The former World Heavyweight Champion first came into the WWE as Nicky, one of the five members of the Spirit Squad, a faction consisting of male cheerleaders.
The group lasted just a year, and most of the group left wrestling soon after their split.
However, Dolph Ziggler has some fond memories of being part of the group, like travelling the country, learning the secret of wrestling and wrestling legends like Triple H and Ric Flair on multiple occasions.
However, he expressed the disappointment that the group was a vehicle to get Kenny Dykstra over, although Ziggler surpassed him in the WWE soon after the group split.
Speaking to Chris Van Vliet, Dolph Ziggler said this about his time in The Spirit Squad.
I’m somehow built to do this, meant to do this – love comedy, love theater, love acting, love sports, fighting athleticism, all these things, and it just perfectly works out for me.
But also, that group was for Kenny, and it hurt, but it was like, “I don’t know how to do anything. I’m six months, eight months in. I go, I don’t know what to do. I love being in this group because Kenny’s really good, and he’s like 19. It’s so funny. He’s teaching me stuff that you wouldn’t learn behind the scenes for 10 years, and I go, man, this guy’s way ahead. He’s got it figured out.”
But then you get to a point where it’s like you’re six months into the Spirit Squad, and it’s like everybody can get pinned except for Kenny, and you’re like, “Uh, I gotta get pinned again.”
And like, this kind of…we’re kind of getting beat up, and then it’s a bummer. But those guys embrace taste it, loved it. I loved it. We had… my mask probably slipped a little bit off – I want to say it’s right around 12 months, like exactly like a one-year run.
And we had tons of ups and downs, but man, we wrestled Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, every weekend for five months, a different version of DX on a live event match to where you can do 20, 30 minutes.
And so, say I’m coming from six months of training, and even me going in early and off days and coming out late, I got 20 years of experience in five months from some of the greatest of all time. It was Sean Hunter and Flair, and they rotated like two of the three each weekend. Wow, and it was the coolest thing in the world.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please HT to Atletifo for the transcription.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.