Dolph Ziggler has revealed that he wasn’t supposed to win the World Heavyweight Championship in 2013.
At WWE Money In The Bank in July 2012 Dolph Ziggler climbed highest to claim the Money In The Bank briefcase. The win meant that he was guaranteed a world championship opportunity at some point during the next 12 months.
During the weeks and months that followed, Ziggler stayed in and around the main event scene almost cashing in his contract on numerous occasions. After feuding with the likes of John Cena and Chris Jericho, Ziggler finally cashed in the briefcase on the April 8th 2013 edition of Monday Night RAW pinning an injured Alberto Del Rio.
Reflecting on the cash-in during a new interview with Rick Ucchino of Sportskeeda, Ziggler revealed that he was told he wasn’t going to win the title.
“I wasn’t supposed to be World Heavyweight Champion,” Ziggler admitted. “I was told I wouldn’t be World Heavyweight Champion. I was told ‘if you cash this [Money In The Bank contract) in, it’s just for the moment and we’ll see ya later’…but the crowds made that special moment”.
Continuing on, Ziggler looked back on his pairing with the current Mr Money In The Bank, Big E. When Big E arrived on WWE’s main roster in 2012 he did so by the side of Ziggler, after attacking John Cena. Reflecting on this period, the former world champion explained that he was initially sceptical about Big E’s chances of success.
“It’s one thing to go, when you see someone from NXT and they’re 6-foot-8 and they’re throwing people around, and you go, okay, we’ll see,” said Ziggler. “Those people come and go a lot. And I was told, ‘This is the guy watching your back, and I go, ‘Okay, this could be something good, or the guy could be gone in a week, I don’t know him.’”
After the pair went their separate ways, Big E got lost in the shuffle somewhat. Ziggler recalled seeing the former NXT Superstar drift, before lifting the lid on the advice he passed on to the young star.
“There’s a couple months where we kinda went our separate ways, and I see he wasn’t being utilized being on the show,” said Ziggler. “And I said, ‘Brother sometimes it’s better to not be on the show just to get slapped around by someone else who’s going to a WrestleMania match than to be out there and sitting backstage, and going, let the people forget about you for a few months.”
After winning the World Heavyweight Championship, Ziggler held the belt for 69 days before losing it back to Del Rio at WWE Payback.
Following the defeat, Ziggler is yet to reclaim world championship gold. More recently, the former multiple time Intercontinental Champion held the SmackDown Tag Team Titles alongside Robert Roode.
H/t to Wrestle Zone for the transcription.