I once came back to watching wrestling because of CM Punk. Then I turned my interest to Dean Ambrose. And when Punk was gone I hoped for Dean Ambrose taking over Punk’s role of the anti-establishment / anti-hero personality who causes chaos against anything, runs riot when needed and finally ends up with the WWE championship. Little did I know what was about to come from February 2014 until now.
Dean Ambrose in FCW and WWE – a comparison
When Dean Ambrose joined FCW he instantly challenged Seth Rollins for the FCW 15 Championship. At the time this seemed to be a straight forward move by someone who was confident in himself and his abilities, someone who knew what he want and that was being on the top. So, during his time in FCW Dean Ambrose did have several matches when the gold was on the line. But every match he had against Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose lost. He once cost Seth Rollins the title but on the same show he attacked William Regal to initiate a feud that had everything: great matches, breathtaking promos and just that intensity and meaning you need for a great storyline. This feud did have everything except one thing: the gold, a title to fight for. So, at the end of FCW Seth Rollins came right back at Dean Ambrose to tell him that he was obsessed with William Regal, but that he should focus on the real price at FCW – his title. Because in the meantime Seth Rollins just got the gold back. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins had another match – and Dean Ambrose lost again. Dean Ambrose actually got the honour to close FCW together with William Regal with the last match ever there. And he destroyed his opponent. But he still didn’t get a win because this match was later decided to be a non-contest because Dean Ambrose didn’t play to the rules.
When NXT opened its doors, Dean Ambrose wasn’t used there because there was already planned a feud with another big name in the business for him, with Mick Foley. But it never materialized to TV because of the health of Mick Foley. Dean Ambrose only set foot in front of NXT cameras when The Shield had already made their debut in WWE. So, Dean Ambrose did get his gold as the United States Championship with the longest reign for this belt in WWE ever. But only because all three Shield members could show off one belt to make them appear as the young and hungry strong force of WWE. And later on, when Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins had lost their Tag Team Championship gold, the United States Championship belt was used to make Dean Ambrose look weak. At every fitting or rather non-fitting occasion, JBL told us that Dean Ambrose would never defend his belt, so he was a coward champion who was afraid of any competition for it. When in tag matches, Dean Ambrose had the longest time inside of the ring, most of this time he was beaten up and he sold it perfectly. At the end Roman Reigns always got the hot tag to get the win with a Superman Punch and a spear.
After The Shield split up, Dean Ambrose immediately had his feud against Seth Rollins. And again he lost every match against him like he did in FCW. During this feud Seth Rollins won the Money In The Bank briefcase and was established as the number one heel in the company. Then Dean Ambrose had to make Bray Wyatt look strong for his WrestleMania match against The Undertaker. And still there was no win in the pocket for Dean Ambrose, except for this Tribute To The Troops match – but that doesn’t count really. And after that WWE even tried to make us forget that Dean Ambrose ever held the United States Championship in making him say that he wanted his face to appear on the champions wall at WWE Headquarters when Dean Ambrose went for the Intercontinental Championship of Wade Barrett. Later on they did mention that Dean Ambrose held the U.S. title but probably only for one reason – they noticed via the internet that people aren’t that dumb and forgetting.
And then Dean Ambrose went on to lose his championship match against Wade Barrett, once again because of his loose temper. WWE created a fabulous promo with him before Fastlane and that very match. Dean Ambrose made the Intercontinental Championship meaningful again. And he had two other promos for it that had been better than anything Roman Reigns could ever do. But these two promos were shoved to a RAW post show and the WWE app respectively. And ever since Daniel Bryan was thrown into the Intercontinental Championship feud, Dean Ambrose was shoved aside completely. He wins every match short and clean but these are completely meaningless matches without any storytelling. And at Wrestlemania Daniel Bryan will win the belt while Dean Ambrose once again will lose his temper, so he has to blame only himself for losing again.
The evolution of the Dean Ambrose character since the Shield break-up
Since his start in FCW Dean Ambrose was this loose cannon type of character but also the villain. Never a cheerful, funny character but always on the edge of craziness. In FCW it was used perfectly – classy promos with basically Dean Ambrose’s own words, long matches with well told stories and good commentary. Also in The Shield Dean Ambrose was this crazy character – no-one knew what he would do next, he was unpredictable and this also played to his advantage.
When The Shield broke up Dean Ambrose was the babyface that demanded revenge for the betrayal by Seth Rollins. For some reason Roman Reigns didn’t have to do anything about it. Only a few weeks later Roman Reigns said in an interview that he would get Seth Rollins when Dean Ambrose got his revenge. WWE probably thought that it would work on its own, that Roman Reigns would get over as the top babyface because of his popularity in The Shield. But WWE forgot that the fans cheered The Shield, not Roman Reigns alone. And they cheered Roman Reigns because it was almost always him who got the wins for his team. When Roman Reigns went solo, he not just lost his voice but also his ability to sell great matches. But he still kept the whole Shield gimmick while Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins established their own solo gimmicks.
