Dolph Ziggler has recalled the moment on Raw when he had his jaw rocked by Hollywood icon Hugh Jackman and revealed he told the movie star to give him all he had.
Jackman appeared on Raw in 2011 where he was promoting his upcoming movie, Real Steel. In that film, Hugh Jackman starred as an ex-boxer in a world where robot boxing had become the pre-eminent sport.
As part of Jackman’s role on Raw, he found himself in Zack Ryder’s corner for his match against Dolph Ziggler. Speaking on the Out Of Character podcast, Ziggler recalled working with Jackman and spoke of the Australian’s enthusiasm at being on the show.
“Backstage, he’s a sweetheart guy. He was so nice and he was a fan, he remembered Brooklyn Brawler coming to a show when he was a kid. He remembered a bunch of different things and was like, ‘how can we make this awesome?’ Again, that is rare. You could be bringing up someone else and I’d be like, ‘that was okay.’ This guy wanted to make this amazing. He didn’t have to. There were no rules for him. He could do whatever he wanted.”
As it transpired Jackman would be interfering in the bout between Ziggler and Ryder, giving Ziggler a haymaker that sent him into a Rough Ryder for the pin.
For Ziggler, there was only one way to do this, and that was for him to get a punch square in the face:
“We figured it out where he’s going to – I see him there, he’s got Broski’s headband on and he’s going to punch me in the face. He goes, ‘so what do we do? I kind of swing by you?’ I go, ‘if you don’t punch me in the face as hard as you can, I’m going to get fired and I’m coming after you. We have 500 cameras out there and a world watching, you got to punch me because we got enough people saying this stuff’s phony, anyways. You got to freakin’ hit me and make this count.’ I go, ‘don’t worry, you can see by the jaw I can take a freaking punch.'”
“So, right before we went out I said one last time, ‘listen man if you’re going to halfway do it or miss, let’s switch this right now because I need you to punch me in the face with my hands down and my head [extends neck forward].’ He goes, ‘I promise you I won’t let you down,’ and he cracked me in the face pretty damn hard. It was great.”
Dolph Ziggler also discussed even further back in his past, when he debuted as part of the Spirit Squad in WWE. According to the two-time World Champion, working as part of the cheerleading group made him an infinitely better performer.