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Dolph Ziggler

Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler in April 2014
Birth name Nicholas Theodore Nemeth
Born (1980-07-27) July 27, 1980 [1][2]
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.[1][2]
Residence Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.[3]
Alma mater Kent State University
Family Ryan Nemeth (brother)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Dolph Ziggler[4]
Nic Nemeth[1]
Nick Nemeth[1]
Billed height 6 ft 0in [1][2][5]
Billed weight 218 lb (99 kg)[5]
Billed from Hollywood, Florida[5]
Trained by Florida Championship Wrestling[1]
Ohio Valley Wrestling[1]
Steve Keirn[1]
Tom Prichard[1]
Lance Storm[6]
Debut November 2004[1]

Nicholas Theodore "Nick" Nemeth[1] (born July 27, 1980),[1][2] best known by the ring name Dolph Ziggler, is an American professional wrestler and comedian, currently signed to WWE.

Nemeth signed a development contract with WWE in 2004, and was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). He was brought up to the Raw brand in 2005 as Kerwin White's sidekick. He was, however, sent back to OVW shortly afterwards, where he joined The Spirit Squad as Nicky. They debuted on Raw in January 2006, and won the World Tag Team Championship once before returning to OVW that November. In September 2007, Nemeth was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), where he won the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship twice, with Brad Allen and later Gavin Spears.

Nemeth returned to the WWE main roster under his current ring name in September 2008. Since then, Ziggler has held the World Heavyweight Championship twice, the WWE Intercontinental Championship four times and the WWE United States Championship once, and was the 2012 Money in the Bank winner. He has also been the sole survivor of two Survivor Series elimination matches at the 2012 and 2014 events.


  • Early life 1
  • Professional wrestling career 2
    • World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE 2.1
      • Ohio Valley Wrestling (2004–2005) 2.1.1
      • The Spirit Squad (2005–2006) 2.1.2
      • Return to developmental and repackaging (2007–2009) 2.1.3
      • Championship reigns (2009–2011) 2.1.4
      • United States Champion (2011–2012) 2.1.5
      • World Heavyweight Champion (2012–2013) 2.1.6
      • Intercontinental Champion (2013–2015) 2.1.7
      • Relationship with Lana (2015) 2.1.8
      • Various feuds (2015-present) 2.1.9
  • Other media 3
    • Video games 3.1
  • Personal life 4
  • In wrestling 5
  • Championships and accomplishments 6
    • Luchas de Apuestas record 6.1
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life

Nemeth attended St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio where he was an amateur wrestler, and holds the school record for most pins in a career with 82.[2] At St. Edward, he was teammates with Gray Maynard and Andy Hrovat.[7] During Nemeth's time at St. Edward, the wrestling team won the National Championships on two occasions.[8]

He wrestled collegiately at Kent State University, eventually setting what was then the record for most career wins in the team's history.[2][9] Nemeth's record was passed in 2006, and as of 2010 he stands second all-time in career victories at Kent State.[9] He had 121 career wins between 2000 and 2003.[9][10]

He won championships in 3 consecutive years.[11] He was a three-time All-Mid-American Conference champion, winning the 165 lb (75 kg) tournament in 2000, 2002, and 2003, and as of 2010 is the last wrestler from Kent State University to have won three amateur wrestling championships.[8]

Professional wrestling career

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE

Ohio Valley Wrestling (2004–2005)

Nemeth signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2004.[10] He was assigned to their developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), debuting as "Nick Nemeth". He feuded with Paul Burchill and challenged unsuccessfully for the OVW Television Championship, losing a championship match against then-champion Ken Doane on August 12, 2005.[2]

Nemeth was called up to the Raw roster shortly afterwards, making his television debut on the September 19, 2005 episode of Sunday Night Heat.[1] He was made the enforcer and sidekick for Chavo Guerrero, Jr., who was using a golfer in-ring persona and going by the ring name of "Kerwin White".[2] As such, Nemeth became White's caddy.[2] His wrestling debut came on an episode of Sunday Night Heat, teaming up with White in a tag team match against Shelton Benjamin and Matt Striker.[1] After the death of Eddie Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero dropped the "Kerwin White" character, and Nemeth no longer played the role of his caddy and tag partner. After a few months of wrestling in dark matches and at house shows, he was sent back to OVW.[2]

The Spirit Squad (2005–2006)

