Last week I asked “what if CM Punk returned at Payback?”. I wrote about a scenario for his return and came up with some pay-per-view matches and storylines that were sure to keep WWE fans constantly watching to see what was next. This week I was left wondering what if Dolph Ziggler didn't lose the World Heavyweight Championship following his concussion last year. And this question arose after watching Alberto Del Rio beat Ziggler on Raw last week in a MITB Qualifying match.
2013 - The Facts: Dolph Ziggler finally won the World Heavyweight Championship after cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Alberto Del Rio the night after WrestleMania 29. Fans were finally satisfied to see Ziggler win a World Title and it seemed he would actually get a lengthy reign. All of this went south once Jack Swagger kicked Ziggler in the head on an episode of SmackDown, causing a concussion and leaving Ziggler taken out of the Extreme Rules plans. Thank goodness he wasn't stripped!
Payback rolls around in June and Ziggler is set to defend the title against Del Rio. These two seem to have good chemistry in the ring and they put on a good match that really told a story. And in that story, Ziggler begins to become an official fan-favorite and Del Rio goes back to his evil ways. And while all of this happens, Del Rio wins the World Heavyweight Championship. What? Why? NO! This was only the beginning.
Questions were being asked on whether or not Ziggler really was ready to return after being out of action for several weeks. But if I was booking this match and Ziggler was nearly 100%, Ziggler would be the one walking out still holding the gold. And now this is where I re-write history!
My Booking: Dolph Ziggler beats Del Rio at Payback to retain the World Title. While I personally think Ziggler is great as a heel, the fans have been cheering him for awhile, so why not turn Ziggler into a tweener and see what happens with this? There starts to be a little bit of tension and disconnect between Ziggler and AJ because Ziggler is ignoring the fact that AJ now has a title as well. Ziggler finally pulls her aside after awhile and tells AJ that he doesn't need her now that he is the World Heavyweight Champion. Big E also leaves Ziggler, as seen on TV.
Del Rio vs. Ziggler is announced for Money in the Bank since Del Rio claims he deserves a rematch. To keep things interesting, a stipulation is added to the rematch. The World Title will now be hanging above the ring in a Ladder Match! To keep his momentum and push going, Ziggler once again retains after climbing the ladder and grabbing his title.
At this point, I am contemplating whether or not Damien Sandow wins the MITB Contract to cash-in on the World Heavyweight Champion. While I think he is worthy of being pushed and even holding the title, look where Sandow is now! Since I’m playing the role of a creative writer right now, I am booking Wade Barrett to win the Ladder Match.
WWE wants Ziggler to have a fresh rivalry for SummerSlam, so a #1 Contender’s Match takes place on the SmackDown following Money in the Bank. Christian beats Randy Orton and Rob Van Dam in a triple threat match to earn a title match against Ziggler. Ziggler is now being booked as a heel once again. There is lots of hype for Christian’s “one more match”. They have a decent program featuring tag team matches, brawls, and good promos leading up to their SummerSlam match. The big summer event is finally here and it’s time for Ziggler and Christian to steal the show.
These guys tear the house down with their fast-paced ring work, counters, and near-falls. Ziggler hits Christian with the Famouser. Christian reaches and ropes and Ziggler goes for the Zig-Zag only for Christian to hold on to the ropes. As Ziggler slides back and gets up to go back after his challenger, Christian connects with the Spear. One, two, three. Christian is the NEW World Heavyweight Champion! But only for two minutes.
Wade Barrett’s music interrupts Christian’s celebration. Barrett is cashing in his MITB contract. The bell rings and Christian immediately goes for the Spear. Barrett moves and sends the champ into the turnbuckle. Christian turns around into the Bullhammer from Barrett. Wade Barrett ultimately walks out of SummerSlam with the World Heavyweight Championship. Ziggler is left without a title, but his push isn't over yet.
In the second part of this article, I will take a look at Ziggler's booking leading up to WrestleMania 30. Sound off below on your thoughts on Ziggler's booking so far and what you think is to come. You can follow me on Twitter @cj_blaze.