It seemed unlikely WWE would have Dolph Ziggler hand over the Intercontinental Championship after just one week. But we came within an inch of exactly that happening.
Seth Rollins and Ziggler closed Raw with a 30-minute classic. But just before Rollins could collect his fateful pinfall, Drew McIntyre stormed into the ring and bashed Rollins a few good times. Seeing the referee had always booted McIntyre for interference there was no choice: Rollins wins via disqualification.
As the bell rang, Ziggler and McIntyre got their licks in on the exhausted Rollins. Right on cue, Roman Reign's music hit and The Big Dog ran down to help his Shield brethren. After a hellacious spear to Ziggler and a Superman punch to McIntyre, Reigns effectively finished his night as Monday's hero.
The screwy finish and post-match shenanigans temporarily diluted an outstanding match between Rollins and Ziggler. Without question, they are two of WWE's most fidgeted Superstars and it looks like we're in store for several more matches this summer.
Both men have enjoyed a spike in success during 2018. While Rollins' hot streak is well documented, Ziggler's return to prominence carries hopeful notes.
As a 2-time World Champion, Ziggler is a bit of a made man in WWE,
Rollins too has earned a taste of bitterness in recent years. he swings against Rollins happened during his original term at WWE Champion. After a magnificent cash-in, fans began to sour against Rollins in his freshman turn as champ. And that fickleness has not been forgotten
Rollins sat down with Newsweek to discuss this swerve of expectations. Even though he and WWE fans are cool now, he seems to have gotten pleasure out of twisting the knife in WWE fans' bleeding hearts.
"There were bits and pieces of me that were a little resentful at the fanbase, at the way they treated me as a heel champion and the way they talked about my reign. There was a lot of pent-up frustration I didn’t get to work out when I came back," he said
Rollins turn as WWE Champion was trashed by some of WWE's fans. Those criticisms failed to acknowledge Rollins supporting cast—the likes of Kane and a man impersonating Sting. Then, WWE's roster didn't have the influx of NXT talent that it does now, and Rollins was forced to carry multiple segments on each episode of RAW. He was overexposed, but WWE didn't really have an alternative.
However, Rollins' character in 2018 has aligned with fans' hopes.
"There’s a little light and dark inside all of us, so if you find those motivations, it’s not hard to find who you want to be when you get back in the ring. At the end of the day, it feels more right the way it is now. I feel a better synergy with the audience now," he said.