Nearly two years ago, Seth Rollins picked up a steel chair and destroyed The Shield.
Little did he know at the time, but Rollins had unleased a monster. While Roman Reigns moved on as the custodian of The Shield’s ring gear and entrance music, Dean Ambrose proved to be far less forgiving.
Ambrose’s quest for vengence has defined his career since the destruction of The Shield. When Rollins screwed him out of winning Money In The Bank in 2014, Ambrose vowed that he would sabotage Rollins’ guaranteed shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Rollins grew desperate for breathing room, and a viable opportunity to cash in his Money In The Bank contract. That culminated in one of the most heinous acts of Raw’s PG era, when Rollins used his Curb Stomp to put Ambrose’s head through a cinder block.
Ambrose didn’t stay down for long, but his pursuit of Rollins was becoming exhausting. Weeks of waiting for Rollins to cash in turned into months, and the pressure of the moment everyone knew was coming only grew. What would fans think if Rollins tried to cash in and Ambrose wasn’t there to stop him? We got our answer at WrestleMania 31. During a ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship, Ambrose was knocked out and busted open. Rollins finally had his opening, and successfully cashed in his contract at the end of the night.
Ambrose was disappointed, but undeterred. After all, there was now a new chase for an even richer prize. Ambrose chased Rollins and his title from one end of the world to the other. At the Elimination Chamber event just over a year ago, it appeared Ambrose had finally reached his goal.
Dean Ambrose held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but a perverse twisting of pro wrestling’s already warped rule book snatched away his place in WWE history. A few weeks later, Rollins regained the physical title belt. Ambrose was once again left empty-handed, but promised to one day reach the top of the mountain. New rivals emerged for both men, but the hunt never ended, not even after Rollins suffered a major knee injury that cost him the championship and months of his career.
The wait for Rollins’ return was worth it for Ambrose. Not long after his old rival returned to the ring, Ambrose finally found himself in the perfect place and time to exact his revenge, and he was armed with the perfect weapon.
Welcome to the Ambrose Era.
Looking back on Dean Ambrose’s two-year journey, it’s easy to understand why fans are nearly unanimous in their approval of him becoming the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
The WWE Universe hasn’t had it this good in a while. Not since Daniel Bryan more than two years ago has the company’s world champion been someone that just about everyone wants to cheer.
Is Dean Ambrose the perfect wrestler? Of course not. His offense is limited, whether by design or by choice. His character is frequently portrayed as a sort of wrestling Wile E. Coyote, but he has the charisma to outshines his flaws.
Monday on Raw, Ambrose was a guest commentator during the main event. He dominated, rattling on in a seemingly endless discussion about his long-awaited title win and the former Shield members who were vying to become his first challenger. At times, the regular announce team practically disappear.
He didn’t have to stop to remember his lines. He rarely stopped talking at all. He was fully, completely Dean Ambrose – so in touch with his character that it’s nearly impossible to tell he’s playing one. He makes you believe.
This is a level of confidence that’s become far too rare on WWE programming. Dean Ambrose has seized the spotlight in the past, and I fully expect him to maximize every moment of his reign as WWE World Heavyweight Champion.