Indeed, Dean Ambrose is a crusader for the common man/woman in the WWE Universe. He perfectly fills the void left by the departure of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan—two superstars who were in perennial beefs with the bosses. Like those two, Ambrose has capitalized on the high-profile matches/rivalries with The Authority and others. Unlike those two, though, WWE has not allowed Ambrose's feuds to lead to significant gains.
Ambrose was the first person to feud with Seth Rollins after he backstabbed The Shield and joined The Authority. He had great matches, but ultimately failed at foiling Rollins. Kane helped Rollins defeat Ambrose in the Money in the Bank ladder match. Rollins then curbstomped Ambrose through cinderblocks, putting him out of commission for about a month or so. The stage was set for Ambrose to get his long-awaited revenge and for the fans to revel in Seth Rollins getting his comeuppance.
However, the fans were (and would continue to be) disappointed. The two put on their best match to date at Night of Champions in September of 2014, only to have Bray Wyatt interfere and attack Ambrose. It was quite the let down for a fight with so much build up. The same would go for the Wyatt-Ambrose rivalry.
Needless to say, we all remember the exploding television incident. It was one of the weirdest and lamest ways to end a pay-per-view match. That debacle ultimately led to Ambrose losing the feud when Wyatt defeated him in an ambulance match. It was, yet again, a disappointment for Dean Ambrose. He gained next to nothing from that match and feud. His opponents, however, gained relevance and validation.
As a result of the first installment of his rivalry with Ambrose, Seth Rollins was able to hone his craft as a heel. He now stands as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Bray Wyatt desperately needed a meaningful win to make him credible for at least another pay-per-view. He got just that by defeating Ambrose.
WWE even used Ambrose to up the ante for the Intercontinental Championship ladder match at WrestleMania 31, only to have Daniel Bryan win the championship. It is pretty clear that Dean Ambrose has become a booster talent—someone whose popularity is used to amplify the status and career trajectory of a fellow competitor. It may keep Ambrose popular and in the mix, but it will rarely, if ever, lead to a meaningful championship run. Just ask Dolph Ziggler.
So now, once again, Dean Ambrose finds himself in this situation. He is feuding with The Authority and Seth Rollins. And again, he will not be the key beneficiary from this conflict. It is not even Seth Rollins, although he will legitimize his title reign by defeating Ambrose at Money in the Bank.
The real winner of this conflict, who is leeching off The Lunatic Fringe to reach closer to he brass ring, is none other than Roman Reigns. He is still the handpicked replacement for John Cena and Vince McMahon is not giving up on his pet project.
Since the backlash Roman Reigns received after the Royal Rumble, WWE had to reel back how they push Reigns to the top (and down the throats of the fans). They have been rebuilding his status month by month and they have done so by connecting him to fan favorites.
Both Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton were used to enhance the status of Roman Reigns. They complimented his courage, strength, and resolve in and outside the ring. Respect for Reigns—regardless of his experience—served as the foundation of these rivalries. WWE even went as far as to have Reigns and his foes team up to take on The Authority a number of times before the respective pay-per-views. The focus on mutual respect means that regardless of the outcome of the rivalries, the fans will not turn on Reigns.
They will instead view him as the rightful competitor to finally take out Seth Rollins, The Authority, and eventually win the World Heavyweight Championship. All he needs is to clasp onto another who can help propel him to acclaim. That man is Dean Ambrose.
The past few weeks have seen Reigns and Ambrose attached to the hip. Even though they are both jockeying for the title, the two show no animosity toward each other. Instead, they seem closer than ever. WWE has made it a concerted effort to link the two as best friends. It keeps him in the main event picture without any pressure on his shoulders.
Look no further than last week's Raw. It opened with Reigns serving as Ambrose's emissary, facing off with The Authority for the sake of his bestie. Reigns, in return for his loyalty to Ambrose, gets put through a series of matches. Because of his unwavering support for Ambrose, the fans support him. Once again, it puts Reigns in the perfect position to move closer and closer to the title.
He will either find himself the Money in the Bank winner or get screwed over by Kane and The Authority, possibly leading to a confrontation with Triple H at SummerSlam. A battle with the King of Kings has long served as the litmus test for prospective mega stars. After battling Bryan, Orton, and Triple H, Reigns will be validated when he eventually faces and defeats Rollins and/or Brock Lesnar for the World Heavyweight Championship in the near future. You can believe that!
What do you think? Is this the time for Dean Ambrose, or am I reading too much between the lines? Leave your comments and predictions in the comments below!