Nicky (left) with Mikey and Kenny as part of the Spirit Squad in 2006

Nemeth became a part of "The Spirit Squad" faction, a group of five wrestlers who used the in-ring personas of male cheerleaders, and adopted the name Nicky in OVW during late 2005.[2] The Spirit Squad members trained with real cheerleaders and gymnasts to ensure their characters were believable.[12] On January 23, 2006, they had their WWE television debut as a group, appearing on Raw and helping Jonathan Coachman win a Royal Rumble qualifying match against Jerry "The King" Lawler by performing cheers for Coachman and distracting Lawler.[13] They later became a part of the ongoing scripted feud between WWE chairman Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels. The heel (villainous) McMahon brought in the Squad to attack Michaels on numerous occasions, including placing them in multiple handicap matches.[14][15]

They also wrestled in the tag team division, and on April 3, on Raw, won the World Tag Team Championship when Kenny and Mikey, with outside help from the other three Squad members, defeated Big Show and Kane.[16][17] After winning the championship, all five members of the Spirit Squad were recognized as the champions, allowing any combination of them to defend the championship under the Freebird Rule.[2]

In May, McMahon signed another Handicap match, with the Spirit Squad facing Michaels. The match never started, however; instead the Spirit Squad attacked Michaels, and, as part of the storyline, shattered his knee with a steel chair.[18] McMahon brought Triple H to the ring to attack Michaels with a sledgehammer; however, after Triple H felt that the Squad had disrespected him, he attacked the group.[18] This led to Triple H and Michaels reforming D-Generation X (DX) and they began a feud with the Spirit Squad.[19][20] DX played various sophomoric jokes on the Squad and the McMahons, as well as defeating the Spirit Squad in handicap tag team matches at Vengeance and a clean sweep in an elimination handicap match at Saturday Night's Main Event.[20][21][22][23]

At the same time as their feud with DX and their alignment with McMahon, the Squad also wrestled other teams in Raw's tag division over their World Tag Team Championship, successfully defending the championship against the teams of pay-per-view in September.[24][25] The Squad as a whole later began a losing streak with separate members losing singles matches to Ric Flair on consecutive episodes of Raw, until Kenny managed to defeat him on the October 23 episode.[26][27][28][29][30] It was then announced that Flair and a WWE legend, selected by interactive voting, would wrestle the team for the World Tag Team Championship at the Cyber Sunday pay-per-view in early November.[30] The fans chose Roddy Piper, and he and Flair defeated Kenny and Mikey to win the championship.[31]

The group disbanded on the November 27 episode of Raw, when they were defeated in a five-on-three handicap match by DX and Flair. In a backstage segment later that night, DX placed all members into a crate stamped "OVW, Louisville, Kentucky", a reference to the developmental territory from which the Squad had come.[32]

Return to developmental and repackaging (2007–2009)

Ziggler in September 2008

Nemeth returned to OVW on January 17, 2007, at the television tapings, again using his Nick Nemeth ring name, along with Mike Mondo, formerly Mikey in the Spirit Squad, as the "Frat Pack". The pair teamed with Mike Kruel in a match against Seth Skyfire, Shawn Spears, and Cody Runnels.[33] The team disbanded in the early parts of 2007.[34] Nemeth then competed in several dark matches before the OVW television tapings, competing against several wrestlers including Chris Cage, Bradley Jay and Jake Hager, before he began teaming with Mondo again in August.[35][36][37][38]

At the end of August, Nemeth and Mike Mondo were moved to the Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) developmental territory and in his debut there, Nemeth gained the nickname "The Natural" and defeated Hade Vansen.[1][2][39] In November 2007, Nemeth gained Big Rob as his manager, but their alliance was short-lived.[1][40] At the start of 2008, he tweaked his name to "Nic Nemeth" and began teaming with Brad Allen, with the pair gaining Taryn Terrell as their valet.[10] Nemeth and Allen started a frat boy type ring character with Terrell as a sorority girl. On March 22, Nemeth and Allen won the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship by defeating defending champions Eddie Colón and Eric Pérez, but lost the championship back to Colón and Pérez on April 15.[10][41] Throughout April and May 2008, Nemeth wrestled in several dark matches prior to Raw, losing to Kofi Kingston and Ron Killings on several occasions.[1] Soon after, he returned to the name "Nic Nemeth", and began teaming with Gavin Spears.[1] The pair defeated Colón and Pérez to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship on August 16, but lost it to Heath Miller and Joe Hennig less than a month later.[1][42]

On September 15, 2008, Nemeth re-debuted on Raw, introducing himself in a backstage segment under the name "Dolph Ziggler".[4] On October 10, 2008, Nemeth was suspended for 30 days for a violation of WWE's Wellness Program policy.[43] He returned to Raw on November 17 in a backstage segment with Rey Mysterio and Shawn Michaels.[44] In his first match on Raw under the Ziggler name, he lost to Batista on the December 1 episode.[45] The following week he got his first victory as Ziggler, by countout, against R-Truth.[46] The next week on Raw, he picked up his first televised pinfall victory, when he defeated Charlie Haas.[47]

