Dolph Ziggler is a two time World Heavyweight Champion and one of the most exciting and most popular WWE Superstars today. I had an exciting opportunity to speak with Dolph about everything from Steel Panther and Motley Crue to stand up comedy to WWE.
Alex Obert: So though you’re known for competing in the ring, you also have a love for rock music that you often express on Twitter, namely bands like Steel Panther and Motley Crue. How did you first discover Steel Panther?
Dolph Ziggler: I think maybe my Uncle Michael and perhaps Chris Jericho gave me an idea of what these guys were doing. They knew I was a little bit of a metal guy, into hair bands, a Motley Crue and Poison kind of guy. I’m pretty sure those two were the first two to tell me about them.
Alex Obert: Do you hope to see Motley Crue on the farewell tour?
Dolph Ziggler: I absolutely will! I’m planning out a couple different times. It’s really unfortunate that the Hollywood Bowl show is on a Monday night, so it’s impossible for me to go check that out. But they have a ton of dates coming up, so one way or another, I’m gonna see ‘em at least two times on this tour because this is it, they’re not comin’ back.
Alex Obert: What are your thoughts on the new Steel Panther album, All You Can Eat?
Dolph Ziggler: I wish I could name some of the titles, but I did download the entire album and it’s on a constant rotation on my iPod. One of my favorites right now is with the zipper noise, much like the Motley Crue song, She Goes Down, starts. Same noise for the Steel Panther song, the one that I don’t know if I can name at this moment, but that’s my favorite right now.
Alex Obert: Are you still trying to get them to do your entrance theme?
Dolph Ziggler: Downstait does mine now and they’ve done a couple other ones. They’re actually pretty cool guys and they get the vibe that I like music wise. It’s not really up to me right now, but man, that would be pretty sweet if that happened. I talked to a couple of the guys on Twitter and they would love to be a part of something with the music. One way or another, maybe down the line, we can look into it. It would be great.
Alex Obert: Which other WWE Superstars listen to Steel Panther?
Dolph Ziggler: I’ve been preaching those guys for a while and over the last couple of month with this new album, a couple different guys have finally started picking it up and passing it around. 3MB’s gettin’ into ‘em right now. Damien Sandow, I saw rockin’ out the other day. It’s really getting around the entire locker room.
Alex Obert: What are some of your favorite songs at the moment?
Dolph Ziggler: I went to Motley Crue last year in Vegas and a friend of mine made me a live CD of their entire setlist of that night. So that’s in my car CD player at all times. That’s my go-to right now. On the treadmill, I’ll mix it up on shuffle, but that entire album is such a good time. I was in town on a Wednesday through Friday, I had to go back to work on Saturday morning, and I ended up going to see Motley Crue Wednesday night and Friday night just because we had such a good time the first time. They’re my favorite band right now, they’ve been for a while, and it’ll be a real bummer when they’re done.
Alex Obert: What do you listen to before matches?
Dolph Ziggler: I’m not one of those guys that has to, one of those guys that walks around with their Beats headphones on and get in the zone and bounce around. I do the opposite of that. I sit around in a corner and I focus on a game plan or psychology going into the match so I can get all my focusing in, think of everything I can that I can possible use against my opponent out there. So I like to sit and plot quietly. I listen to music on the treadmill every morning, little bit of a mixture of pop music and mostly hair bands and rock.
Alex Obert: Aside from Steel Panther and Motley Crue, what’s the best live show you’ve ever been to?
Dolph Ziggler: I went to a Marilyn Manson show a couple years ago, that was pretty good. I’ve seen Dropkick Murphys, they were really good. My favorite one, honestly, was the New York Dolls, Poison, and Motley Crue at the Hollywood Bowl a couple of years ago. That was awesome. That was such a good time.
Alex Obert: I understand you’re getting into stand up comedy.
Dolph Ziggler: Mick Foley has some stand up things going on also, so he’s giving me an opening invite if I ever have a day off. I can speak on stage with him and get a couple minutes in. Whenever I have a free minute, which is very rare, I am looking for mic time one way or another.
