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Wrestling / Dolph Ziggler

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"It's not showing off if you back it up."
"I'm here to show the world! I'm here to show the wooooooorrrrlllldddd!"

Nicholas Theodore Nemeth (born July 27, 1980, in Cleveland, Ohio), is an American professional wrestler, best known for his long stint with WWE as Dolph Ziggler. Known best for having a confident in-ring persona, and (to his chagrin) for being the guy that reminds a lot of longtime wrestling fans of a young Curt Hennig, Ric Flair, Billy Gunn, Shawn Michaels, and Edge.

Nick was signed to developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling, lasting a year there before making his debut on Raw as the manager (specifically, the caddy) to Chavo Guerrero Jr., who was wrestling as Kerwin White at the time. After that gimmick abruptly ended, he became Nicky from the Spirit Squad, a five-man faction of male cheerleaders, which lasted the better part of 2006 until their feud with DeGeneration X came to an end in the fall.

In September of 2008, he re-introduced himself as Dolph Ziggler (literally — he spent the first few weeks in this persona introducing himself backstage). He's slowly but surely moved up the ranks, including notable feuds with The Great Khali, John Morrison, Zack Ryder, and most famously Edge, a feud in which he managed to become World Heavyweight Champion for less than fifteen minutes. Long known for his association (and on-again, off-again romance) with Vickie Guerrero, he was then managed by A.J. Lee up to July 2013, at which point he dumped her after she cost him his World Title match against Del Rio. Afterward, he held the blue Money in the Bank briefcase for nine months through 2012 into 2013 (and carried it wherever he went), and with it, an opportunity to cash it in for the World Heavyweight Title—which he successfully did the night after WrestleMania to become a two-time World Heavyweight Champion. He would ultimately drop the title back to Alberto Del Rio two months later, turning face for the first time in his career in the process. Ziggler was released by WWE in September 2023, shortly after its merger with UFC took full effect.

Ziggler is a two-time World Heavyweight Champion, six-time Intercontinental Champion, two-time United States Champion, one-time WWE World Tag Team Champion (as a member of the Spirit Squad), two-time Raw Tag Team Champion (once with Drew McIntyre and once with Bobby Roode), one-time SmackDown Tag Team Champion (with Roode) and a one-time NXT Champion.


It's too damn bad these tropes are too damn good:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • Didn't invoke his rematch clause for the US title, as the very next week he became the number one contender for the WWE Championship.
    • Also, his initial run in the WWE was aborted - by Eddie Guerrero's death, of all things. Chavo was wrestling as Kerwin White, with Nicky as his caddy. But because Eddie passed away, leaving Chavo as essentially the last Guerrero note , Chavo wanted to wrestle as himself to carry on the family name. Thus, the Kerwin White character was scrapped, and Nicky was sent back to OVW almost straight away.
  • Affably Evil: One of his original gimmicks as a heel was going up to people, shaking their hand, and saying "Hi, I'm Dolph Ziggler." For a while, his entrance TitanTron even showed footage of him meeting Kelly Kelly, who looked not at all offended and even delighted to be shaking his hand.
  • Always Someone Better: When you really think back to his days feuding for the IC Championship up to feuding with the likes of Orton, Sheamus, and Cena, this has been Ziggler's MO. Despite having an abundance of athleticism, mic skills, a varied moveset, cockiness, and youth on his side, he's always come up just a little short, whether it's because of his short temper (see his IC Title matches with John Morrison and Rey Mysterio Jr.) or the fact that he just couldn't put an opponent away despite throwing his best stuff at him, like his recent cage match with John Cena. "I'm sick of being so damn sick" takes on a whole new understanding when you think about it.
  • Anti-Hero: Still the same uber-cocky Deadpan Snarker as before... his humor just comes at the expense of less sympathetic figures. And for what it's worth, he's portrayed as an underdog who keeps getting screwed out of his title chances by circumstances out of his control.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • He and Kofi Kingston have feuded over the mid-card titles almost nonstop. He also feuded with Edge for a while.