Championship reigns (2009–2011)

On April 15, 2009, Ziggler was drafted to the SmackDown brand as part of the 2009 Supplemental Draft.[48] He made his debut on the April 17 episode of SmackDown, defeating the United States Champion, Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) in a non-title match, and, as a result, the following week he demanded a match for the championship.[49][50] On the May 1 episode of SmackDown, however, he failed to win the championship, after he was pinned by MVP.[51] Ziggler then started a rivalry with The Great Khali, losing to him by disqualification after attacking Khali with a steel chair.[52] As a result, Khali began coming out to the ring during and after Ziggler's matches, in attempt to gain revenge and to stop Ziggler from cheating.[53][54] Over the next few weeks, Ziggler defeated Khali by countout and disqualification after making it look like Khali had struck him with a steel chair.[55][56] At The Bash pay-per-view, Ziggler defeated Khali by pinfall, after Kane interfered and attacked Khali.[57]

Ziggler as the Intercontinental Champion at the 2010 Tribute to the Troops event

Ziggler then entered an on-screen relationship with WWE Diva Maria and she became his valet.[2] He simultaneously started a scripted rivalry with Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio, who defeated Ziggler at the Night of Champions and SummerSlam pay-per-views to retain the championship.[58] In September, Mysterio lost the Intercontinental Championship to John Morrison, and Ziggler entered a feud with Morrison, losing to him at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view.[59] On the episode of SmackDown, following Hell in a Cell, Ziggler ended his on-screen relationship with Maria after she cost him a match against Morrison.[60] On the February 26, 2010 episode of SmackDown, Ziggler defeated John Morrison and R-Truth in a triple threat qualifying match to compete in the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXVI, but was ultimately unsuccessful.[61][62]

In June 2010 he began a romantic storyline with Vickie Guerrero, who began accompanying him to the ring.[63] On the July 9 episode of SmackDown, Ziggler defeated Chavo Guerrero and Montel Vontavious Porter in a triple threat match to qualify for the SmackDown Money in the Bank ladder match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, where he once again failed to win the match.[64][65] On July 28 at the tapings of the August 6 episode of SmackDown Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship for the first time.[66][67] In his first title defense at SummerSlam, he retained the championship against Kingston when the match ended in a no contest due to interference from The Nexus.[68] Ziggler was able to make a successful title defense against Kingston at the Night of Champions pay-per-view, and against Kaval at Survivor Series.[69][70]

In November 2010, Ziggler was announced as a Pro for the fourth season of NXT, with Jacob Novak as his Rookie.[71][72] At TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Ziggler successfully retained the Intercontinental Championship in a three-way ladder match against Kingston and Jack Swagger.[73] On the January 4, 2011 episode of NXT, Ziggler won a battle royal to earn the right to choose a new rookie, and chose Byron Saxton. His original rookie, Novak, was the first rookie eliminated later that night.[74]

At the SmackDown tapings on January 4, Ziggler lost the Intercontinental Championship to Kingston after a five-month reign. That same night, Ziggler won a four-way match against Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre, and The Big Show to become the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship.[75] Ziggler received his match for the championship at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view against Edge, but was unsuccessful.[76] On February 4, Ziggler's girlfriend Vickie Guerrero, who was the acting General Manager of SmackDown, announced that she had banned the spear – Edge's finishing move – and if Edge used it during the rematch between the two, Ziggler would be automatically awarded the championship.[77] In the interim, Ziggler's second rookie, Byron Saxton, was also voted off of NXT.[78] On the February 11 episode of SmackDown, Ziggler received a rematch for the championship, only to lose after being speared.[79] On the February 14 episode of Raw, Guerrero announced that Edge had lost the championship due to using the spear and that Ziggler would be crowned the new champion.[80] On SmackDown on February 18, Guerrero fired Edge, claiming that he had attacked SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long several weeks prior, and awarded Ziggler the championship during a coronation ceremony later that night. Long returned during the ceremony however, and Guerrero revealed Ziggler as the attacker after being accused of orchestrating the attack by Long. Long rehired Edge and gave him his rematch, in which Edge regained the championship.[81] Ziggler's first World Championship reign lasted only 11 minutes and 23 seconds. After the match, Long fired Ziggler in storyline.[82]

United States Champion (2011–2012)