Alex Obert: Do you have any parts from your set that are appropriate to share with readers?
Dolph Ziggler: (laughs) Just know that a lot of it has to do with Chipotle in a positive way. A lot of Chipotle talk!
Alex Obert: Who are your favorite stand up comics?
Dolph Ziggler: There’s so many and every time someone asks me for a handful, I neglect about twenty. Right now, I’m a big fan of Nick Swardson. I have one of his specials DVR’d at my house. I’m a big fan of Bill Burr. I still have tapes of Rodney Dangerfield from years ago sitting around the house. And Don Rickles. I’ve been a fan ever since I was a kid. It goes from sixties, seventies, eighties to now.
Alex Obert: And I understand you’re getting into acting.
Dolph Ziggler: It’s just part of the deal, it’s always keeping your skills sharp. I took acting classes. I taught some improv classes. I do improv shows. I do every possible act I can to make myself a better WWE Superstar.
Alex Obert: On the topic of music from earlier, would you ever form a band?
Dolph Ziggler: In the weirdest way, I’m a huge fan of music, I’m looking forward to going to see Steel Panther in the next couple months, but I’m no good. My brother taught himself how to play guitar and I don’t know how to do anything. So when I’m in a car, I try and get that old Bruce Dickinson awesome sound down out of my voice, but otherwise, I am the worst at any kind of instrument.
Alex Obert: So what song do you sing at karaoke?
Dolph Ziggler: I don’t really go, but if I do, there’s a song by Motley Crue and I’ll give you the initials, it’s MFOTY. That’s definitely one of my go-to songs whether people sing along with it or not, I rock that out whenever I get a chance. That’s definitely one of my favorites.
Alex Obert: Getting into WWE, who do you hope to face at Summerslam?
Dolph Ziggler: I would like to face Bad News Barrett at Summerslam. That guy, he’s come back from an injury, he’s come a long way. He’s found a way to recreate himself on The JBL and Cole YouTube show and actually bringing that over to television. He brought it over to television and it’s great. I love hearing him talk. He’s good and he knows what he’s doing. We’ve only been in the ring maybe two times together and we tore it down. I would love to get out there with him and put on a match that nobody else could follow.
Alex Obert: Who from NXT do you hope gets called up to the main roster next?
Dolph Ziggler: It seems like every couple weeks, there’s a special NXT show or a showcase match. I’ve been shown clips of the champ, Adrian Neville, flying around, he’s pretty good. I don’t exactly know who’s coming up next, but I’ve heard things about The Ascension being a great team. So we’ll see.
Alex Obert: Who do you hope becomes the next Paul Heyman Guy?
Dolph Ziggler: I have no idea. You got anybody in mind?
Alex Obert: Maybe Sami Zayn because of his history with Cesaro.
Dolph Ziggler: Okay, I could see that. I actually got to have a match with him overseas and it went really well. I think he could be next to hit the roster and maybe he will be a Paul Heyman Guy. When you walk through the door and you become a Paul Heyman Guy, there’s dollar signs around you. It makes you a main player in the game.
Alex Obert: Who do you hope becomes the new general manager of RAW?
Dolph Ziggler: I have no idea. Somebody that likes me, if they can find somebody like that.
Alex Obert: What about you?
Dolph Ziggler: I would hate that! That’s like having an office job. I need to be out there, I need to be out there in the ring. I would go crazy if I was GM.
Alex Obert: Favorite match of yours of all time?
Dolph Ziggler: One of my favorites for sure was me versus Edge at the 2011 Royal Rumble. We were the opening match for the World Heavyweight title. Edge was someone I had rode with and he’s been a mentor to me. It was cool to be in the ring with him and me being the bad guy. The crowd understands I’m good at my job. And I was able to hang in the ring with him. In the last ten minutes of that match, everybody was on the edge of their seats. It was a real special time for me. It was a great match. Edge was awesome, I hung in there with him and definitely held my own. We tore it down that night.
Alex Obert: Awesome! I’d love to thank you so much for your time!
Dolph Ziggler: You got it, man!