Almost one month ago, wrestling fans every where were shocked at the sudden break-up of The Shield. Everyone knew this was coming at some point down the line. But I think most of us weren’t expecting it to happen this soon. The Shield had just dominated Evolution again and seemed to be at the top of their game. But Seth Rollins turned his back on Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, leaving many wrestling fans in a state of shock.
After getting over the initial grieving process that most wrestling fans are allowed, it was time to start thinking about what all of this meant. As I said in my thoughts after, there really wasn’t too much left for The Shield to do. They had just ran through Evolution for the second PPV in a row. They had already feuded with The Wyatt Family. A lot of people suggested individual feuds for all three members. But to me, that is almost the same as those three breaking up. So I was willing to let the process play out.
Many people thought that Dean Ambrose would be the one to turn heel. But the WWE gave that role to Seth Rollins instead. And after watching the first Dean Ambrose promo on the RAW following the break-up, you knew exactly why things played out like they did. Ambrose’s promo was the right amount of revenge, craziness, and flat out bad-assery that you want from a face. It wasn’t cliched or watered down like a lot of face promos are in the WWE. Some suggested after the promo that Dean Ambrose is like Brian Pillman and Roddy Piper mixed into one. And it is hard to not agree.
Everyone automatically assumed that Roman Reigns would be the next big star in the WWE. And we know that Reigns is being built up for such a role. But my question is this: Why couldn’t the next big star be Dean Ambrose? I know it is only a month’s sampling, but Dean Ambrose has won over a lot of fans in this month time period. Ambrose of course had his followers from his Indy days that followed him to the WWE. So he already had a “hardcore, Internet” fan base. But I’m pretty sure Ambrose has won over even more fans in the past month than Roman Reigns has.
Wrestling fans have grown to appreciate a lot of different wrestling characters over the years. And some times it doesn’t even matter what the character is. If fans appreciate the effort and hard work of a performer, they tend to gravitate towards said character. But if there is one character that wrestling fans always seem to love, it is the anti-hero. The man that is anti-authority and stands up to the normal ways of life. He’s the rebel. He doesn’t listen to any authority. He stands on his own and is an outlaw. Fans often like to live bi-cariously through that performer. It’s one type of character that has stood the test of time in the world of pro wrestling.
A lot of the most popular characters in wrestling history were all anti-authority. The most obvious one is Stone Cold Steve Austin. Many people consider him the benchmark when talking about this category. Before him came Rowdy Roddy Piper. Of course the most recent example is CM Punk. You could even point to Sting in WCW during his rivalry with the nWo. Some of the most popular characters in wrestling history are people who stand up to the authority.
Dean Ambrose may have only given us a small dose so far, but I think he has all the makings of the next anti-authority rebel that we wrestling fans have grown to love. So far, every one of his promos have been great. From his initial response to Seth Rollins after the Shield break-up, to his promo on RAW before Money in the Bank where he said he would wreak havoc on the PPV if he wasn’t put in the ladder match, to his promo at Money in the Bank before the match, all of those have been outstanding. Last night’s Money in the Bank promo even got my non-wrestling fans invested in Ambrose during the show.
Ambrose has even changed his in ring style to fit his current character better. As a heel in The Shield, Ambrose worked more methodically and at a slower pace. Since his face turn and even now with his loose cannon like gimmick, his offense has become more a bit more unpredictable and frantic. Not only that but who doesn’t get a tiny little resemblance of Stone Cold the last couple times Ambrose has come out to attack Rollins. And while some people might consider Ambrose’s current theme a bit generic, I think it works for him. Hell, Austin’s theme isn’t anything special. Outside the broken glass in the beginning, it’s just a lot of guitar work. The beginning of Ambrose’s theme is designed to get a pop out of the crowd.
So what exactly does the WWE have with Dean Ambrose? Most people assumed he would eventually turn heel just like Rollins did. But again, there is a reason each member of The Shield took on specific roles after the break-up. I wonder if the WWE knew just how well Dean Ambrose would come off as a face. As long as the WWE doesn’t start to water down his act, I really think Ambrose has the makings of a huge star going going forward.
Most people assume Roman Reigns has been pegged as the next top guy in the WWE going forward. The heir-apparent to John Cena. But could Dean Ambrose cause some wrinkles in that plan? What happens if Ambrose’s popularity continues to rise throughout the year? And what if people start gravitating more toward Ambrose than Reigns? I think Reigns is going to be a big time player in the WWE. And if you asked me right now what the main event of Wrestlemania 31 should be, I would tell you either John Cena or Brock Lesnar defending the WWE Title against Roman Reigns. But if Ambrose continues to play his part well, could we see another Daniel Bryan situation in the build to Wrestlemania 31? Could fans grow to love Dean Ambrose and want to see him in the top spot instead of Roman Reigns?
We are obviously a long ways away from that scenario, but it is something that should at least be thought about. Dean Ambrose has all the makings to be the next anti-authority hero of our generation. And if he continues to get the crowd reactions like he did at Money in the Bank, one has to wonder if he will become the next top face of the WWE. All three members of The Shield will find success in the WWE. But Dean Ambrose may have the ability to reach heights no one thought he could, playing a character many never expected him to be: The Anti-Authority Rebel.
Until Next Time,
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