Whatever Happened To: Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose is a superstar who is at an impasse within the WWE, while Ambrose recently won the Intercontinental Chiampionship, no one really knows what this means for the title or for Ambrose. When Ambrose came to the main roster with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns the group made a huge splash in the company. Each member held various titles and it seemed all three men were poised to become the next big stars in the WWE. Many thought Ambrose would possibly the biggest star of the group, but as time would tell, Rollins became the next man to hold the WWE title. This wasn’t necessarily a surprise for anyone, considering Rollins in-ring ability is so good and the story line with the Authority just made sense.
Where the true plight of Ambrose began came after Hell in a Cell 2014, the rivalry between Rollins and Ambrose culminated in an exciting match between the two performers. Many people admired not only the technical and athletic abilities both men possess, but also the spots both men were able to pull off. While the match ended in weird fashion, with Ambrose losing because of Bray Wyatt, and Ambrose taking a curb stomp into some cinder blocks, because wrestling. While many people were conflicted with the finish, Ambrose and Rollins’ match was considered great.
A loss like this didn’t really hurt a guy like Ambrose. Sure, everyone wants to be the top guy, but losing an incredible match by interference doesn’t make your character look weak by any means. It may piss the fans off, but it doesn't hurt the character. The problem Ambrose ran into directly after this, was his various weak feuds and small pushes the WWE gave him. Ambrose was pushed into a forced story line feud against Wyatt, where the two would trade victories. The matches were gimmick heavy, with Wyatt coming out on top of the rivalry between the two.
Ambrose continued to drop matches and went quite sometime without having any hardware to show for his time. Ambrose beat Wade Barrett in a non-title match, but never captured the belt from Barrett. Then, Ambrose was continually put in main event matches for the title, but never in a one-on-one for the belt. Ambrose didn’t even make it to the second round of the King of The Ring tournament, after a DQ finish, because of interference from Dolph Ziggler, who attacked Ambrose’s opponent Sheamus.
Then Ambrose again feuded with the Bray Wyatt, but this time Ambrose played a supporting role to Roman Reigns against the Wyatt family. After the seemingly forced rivalry ended, Ambrose went oto battle Reigns in the main event at Survivor Series. Of course, Ambrose lost the match to the other member of The Shield. Finally, Ambrose found himself carrying another title after beating Kevin Owens at TLC, giving Ambrose the Intercontinental Title for the first time in his career. While this may be a way to boost the title or Ambrose, some fans remain skeptical of where the company may go with Ambrose, and I feel those fears are justified.
Other than Ambrose’s awesome rivalry with Rollins, the WWE has yet to really push the wrestler up to the main event. It seems apparent the WWE does not want Ambrose to be one of the top guys in the company, electing to push Reigns, a performer who many fans wish wasn’t the man with the WWE title. While the booking as hurt Ambrose, it’s not the only reason Ambrose’s rises and falls are so sporadic. Currently, the verdict is split between many fans and how they view Ambrose. Some want the wrestler to be pushed to the top of the card while others feel Ambrose has grown stale.
Many people criticize the PG Era for a decline in the product and for Ambrose this is partially true. There is nothing wrong with Ambrose’s current gimmick. “The Lunatic Fringe’ is the perfect kind of guy to go toe-to-toe against guys like Wyatt or the impossing wrestlers like Brock Lesnar. While Ambrose lacks some of the size the other wrestlers on the roster do, the look and attitude Ambrose can bring to the gimmick could be fantastic.
The attitude is almost complete, with Ambrose letting everyone know he doesn’t care if the odds are stacked and shows disrespect to heels like Kevin Owens, throwing soda and popcorn in his face. The only issue is that ambrose needs to be able to make the gimmick a little more intense. In the PG Era it’s going to be hard for an insanity or hardcore gimmick to work, in an era of wrestling which is so tame. This isn’t saying that Ambrose has to pull the crazy antics of the Attitude Era, but a little more intensity could be great for the gimmick. A few extra chair shots and more antics he pulled against Owens makes the gimmick more entertaining. Of course, the WWE wouldn’t want to limit Ambrose’s technical ability, considering it is one of the things fans love about him. Ambrose doesn’t have to rely on crazy spots, but good god are they fun to watch.
Fans clamor for Ambrose to have a gimmick change, but a gimmick change doesn’t guarantee anything for Ambrose. There is already a gimmick Ambrose feels comfortable with and could take to a new level, but it is impossible if he isn’t allowed to bring more intensity to the character.