On the March 7 episode of Raw, Ziggler was introduced as the newest member of the Raw roster, and defeated John Morrison in a singles match. Ziggler was accompanied by Guerrero, who had also been fired from SmackDown, but she was forced to earn her spot on the Raw roster.[83] Ziggler, along with Guerrero, and LayCool then feuded with Morrison, Trish Stratus and Jersey Shore guest star Snooki, culminating in a mixed tag team match at WrestleMania XXVII which Ziggler and his team lost.[84][85] On the April 18 episode of Raw, Vickie introduced the "new and improved" Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler came out with his hair cut short and brown and went on to defeat Evan Bourne in a singles match.[86] He had re-bleached his hair by the May 23 episode of Raw.[87]

Ziggler as United States Champion in November 2011

Ziggler beat United States Champion Kofi Kingston in a non-title match on the May 30 episode of Raw, leading to a championship match at WWE Capitol Punishment which Ziggler won to earn his first United States Championship.[88][89][90] The next night on Raw, Kingston invoked his rematch clause in a two out of three falls match and won via disqualification, allowing Ziggler to retain. After Jack Swagger suggested to Guerrero that she should manage him in addition to Ziggler, a jealous Ziggler teased tension with Swagger.[91][92] This, coupled with Ziggler's concurrent feud with Alex Riley, led to Ziggler to defend and retain his United States Championship in a fatal four-way match against Swagger, Riley, and John Morrison at Night of Champions.[93] On the September 19 episode of Raw, Ziggler lost a non-title match to Zack Ryder when guest star Hugh Jackman helped Ryder by punching Ziggler in the face.[94] Although Ziggler later claimed to have a broken jaw due to Jackman's punch, it was reported that the supposed injury was fake.[95] Later that night, Guerrero officially began managing Swagger, and Swagger began interfering in Ziggler's matches to help him win.[96] Ziggler and Swagger unsuccessfully challenged Air Boom for the WWE Tag Team Championship at Hell in a Cell and at Vengeance, where Ziggler also successfully defended the United States Championship against Ryder.[97][98] He went on to successfully defend the championship against Morrison at Survivor Series.[99] At TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Ziggler lost the United States Championship to Ryder.[100]

On the December 26 episode of Raw, Ziggler defeated WWE Champion CM Punk in a gauntlet match for a championship opportunity following interference from John Laurinaitis.[101] The following Raw, Ziggler defeated Punk by countout after Laurinaitis interfered again; as a result, Ziggler did not win the championship.[102] At the 2012 Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Ziggler failed to capture the WWE Championship from CM Punk.[103] At the Elimination Chamber, Ziggler failed again to capture the WWE Championship after being eliminated second by Chris Jericho.[104] Nemeth noted to Arda Ocal in an interview for The Score Television Network that the Elimination Chamber left him with multiple minor injuries and it is a match he least looks forward to working.[105]

On the February 27 Raw, Ziggler and Swagger unsuccessfully challenged Primo & Epico for the WWE Tag Team Championship in a Triple Threat tag team match, also involving Kofi Kingston and R-Truth.[106] On the March 19 Raw, Ziggler and Swagger were announced as the newest members of Team Johnny for the 12 man tag team match at WrestleMania XXVIII. On the April 2 Raw, Ziggler and Swagger unsuccessfully challenged Santino Marella for the United States Championship in a triple threat match.[107] After the match, Ziggler began a feud with Brodus Clay, who headbutted Ziggler after he and Swagger tried to attack Marella.[107] On the following episode of Raw, Ziggler and Swagger were defeated by Clay and Marella in a tag team match.[108] In the following weeks, Ziggler and Swagger lost to Clay and Hornswoggle in singles and tag matches.[109][110] At Extreme Rules, Ziggler was again defeated by Clay.[111] In May, Ziggler and Swagger unsuccessfully challenged Kofi Kingston and R-Truth for WWE Tag Team Championship, first at Over the Limit and second on the May 28 episode of Raw, resulting in Ziggler showing signs of wanting to break away from Guerrero and Swagger.[112][113]

On the June 11 episode of Raw, Ziggler pinned The Great Khali, Swagger and Christian in a fatal four way elimination match to become the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship,[114] but at No Way Out, Ziggler lost the title match to champion Sheamus.[115] On the following Raw, Guerrero, finally tired of the bickering between Ziggler and Swagger, arranged for a match between them; Ziggler won the match and Guerrero's affections.[116] Ziggler received another shot at the World title on the June 29 SmackDown, but was again defeated by Sheamus in a triple threat match, also involving Alberto Del Rio.[117]

World Heavyweight Champion (2012–2013)