    • Zack Ryder has infamously become this, first through several non-title victories over Ziggler spurring a consistent quest for the US Championship, then through the use of Twitter and Ryder's Z! True Long Island Story YouTube show, where the heat is turned up to eleven between them through Ziggler's villainy.
    • Chris Jericho and John Cena have become this for him, the former for being past his prime and the latter for always being in the spotlight.
    • Alberto Del Rio ever since Dolph cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase.
    • Definitely The Miz in 2016 after Miz made it personal by bringing up embarrassing times from Ziggler's career just to mock him, and even nearly ending his career.
    • Shinsuke Nakamura since his debut in WWE SmackDown Live until WWE Backlash.
    • Bobby Roode in late 2017.
  • Artifact Title: Still goes by @HEELZiggler on Twitter... despite having turned face. This is because if he changes his handle, he'll lose his verification. Admittedly, this stopped being a problem once he turned heel again.
  • Atrocious Alias: Let's face it, "Dolph Ziggler" is a TERRIBLE name. It's only thanks to Nick Nemeth's sheer talent as a performer that people stopped caring about it years ago.
  • Attention Whore: "I'm here to show the world!"
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Zig Zag is a jumping reverse bulldog that looks kind of cool and has a quick, snappy motion to it a bit reminiscent of moves like the RKO. Unfortunately, if the opponent can find something sturdy to hold onto - like, say, a ring rope - Ziggler will lose his grip and usually land on the back of his skull.
    • Subverted since he modified the move, so it resembles a more lariat-esque takedown and keeps him from falling directly on his head. Can still be countered by grabbing onto something, though.
  • Bad Ass Boast: From his t-shirt — "It's not showing off if you back it up."
  • Berserk Button:
    • Inside the ring, he doesn't like failure and will tend to get frustrated. In Real Life...let's just say that he's getting a little bit fed up with the Mr. Perfect comparisons.
    • Zack Ryder's existence initially.
    • Costing him a title match somehow. If you're his girlfriend and you do this, he'll want nothing more to do with you romantically. If you're a fellow WWE superstar, he'll try to tear your head off. This all applies whether heel or face.
  • Boring, but Practical: His sleeper hold submission. Even as far as submissions go, it's one of the oldest and simplest in the book. But among its benefits is that it's easily executed and can be used on a wider range of opponents.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Picked a fight with Goldberg in 2019, culminating in a "match" at SummerSlam. Even after being Speared, Jackhammered, and pinned within minutes, Dolph continued to mock and taunt Goldberg, only wising up after two more Spears which eventually left him unable to even gasp into the microphone anymore.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • As Mr. Money In The Bank unlike the others he's had to put it on the line twice. He also had more failed cash-in attempts than any other MITB holder at that point, to the point that Dolph passed up several seemingly perfect opportunities to cash-in because other people kept getting involved - either due to causing a distraction that allowed the champ to recover, or outright attacking Dolph.
    • Despite shocking the world by defeating Kane and the Big Show for the WWE World Tag Team Titles, the Spirit Squad were this for DX, despite the fact that there were FIVE guys in the Spirit Squad and only TWO guys in DX. But, those two guys have A LOT of power.
    • During their heel run as The Authority, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H have almost obsessively made Ziggler their butt monkey. They either placed him in handicap matches, forced him to defend his title when he's in no condition to do so (although the referee always gives Ziggler the option to forfeit the match, which he never does), and overall just made Ziggler work harder than anyone else on the roster (Ziggler defended the Intercontinental Championship 12 times in roughly 3 1/2 months during the 2014 calendar year— in almost the exact same time frame, Brock Lesnar defended his WWE World Heavyweight championship... once). And then there was the time Luke Harper proposed joining The Authority's team for Survivor Series. How did he do it? He laid out an unconscious Ziggler at Triple H's and Stephanie's feet.
    • Tends to be the guy jobbed out to incoming stars. However, that may be less a reflection of his status in the company, and more because he's really good at making opponents look like unstoppable monsters.
