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Ziggler Talks WWE Download, Watching Ric Flair and More

– Dolph Ziggler spoke with Gizmodo while in Australia last week. Here are some highlights:

Growing up watching Ric Flair:
“At a very young age I got into Ric Flair, and that got me into thinking ‘this guy is the man’. Some people are happy with “Oh, I want to be a WWE Superstar, happy being the opening match, work here a couple of years.”. I wanted to be Ric Flair — the guy who could go out there with anybody at any point on the card, and it’s the best match on the card.”

The impact of social media and the internet on wrestling:
“The mystique is spoiled, because of the Internet. It’s gone. If we do a show on Tuesday night, such as a Smackdown, before that show is over, it’s already on the Internet, what’s happened even though it airs on Friday. That mystique is long gone, I think. With all the channels, and with all the things people can do in the world, you have to keep people’s attention even more, because people go ‘well, i could watch the show, or instead read a quick report instead of watching the two hour show’. We have to be great at our jobs, we have to be better entertainers to keep people’s attention.”

The finale of WWE Download:
“I did my very last one on Monday, just before I flew here, and it’ll air this coming Monday. It’s great — I tear apart everybody at work. We’ll see what stays in. It absolutely is a legitimate roast of almost every good guy at work. I’m into comedy and writing, and that full year of writing jokes on the weekend and then performing them, getting a lot of positive feedback has been really fun for me. That’s one of the coolest things I’ve done with the company. They would send me a blueprint, and some clips. Really bad. REALLY BAD cheesy clips, that you’d have seen on America’s Funniest Home Videos 20 years ago. The clips sucked, but it was my job to make up funny lines. Greg Adkins would send me a script with some jokes in it and then I would take the parameters of the script and write a couple of my own jokes. I loved it. Loved it. I’m sad that it’s done.”

Meeting kids at a hospital:
“It’s fine, because at work I can be a jerk to John Cena all I want, and at the end of the day, we’re all superstars who are entertainers, so my job is to entertain. So any time I do any kind of appearance I’m an ambassador for WWE one way or another. So I can be a jerk at work, I can be a jerk to you guys, and it’s fine. Talking to kids who are looking to have fun for five minutes, no matter what, we had a good talk, it’s fun, it doesn’t change anything about TV, that doesn’t change me giving someone a dirty look in the street. I’m still (in character) a jerk, but it’s fun to go represent WWE and say Hi and put a smile on someone’s face for 5m. Sometimes you do (get a bad reaction from kids), and that’s fine. But it’s true, they go “hey, I know you as the jerk on tv” and I go, OK, I’m a jerk, but we find some common ground, whether it was Spongebob or The Simpsons.”

  • poko

    I like Ziggler. He seems to put so much of himself into professional wresting. It reminds me of the old-school guys, like Flair or Dusty Rhodes, guys who lived for the industry because they loved what they were doing. He’s one of the main reasons I still watch RAW.