On the July 3 SmackDown, Ziggler defeated Alex Riley to qualify for a spot in the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match.[118] On July 13, Ziggler, Zack Ryder and Justin Roberts were involved in a car accident in San Diego while driving from Comic-Con; none of them suffered severe injuries.[119] Two days later at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Ziggler won the Money in The Bank ladder match to guarantee him the opportunity to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship at a time of his choosing within the next year.[120] Later that night, Ziggler attempted to cash in the briefcase on Sheamus after Alberto Del Rio attacked him after their match, but Del Rio stopped Ziggler from cashing in. On the following episode of SmackDown, Ziggler again attempted to cash in the briefcase on Sheamus following a tag team match with Alberto Del Rio, but was laid out by Rey Mysterio and Sheamus before he could do so.[121] During this time, Ziggler began a feud with Chris Jericho after claiming he had lost his touch, which resulted in Jericho attacking him on two occasions,[122][123] and defeating him in a singles match at SummerSlam.[124] The night after SummerSlam, Ziggler defeated Jericho in a rematch; as a result Ziggler retained his Money in the Bank contract and Jericho's WWE contract was terminated.[125] Following this, Ziggler began feuding with Randy Orton on SmackDown four days later, after Orton RKOd him when trying to cash his Money in the Bank contract on a vulnerable Sheamus.[126] The following week on SmackDown, Ziggler faced Orton in a match that was won by Orton.[127] Three days later on Raw, Ziggler defeated Orton in a rematch, pinning him while holding his tights.[128] Ziggler faced Orton again at Night of Champions where he lost again, ending the feud.[129] On November 18 at Survivor Series, Ziggler captained the traditional 5-on-5 elimination tag team match opposite Mick Foley. Ziggler won the match by last pinning Orton, making him the sole survivor of the match.[130]

Ziggler with AJ Lee and his Money in the Bank briefcase in February 2013

Ziggler then began feuding with John Cena after he sided with Vickie Guerrero to help defame Cena and AJ Lee by alleging they had a romantic relationship. On December 16 at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Ziggler retained his Money in the Bank briefcase in a ladder match after AJ interfered and turned on Cena.[131] The following night on Raw, while trying to diffuse an argument between Vickie and AJ, AJ unexpectedly kissed Ziggler, leaving him confused. Ziggler then attempted to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Big Show after Show was assaulted by Sheamus, but he was attacked by Cena before the match could start. Later, Ziggler teamed with AJ to face Cena and Vickie Guerrero, however, the match ended in a disqualification after the debuting Big E Langston attacked Cena, also starting an on-screen relationship between Dolph and AJ.[132] Ziggler ended 2012 having wrestled the second most TV/PPV matches that year with 90; however, he had the most TV/PPV losses with 57.[133] Ziggler ended his feud with Cena after losing to him on the January 7, 2013, episode of Raw, in a singles match and in steel cage match the following week, despite outside interference from AJ and Langston in both matches.[134][135] On the January 21 episode of Raw, Ziggler won a Beat the Clock Challenge to earn the right to choose what number he can enter in the Royal Rumble match, first or second.[136] Six days later at the Royal Rumble, Ziggler entered at number one and lasted nearly fifty minutes before being eliminated by Sheamus. During the match, Ziggler resumed his feud with the returning Chris Jericho, who Ziggler managed to eliminate.[137] The following night on Raw, Ziggler and Jericho were placed in a "Strange Bedfellows" match against WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane). The match ended with Ziggler being chokeslammed and pinned by Kane after Jericho framed him for pushing Kane.[138] On the February 18 episode of Raw, Ziggler was defeated by World Heavweight Champion Alberto Del Rio via submission in a non-title match. Afterwards, Langston attacked Del Rio and then Ziggler made a failed attempt to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase after Del Rio's ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez ran off with it.[139] After defeating WWE Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan and Kane in singles matches due interference from Langston,[140][141] Ziggler and Langston were given a shot at their titles.[142] The title match took place on April 7 at WrestleMania 29, where Ziggler and Langston unsuccessfully challenged Bryan and Kane for the WWE Tag Team Championship.[143]

The following night on Raw, Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on an injured Alberto Del Rio to win his second World Heavyweight Championship.[144] After gaining the World Heavyweight Championship, Ziggler began feuding with Del Rio and Jack Swagger over the title.[145][146][147] Ziggler was originally booked to face Del Rio and Swagger in a three-way ladder match at Extreme Rules,[148] however, Ziggler suffered a legitimate concussion at a SmackDown taping, thus removing their match from the pay-per-view and resulting in Ziggler being absent from television for a month.[149][150][151][152] On June 16 at Payback, Ziggler faced Del Rio in his first title defense of the World Heavyweight Championship and during the match, a double turn took place; Ziggler turned face by displaying a never-say-die attitude while Del Rio turned heel by repeatedly and ruthlessly targeting his head to take advantage of his concussion, win the match, and end Ziggler's reign at 69 days.[153][154][155] On July 14 at Money in the Bank, AJ cost Ziggler his title rematch against Alberto Del Rio, after she prematurely snuck into the ring and hit Del Rio with her own title, prompting a disqualification.[156] On the following Raw, Ziggler ended his relationship with AJ due to her actions the previous night. AJ exacted revenge by costing Ziggler a non-title match against Del Rio, then she attacked Ziggler and unleashed Langston on him.[157]