    • Really, Ziggler's entire career has suffered from constant atrocious booking. As part of their long-running 'Historically Significant Disasters of Wrestling' series of articles, Cageside Seats dedicated a five part series to 'The Dolph Ziggler Conundrum' pointing out the ways he's been continually misused and wasted over the years since his debut.
  • Camp Straight: Played with. He certainly seems to be very vain, and he wears lots of pink and starts his entrance with a hip gyration that would make a lot of the Divas jealous.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • You mean this guy used to be Chavo "Kerwin White" Guerrero's caddy?
    • Whilst the WWE doesn't bring up his time in the Spirit Squad on television - even though he technically won a title (WWE World Tag Team Championship) during that stint - it has been acknowledged by on various times as a joke. Up until his 2016 feud with The Miz, that is, where the latter brought back a couple of the members to help him keep his IC Title - and partly to screw with Dolph's head.
    • Eventually, on the October 5th, 2016 edition of SmackDown, The Miz would feature clips of both these gimmicks in his anti-Ziggler video entitled "The Success of a Failure".
  • Card-Carrying Villain: One of the few active wrestlers to use 'insider' jargon in the context of his gimmick. If you look at a lot of his ring costumes nowadays, you'll notice the word Heel (usually accompanied by a Hashtag) printed somewhere. Hell, even his username on Twitter had "HEEL" (yes, in all caps like that) in it at one point - just in case you still didn't know what side of the fence he stood on.
  • The Cast Show Off: Well, duh. His Red Baron IS "The Show-Off."
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Hi, I'm Dolph Ziggler." (Lasted until he used "I Am Perfection" for the first time.)
    • "Hashtag, #HEEL!"
    • Not long after his return to RAW, he would yell "Follow that!" after winning a match. It didn't really stick, but recently revisited a bit for his showoff gimmick.
    • "I'm not a showoff..."
      • Alternately: "Yes. I am a showoff."
    • "How damn good am I!?"
    • "...No offense."
    • "Later, marks!"
    • [usually after a Badass Boast] "The only difference is, I back it up every night."
    • [to signal the end of an interview] "Show… Off!"
    • [after ending his web show] "And wrestling is only the fifth best thing I do."
    • [after getting screwed one too many times of a championship win or opportunity] "It should've been me."
  • Chick Magnet/The Casanova: Seems to have a gift for pulling women with little to no effort on his part. He's been paired with A.J. Lee, Kaitlyn, Vickie Guerrero, Summer Rae, and Layla (who had previously been associated with Fandango). Most recently, he stole Lana from Rusev, despite him and Lana having no onscreen interaction up to that point.
  • Composite Character: Of every smarmy heel from the early 90s, or so it would seem.
    • Of Mr. Perfect, primarily due to his former theme song, the frizzy blond hair, and the agile technician wrestling style. Oh, if only he could do the Perfect Plex.
    • Some say of Billy Gunn. He's got the hair, the moveset (i.e. a leg drop bulldog), a somewhat flamboyant in-ring persona with a lot of pink and hip gyrations…oh, not to mention the face.
    • His slicked-back bleach blond hair also makes him look a little like a younger Ric Flair. Now he's added in doing the Flair Strut. Fittingly enough, since Fialr's return to WWE the two have been seen hanging out at non-WWE events on several occasions and it's been reported more than once that Flair wants to manage him on-screen.
    • Too many parallels with Shawn to list. This one is controversial: What some view as WWE Creative following a winning formula to build their new stars, others see as artificially inflating Dolph's importance (e.g. HBK is the Show-Stopper, Dolph Ziggler is the Show-Stealer) by making him a carbon copy of a wrestling legend.
      1. Shawn Michaels had a solid run with the IC Belt to legitimize himself. Dolph Ziggler had a solid run with the US Belt to legitimize himself.
