Review: The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler (WWE Atlanta, 12/29/16)

Steel Cage Match: Dolph Ziggler def. The MizFrom 12/29/16

Thank you to good brother Patrick YellowMan for hooking me up with the HD fan cam from the Atlanta house show on 12/29. I’ve pondered what my final post of the year should be, to cap off 211 times I’ve hit publish on here, but this opportunity came about–and what better way to end the year with my favorite company of all time and its feud of the year? These two have had out of this world chemistry prior to 2016, but stepped it up to the point where their feud not only saved SmackDown Live, but made it the best weekly TV show (unless you want to argue CWF-MA Worldwide) of 2016. It’s the two’s last hoorah for this year, as The Miz is moving onto Dean Ambrose in a match that’ll seemingly happen more than just next week, a la the Royal Rumble. This is also a Steel Cage Match, a match that hasn’t happened on TV/PPV between the two during their feud. Even more enticing.

The match is joined a few seconds in progress with the action already hot and heavy between the two. Coward legend Miz tried to escape, then Ziggler tried to give him a taste of his own medicine, only for things to balance out with Ziggler being catapulted into the cage. As Maryse continued to bounce up and down with elation, Miz took it to the crowd by slamming Ziggler into the cage to provoke more damage. Daniel Bryan said Miz didn’t want to get hot and heavy, huh?! “Pull back your hair son”, “What are those?!”. etc rang through the crowd trying to heckle The Awesome One. The great thing already about this was that they didn’t stall or make the stipulation not seem important. It was action happening right away, with Daniel Bryan being taunted quickly into the match. Ziggler tried to turn the big kick into a roll-up only to yet again be told no. There’s something more charming than a TV broadcast at times watching a cam coming from the crowd. It picks up the audio of those around it, sometimes with armchair commentary, sometimes with kids seething, sometimes the section screaming and cheering. It’s a better guidance than most commentary.

The unique layout of the match continued as Miz didn’t get his comeuppance a long while into the match. The two equals kept going at each other and Ziggler was finally on the offensive for more than 10 seconds. The first callback saw the repeat of the TLC, ladder match, where Miz low-blowed Ziggler en route to retaining his title. He then went to work on the groin/leg like the man that showed him the Figure Four would. Miz was thrown into the cage, combined with the beautiful Ziggler plant DDT, which made for a nice near-fall. The match continued to be, no pun intended, awesome, as Ziggler kept desperately clinging onto roll-ups only for Miz to snatch him back into the figure four. In what was a great spot, Miz got Ziggler’s shoulders to the match in the hold only for a kickout. Dolph, saying “I’M THE BETTER FLAIR” (in his head) reversed the hold as Miz had nowhere to go but towards the door the ref opened. Maryse was standing back behind the ref like…what am I supposed to do? Only until it was closed again. There shouldn’t be escapes in cages for this very reason.

Miz, selling better than Ziggler, limping from his end of the damage sustained, ran right into more hope spots including a Fame-asser that made the crowd go nuts. Hearing the few second sustained roar of kids (and parents) after spots like that is awesome. Ziggler couldn’t quite climb the cage so he scrambled on his hands and knees towards the open cage door, only for Maryse to slam it into him. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale but Ziggler stayed in! I was questioning whether or not it would be over, yet another near-fall to add to the long list of “times Ziggler and Miz added realistic hope spots to their matches”. Then Miz just decided screw it. He’s going to climb out because he can while Ziggler’s down. As Miz’s feet were dangling off the other side, Ziggler was desperately clinging onto him like Miz was about to fall off the Empire State Building. We got the classic two men sitting down on the cage spot. The two kept above the ring, falling to the ropes, with Ziggler countering a superplex with headbutts. Big HBK elbow for yet another kickout. Miz kept his arms up like he was trying to gain feeling back instead of simply kicking out. It’s the little things a pro wrestler does that makes me go from thinking they’re great, to falling in love with them.

Dolph sold his leg incredibly well, hopping up the rope on one leg. Miz JUST managed to pull him down, and in a total coincidence, Ziggler fell on his nuts, hitting the ropes. As his head was tucked into the turnbuckle. the crowd started to scream for him. Miz slowly crawled out only for Ziggler to literally dive across the ring to save him. Then it became a war with Maryse. Maryse lost it, Miz reversed a superkick, and MARYSE HIT MIZ WITH THE CAGE. SUPERKICK. 1-2-3. Ziggler wins unexpectedly! I had it written down that “Miz def. Ziggler” as I thought this was for the Intercontinental Championship for some reason. I haven’t seen many 2016 cage matches and can’t recall anything that’d have been worked better than this. No, southern graps Twitter, I have not watched Skyler vs. Phoenix. One of the best ways to cap off the wrestling watching year, plus a fitting way to end the year with my last post. Thanks to everyone that’s contributed to the success of Wrestling With Words in 2016. Have a Happy New Year!

  • Feud of the Year


This was a great Steel Cage Match that trumps most of the typical ones. Miz and Ziggler managed to excellently intertwine their feud into this gimmick match environment, much like they did in the career and TLC matches. It managed to move from spot to spot without losing meaning or being a "regular match in a cage". The near-falls were spectacular, Maryse was more involved than other matches in the feud, the two sold very well, the crowd got into it, the door hit/Skull Crushing Finale hope kickout is one of the best things the two have done with each other, etc. Everybody should check this out when it's uploaded to YouTube or linked in general. What a way for the two to cap off their 2016 match series. They never fail to deliver and impress.


About the author


Founder of this weird world. Purveyor of generally ~POSITIVE~ pro wrestling takes. If you see a show preview, it's likely me. If you see odd fantasy booking, it's Dan, but possibly me too. Vancouver born and raised. Your sports fandom section is inserted here (BC Lions fan). Enjoy being terrible at video games. We have a side project for that! Don't do as many podcasts as I used to, but you can listen to the bi-weekly 'Your Taste is My Taste' adventure with Garrett. That just about wraps up my long ass bio. Wanted to see how much you'd actually read on here. Or am I just a bad writer? You'll never know, but what you do know is that you should keep it locked to Wrestling With Words.


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