WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler picked up an impressive victory by defeating Bron Breakker and Tommaso Ciampa in a Triple Threat Match to become the new NXT Champion, and now he’s heading to Stand & Deliver for his first title defense. Ziggler will face Breakker in the WrestleMania weekend event, and while he never planned on becoming NXT Champion, he couldn’t be happier about it, and is thrilled to be on top and to show the NXT 2.O team how it’s done. ComicBook.com had the opportunity to speak to the champ about why he decided to get into NXT, what he thinks of Breakker, what he thinks about the assumptions that he’s not there only to help move Breakker to the main roster and his dream match at WrestleMania. -at the top.
Ziggler only came to NXT to do scouting for Vince McMahon, so he’s as surprised he’s in that position as everyone else. “I’ll make it very short. I went scouting for talent and reported to Vince who I saw might be a promising, someone who had something to do, maybe after WrestleMania, maybe in one year, someone with some potential,” Ziggler said. “And the next thing you know, I’m not just involved, I’m the NXT Champion. And I cannot tell you enough that no one is more surprised than me. I can’t stress that enough.”
I asked if the public reception had changed since he won the title, especially since he started using the slogan “We Are NXT”. Ziggler feels that the assessment isn’t exactly accurate.
“I feel like there’s a little confirmation bias on your part because the first day I showed up, they were happy to see me,” Ziggler said. “And then when I became champion, it’s only been a week, or a telly since I became champion. So they went from yay, there he is. What’s he doing? Oh , he’s fucking with our favorite champ that we’re kinda on the fence about because he’s unproven. “Oh, no, that’s the guy, man. Maybe he’ll take that top spot. Agreed. We better hedge our bets and follow him for a bit. But you Breakker will win it back at Stand & Deliver. We know full well that this is going to happen. So let’s keep hope and we will support him. ‘”
“It happens to all of us all the time, but it’s funny to have these 400 people living and dying every step of the way you talk to them, you show up, they were excited and I get it. I was excited to be there, and then they realize why you’re there. Then you take them for a little ride and you say, I’m out of here Champion. They say, ‘no, you’re just here to prep Bron for the main roster. Prepare Bron Breaker for the main roster. They say, no, I’m the champion now. So who has anything to say now?”
Ziggler is no stranger to big stages and big moments, and while he couldn’t be happier to be the NXT Champion, he’s approaching this moment no differently than the many others he’s experienced in class. road, and that’s one of the biggest differences between him and Breakker.
“No, he’s not, and I think that’s a slight difference between me and Breakker. He’s fantastic. He’s got this crazy closing speed. He hits like a linebacker at his peak who doesn’t have no helmet or pads needed and it hurts and he’s gonna be something special That’s the only difference, when he takes to that stage at Stand & Deliver to kick off WrestleMania weekend in the main event from the NXT 2.0 show, you’re going to go there, wow and take it all in and enjoy it. I’ve been there, 17 other times. So when I go out, I go, damn it. Alright, hang on at your ass, because we’re going to steal the show here and you’re going to wonder why the rest of the weekend didn’t catch up to this main event,” Ziggler said.
Ziggler isn’t the only veteran at the top of NXT at the moment, as Mandy Rose and Toxic Attraction currently lead the women’s division. That’s why I asked if he and Mandy were the greatest NXT male and female champion duo to date, and while he wasn’t looking at the product, he couldn’t say no.
“You know what? I’m not watching. So I don’t know who else was champion. I like that me and Mandy are champions. And I know Robert Roode was champion at one point for almost a year, which is crazy,” Ziggler said. “Because he’s so good and I’m always happy when I find out about another cool stat and another championship he holds. But Mandy and I really like that we stick to developing talent, which has become its own branded specialty, becomes its own special flavor that people tune in just to see NXT and what’s going on and Mandy and myself, veterans at the top, where we should be.”
Ziggler’s original mission was to come to NXT and see if anyone fulfilled that promise for something bigger that they could bring back to Vince, so I had to ask if anyone had caught his eye like his next challenge or as someone who needed to be on the radar.
“It’s going to let you know that I really don’t watch, but also that I don’t care. I gave the crew a pep talk this morning because I didn’t want them. I wanted that act like you’ve already been there on this big WrestleMania weekend coming up, now that I’m the leader and I’ve got the title and the mark on my shoulder. I said, come on this weekend, be ready to go, not. Everybody’s working hard. Everybody’s busting their ass,” Ziggler said. “Everybody’s good. Someone has to stand out in this pack. And so far, no one has.”
“So maybe the night after, maybe the Tuesday after, somebody gets in front of me and says, you know what? I’m taking that away from you. And I’m like, you know what? Let’s fight each other and see what happens. So I welcome it because I have 17 years of experience, and I’m willing to accept anyone to walk through this door . Even someone who’s not even in the business that day, just get out. I’m going, I have to plan already. I’m going to win this,” Ziggler said.
WrestleMania is the perfect event for dream matches and long-awaited comebacks, and this year will see the return of Stone Cold Steve Austin, who will be in the ring with Kevin Owens for a special KO Show that will more than likely lead to a few blows. thrown fists and empty beer cans. If Ziggler could bring in someone from outside the company or someone retired to face his dream match at WrestleMania, there’s only one answer.
“Shawn Michaels. 100%. Definitely. I would love to beat him and have him hit me and go into the sunset with the greatest game you’ve ever had,” Ziggler said.
It would be the battle of the Superkicks, and Ziggler would love every minute of it. “Yeah. I mean, I was living on him and Kurt Angle going hand in hand nonstop, with the amateur wrestling between the two and the counters of the counters and those two masterminds, those two are two of my absolute favorites, not just because of the Championships because you know how good they are and you know they can back it up in two different, very different ways, but man, two of the greatest to ever do it, those two are my heroes and I imitate them in good and bad And if I’m not happy with something and I steal the show and I don’t get the credit, you better believe I’m coming back in the gorilla and tell everyone to go to hell.
You can watch Ziggler defend his NXT Championship against Breakker at Stand & Deliver this Saturday at 1:00 PM EST exclusively on Peacock.
Who do you want to see Ziggler face next? Let us know in the comments or as always you can chat all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!