      2. Shawn Michaels had Diesel as a bodyguard. Dolph Ziggler had Big E. Langston and Drew McIntyre for a bodyguard.
      3. HBK used to moon the audience all the time in gimmick matches. Ditto here.
      4. Both wrestlers use the Superkick.
      5. His showboat gimmick, "Perfection" entrance music, "Follow that!" catchphrase, and cougar manager.
    • Although their wrestling styles are disparate, he seemed to be flashing more and more Edge-like traits and events the longer he held the Money in the Bank briefcase in 2012/13.
      • Complete with cashing it in to a STANDING OVATION despite being a heel and with an on-screen girlfriend beside him to share in the celebration (due to Ziggler being an Ensemble Dark Horse and Edge winning the title off of a massively hated babyface). Of course, the fact that AJ Lee is a massive Lita fan (and had heard the comparisons between the two couples before this event) only adds to this.
    • In many ways, both fortunate and unfortunate, his career is starting to mirror that of John Morrison. They're both young, Mr. Fanservice, charismatic performers with larger-than-life personas and above-average athletic ability. Both also seemed to be ascending stars, right on the cusp of the main event before backstage politics ruined their pushes and got them fed to a largely disliked performer (Alberto Del Rio and The Miz).
  • Compressed Hair: Dolph Ziggler's hair at the beginning of matches and at the end of matches are two very different things.
  • Cool Mask: Disguised himself as Sin Cara, in order to attack Alberto Del Rio, due to Teddy Long had given him the night off, because Long didn't want any trouble after the firing of Vickie Guerrero.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • On NXT season 4. During challenges and matches he's not involved in (as an active wrestler at least), he has a tendency to grab a mic and mock whatever is going on.
    • Has this in spades on "WWE Download," the webshow he hosts. It is phenomenal the stuff he can say with a straight face.
  • Death or Glory Attack: Dolph's entire offense. Due to his athleticism and leaping ability, he can dish out huge amounts of impact, but if he misses or is countered, he is often left vulnerable or even hurts himself:, like his Famasser and the Zig Zag. This is especially true for his Steep-Angle Jumping DDT, as if he's countered (i.e. thrown off), he falls from a considerable height onto his face. This leaves him wide-open to the next move usually a quick finisher like the Bull Hammer, the Brogue Kick, and the RKO, which are the finishers of three opponents he has the most trouble with.
  • Determinator:
    • So, so much since his face-turn. And exaggerated if he's holding a title belt. For being a small guy, he can sure take a crapload of punishment. Even as a heel he was prone to wrestling twice on certain pay-per-views, particularly during his simultaneous United States Championship run and tag team with Jack Swagger in 2011.
    • Exaggerated at the 28th annual Survivor Series in 2014. Ziggler was a member of Team Cena, consisting of Cena himself, Ziggler, Ryback, Big Show, and Erick Rowan. They faced Team Authority— Kane, Rusev, Mark Henry, Luke Harper, and Seth Rollins. After Big Show turned heel on his team, Ziggler was left in a three-on-one contest, and had already been beaten up pretty badly. He kicked out of a ton of high-impact moves, pinned Luke Harper and Kane, dodged at least one Curbstomp from Seth Rollins to stay in the match, and had the match won twice over, with Triple H assaulting the referee each time Dolph was on the verge of winning. When Rollins hit a clean Curbstomp, Ziggler kicked out after a third official came to the ring to make the count. He simply would not be beaten that night (at least not fairly), more on heart and resolve than physical durability.
  • Discontinuity Nod: After he was Kayfabe fired in the 600th episode of ''SmackDown, Ziggler makes a hilarious Leaning on the Fourth Wall post on his Twitter account which, among other things, mentions how he "used to caddy around and actually went through a rigorous gymnastics and cheerleader training".
  • The '80s: Never explicitly mentioned as part of his gimmick, but certainly invoked with the (sometimes frizzed) mullet, animal prints, and the obvious similarity of his name to that of Dolph say nothing of his uncanny resemblance to Mr. Perfect.
