Wrestler Dolph Ziggler glad to be able to charm fans as WWE returns to Singapore on July 2

WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler stands majestic in front of the iconic Marina Bay Sands on May 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: WWE
WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler stands majestic in front of the iconic Marina Bay Sands on May 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: WWE
Only Supertrees will do for a WWE Superstar - Dolph Ziggler at Gardens By The Bay on May 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: WWE
Only Supertrees will do for a WWE Superstar - Dolph Ziggler at Gardens By The Bay on May 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: WWE
WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler with the lucky StarHub winner who scored an autographed WWE Extreme Rules chair at Shaw House on May 28, 2015. -- PHOTO: WWE
WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler with the lucky StarHub winner who scored an autographed WWE Extreme Rules chair at Shaw House on May 28, 2015. -- PHOTO: WWE
WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler tucks into roti prata at Tekka Market on May 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: WWE
WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler tucks into roti prata at Tekka Market on May 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: WWE

SINGAPORE - He's known as the show-off. And show off he did.

WWE superstar Dolph Ziggler (real name Nicholas Nemeth), 34, was in town last week to promote a WWE live event to be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on July 2.

The show looks set to be a star-studded affair with 15-time WWE and World Heavyweight champion and current United States champion John Cena, Chris Jericho, Kane, King Barrett, NXT champion Kevin Owens, Divas champions Nikki Bella, Paige and others joining him.

The last time WWE was in Singapore was in July 2007, a lengthy eight years ago.

Why has it taken so long for WWE to return to local shores?

Ziggler told ST Digital in an interview at his hotel: "It all depends. It all comes down to trying to work out the timing.

"Hopefully with WWE expanding every day and going into some new markets, we have a day open and we can make our way to these fans who've been so great to us.

"WWE puts out over 300 live events a year and we love giving back to our fans."

Spirit Squad

Ziggler debuted in WWE in 2006 as part of the Spirit Squad, a group of five annoying male cheerleaders who captured the World Tag Team championship.

In 2008, he returned to WWE and has since amassed accolade after accolade. He's a two-time World Heavyweight Champion, four-time Intercontinental champion, US champion and the 2012 Money In The Bank winner, which guaranteed him a WWE championship match.

Along the way, Ziggler also transitioned from the bad guy everyone loved to hate to a fan favourite. But which role does he personally prefer?

"Not only is being a bad guy more fun but I have several more years of experience doing it and I felt like I was the best heel that WWE had," enthused Ziggler.

"I wasn't necessarily in the main events but I felt that I was better than anyone else. Now, as a good guy, it's been relatively new, a year, a year and a half, I feel like I have some great aspects of a good guy but I'm still working on being the best."

Ziggler's athleticism and solid ring work have won him many fans but has also drawn criticism, notably from WWE legend Booker T who said that he should think more of himself.

Ziggler mused: "My entire career has been working for matches and making other people look good but also having awesome matches. At what point do you go, 'I need to be more selfish', 'I need to do things differently' which people on the outside are telling you but you have a boss at the end of the day who wants you to be a certain character.

"And when you play that character, you can't always listen to outside people. You have to listen to your boss sometimes."

On or off with Lana?

Ziggler is currently embroiled in a love triangle storyline with Lana and Bulgarian wrestler Rusev. His kiss with Lana on WWE Raw a few weeks ago set the social media sphere ablaze.

So are the pair together?

He replied: "She's a very nice lady but we're not together. We'll see how it plays out. I'm not so trusting of girls because sometimes, they stab me in the back.

"I will have eyes at the back of my head if this ends up being kind of a ruse to have Rusev beat me up. I will be ready for it. If it's not, we'll play it by ear, we'll take it slow. We'll see what happens."

On July 2, he will face King Barrett, formerly known as Bad News Barrett, a familiar foe.

"We beat each up other so much, they push me to hit harder, they'll push me to stand up for myself a little more."

Catch Ziggler along with other WWE superstars at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on July 2.

Tickets are still available at http://www.sportshub.com.sg/sportshubtix

leecmei@sph.com.sg

Read also: Born to wrestle: An interview with WWE Diva champion Paige