What a treat it was to see Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins go one-on-one for seemingly the first time in ages on this past week’s Raw.
Seth is looking better than ever since returning to in-ring action at Money in the Bank in June.
Rollins, who missed approximately 7 months of action because of a torn ACL, hasn’t shown any sort of apprehension while performing the very same high-risk moves that shot him into the WWE in the first place.
Ziggler, ever the stable workhorse/People’s Champ of the WWE, has gone under the radar lately. He was most recently on the losing end of a feud with one of NXT’s latest callups, Baron Corbin.
This was an exciting match because of the directions of both stars. Ziggler was in dire need of a win. He always comes so close only to lose in dramatic fashion far too frequently. Rollins has been on a war path and needs to keep the momentum going in his chase of the WWE WHC.
The two would go back and forth on holds and counters early until Rollins rolled out of the ring for a timeout.
When the action returned to the ring, Ziggler delighted with strong mat skills: he took the back of Rollins then he used his positioning to trap Rollins in complex pins like this one:
Perhaps the reason why this match was so enticing is because of what each superstar brings to the table: Ziggler’s knack for being one of the best sellers in the game and Rollins’ ability to resemble an out of control freight train.
Rollins showed off his vengeful self:
Kick. Push. Kick. Push. Kick. Push. And stomp.
Rollins screamed out to Dean Ambrose, who was ringside commentating, “You see that!”
Rollins and Ziggler proceeded to play Duck, Duck, Goose …I mean they chased each other outside the ring. Rollins tried to bait Ziggler into an attack back in the ring, but Ziggler averted it by pulling Rollins’ neck right into the top rope.
Rollins miraculously rose from the ashes and hit Ziggler with an Enziguri while he was on the top rope.
After the commercial break, Ziggler had Rollins reeling with non-stop punches.
Official Darrick Moore was forced to pull Ziggler away as he was in danger of disqualification. Darrick’s interruption left Ziggler open for a facebuster right into the middle turnbuckle.
Even Ambrose said, “That was nasty”
Rollins soared to the top rope. In turn, Ziggler went full desperation mode. He hit a bravado, impromptu facebuster off the top rope.
Ziggler would later have Rollins where he wanted him. Lying motionless in the ring.
Dolph delivered a big elbow to the chest of Rollins. 2 count.
Thus, Dolph powered up for a Super Kick. Rollins caught it. Rollins put Dolph in an atomic drop. Ziggler landed the flip. Rollins kicked him in the gut. Check and mate.
Ziggler caught a head kick and converted into a roll up pin. 2 count. No more jokes. Rollins hit the head kick this time.
2.9997 count. You don’t get closer to 3 than that.
And that’s why this match was so great. We were so heavily invested in the contest that a non-finisher produced as thrilling a moment as this. Watching in real-time I was certain the match was over.
Ziggler might be better at that than anybody; getting out of a pin at the last split second.
In an ironic turn of events, Dolph landed a Super Kick of his own. This time it looked absolutely certain he had it. Rollins kicked out at the very last second.
The best part of this sequence might have been the pin itself. If you can even call it that. Ziggler just fell on a left for dead Rollins and hoped for the best. Rollins’ kick out was a triumph.
Rollins would later shake the Show Off…well… off when he attempted a Zig Zag finisher.
Rollins locked in the Pedigree and won the match.
Rollins and Ambrose would later battle wits on the microphone until the Lunatic Fringe gave Rollins a Dirty Deeds straight into the Spanish Announce table.
Even then, I couldn’t get my mind off the war between Rollins and Ziggler.
by: Kevin D’Hooge