The rumours surrounding Dolph Ziggler’s future with WWE seem to have been laid to rest as the star has reportedly signed a bumper new contract.
The former two-time World Heavyweight Champion has endured a rocky couple of years with his employer, being the subject of many rumours and reports that he was done with WWE.
Ziggler is certainly one of the more contentious stars in the annals of WWE history. While many love his undoubted ability and determination, his penchant for whining both on and off screen and his “poor, poor me” demeanour leave a great deal of fans and viewers cold.
His repeated long and loud ruminations on his future with the company has also damaged his appeal, with many not sure whether each appearance could be his last and unwilling to invest time and money in his matches and merch.
Fans can be forgiven for being confused at this latest development, with Ziggler seemingly heading for the exit door permanently.
A convoluted and uninspiring storyline at the tail end of 2017 seemed to his last hurrah with the company he debuted for in 2004 as part of the much-maligned Spirit Squad.
After winning the United States Championship from Baron Corbin in a Triple Threat Match that also included Bobby Roode at Clash Of Champions in December, Ziggler vacated the title two nights later on SmackDown Live and ‘walked out’ on the company.
Many assumed this was art imitating life and a way to tie of the loose ends, but a return at the Royal Rumble as the 30th entrant – usually a position of significance within the structure of the match – was a damp squib.
After offering nothing in the way of excitement or suspense, Ziggler was bundled over the top rope in just a few minutes.
The news of Ziggler inking a new deal came from The Locker Room podcast, with host Bin Hamin claiming to have the inside scoop.
“After Ziggler laid down the title and went away for 30 days, he silently came back as number 30 in the Rumble, and then got tossed out kinda useless. He was already kinda two feet out the door, and it was at the 11th hour that they made him another offer he can’t refuse,” he said.
Hamin went on to state that Ziggler’s new contract will not only offer him more money but a great deal more freedom too.
“[H]e can leave after his matches, he doesn’t need to stick around the arena, and he can take outside projects as long as they don’t conflict with his schedule” said Hamin.
In essence, WWE will be paying Ziggler more to do the same job while exercising less control over his non-WWE appearances and projects.
Ziggler will face Baron Corbin on the February 13th edition of SmackDown Live with the winner being added to the Fatal Four Way for the WWE Championship at Fastlane on March 11th.
Ziggler or Corbin will face reigning WWE Champion AJ Styles, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn at the final WWE pay-per-view before WrestleMania.