  • Face/Heel Double-Turn: Based on the formula of their match at WWE Payback, with the "face" Alberto Del Rio focusing on the "heel" Ziggler's concussion, and the overall positive reactions to Ziggler fighting back and the negative to Del Rio winning and saying he "did it for the fans" rather seems WWE may be going this way in with the two.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: "I am perfection!"
  • Finishing Move:
    • The Zig Zag, which has nothing to do with tropes. It's a jumping reverse bulldog...lariat takedown...thing.
    • Alternatively, he'll go for a sleeper hold.
    • On a rare occasion, he will pull out a superkick. This was dropped eventually, likely because of how many other wrestlers have been using it lately (Alberto Del Rio, Rusev). It was brought back later though and was the move he used to finish off The Miz to reclaim the Intercontinental Title for the 5th time.
  • Foreshadowing: His shirt "Stealing the show and your girlfriend", as he later beat down John Cena and won A.J. Lee.
  • Fragile Speedster: Subverted. He does get thrown around quite a bit by virtue of being smaller than most guys, but it's his ability to tank absurd amounts of damage and still keep kicking out that keeps him from being this trope. Exhibit A: Survivor Series 2014.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: The concussion he suffered during the May 10th, 2013 Smackdown tapings... and head injuries continue to be a sold as a weak point for his character even to this day.
  • Genre Savvy: Zigzagged; Dolph realized that since he already had the World Title MITB briefcase, he's already guaranteed a title shot whenever he likes and can skip the Elimination Chamber PPV entirely despite being a former Heavyweight Champion. Seems like Genre Blindness to some fans who realize Dolph could potentially have two shots at the World Title at Wrestlemania if he wins, but the brilliance kicks in once you realize that not only is it one of the most lethal, risky matches in WWE, Dolph would also be going up against five other world champions, two of whom he's had a notoriously bad track record against.
    • On the May 18, 2015 Raw Lana showed up and kissed him with no buildup. The first thing he did afterward was to start looking for Rusev who he knew was going to attack him at any minute.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The driving force in his feud against Kofi Kingston after WrestleMania 35, feeling that Kofi's long-awaited breakout success should have gone to himself.
  • Handsome Lech: His Ask The Heel segments on Z! True Long Island Story, used the same logo as Brazzers. Brazzers is a porn site. There's also the fact that his potential proclivity for stealing girlfriends has actually made it into part of a tagline on one of his T-shirts…and then was subsequently proven right.
  • Heel–Face Turn: On the December 3, 2018 Raw after finally having had enough of Drew McIntyre's egotistical disrespect after a year of being teammates, hitting his former partner with a Zig Zag and immediately after giving him his first pinfall loss since returning to the roster.
  • Hidden Depths: Fluent in American Sign Language.
  • Hot-Blooded:
    • Which really bites him in the ass in matches, his Fatal Flaw is the ease he gets frustrated by failure.
    • Holy crap, when his NXT Rookie Byron Saxton got eliminated, Dolph was channeling Ric Flair levels of hot-blooded craziness.
  • Identical Stranger: Seriously. He looks like he could be Billy Gunn's son. (Ironically, he arguably looks more like Billy than Billy's actual son Austin does.)
  • Important Haircut: Got one during his run on Raw, one that made him look like Evan Bourne.
  • Incoming Ham:
    • Especially since his last US Title run. His theme song started as an easily recognizable, cocky Villain Song. Now it's much louder and much more bombastic.
    • The fact that he spent a good chunk of his career being announced by the extremely shrill voice of Vickie Guerrero didn't help, either. invoked
  • Informed Ability: Every time he locks in his sleeper hold, Michael Cole will reference how so many Superstars have gone down to it. Nearly every time, the target's broken out of the hold, and he hasn't actually won a match with it in years — not even against a Jobber.
  • Large Ham: Has slowly but surely become one since his move to RAW.
