WWE Live returns to the Bryce Jordan Center on Sept. 25, featuring several high-profile matches, including fan favorite Dolph Ziggler taking on the Miz for his Intercontinental Championship.
“It’s really great because it’s all the superstars you’ve come to know,” Ziggler said. “I have been enjoying the ‘blue’ side. Myself and the Miz have had almost a rebirth of two guys who used to just sometimes do matches and sometimes talk and now we’re fighting back and forth for the Intercontinental Championship. It’s been really cool and great for the title and great for the brand.”
While bitter enemies in the ring, Ziggler had some praise for the Miz, who is a fellow Ohio native.
“He’s actually done pretty well for himself,” he said. “The most important part of the rebirth of his career is basically (his wife) Maryse in his corner. It’s easy to be distracted by her. But, he’s done some great things here. Whether or not you like him, whether he’s a bad guy or a good guy; the point is that he’s held that title and brought some prominence back to it for 180 days or however long it is. Something has to give for me, and something has to give for him. If I get a chance to get a fair match, one on one, no strings attached, I feel like I am a thousand times better than him in the middle of the ring.”
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The Intercontinental Championship has been held by some of the greatest superstars in WWE history, including Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the late Mr. Perfect. Ziggler feels honored to be in the same category as these legends, some of whom he grew up admiring.
“That’s one of the coolest things about it is being part of the conversation with guys like that from history because that’s who I looked up to,” he said. “Generations go by and people start getting forgotten, but those guys, guys like Mr. Perfect, they’re not forgotten. They’re still looked up to for how good they were.”
Recently, the WWE split its roster into two distinct brands across its weekly television programs, Monday Night Raw and Smackdown Live. The two brands have both seen large influxes of new talent, including current World Heavyweight Champion A.J. Styles.
“I’m pretty good at being an outside observer and taking who I’m friends with out of the picture and just observing as a fan, and it’s guys like A.J. or Dean Ambrose (to watch out for),” Ziggler said. “Those are guys who have been around for years, and whether they’re killing it now, which they are, it’s so cool to watch them as an observer. The real key is watching how people progress and how people get better. That’s the part I like to watch.”
Additional matches include a triple threat match for the WWE World Championship that will see the lunatic fringe Dean Ambrose and the legendary John Cena taking on Styles.
“Even if you’ve never seen this before, it’s such an amazing thing,” Ziggler said. “I’ll watch a weekend of shows and even if it’s the same matchups, it’s still a great time and you can feel the electricity in the air.”
Ziggler said the show also aims to provide affordable entertainment for families.
“It’s not just about some people going to have fun, it’s about grandma, grandpa and the kids,” he said. “My favorite part of these live events is that it’s full time. We don’t have to go to commercial break, so if we want to have fun and give back to the fans, we can really deliver. That’s one of my favorite things — giving back to the fans by giving them a great show.”
IF YOU GO
- What: WWE Live
- When: 1 p.m. Sept. 25
- Where: Bryce Jordan Center, University Park
- Info: www.bjc.psu.edu