After a prolific career in amateur wrestling, where he established several school records for Kent State University, Dolph Ziggler signed a development contract with WWE in 2004 and was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), where he wrestled under his real name.
He was promoted to WWE's Raw brand shortly afterwards in 2005, playing the caddy sidekick to Kerwin White. He was sent back to OVW shortly afterwards, being given the name Nicky and joining the cheerleading-themed Spirit Squad, who debuted on Raw in January 2006 and won the World Tag Team Championship once before returning to OVW that November.
In September 2007, Nemeth was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), where he won the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship twice, with Brad Allen and later Gavin Spears. Upon his return to the main roster in September 2008, Nemeth was repackaged as Dolph Ziggler.
Since then, he has held the World Heavyweight Championship twice, the Intercontinental Championship six times, the United States Championship twice, and the Raw Tag Team Championship once. He was also the sole survivor of two Survivor Series elimination matches, as well as the 2012 Money in the Bank winner, and has headlined multiple pay-per-view events for WWE.
During a long interview with The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling, Ziggler commented on originally building to a match with The Miz or Shawn Michaels: “Isn’t that funny? The guy who loses 95% of the time that he makes something extra special to where I might have had a match with The Miz which would have been great and would have been fantastic and we’ve had 500 of them in the past and I’ve had my career on the line and it’s hard to top that one.
But we would have busted our butts to make something special and to go face to face with Shawn Michaels in a ring for the first time since I was Nicky in The Spirit Squad getting kicked in the face all the time and I just want this to happen so bad and no matter what you think about me, my character or online or you hate my guts well you can think whatever the hell you want because you know that that match would tear down any other match that has ever been taken place in the last twenty five years that I can think of."