Dolph Ziggler recently spoke to IGN.com about the Royal Rumble and more. Check out the highlights:
On what the Royal Rumble means to him: "It's really cool. I've been lucky enough, because of my hard work, that for two years now I've had a different championship match at the Royal Rumble. I'm a big fan of the pay per view and it's well known I think that I've been a fan of the WWE since I was five-years-old. And this is the show that always kicks off the "Road to WrestleMania" so it's got that added excitement to it. People watch it to see what's going to happen and how it all will affect WrestleMania. So just to be involved in this show and have it be so close to home and to see who will step up so that they can go to WrestleMania is going to be great. And I look forward to using it as a showcase to show the world how good I really am."
On what will make thew Rumble different this year as opposed to last year: "It's different in that, well, I have to say that I have a year more experience. And I know that might sound simple but it's true. And as much as I thought I was in great shape last year when I was going against one of the all-time greats in Edge I feel as though things are clicking for me a lot more right now. Mentally and physically, as much as I had a blast last year and thought I would actually win the championship, this year I have to win. Because I've put so much pressure on myself to do it and I feel as though a lot of people expect it from me. I used to think I was really good, but now I truly feel as though I'm the best. So I think I need to go out there and prove it at the Royal Rumble. And I'm looking forward to win that title and then defend it at WrestleMania."
On who he has the best in-ring chemistry with: "You know what, I've had a few matches with CM Punk already and even though they haven't been too long, for two guys with two different styles I felt that we put on great matches. That's why I'm really looking forward to Sunday. I'd have to go with Punk right now just because we've gone in there a couple times and neither one of us really showed any weaknesses in our performance so now I'm looking forward to facing him at the Pay Per View where we might get more time and see which one of us is going to bend first."
On who his in-ring style is modeled after: "I've been a fan ever since I was a kid, and I've always been a big fan of Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels. But once I got into studying the matches as a wrestler and studying the best to see what they did I started enjoying Shawn and Flair much more because the two of them always went out there to steal the show. They gave over a hundred percent every night. And no matter what they were doing or where there match was on the card, I stopped what I was doing to watch them and concentrate on them. They're the two best of all time."
On Mick Foley's return: "When I went out there to talk to Mick I really just told the truth. And it's not just me. There are guys in the back who are at every live event, five nights a week, who go out there and try to prove themselves every single night all year long hoping that they'll be considered for the Royal Rumble. And I understand that Mick's a legend and people love him. I get that. But to just come back and say "Hey, I'm going to take this spot" blows my mind. It's hard for me to believe that it can even happen. I understand that legends come back, but I don't understand the mentality of someone saying 'Yeah, I should be in this match because I used to be really good.'"
On whether that sentiment includes the Rock: "Of course it does to some extent. And while appreciate what The Rock has gone on to do and I appreciate the fact that when he comes back every once in a while it will catch the attention of different people who might not usually see a WWE show, which gets more eyes on us, but it also it also does strike a nerve with me because he gets top billing even though we don't really see him that often. I get it. I know he's busy. I'm busy too. Being on the show and stealing the show every night."
On Jericho's return: "I'm intrigued as to what he's doing but I can't really compare what he's doing to something like Mick Foley or The Rock because he's on the show and he's with us on the live events too. So I know that it at least seems like he's back full time. So that makes me not mind it so much. Because it feels like he's with us. But I don't know what he's going to do or say, beside the few words he said last Monday night. I'm curious to see where he's going with all this. And I'm kind of giving him a pass because he's earned the right to do it because he seems to be back full time."
On his favorite Royal Rumble winner: "When I first got into wrestling as a kid I was a big "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan fan and he was actually a really nice guy later on when he took the old Spirit Squad under his wing and gave us his support. And he won the first ever Royal Rumble and I remember watching it so I always stick with him as my pick."