On the July 29, 2013 episode of Raw, Ziggler defeated Big Langston via disqualification after AJ Lee attacked Ziggler.[158] In a rematch on the following week, Ziggler was defeated by Langston after a distraction by AJ and Kaitlyn.[159] This led to a mixed tag team match at SummerSlam, where Ziggler and Kaitlyn defeated Big E and AJ.[160]

Intercontinental Champion (2013–2015)

Ziggler posing at the ring during a WWE house show in 2013

Ziggler would start to become wildly popular with the fans. Following the conclusion of SummerSlam, he and other Superstars were being interviewed and spoke out against Triple H when Triple H cost Daniel Bryan the championship. This led to him, alongside other superstars who spoke out against Triple H to feud against Triple H's newly formed Authority. Ziggler was later unsuccessful in capturing the United States Championship, when he lost to Dean Ambrose, at Night of Champions[161] and on the October 16 episode of Main Event.[162] Ziggler also failed to win the Intercontinental Championship from Curtis Axel on the November 11 episode of Raw.[163] In December, Ziggler lost two number one contender matches for the Intercontinental Championship, first to Damien Sandow and later to Fandango.[164] On the January 9, 2014 episode of Superstars, Ziggler sustained another concussion during his match with Ryback.

He returned at Royal Rumble, competing in the Royal Rumble match, but was eliminated by Roman Reigns.[165] The following night on Raw, Ziggler defeated The Miz in a Battle of Cleveland match where Dolph was acknowledged as being from Cleveland and was billed from there ahead of the match.[166] Ziggler later earned a shot at Big E's Intercontinental Championship, but was unsuccessful in capturing the title. On April 6 at WrestleMania XXX, Ziggler competed in the 31-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, but was eliminated by Alberto Del Rio.[167] On June 29 at Money in the Bank, Ziggler competed in the Money in the Bank ladder match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship contract, but the match was won by Seth Rollins.[168]

Dolph Ziggler as the Intercontinental Champion during his third reign

Ziggler later competed in a Battle Royal for the vacant Intercontinental Championship on July 20 at Battleground, however, he was abruptly eliminated from behind by The Miz.[169] After Ziggler defeated Miz in a non-title match the following night on Raw, he received a rematch at SummerSlam, where he defeated Miz to win the championship for a second time.[170] The following night on Raw, Ziggler successfully retained his title against Miz, after he was counted out.[171] At Night of Champions, Ziggler dropped the title to Miz, only for Ziggler to win it back the following night on Raw.[172][173] Ziggler then retained the championship against Cesaro on September 26 episode of SmackDown,[174] in a triple threat match against Cesaro and Miz the following week on Raw[175] and at Hell in a Cell against Cesaro in a 2-out-of-3 falls match. On the October 28, 2014 episode of Raw, Ziggler and John Cena shook hands together backstage, which The Authority interpreted as a deal to plot against them. As a result, Ziggler was put in a match against Kane, which Ziggler won. Ziggler then announced that he would be part of Team Cena at Survivor Series.[176] On the November 10 episode of Raw, Ziggler was brutally attacked by the returning Luke Harper.[177] The following week, Harper was awarded a title match against Ziggler, which Harper won with assistance from The Authority, ending Ziggler's reign at 56 days.[178]

"Dolph Ziggler, the 2011 winner... has been the victim of as many stop-and-start pushes of anyone in history. The crowds always get behind him for the start, no matter how many false teases there are, and then a few weeks later, the company always takes him back down".