  • The Leader: Not in Kayfabe, surprisingly, but in real life, Ziggler can actually display surprising leadership skills under pressure. Notably, the 2015 Elimination Chamber match went Off the Rails when Wade Barrett hurled Ziggler against the door of Mark Henry's pod, accidentally knocking the plexiglass out. Without much else he could do, Henry came storming out of his sundered pod to lay about Barret (who'd been provoking him and everyone else in the chamber), but soon found himself completely lost since he wasn't even nearly meant to be in the match yet. After Barrett was eliminated, Ziggler could be seen getting the remaining guys (Henry, R-Truth and Ryback) and the ref into a loose circle under the guise of a face-off with the wrestlers feeling out possible targets and alliances of convenience and rapidly improvising a new plan for the rest of the match. It still wasn't an especially highly-regarded match, but Ziggler's quick-thinking still managed to mostly salvage what could have ended up as a complete fiasco.
  • Level Grinding: From Kerwin White's caddy to Spirit Squad tag team champion to giving Batista a half-decent challenge in his debut as Dolph Ziggler to facing down Rey Mysterio Jr. and John Morrison for the Intercontinental Championship on several occasions to being a multi-time Intercontinental/United States champ and 15-minute awarded World Champion with stellar matches against the likes of Daniel Bryan and Edge under his belt to stealing the show every week, practically making a storyline with Zack Ryder halfway via the Internet, wrestling double duty on consecutive pay-per-views, pinning Randy Orton in the middle of the ring, having a feud with (and becoming the latest to retire) Chris Jericho, and of course, becoming Mr. Money in the Bank in 2012 and closing the final pay-per-view of the year by beating John Cena, and finally cashed said Money in the Bank in 2013 to become the World Heavyweight Champion. Yeah, his career up to that point was basically one big-level grind.
  • Likes Older Women: Zigzagged. Mainly associated with Vickie Guerrero, but has also been seen (or rather, caught) with the young, beautiful Kaitlyn and AJ, and was briefly a pair with Maria Kanellis prior to the Vickie thing.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Oh, yeah. When you're a clear categorical standout in the world of chiseled faces and washboard abs that is Professional Wrestling, that's saying a lot.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Occured on a Main Event episode in 2012. The normally confident Dolph was unusually timid and spent the majority of the match looking like he wanted to cry, a stark contrast from the cocky, confident show-off Dolph Ziggler is known for being.
  • Precision F-Strike: Notable for being one of the few superstars to get an actual F-bomb (albeit a bleeped one) onto PG WWE programming. A recent WWE Countdown on the Network features his commentary and an episode where he shouts, "What the f**k is a 'Crybaby Match'?!" note 
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Dolph has an... interesting fashion sense, to put it mildly.
  • Rearrange the Song: Twice. The first time, right around when Ziggler won his most recent US Championship, the song was re-recorded by a favorite band of Jim Johnston's note  and made more aggressive. Recently, the song was rearranged again and the lyrics changed, ostensibly to fit Ziggler's "showoff" gimmick more, but there are some who believed that the "I Am Perfection" lyrics were at fault for drawing so many Mr. Perfect comparisons, and thus Johnston (and perhaps Ziggler himself) just wanted a song that didn't have the line as many times.
  • Ricky Morton: Ziggler subverted this role in his famous appearance on John Cena's team at Survivor Series 2014- for most of the match he played it straight, being the smallest guy on the team and taking an immense amount of punishment from Team Authority, including several finishers, while he tried to stagger back to his team's corner for the tag. But instead of tagging out with his healthy teammates so they could win it, they all got eliminated (except The Big Show, who predictably betrayed the team by punching out Cena), leaving the battered, tired, worn-out Ziggler to eliminate all 3 remaining Authority members by himself!note 
  • Running Gag: Because they look so much alike, it's commonly joked about by fans that Dolph is Billy Gunn's son. Though the resemblance really is uncanny, they're actually not related. (He does use a few of Billy's moves, including the Fameasser as one of his Five Moves of Doom.)
  • Screaming Warrior: Oh dear gods yes. He even lampshaded it on his Twitter after a fan noted that he sounded really hoarse on Smackdown. Ziggler essentially told the fan that he'd blown his voice out screaming his head off on RAW the preceding Monday after his match. Because, you know, winning the World Heavyweight Title is kind of a big deal.
