Shawn was always known as either "the Show Stopper" or "Mr. Wrestlemania" because he would always bring his A game to each and every match. Ziggler seems to have a very similar philosophy and ability to be able to always turn it up a gear when he competes. What's not to say that Dolph can't become the next "Mr. Wrestlemania" in place of Shawn.
Both men also have a cocky, full of themselves attitude and both have also followed similar paths to the top. Both Shawn and Dolph are former Intercontinental Champions and both are former World Heavyweight Champions so they have both reached similar heights of success. Both men stand out from the crowd when it comes to what they can offer in the ring but after a few years Ziggler appears to be floundering with a lack of actual direction, much like Michaels was for a long period before he finally won the WWF World Championship. The similarities between Ziggler and Michaels truly run deep so it's no surprise that many fans have compared them, and if you think about it that has to be a compliment to both Ziggler and Michaels and a testament to just how much both men has accomplished in their storied careers in WWE.
Can Ziggler be the next HBK? Yes, I believe it's very possible. He's on his way to being one of the all time greats for sure. But Dolph needs to be careful and not become almost a carbon copy of Shawn as to become a true great you need to stand out from the crowd. It's okay to compare their in-ring styles and achievements. But once people start comparing your look, your character, and really analysing you that's when you need to be careful you don't get told that you are riding the coat tails of a legend. There's nothing wrong with trying to emulate a legend and taking aspects of their character, and I'm sure Dolph knows what he's doing whether the insinuation of the old HBK character is intentional or not. Dolph will become the next Shawn Michaels in my mind and he can achieve that on his own merit. I just hope that other fans will remember that too.
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