The 2014 Survivor Series event saw Ziggler emerging as the sole survivor for a second time. Ziggler contributed to Rusev being counted out, then after all his team-mates were eliminated, he pinned Kane and Luke Harper. Triple H twice prevented Ziggler from pinning final opponent Seth Rollins, but the debuting Sting provided an assist to help Ziggler win the match, thus ousting the Authority from power.[180] At TLC on December 14, Ziggler defeated Harper in a ladder match to capture his fourth Intercontinental Championship. On the December 16 episode of SmackDown, Ziggler finally defeated Seth Rollins in a singles match after failing numerous times previously. Three days later, Rolling Stone named Ziggler as the 2014 WWE Wrestler of the Year.[181] On the first Raw of 2015 (dated Jan. 5), the recently reinstated Authority forced Ziggler to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Bad News Barrett and he initially won. After Barrett then attacked and injured Ziggler's shoulder, Kane declared the match as a 2-out-of-3 falls match, Barrett proceeded to defeat Ziggler for the title after Kane distracted him. Later that night, Ziggler alongside Ryback and Erick Rowan received a storyline firing by the Authority.

On the January 19 episode of Raw, Sting provided another assist, as John Cena won Ziggler, Ryback and Rowan's jobs back. Ziggler returned to television on the next SmackDown and qualified for the Royal Rumble match by beating Barrett in a non-title match. In the 2015 Royal Rumble match, Ziggler entered as the last entrant, scored two eliminations but was quickly eliminated by Big Show and Kane.[182] At Fastlane, Ziggler competed together with Rowan and Ryback in a six-man tag team match against Rollins, Big Show and Kane, which they lost.[183] On the March 5 episode of SmackDown, Ziggler was announced as a participant in the 7-man ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 31, which was won by Daniel Bryan.[184]

After losing an Intercontinental Championship match against Daniel Bryan on the Raw following WrestleMania 31,[185] Ziggler was attacked and Brogue kicked by the returning Sheamus.[186][187] Claiming that "the era of underdogs (like Ziggler) is over",[188] Sheamus and Ziggler started a feud, with Sheamus challenging Ziggler in a Kiss Me Arse match at Extreme Rules, which Ziggler won.[189] However, Sheamus refused to follow the stipulation, and instead made Ziggler kiss his arse.[190] Ziggler lost the rematch against Sheamus at Payback.[191] Ziggler participated in the Elimination Chamber for the vacated Intercontinental Championship; other participants were winner Ryback, King Barrett, R-Truth, Sheamus, who eliminated Ziggler, and Mark Henry, at Elimination Chamber.[192] At Money In The Bank, Ziggler competed in the Money in the Bank ladder match, which was won by Sheamus.[193] On July 4, at The Beast in the East live event in Japan, Ziggler and John Cena defeated King Barrett and Kane in the main event.[194]

Relationship with Lana (2015)

In late May 2015, Ziggler became involved in an on-screen love affair with Lana, the former manager of Rusev, when she kissed him on Raw. Because of this, Lana would regularly accompany Ziggler during his matches.[195] In June, Summer Rae began an alliance with Rusev. On the June 29 episode of Raw, Ziggler and Lana confirmed their storyline relationship. As a result of this, Rae accompanied Rusev to the ring and began to insult and slap Lana; the confrontation ended with her attacking Rae.[196] On the July 6 episode of Raw, Rusev and Summer Rae again came out to insult Ziggler and Lana. This turned out to be a trap; Rusev viciously attacked Ziggler after hitting him with the crutch and removed his ankle brace which showed his injury was healed.[197] In a article, it was announced that Ziggler would be out of action indefinitely due to a (storyline) bruised trachea Ziggler suffered during the attack.[198] This was to explain him taking time off to film a new WWE Studios movie, titled 6:42.[199] Ziggler made his return on the August 17 episode of Raw, aiding Lana during a confrontation against Rusev and Summer Rae.[200] This altercation prompted a match between Ziggler and Rusev at SummerSlam, which ended in a double count–out due to interference from Lana and Rae. After the match, Lana and Ziggler brawled with Rusev and Rae, which led to a match in Night of Champions where Ziggler emerged victorious. On the October 5 Raw, Ziggler answered John Cena's United States Championship open challenge, only to be attacked by The New Day, where Xavier Woods replaced him in the match. On October 12, TMZ first reported the real-life engagement of Rusev and Lana, which was brought into a storyline. In an interview on, Ziggler seemed indifferent about the news. That night on Raw, Ziggler faced Cena for the United States Championship, in a losing effort.[201]

Various feuds (2015-present)

After Rusev and Lana's engagement became public, Summer Rae attempted to show her apparent affection for Ziggler as revenge. On the October 22 episode of Smackdown, they were guests on Miz TV. During the segment, Ziggler told her that he knew she was out to use him and was not interested. This infuriated Rae, who announced she found a new man in Tyler Breeze (making his main roster debut), who then attacked Ziggler.[202] The next week, Ziggler defeated The Miz in a "Halloween Street Fight". Afterwards, Breeze once again brutally attacked Ziggler, who had already substained a (kayfabe) knee injury during the match. [203]

Other media

Nemeth appeared on the November 3, 2009, episode of Deal or No Deal with Maria Kanellis and Eve Torres.[204] He then appeared on Lopez Tonight on August 9, 2010.[205] Nemeth appears in a 2011 episode of Silent Library alongside Chris Masters, Trent Baretta, JTG, Caylen Croft, and Curt Hawkins.[206] Nemeth made regular appearances on fellow WWE wrestler Zack Ryder's YouTube web series, Z! True Long Island Story, via his own segment named 'Ask Z Heel'. The series ended on January 11, 2013.