  • Ship Tease: At one point with Kaitlyn — while he was still Vickie's on-screen boyfriend. Ever since his and Vickie's "breakup", they've also had a couple of moments. For example, the match he had with Jack Swagger over Vickie's managerial services seemed to be set up as two men fighting over a woman in the classical sense - especially when Ziggler won the match and Vickie rewarded him with a Smooch of Victory.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: His Survivor Series 2014 and Extreme Rules 2015 wins; the former only briefly outed The Authority, and the latter was ruined by Sheamus just jumping him after and still giving him the loser's fate (kissing the winner's "arse").
  • Shout-Out:
    • In episode 56 of Z! True Long Island Story, Dolph does a segment while the song "#HEEL" (which was written in his honor) plays in the background.
    • Ziggler's in-ring style and persona seem to be an homage to a number of legends. It's almost as if a post-Rockers era HBK, "Mr. Ass" era Billy Gunn, "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, and prime Ric Flair all spliced their DNA together to see what their hypothetical kid would look like, and then the result went back into the chamber and got more DNA added from "Rated-R Superstar" Edge.
    • Also, his ring name. "Dolph" is actually the name of Nick Nemeth's grandfather.
  • Signature Move:
    • A jumping high angle DDT. And by high, we mean improbably high.
    • The Famouser (AKA the Fame-Asser, made famous by Billy Gunn)
    • Stinger splash into a cornered opponent, followed by ridiculously fast ten-count punches.
    • Sitout facebuster.
    • Used to use several small elbow drops followed by theatrics and a big jumping elbow drop. This was initially dropped with his Heel–Face Turn, but was later re-introduced into his moveset; JBL often coins the combination as the "Heart Stopper."
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The name may not be all that small, but his ego is proportionally MASSIVE.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Aspires to be this in-character. In fact, his latest t-shirt bears the words "stealing the show", which has become a bit of a Catchphrase for him.
  • Starstruck Speechless: During his "Hi, I'm Dolph Ziggler," phase, Dolph introduced himself to everybody repeatedly, until bumping into Vince McMahon.
  • Stealth Pun: His entrance starts with him turning around and doing a hip gyration, with the second half of his catchphrase in bold letters on his shirt. The phrase's second half on one particular shirt he wore in 2012? 'If you can back it up'. Many female fans don't mind.
  • Sudden Soundtrack Stop: His usual theme music plays but as he enters the stage, the music fades out and stops with no Tron or lights at all, save for a spotlight meant for Ziggler himself.
  • A Taste of Power / Yank the Dog's Chain: Enjoyed an approximately fifteen-minute reign as the World Champion when Edge was stripped of the title and then "fired", then re-hired and put in a title match against Ziggler, where he won the title back. This reign is counted (as well as Edge winning it back counting as a separate title reign) and actually puts him in rare company as the WWE's 22nd Triple Crown Champion.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Wasn't very keen on having Jack Swagger around at first, seeming to think the latter would steal his thunder. But as Swagger has helped him win a couple of matches, he's warmed to him...a bit.
    • Then subverted. Ziggler started to believe Swagger was holding him back (some segments in the IWC would have agreed with him) and as a result Swagger was jettisoned.
  • Theatrics of Pain: Maybe the best that WWE has at selling other wrestler's offenses (some fans have joked that "Ziggler could sell drugs to CM Punk"), which some people think has been to his detriment. He's been mostly a jobber to the stars recently, and some think that he's kept in that role simply because he makes getting his ass kicked entertaining for anybody watching.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Delivered to Jericho. You can judge how effective Ziggler's diatribe is by Jericho's expressions; at first, he seems stunned and bemused, but as Dolph goes on, he slowly becomes more and more ticked at the inherent truth of Ziggler's words. Even after he ends up eating a Codebreaker, we can see Dolph smirking because he knew he struck a nerve.
