Dolph Ziggler had an idea of what he wanted to do when he left SmackDown Live last year and relinquished the United States Title. Ziggler won the United States Title in a Triple Threat match at the Clash Of Champions pay-per-view, defeating Baron Corbin and Bobby Roode.
The following episode of SmackDown Live, Ziggler held a celebration for his win and said the fans didn’t deserve him. He then placed the title in the center of the ring, before leaving. Ziggler seemingly quit the show. A United States Title tournament was then implicated to crown a new champion.
Ziggler made his return a few weeks later at the 2018 Royal Rumble, entering at number 30. Speaking on a media call recently to promote tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw, Ziggler explained what he wanted to happen when he ‘quit’ SmackDown Live:
“So, when I begged to go away for a long time, I wanted something special to happen. I wanted to go away, work on myself, make myself stronger, make my character better. Using that entire process. And when I was inserted into the United States title match, I said, ‘What can I do, to make this match be more prestigious?
“How can I steal this title away from those two other Superstars?’ And when I found a way, the reaction was there, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted. I thought to myself as I got close to the ring, ‘Walk away and don’t say a word. That will get everybody talking. That will be similar to going away for three months, going away for six months.
“Going away for a year or two. As much as I can, without giving up and breaching my contract.’ So I did what I could, and I slammed that title down and I walked out. And that was the most anyone talked about me in seven years, and I really wanted to capitalize on it. I felt special about it.
“We went in a different direction, but sometimes you do everything you can within your power, and I without a doubt have always done everything in my power to make the titles mean something, make those memorable moments mean something, and have my career be the best it can be.
“So, some things are out of my hand. I don’t own the company. But I wanted that to be special, and it was. It just could have been hell of a lot more special.”
H/T Wrestling Inc. for the transcriptions