By James Viscardi
Dolph Ziggler has the opportunity of a lifetime. He has a shot at the WWE World Championship whenever he wants it. Coming off an enormous win at WWE Money In The Bank, the “Show-Off” took some time to visit Comic-Con International and talk to Marvel.com about it.
With WWE Raw Episode 1000 Monday, July 23 at 8 p.m. ET on USA, find out how Dolph expresses his love for the Marvel Universe, and applies it to the WWE Universe.
Marvel.com: Before we get into the nitty gritty, we have to ask--how does it feel to be Mr. Money in the Bank?
|Dolph Ziggler on WWE Monday Night Raw|
Dolph Ziggler: Honestly, it feels well deserved; the match I was in really punished my body and I know all those superstars put their bodies on the line, too, because it’s not just to win a match. Just knowing the fact that you can cash in a World Championship match at any time is such a huge stepping stone in anybody’s career. Plus, half of the crowd was pulling for Tyson Kidd to go out there and steal the show and find a way to grab that briefcase with the contract inside. But, I wanted myself to win and I thought I deserved to win, and luckily I came out with it.
Marvel.com: So, right before Money In The Bank, you and a few guys made it out to Comic-Con International 2012 in San Diego last week--what was that like?
Dolph Ziggler: Oh yeah! I went out there mostly to meet up with a couple of friends, like John Morrison, but I REALLY went out there to check out the "Archer" panel, which is my favorite show. That and I’ve been getting into comics a bit more so it was very cool to see news about that.
Marvel.com: So how was it for you, the con experience in general?
Dolph Ziggler: It was a blast. I’d never been to one before, but after seeing how big the Avengers movie was, I just had to get out there. I’m a huge Iron Man fan, because a long time ago a friend turned me on to him, he said you’ve got to check this movie out. I wasn’t necessarily into comics, but that sold me right there, watching "Iron Man" and especially Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, was something I can relate to.
Marvel.com: How was the fan interaction at Comic-Con?
Dolph Ziggler: It was nonstop. Of course, there’s such a huge crossover between the comic book world [and wrestling] and it was cool that left and right there were people just saying hi or asking for autographs. But walking around there, I don’t even know if I got to the end of the wall that one day because there were so many people and there was just so much stuff. It was interesting that everyone was having such a great time.
Marvel.com: Are fans ever surprised that you’re into comics?
Dolph Ziggler: Of course; it’s not necessarily the vibe I give off walking down the street, but I’m always studying different kinds of entertainment. I’m always after different ways that I can evolve my character and my life so I can walk around and say, wow, there are some untapped resources here of things that people are really into. Then, I can take that and find ways to apply it to the WWE Universe.
Marvel.com: You mentioned an overlap between fanbases but, are there any specific differences between comic fans and wrestling fans?
Dolph Ziggler: Honestly, no. What really joins them is their die-hard love for whatever it is they like. Whether it’s comic book heroes or wrestling, there’s such a loyalty there. It’s to the point where they become like a community or a family that doesn’t want anything bad to happen because of just how much they appreciate everything. They are such die-hard fans, and that’s exactly how the WWE Universe operates. They come to be entertained, but they also appreciate our hard work, and without them we couldn’t have a show. I kind of see that relationship between the two sets of fans.
|WWE superstar Dolph Ziggler|
Marvel.com: You’ve got RAW 1000 right around the corner. As a superstar, what’s it like for you to be part of that historic event?
Dolph Ziggler: Well, as someone who is usually involved with the RAW product on a day to day basis, I’m excited. But as someone who is kind of coming into my own and as a main event player with both WWE and Monday Night RAW, I’m really excited. I can’t wait to see what I’m going to do. I know we have such a huge cast of players coming back, like Brock Lesnar, The Rock, DX is reuniting just to open the show. DX is reuniting JUST to OPEN the show. THAT’S how big of a show we have. I mean, John Cena is going to cash in the Money in the Bank contract and I can’t wait to see how that match goes. Of course, there is a wedding that will go off without a hitch. I’ll be happy for them AND grab a toaster to bring. There’s so much stuff, and that’s just what’s announced. There is three hours of who knows what and who knows who, walking back from the shadows from years of when you were growing up, the last couple of years or even now! I can’t wait to see the interactions with the legends and the up and comers to see how it goes. Then, when the opportunity comes knocking, I‘m going to go out there and steal the show.
Marvel.com: Do you remember your first RAW interaction just as a fan, before getting into the business?
Dolph Ziggler: My first one ever was actually before RAW was a TV show, but my first ever live event was at the Ridgefield Coliseum. It was Hulk Hogan vs. Harley Race as the main event, and the British Bulldogs vs. the Heart Foundation in a cage match. That’s all I remember. I was five years old. I’m pretty sure I sat far away, or at least it seemed that way because I was a little kid, and I watched it and I loved it, and I told my dad I wanted to start wrestling. And literally in two months I started wrestling at five years old, and I’ve been wrestling my entire life and just hoping to be a WWE Superstar one day.
Marvel.com: Knowing you really just got into Iron Man with the movie--was your first experience into comics similar?
Dolph Ziggler: You know, being a kid of course I loved Spider-Man. It’s crazy how big of an influence he is whether we’re into it or not. My experience is probably a bit different than most, because not only do I think these characters are cool, but so is the craft behind it. It’s the storytelling that I really enjoy because it’s the writers getting a chance to see how fans are relating to these characters. Why is Iron Man so cool? I’m able to take what I’ve learned from comics and apply it to my life, become a fan, bring it to the ring.
WWE Raw Episode 1000 Monday, July 23 at 8 p.m. ET on USA and follow @HEELZiggler on twitter. Be sure to visit WWE.com for more information.