    • The one he delivered to A.J. Lee on the 11/19/12 Raw. After AJ stormed into the men's dressing room to try to browbeat him for his attack on her recent affair/crush John Cena earlier in the night which resulted in Cena getting a torn meniscus, Dolph interrupted her before she could get started, calling her out on her Clingy Jealous Yandere tendencies as well as the fact that she's a dime a dozen kind of girl (which is somewhat rooted in truth, as she has been referred to as a "Girl Next Door" in the past and her current character is very reminiscent of crazy fangirls). This resulted in AJ, unable to take the verbal heat as usual, going crazy on him until Cena got involved and took a beatdown from Ziggler for his trouble.
      • In retrospect, this is made even more awesome by AJ turning on Cena at TLC 2012 and getting with Dolph shortly thereafter. See Fridge Brilliance under the YMMV section for details.
  • Tranquil Fury: After AJ cost him his World Championship rematch at MITB, Ziggler made things quite clear the next night on Raw as far as their relationship went, as calmly as he could muster:
    Dolph: It's time for me to move on...from you.
  • Two Guys and a Girl:
    • Has ended up in this dynamic no less than twice - first with Jack Swagger and Vickie Guerrero, and then with Big E Langston and A.J. Lee.
    • The latter also counts as a Token Trio, since Langston is black and AJ is part Puerto Rican.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Started to feel this way regarding AJ and Big E since his face turn as they were rarely seen accompanying him to the ring. Proving him right, AJ didn't listen, and it cost Dolph a world title—to which he promptly dumped her.
  • Use Your Head: Occasionally. Backfired horribly against Sheamus at Payback 2015.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He, Vickie, and Jack Swagger had...a strange relationship. More specifically, Vickie is technically Dolph's ex, while Swagger is something of a rival and the three all have very strong personalities, which should cause them to clash much more often than they did.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Is a smaller wrestler that relies a lot more on his speed and legit talent than on throwing people around.
  • Why Won't You Die?: He actually screamed this word for word at Drew McIntyre during their match at Extreme Rules 2020 when McIntyre kept coming back from his attacks.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Ziggler is notable for being the first man in many years to deliberately hit a woman with a move when he superkicked Nia Jax square in the face while she was trying to eliminate Rey Mysterio from the 2019 Royal Rumble. Admittedly he was immediately followed by Mysterio and Randy Orton, but it was Ziggler who struck the first blow, to a massive pop due to, on top of being a Heel the time, a series of circumstances at the time making Jax massively hated invoked in a legitimate way.
  • Wrestling Family: His younger brother Ryan formerly wrestled and did interviews in NXT as Briley Pierce. He now wrestles under his own name in AEW.
  • Wrestling Psychology: Some may question whether his Theatrics of Pain could use a little more subtlety (good luck getting Dolph Ziggler to be subtle), but he's undeniably got a good grasp on how to continue to sell injuries for the duration of a match. Hell, he's basically been selling his head as a weak point in matches ever since he came back from his real-life concussion problems. For anyone that's counting, that's well over a year and a half. How good is Ziggler at selling? We deified him for it.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!:
    • Happened to Ziggler while he was holding the MITB briefcase. On the December 17, 2012 Raw, Sheamus had just beaten down the World Heavyweight Champion, Big Show, and Ziggler decided it was a good time to cash in. Just as the ref was ready to ring the bell and Ziggler was getting ready to pin Show, John Cena ran down and attacked Ziggler, stopping him from becoming the champion. Why? Because Ziggler had beaten Cena in a ladder match for that very briefcase the previous night, and Cena was still upset about it. The fact that he'd spent the month and a half beforehand sneak-attacking Cena and almost torn Cena's knee probably didn't help matters either.
    • Earlier that year he tries to cash it on Sheamus the champion at the time only to be randomly RKO'd.
    • He later lampshades this in an interview, as him trying to cash in and subsequently "getting [his] teeth kicked down [his] throat" (Ziggler's words) was starting to border on Running Gag territory.

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