Now, until Dean Ambrose’s head went into cinder blocks at the feet of Seth Rollins, so he could have one months for filming “Lockdown”, Dean Ambrose was a serious competitor, cutting great promos, prominently from the Titantron or inside the ring. He promised to make it impossible for Seth Rollins to cash in his Money In The Bank contract – yes, we didn’t forget! – and he attacked Seth Rollins at any time he tried so. There was still a crazy edge in his character but it still played to Dean Ambrose’s advantage.
When Dean Ambrose came back, there were more and more goofy segments in his act that all played out the strange taste of humour of one Vince McMahon. There was green slime, a Seth Rollins dummy and then Dean Ambrose had to call Stephanie McMahon a hoe. Together with that his in-ring character now appeared even more crazy, playing to this Lunatic Fringe character with just too much goofy facing and over-the-edge body acting. Serious promos are seldom while we hear Seth Rollins and even Roman Reigns talk at almost every RAW for ten minutes or longer.
So, while Roman Reigns will probably win the WWE Championship against Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins will have a match against Randy Orton who recently got exactly that revenge on Seth Rollins that Dean Ambrose never got. And Dean Ambrose had more reason to get at least just a little bit on the pro side of his own revenge.
Chances for Dean Ambrose to make 2015 not a completely wasted year
There are actually so many scenarios that are possible and that I would like to see for Dean Ambrose to unfold that I can’t put them all here. Unfortunately all really good scenarios / feuds won’t happen because of Roman Reigns. This man basically put down everyone with his own abilities. Because he’s still green with a narrow move set, no ability at all to tell stories inside the ring, anybody else have to appear even worse than Roman Reigns, so it’s not that obvious how bad Roman Reigns really is. Basically everyone who isn’t a fan of him just bashes on him. Everyone is assuming that maybe he can he a good wrestler at some point but not this year. Sometimes this man just has no idea what he’s doing – then he remembers his three moves of doom, does them and poses like he just saved the Earth from invaders from Mars on his own.
Back to Dean Ambrose. He won’t win the Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania, so he has to win the Money In The Bank briefcase this year. But if he does, WWE will probably make him cash in the very next day on RAW against Roman Reigns and he will lose. My dream scenario would be something with William Regal involved. The man has been appointed the General Manager of NXT because WWE wanted to use the three commentary spots for training future WWE commentary talent. They don’t see William Regal as a future WWE commentator and I can see why. Because William Regal actually calls the matches; he doesn’t promote the Network or future guest stars on RAW. William Regal cares for the actual wrestling talent, he knows the difference between a clothesline and a lariat and he not just throws out a few phrases. So, I could imagine William Regal being some kind of mysterious manager for Dean Ambrose, who is upset about the use of the younger man and finally wants some gold around his waist. Both of them could work as face or heel characters with William Regal helping or cheating Dean Ambrose to wins – just some kind of CM Punk / Paul Heyman alliance.
But first of all Dean Ambrose has to get rid of this ridiculous Lunatic Fringe character. And WWE needs to stop with putting “unstable” on basically every merchandize item of the man. The only really good merchandize item is the shirt with only the DA anarchy like logo on it. Also the hoodie is good but there is also the “unstable” on the back. And WWE have to acknowledge the actual talent of their wrestlers. WWE is still considered a wrestling company but like I mentioned in one of my previous entries here, there is only around a quarter of original wrestling left and these are usually only goofy gimmick matches, short three minute matches and one main event with Roman Reigns.
People might say: stop watching WWE if you don’t like it. Well, I really don’t like it, so I actually don’t watch most of it. I still watch Dean Ambrose’s segments because I know what he is capable of and I still have hope that WWE somehow finally does something for him, i.e handing him the push he more than deserves. But as of right now WWE doesn’t care for him at all.
People might say, “but Dean Ambrose got his own movie; so WWE trust him and his abilities”. And don’t get me wrong. I’m looking forward to watching “12 Rounds 3: Lockdown” (like the movie is now officially called). But it’s just a movie and Dean Ambrose isn’t an actor. Dean Ambrose is a wrestling character who was put off any WWE shows for a whole month, so WWE could try to make Roman Reigns more popular. His only luck was that Roman Reigns got injured just before the filming of the movie was finished. So Dean Ambrose got his second turn on Seth Rollins but only to get Rollins even more over as a cowardly cheating heel.
So, WWE trusted him with a movie? No, they were just glad to get rid of him for a whole month. I never really watched a WWE movie and apart from “Lockdown” I probably won’t watch any other. The focus is on the promotion for WWE that Vince McMahon probably wants to turn into an all entertainment business. So it’s actually not that bad that Roman Reigns can’t wrestle. He just has to look nice on a poster, Paul Heyman can be his voice and if he has to wrestle once in six months, he’ll get some humble ex-Indie wrestlers like Dean Ambrose or Daniel Bryan to make him look strong. Because these humble wrestlers will do anything and won’t complain when they can still have a wrestling match once in a while.
What a depressing future we are already looking at. And it’ll get worse if Vince McMahon chooses to live for another twenty years from now on.