On February 1, 2012, Nemeth debuted WWEFanNation's WWE Download and was the host of the YouTube series. The official WWE Download playlist on YouTube[207] described the series as "Dolph Ziggler's sarcastic wit vs. your videos" and each episode consisted of Ziggler reviewing both viral and WWE videos. A new episode of WWE Download was uploaded every Monday until the show ended on January 28, 2013, after 53 episodes but returned for one time only on September 30, 2014. In August 2013, Nemeth was cast by Max Landis to appear in the 2015 film Me Him Her.[208]

Year Title Role Notes
2015 Me Him Her TBA Film debut[208]
Year Title Role Notes
2009 Deal or No Deal Guest Banker Special edition of "WWE Week"[204]
2010 Lopez Tonight Himself Episode 121[205]
2011 Silent Library Season 4, Episode 62 "WWE Edition"[206]
Web Series
Year Title Role Notes
2011–2013 Z! True Long Island Story Himself 'Ask the Heel' segments[209][210]
2012–2013; 2014 WWE Download Host [207]
2013–2015 The JBL and Cole Show Himself Guest (Season 1), recurring (Season 2–5)

Video games

Ziggler has appeared in seven video games. He made his video game debut in WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 and appears in WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011, WWE '12, WWE '13, WWE 2K14, WWE 2K15, and in WWE 2K16.[211]

Personal life

Nemeth has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was five years old, when he attended a wrestling event at the Richfield Coliseum and decided to become a professional wrestler at age twelve.[8][10] His younger brother, Ryan, is also a professional wrestler who previously worked with WWE and wrestled in NXT under the ring name of Briley Pierce.[212]

Nemeth is a graduate of Kent State University, where he majored in political science with a pre-law minor.[3] Prior to his WWE tryout, he was living in Phoenix, Arizona, and had been accepted to the law school at Arizona State University, where he was due to start his first semester.[3][8]

Nemeth is good friends with his former Spirit Squad teammates, particularly Michael Brendli, with whom he lived in Florida until 2008.[213] Since then, he has returned to residing in Phoenix.[3]

Nemeth was previously in a relationship with comedian Amy Schumer.[214] He also once dated fellow wrestler Nicole Garcia-Colace, who is known on-screen as Nikki Bella.[215]

Nemeth is also fluent in American Sign Language.[216] Nemeth later revealed in Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling Podcast that he chose the name "Dolph" because that was his great grandfather's name and he said that his friend suggested the name "Ziggler". He has said that he has Hungarian ethnicity.[217][218]

Nemeth has over the years repeatedly referenced the "bronies" of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom.[219][220] This preceded fellow wrestler Xavier Woods coming out as a brony in March 2015,[221] and commentator Corey Graves attending BronyCon in his WWE Culture Shock series.[222]

In wrestling

Ziggler performing a jumping DDT on Alberto Del Rio
Ziggler applying a sleeper hold on Ryback
Ziggler performing a dropkick on Ryback.
Ziggler performing a stinger splash to John Cena
  • Entrance themes
    • "Never Thought My Life Could Be This Good" by Jim Johnston[270] (September 19, 2005 – November 2005; used while teaming with Kerwin White)
    • "I Am Perfection" performed by Cage 9 and composed by Jim Johnston[271][272] (June 26, 2009 – July 18, 2011)
    • "I Am Perfection (V2)" performed by Downstait and composed by Jim Johnston[273] (July 25, 2011 – November 20, 2011)
    • "Here to Show the World" performed by Downstait and composed by Jim Johnston[274] (November 21, 2011–present)

Championships and accomplishments

Ziggler is a two-time World Heavyweight Champion...
...a four-time Intercontinental Champion...
...and a former U.S. Champion

1 Ziggler, as Nicky, defended the championship with either Kenny, Johnny, Mitch or Mikey under the Freebird Rule.

Luchas de Apuestas record

Winner Loser Location Event Date Notes
Dolph Ziggler (Money in the Bank contract) Chris Jericho (WWE contract) Fresno, California Raw August 20, 2012  

See also


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