Analyzing Dean Ambrose’s Revival After WWE Fastlane Announcement


Dean Ambrose is back and he’s looking better than ever.

It seems like a distant memory, but from Apr. to Jun. 2015, Dean Ambrose was the hottest babyface in WWE. He was in the main event of three consecutive pay-per-views, battling for Seth Rollins’ WWE World Heavyweight Championship in each one. The Lunatic Fringe did not come out successful in any of these matches, but also did not take a pinfall.

Once Rollins snatched the belt away from him at WWE Money in the Bank, the downfall started.

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To get Roman Reigns back on the good side of the WWE Universe, they made him Ambrose’s sidekick for a few months after WrestleMania 31. He was out there every time his buddy got a pop, so WWE thought this would translate into a positive reaction for the former Muscle Man of The Shield. They shifted the focus to Roman after MITB and had Dean take the sidekick role. WWE seemingly would did not look back after this.

WWE seemingly would not look back after this.

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After headlining multiple PPV’s, Ambrose’s role in the meaningful spots on Raw and SmackDown disappeared. He would often be seen in the locker room talking about the ongoing events with Reigns or pumping him up to go out there and fight Bray Wyatt, who he was feuding with at the time.

Four weeks would pass, and Ambrose never got added to the WWE Battleground match card. No feud was started, no program was even teased for him. He would sit there as Reigns faced (and lost) to the Eater of Worlds.

Following Battleground, Ambrose came back into the picture. He was kind of just there, though, even when the tag team match for WWE SummerSlam was created. The same went for the six-man tag match at WWE Night of Champions.

WWE Hell in a Cell and Survivor Series crushed the character of Dean Ambrose, though. He was set for a pre-show match at the former show before Randy Orton went down with an injury. The former CZW star wouldn’t be seen for the rest of the show in a prominent role. It didn’t help that Reigns had taken over the feud with Wyatt, pushing his former Shield partner to the outside.

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  • At the Nov. PPV, Ambrose climbed his way through the WWE WHC tournament, which crowned a champion at the show. While he made it to the finals to face Reigns, he lost the finals in about 9 minutes. Despite being involved in a title match, that seemed to be the lowest Ambrose had fallen in 2015.

    From there, the situation improved.

    Ambrose’s work in the ring had become uninspired, but his WWE TLC match with Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Championship seemed to provide a spark. The leader of the Ambrose Asylum provided his best match in months and excited the crowd when he pinned KO’s shoulders down to get the win and the title.

    Ambrose and Owens would have an entertaining feud that seemed to boost both men for the next six weeks. They put on entertaining matches while being the focus of SmackDown, which was a great showcase for them. Their title bout on the USA Network return of the blue brand set the tone for what’s to come on the new-and-improved show.

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    To make these two Superstars’ feud feel bigger, a Last Man Standing Match stipulation was added to their Royal Rumble contest for the IC Title. This really brought out the best in both of them, as they put on one of the best Last Man Standing matches in years.

    However, Ambrose shined in this because of his victory. He threw Owens into two tables and won as the referee counted to 10.

    The IC title holder’s night would be nowhere close to being over, though.

    Fast-forward to the end of the Royal Rumble match, and Ambrose is in the final three with Reigns and Triple H. Suddenly, the Game eliminates the WWE WHC, and it’s just down to him and Ambrose. It may have been the moment that reignited his crowd support.

    For that one moment, you thought Ambrose had a shot of eliminating Triple H and becoming the top champion for the first time in his career. You suspended your belief and thought that despite the predictable outcome, the babyface could win. How about when he got HHH onto the apron and nearly knocked him off? Ambrose would get eliminated moments later.

    On the post-Royal Rumble Raw, it was the battle to impress The Authority. While the storyline did not make much sense, the previous night’s events became clear as Ambrose would get inserted into the WWE Fastlane main event to face Reigns and Brock Lesnar for the right to battle Triple H in the main event of WrestleMania 32 for the title.

    Weeks before this title match, Ambrose had one of the better exclusive WWE interviews in recent memory. He showed passion, didn’t go on a script and unleashed on how he wanted to become champion and wouldn’t let anyone stand in his way.

    The heavy favorite is Reigns, who has been in a storyline with the McMahon’s and the Cerebral Assassin for months. The likely finish to this would be him getting his long-awaited WrestleMania coronation after a Fastlane victory.

    But what if everyone’s belief was suspended again?

    The Feb. 21 PPV is in Cleveland, OH, which is 250 miles away from Cincinnati, the hometown of Ambrose. These once-a-month special shows usually have a strong crowd and that will only be enhanced by the support for him. The fans will be rooting on for the home state kid as he wrestles the biggest match he’s had in WWE. They will be going through the emotions of the match, seeing the drama of Ambrose possibly pinning Reigns or Lesnar to move onto WrestleMania. “Oooh” and “Aaah” will be heard.

    Think about this too—is Ambrose guaranteed to be the one to take the pinfall?

    When he was added to the WWE Payback 2015 main event, the assumption was his presence in the match was to be the one to get pinned by Rollins. That turned out to not be the case, as Randy Orton was hit with the Pedigree and pinned by the Architect, proving myself, and other fans wrong.

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    It would be the upset of the decade, but how about if Ambrose wins? The odds are slim but how crazy would that make everything? We suddenly have an unexpected main event at WrestleMania that would draw fan interest. Even if Reigns worked his way in to make this a triple threat, there would possibly be more hype than the expected one on one between him and Triple H.

    Is Dean Ambrose going to headline WrestleMania 32? Probably not. Is he back on track, though? No doubt about it.