David Campbell analyses in depth how he believes the now former Dean Ambrose is still with WWE but not as we know it.
After what felt like a dozen stipulation matches against Drew McIntyre, several “last time ever” reunions with The Shield, and more Renee Young “OMG’s” than I’d even be willing to count, it appears that the Lunatic Fringe has finally been cut from the shaggy hair of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Despite having appeared on the company’s main roster for close to seven years, Ambrose’s departure comes with the bitter sense. The former WWE champion arguably failed to reach his full potential as a main-event attraction for the McMahon empire.
Indeed, this could be due to the obvious comparison one makes between Ambrose and his Shield stablemates Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins (who have both managed to leave the Ohio native lying in their dust in terms of kayfabe success and overall star-power).
But the point still remains that Dean’s departure feels not only untimely but also incredibly deflating for WWE fans. I remember taking my young sister to a house-show at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow . That night, Chris Jericho got on the mic and proclaimed Ambrose as the future of the company. Fast forward to 2019 and that ship has sailed. Apparently.
For you see, Ambrose’s case is incredibly unusual. He is Schrödinger’s superstar. He is an anomaly.
WWE have said unequivocally that he is no longer with the company. However, there are still parts of the Ambrose equation that do not quite add up.
For example, can you remember an occasion when a still-active wrestler was given such a grandiose send-off by WWE? No. Can you remember a time when WWE announced a superstar’s departure months in advance on their official Twitter account? No. Do you remember a time when commentary was given permission to discuss a wrestler’s real-life contract status so candidly? Not on your nelly.
The Jon Moxley conundrum
Something is off. Common logic seems to suggest that upon the release of a Jon Moxley vignette on Twitter that Ambrose is away to recently birthed AEW, with many citing the imagery and symbolism on display in that aforementioned video as evidence of the third man of The Shield going “all in”.
Yes, I get it, he’s been locked up guys and now he’s free. Go figure. But let me ask you this: is that too easy an answer? Isn’t it a bit too seamless that Ambrose departs WWE and, without delay, a video hyping the return of his once beloved independent character appears online?
As for AEW, they’ve shown no signs in slowing down their advertising machine in the lead up to their Double or Nothing event and, with the news that they have secured a TV deal stateside with TNT in mind, there is no way that that they wouldn’t want to capitalise on the fact that they had signed yet another former world champion to their fledgling brand.
Something doesn’t add up.
Is he still with WWE?
This is why I’m going to ask you all to put on your tin-foil hats and bear with me for a second, because I am convinced that Dean Ambrose is not only still with WWE, but is set for a stratospheric main-event push, the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long time.
A name change, completely new gimmick and a storyline not unlike the beginnings of The Summer of Punk. The ingredients are there. If stewed at the right temperature, would be guaranteed to make Ambrose a superstar upon his return to the company he has called home for roughly a decade now.
And while I’ll admit that this may sound to some like I am just fantasy booking Ambrose’s return, it would be impossible to deny that there are very clear signs that suggest the real-life Jonathan Good is not done with Vince McMahon’s company just yet.
Furthermore, its not as if WWE have been completely averse to completely recreating a superstar’s character after a lengthy spell off TV. In fact, the recent buzz around the “Funhouse” version of Bray Wyatt is living, breathing proof of the old adage that absence makes the heart go fonder.
And to those of you out there who are screaming at your screens right now saying “David! Seriously! Why wouldn’t WWE be utilising a talent like Dean Ambrose when their ratings are the lowest they’ve been in years?”, I answer this.
Good point, but that’s the beauty of it. This could be the most exciting wrestling angle we have seen since the rise of Daniel Bryan. The seeds have been sown here for the ultimate comeback story: a man rebelling against the machine and rejecting the branded name they have given him to go on a rampage throughout the organisation.
So what does the future hold?
All I’m saying is this: expect the unexpected. Don’t be surprised if after Ambrose finishes shooting the upcoming film Cagefighter he finds his way back to the WWE. It all fits. The weird departure. The high-end video promo. The radio-silence about his next move. His starring role in this new film. The fact his wife is still a huge commodity for the company.
Ladies and gentlemen, the conclusion is clear: Dean Ambrose is not going “all-in”, WWE are going “all-in” on Jon Moxley.