Wadi Rum, Jordan. Spring of 2006. 28 years of my life are my past, my history, everything I can only remember or like to forget. I’m standing high up a red mountain, sun is sinking in front of my eyes. It seems that this big, red balloon is growing constantly and it’s likely changing its aggregate state to just a blurry idea in the distance.
I’m dreaming and drifting, soaking in the smell of the desert. And all of a sudden a surprisingly cold breeze touches my skin. It’s speaking and telling me to move forward. Thinking about the past is only holding back your own future. But standing on top of that mountain helps to gain another perspective. Only your thoughts are telling you what to do. And the whispers of the desert.
One hour later, I’m sitting in the still warm sand on the foot of the mountain. Eyes pointing at the clear sky that is full of stars and the Milky Way draws a path high up above my head. What is life and which path is it going to offer me? Can I do something about it myself? Do I really need help from others or should I just push my way up to the top with my elbows? I should probably figure that out very soon.
I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1985. If people ask me, pretty much I just say that I was raised by wolves. Living basically on the streets in the early years of your life, toughens you up. You learn it the hard way that no-one throws opportunities at you. You gonna need to run after them. And most of the time they are much faster than you. I can’t run very fast or do a back-slip but when I’m done doing what I’m going to do in life, the whole world is going to have to kiss my ass.
I never thought I was a bad person. I just thought I was the one good person living in a world of bad people. So, there are always two sorts of people: the one’s who adapt and the ones who perish. That’s what you are always told by people up the ladder. They look down at you, they laugh at you, and one day they will crush you like a fly on a wall or a spider in a bed with dirty sheets. But you can’t crush a cockroach like me. You can try to squeeze me but I will always find a way to survive.
Every time I overcome certain obstacles that are thrown in my way, I will come back better than before. Like I said: obstacles in life and the dirty life on the streets toughens you up for everything that lies in your future. And when you think there is no method to my madness, you have lost a fight against me before it even started. Because the last guy you ever wanna fight is a guy you know you can beat but he won’t care. A guy that’s not scared of you.
You can always go the wrong path. Even as a good guy you can do things horribly wrong and then – faster than you even notice – this spiral takes you down and keeps you down until there is no hope left. But then, one day, wrestling comes in and it shows you this other world where good guys can win. I became obsessed.
When you finally figured out your target in life, when you have found this one obsession you can focus at no matter how tired or powerless you are. That’s when you really start to live. You only have to search for the very spot you can fire off the starting gun. And from there on there is no way back. Everything you do from now on is moving forward, soaking up other people’s minds, getting better every day and make people notice you, even if you might not take everyone’s attention at first look.
Looking back, Dragon Gate, CZW, even death matches were my school, my path that I had to go to become what I am today. You can’t become a guy like me with just coddled and protected in WWE developmental. You have to smell blood. And you have to spill blood. But being this way also makes me very impatient. I know, I’m good. And nothing can come too fast for me nowadays. But in reality, my own speed of life was slowed down a bit when I’ve made this first step into FCW. I gone down there and they got nothing, nothing like me. So, when I didn’t make it to NXT and TV, I was heavily frustrated. Held back for almost half a year, feeling like some tiger, locked in its narrow cage, made me fueled up for this one opportunity that actually came one day.
Survivor Series 2012 probably was just another day for most people on this planet. But for The Shield it was the start of a new era. The goal from day one with The Shield was: take over the business. So, whether we’re friends or enemies, we’re gonna own the business. Roman, Seth, and me are three completely different persons with completely different personalities, abilities and concepts of how to live life. So, being together made us one of the strongest or even the strongest of factions in WWE. Everyone of the three of us thinks that he is something special. So, at one point it was just natural that one of us would break out to proof to the world that his beliefs were reality.
What’s authentic about me is that you can never figure me out. I just happen to be the anti-hero. I just happen to be against the establishment. Because that’s all I’ve done every day in my entire life. Seth was a great friend of mine. But let’s be honest: we’re much better enemies. We share this love-hate relationship because both of us know we’re the best. He knows that he’s the best. And I know that I am the best. So, our love as well as our hate for each other is to figure out who can get higher and who can get there fastest and further. On the other side, Roman is my best buddy and he always will be.
This wild game of chess we have at the moment, might be at stall right now. It’s been really chaotic as of late and I need to think about my next move. If our little fight is continuing like that, maybe we will just destroy each other. But the target from the very start of this journey was to own business, to take over this business and to blow the roof off everything. I need to play the lone wolf for a while, play to my own rules in the wilderness, come up with something really good to come back again with that to finish our initial scheme.
Great Basin Desert, Nevada. Summer of 2014. Eight years later, same age. I like the desert because it’s quiet, it’s desolate. It’s nobody out here, nobody to mess with you. It’s nice to come out here where there’s just nothing. Just getting out and hear nothing but your own thoughts for a while.
I’m not someone who looks up to people. I’m not searching for inspiration or evolution through others. Because my mind is already full of ideas and knowledge. I’m always searching for similarities in people with me. Because I know that someone like me is very hard to find. You would understand if you would meet me in person. And because of that, finding someone similar to me makes me feel even more special. Because it doesn’t take away from my own specialness but puts me right into a quite exclusive circle of special people: the X-men of strange minds.
“Nobody knows what Dean Ambrose is thinking. That’s the absolute beauty to watch as far as I’m concerned.”
Note: This is just my little mix-up of own experiences in the desert with this kayfabe / real life mix-up of the career of Dean Ambrose with references to the whole documentary that you can watch here. You might have noticed that I have woven in some quotes spoken by different people in the documentary. I haven’t marked them because I wanted to tell a story without interrupting the flow. Of course, I own nothing but the whole concept of this text.
EDIT (28 Aug 2014): Looks like the link to the documentary is dead again. Like the previous one I’ve put in here. WWE obviously is hunting anyone that put up the video somewhere on the internet. Could be a hint that they’ll do a special Shield DVD that will include this special documentary. You can still search on the internet for another link, of course. You’ll certainly find one.
EDIT (29 Nov 2014): Since this article here is still very popular I add this second edit with the information that this special documentary indeed gets its own DVD. It will include not only the documentary but also some great Shield matches and maybe a few outtakes and other special snippets. The release date is the 27th February 2015.
EDIT (04 Dec 2014): Have put in another (working) link to the documentary in the specific segment above. Go there as long as it’s up there. Good luck!
EDIT (02 Feb 2015): For trailers and pictures all around the forthcoming DVD I’ve finally created a special page in here. Feel free to click the link and look what’s behind there.