As most wrestling fans have heard by now, word came out early this week that Dean Ambrose is leaving WWE. It has come with a bit of shock for most fans and peers of Dean Ambrose. And even more shocking, the WWE acknowledged it and made a public statement that Dean Ambrose will not be renewing his contract in April and will be leaving the company.
The real question, is this legit or a storyline angle? When I first saw the news, I immediately thought of the angle between Brian Pillman and WCW back in the mid nineties. At the time Pillman was working on evolving his loose cannon gimmick. He and Eric Bischoff, who was the man who ran things back then, were working the fans, fellow wrestlers and other promotions.
The entire purpose of the angle was for Pillman to get a bigger contract and for WCW to get the ratings that Bischoff desperately wanted. The entire thing backfired on both men when Pillman was in a near life ending car accident and settled for less money to get a guaranteed contract with the WWE.
It also reminds me of the CM Punk angle from earlier in the decade. CM Punk used the end of his contract to his benefit and propelled his character to unbelievable heights. Punk, who has been out of the WWE for about five years now, still gets chants from the WWE crowd when they are not happy with a match or segment.
Ambrose, who has stated he is not happy with the direction of his character, is on the same track as Pillman and Punk. Ambrose and Pillman have very similar characters. Pillman was the loose cannon and Ambrose is the lunatic. CM Punk was vocal about not being happy with his character direction and now Ambrose is doing it.
Ambrose is hard to figure out, as Dolph Ziggler put it during an interview with Busted Open on Sirius XM, “Dean is a nice guy, loves wrestling but hard to read.” From what I understand Ambrose keeps to himself for the most part. The difference between Ambrose and Pillman/Punk is that Ambrose stated he doesn’t care about the money.
I think Pillman and Punk had a price, Ambrose seems to be sticking to his guns about not being able to be bought. From all reports, Ambrose has been good about saving his money and not living a lavish life style. He is a simple guy when it comes to materialistic things. So he has the option to go to a different wrestling company and have more control over the direction of his character.
Character direction is more important than the money for Ambrose, which has most of us wondering…A.E.W.? Ambrose would be a great addition to the upstart promotion. Rumor has it, one of Ambrose closest friends in the business is Chris Jericho. Obviously, Jericho is one of, if not THE biggest name on the growing A.E.W. roster.
Jericho, who I am sure can pull a few strings when it comes to A.E.W., will probably be the voice for Ambrose and signing with A.E.W.. Although, I believe Ambrose’s work speaks for itself. Could you imagine A.E.W. in May at Double or nothing with both Ambrose and Jericho? Say what you want about A.E.W. competing with WWE, but this has to sting a little.
So, now that you have a synopsis of the Dean Ambrose situation, let me give you my personal thoughts on it. Do I think Dean Ambrose leaving is legit? Yes… but… now let me explain the but. I have to agree with Dolph Ziggler when he says Ambrose is hard to read. Obviously, I say that as a fan and not someone who has first hand interaction with the guy.
Ambrose is a confusing character, probably because the man behind the character is confusing. His return to WWE after his injury has been pretty good in my personal opinion. I mean he got a huge pop upon his return late last summer. He was involved in main event storylines almost immediately.
Who will ever forget his heel turn the night of Roman Reigns leukemia announcement. In one of the most shocking turns in recent memory, Ambrose and Rollins won the tag team titles that night and Ambrose turned on him after the match. Based on the comments reported from Ambrose, maybe his turn that night was not his idea.
Reigns is another guy who Ambrose considers a friend and maybe, just maybe, Ambrose wasn’t totally on board with the turn that night. Ambrose has stated that he absolutely hates the scripted promos. And that wrestlers in WWE have very little control of their character. Maybe the turn was a decision he couldn’t do anything about.
It’s hard to say what rubbed Ambrose the wrong way, but clearly something has. That is why he plans on leaving. Now back to the yes…but. I think the statement by WWE is legit, and I think Ambrose plans on leaving. But… I think there is a fifty-fifty chance he stays by the time April rolls around.
Vince McMahon is a great, great, great business man. If he really wants Ambrose to stick around, he will give up some of the control and open up the check book. Yes, Ambrose has said that money is not the issue, but what if he was offered Brock Lesnar type money? Even if it’s for a year, why not “make bank” and then go.
I believe all the reports, yes Ambrose is done in April, BUT don’t be surprised if they work something out before then. The storylines and use of Ambrose over the next couple of months will tell us the real story. If Ambrose starts losing most his matches and there is almost no talk of him leaving, I would certainly believe that he is leaving.
But, if Ambrose contract situation becomes storyline, look for it to be a work. Either way, what is most of the wrestling community talking about right now? Dean Ambrose. If he stays in WWE, he’s going to make a lot of money, if he leaves he quite possibly could be the most popular guy in the industry for professionally telling Vince McMahon to take his money and shove it. Another great topic on the road to WrestleMania and I will be watching this situation closely over the next few months.
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