The WWE returns to Chicago when RAW broadcasts from the Allstate Arena on Monday. In the fold will be Dolph Ziggler, the self-proclaimed "show off" who has gone from a top "heel" (bad guy) to "face" (good guy).
Ziggler spoke to RedEye about advancing his career in social media and working the stand-up comedy circuit.
You're one of the WWE superstars who has been most active on social media. How has engaging with fans in that way affected how they view you?
It's great for someone like me who every week is somehow in a match, but usually not talking. It's cool to [let fans] know the character a little bit more in depth. If someone's not in one of the major scenes [on TV], you don't get the most time to see the character in promo time/backstage segments like that. So with social media, you have a chance to let everyone into that role on your own time.
So it's kind of cool for someone like me to go, "oh I do stand-up comedy." I can think outside and roast people on the show, anything I want. [Fans] start to think that there's this person, not just this character that shows off.
Which is tougher to take: Bombing on stage or getting power bombed by Kane?
Wow. Yeah, it totally depends. You know my first ever wrestling match was at an Ohio Valley Wrestling show in front of, you know, 60 people, and I was shaking and nervous and waiting to go out. And I'm trying to remember what I could possibly do, what I would get to. And that was like stand-up comedy.
And I get my first ever stand-up [gig] in front of 60 people, I'm shaking when I grab the microphone, I wasn't sure how my voice was gonna sound, so that's how it goes. It's scary.
[Since then] I've done improv and taken a couple different classes and all these different things. It's just about advancing your career to me; being a better sports entertainer. If something works, why does it not work, judging a crowd. I've gotten a little bit more comfortable each time.
[Recently] in Toronto, I went to the comedy bar, they let me go up and do six or seven minutes, and I've never felt more comfortable.
Elliott Serrano is a RedEye special contributor. Read the full interview at redeyechicago.com/geektome.
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