Dolph Ziggler believed that a match with Batista on Raw was the signal that his WWE career was over.
Ziggler had something of a stop-start beginning to his WWE career, which began all the way back in 2004. A year after joining the company the star arrived on the main roster as Chavo Guerrero’s right-hand man, before becoming part of the Spirit Squad. However, come 2007, the would-be World Champion was moved back into WWE’s developmental system.
In September 2008, the rebranded Dolph Ziggler arrived on Raw, but shortly after his debut, he was suspended for a wellness program violation.
Speaking in a new interview with Chris Van Vliet, Ziggler recalled returning to the main roster under his new name, and not being convinced things were going to work out.
(Ziggler’s match with Batista came before the bout with R-Truth. The star is likely misremembering as he wrestled Truth numerous times at live events before re-debuting on Raw).
“I want to say I wrestle R-Truth as Dolph Ziggler. I shake a bunch of hands. And then I think I have like a double count out or roll in and beat Truth. And then I’m not on TV for a month, month and a half and then I come back and it’s against Batista and I go oh this is my last day at work. If you’re a new young guy you don’t know what’s going on.
I’m not a legacy, I don’t have friends in the meeting. And you’re like man, I don’t know what I’m doing, they gave me this weird name that I’ve tried to fight them on, and my debut was a count out win against R-Truth, who is beloved, especially by me. If you’re debuting and you’re fighting Triple H and winning, they got plans for you. When you’re debuting against R-Truth who wasn’t doing anything on TV at the time, and you’re barely scraping by, and then you go away for a month, and then they go, it’s you and Batista and it’s one seg, and you go, okay, I got it.”
Batista Is A Sweetheart – Dolph Ziggler
However, despite his initial fears, Ziggler explained that Batista wanted to have a good match and something worthwhile, so the experience was definitely a positive one.
“Luckily for me, Batista is not just a sweetheart, he’s great and wanted to have a good match. I’m like oh hell yeah. So it was, I just saw that and I go oh, this is it. And instead, we have a really fun match. And, and they’re like, you never know, like, some established guys might be like, here’s what we’re doing, and what do you think, and you give some pointers.
But he was like it’d be cool if we did this, like, what about this? I go, this is great. So it ends up being, I’m making this up, maybe it was two segs, but it’s like eight or 10 minutes, and it’s kind of a good match. But he’s going on to a pay-per-view world title match. So he definitively beats me, I totally get that.
But I go oh, I don’t, I don’t have to like, check the wanted ads next Monday. Like okay, I’m still here. And then I come back. And I feel like it was very positive with everybody. Okay, he needed a match. And I was back like, okay, great. I feel a little bit better now.”
Dolph Ziggler and Batista went on to wrestle numerous times in the years that followed, their most recent match coming in May 2014. Batista hasn’t wrestled since losing to Triple H at WrestleMania 35 in 2019. The Hollywood star has since insisted that he’s retired.
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