Former WWE Writer Talks About McMahon “Losing Faith” in Dolph Ziggler
Sporting News has a really interesting article written by Kevin Eck, who was a member of WWE’s creative team from 2011-2014. He said he was involved in the booking of Money in the Bank matches and cash-ins during that time and had some interesting stories about the booking process and how Vince McMahon reacted to different idea pitches.
He talks about the booking process for the Money in the Bank wins of Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Damien Sandow, and Sheamus. Most interesting is his story about Ziggler and how the way Ziggler was booked caused Vince McMahon to “lose faith” in Ziggler. He also claims that Triple H wasn’t a fan of Ziggler and thought he was obsessed with “trying to be the next Shawn Michaels.”
‘The People Will Go Banana’ for Dolph Ziggler!
When Ziggler won the 2012 MITB ladder match for a guaranteed shot at the World Heavyweight Title, there was no specific plan in place as to when he would cash in and win the title. Ziggler actually attempted to cash in the contract several times only to be thwarted before the cash-in match could become official. It started to become a running joke. Much like Bryan, the longer Ziggler carried around the briefcase, the more likely it seemed that his eventual cash-in was going to be unsuccessful.
To say McMahon had lost faith in Ziggler during this time would be a major understatement. Even though Ziggler was getting a good reaction from the fans, McMahon was highly critical of Ziggler’s instincts in the ring and his promos. Triple H wasn’t a big Ziggler fan, either. He thought Ziggler didn’t take direction well and was overly obsessed with trying to be the next Shawn Michaels.
However, Ziggler did have one important supporter: WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson, who had been a member of McMahon’s inner circle on the creative side for decades and now had emeritus status. Even before Ziggler won the MITB ladder match, Patterson constantly prodded McMahon to give Ziggler a strong push.
Patterson was never more fervent about Ziggler than he was during WrestleMania weekend in April 2013. Patterson was adamant that Ziggler should cash in the contract at WrestleMania and win the World Heavyweight Title.
“I’m telling you, the people will go banana!” Patterson, who had a penchant for dropping the “s” off plural words, exuberantly proclaimed in his thick French-Canadian accent to anyone who would listen.
Patterson made one final, impassioned plea to McMahon at the WrestleMania production meeting, but McMahon shot it down. There would be no WrestleMania moment for Ziggler. However, McMahon began the “Raw” production meeting the next day by announcing that Ziggler would cash in the contract on Alberto Del Rio on that night’s “Raw” to become World Heavyweight Champion.
After making the announcement to a roomful of surprised writers and producers, McMahon said he wanted to be clear that “we are not pushing Dolph.” McMahon explained that he was going through with the cash-in and title switch because he wanted a big, surprise moment for the night after WrestleMania.
When Ziggler won the title that night, the people did indeed “go banana.” In fact, it remains one of the most exciting and memorable cash-ins ever. It would’ve been fitting if the frenzied fans had started a “Thank you, Pat!” chant.