At The Biggest Party of the Summer, Dolph Ziggler gets his groove, and his girl, back. All he’s got to do is beat one of the biggest, baddest, most fearsome Superstars WWE has seen in years. NBD.
If there was ever a word to describe Dolph Ziggler’s rivalry with Rusev, it would be “personal.” It was personal when Lana gave The Bulgarian Brute the heave-ho as her client and partner, instead finding comfort in the crook of The Showoff’s biceps. It was personal when Ziggler took advantage of Rusev’s ankle injury to humiliate him without fear of retaliation, and it was personal when a healed-up Rusev got the jump on Ziggler and claimed his revenge with a crutch to the windpipe that put Zig Man on the shelf for a month.
While time off has restored The Showoff’s voice to normal, it certainly has done nothing to dull The Bulgarian Brute’s animosity toward his rival: Rusev largely spent Ziggler’s convalescence running down the former World Heavyweight Champion and demeaning Lana in his absence. But Rusev’s also become vulnerable since then; the formerly undefeated monster has suffered losses to Cesaro and Roman Reigns in the month of Ziggler’s absence, suggesting he’s spent too much time focusing on mocking an opponent that isn’t there instead of keeping his head in the game.