Since I’ve taken over “Celebrity Birthday of the Day” duties for Gill this week, you just knew I would profile a wrestler sooner or later, so today I pay tribute to Nick Nemeth, a guy who’s built up a very solid career for himself in spite of one of the sillier wrestling names of all time: “Dolph Ziggler”. After a very successful run as an amateur collegiate wrestler at Kent State University, Nemeth was signed by World Wrestling Entertainment in 2004. After being called up to the main roster, his first gimmick didn’t exactly set the world on fire: he was the caddy to Chavo Guerrero, who was wrestling under the golf-loving persona “Kerwin White” at the time. Nemeth soon transitioned to becoming a member of the Spirit Squad, a five-man faction of wrestling male cheerleaders. After the Spirit Squad was disbanded, the careers of its other four members pretty much went down the tubes, but Nemeth persevered and in 2008, he was finally repackaged under his “Dolph Ziggler” persona.
In spite of the silly name, Ziggler has proven to be one of the best performers on the WWE roster and his stellar work in the ring has allowed the fans to accept his new character and forget his silly past as a caddy and a cheerleader. He has had reigns with the WWE Intercontinental Championship, U.S. Championship and World Tag Team Championship, and even got to hold the World Heavyweight Championship for about 11 minutes last year. While Ziggler has often found himself stuck on the WWE mid-card treadmill, he finally seems to be on the verge of becoming a genuine main event superstar after winning the Money in the Bank ladder match on pay-per-view two weeks ago. And when you watch this clip of the insane bump he took in the middle of the match, you can’t deny that he totally deserves his push. Nick Nemeth/Dolph Ziggler turns 32 today.