After dropping the Intercontinental Title and becoming the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, could Dolph Ziggler upset the current champion Edge at the Royal Rumble?
The answer… probably so.
But first, to clear up the manner in which Dolph Ziggler became the number one contender. It may have sicken some, but Ziggler won the match fair and square. The contender’s match was originally scheduled to be a Triple Threat match involving The Big Show, Cody Rhodes, and Drew McIntyre, but Smackdown’s acting General Manager Vickie Guerrero, also the girlfriend to Ziggler, decided to add Dolph to the match making it a Fatal Four-Way. Unlike previous matches were Vickie would admonish the ref, Dolph relied on his own athleticism and it paid off. While everyone focused their attention on The Big Show, Ziggler struck Rhodes with the Zig-zag while his back was turned.
“Oh, but Dolph Ziggler shouldn’t have been involved in the match.” Says who? You cannot fault Ziggler for taking the same opportunities that the current World Champion himself took. When Edge wooed Vickie Guerrero into marrying him, he was given infinite opportunities at the world titles. Elimination Chamber 2009, he entered the Smackdown Chamber as the WWE Champion, lost it, and walked out that night as the new World Heavyweight Champion. How was that possible? Since Vickie was the only authority figure that night, no one penalized Edge for taking Kofi Kingston’s place (after knocking him out) in the Raw Chamber match.
This wasn’t the only instance where not only Vickie bent the rules for her husband, but Edge walked out with a world title without even being scheduled for the match. Survivor Series 2008, an attack from Matt Hardy kept brother Jeff from attending the scheduled Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship. This left the defending champion Triple-H to square off with Vladimir Kozlov in a one-on-one bout. However, after the two exhausted themselves, Vickie–“opportunistically”–paused the match to announce that her husband Edge would take Jeff’s place, conceding with the previous Triple-Threat stipulation. With that kind of help, it was no surprise that Edge walked out the new WWE Champion.
So sure, when Vickie made the contender’s match a Fatal Four-Way it may not have been fair for the other contenders, but at least they got the head’s up before the match even started. You can certainly bet that Triple-H and Kozlov wished they had received the same consideration.
Having Vickie at ringside is just one of the multiple advantages that Dolph Ziggler will bring to the Royal Rumble. The next is The Corre, Wade Barrett‘s newest faction currently reeking havoc on Smackdown. First order of business after a “mysterious” assailent knocked out Teddy Long, Wade & Friends–by influence of Vickie–laid out Edge with a series of finishers. Edge already tried fighting this battle before on Raw and came out, more often than not, on the losing end. So now, not only does he have to worry about his ex-wife, but also The Corre when defending his championship at the Royal Rumble.
This will upset many Edge-heads, but Dolph Ziggler is very capable of unseating Edge for the World Heavyweight title without the additional help. By doing his homework, Dolph Ziggler strategically sent a message to Edge by zig-zagging him–neck-first–onto the steel steps. A move that could have easily revived an old injury. And let’s not forget that Dolph Ziggler also has the sleeper hold, which he has perfected through extensive matches with The Great Khali and Kane. So imagine the devastation he can cause to Edge’s neck if he was able to take down giants?
So when it comes to “The Rated-R Superstar,” Dolph Ziggler knows everything there is to know going into his first World title match, as for everything else, his girlfriend Vickie will fill in the blanks.