Column: Dean Ambrose is the Future of the Business
May 22, 2013 - by Atlee Greene
Wrestling Soap Box: Dean Ambrose is the Future of the Business.
I’m putting myself out there on this one. As they say on the street, you either go big or you go home.
There comes a time in any genre where a particular talent stands out from the rest of the pack. It could be for any number of reasons or simply because of one mitigating factor. Personal opinion comes into play as the exploits of this individual just speaks to you, even if they don’t to anyone else. This person also reinvigorates your excitement for the genre to the point where you’ve become a fan again for the first time. I’m talking about professional wrestling, and the wrestler I’m referring to is Dean Ambrose and I believe that he will be the future of the business.
Ambrose, whose real name is Jonathan Good, was known as Jon Moxley on the independent scene. He was trained by Les Thatcher and found a success in some of the country’s most popular promotions, including Dragon Gate USA, FIP, and CZW. Seven years of working anywhere and everywhere brought him to a WWE developmental contract and assignment to Florida Championship Wrestling in 2011. Sixteen months later, the Cincinnati native got called up to the majors and debuted at Survivor Series along with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns to form “The Shield.”
The intriguing character often finds more success than the superior mechanic. However, those who can do both equally well, often become one of the all-time greats. Industry insiders have compared Ambrose to Johnny Valentine and Chris Jericho has publicly praised him on several occasions. Looking for a reference outside of wrestling, I would compare him to guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. They both have a unique and eclectic style that compliments the intensity they put towards their craft.
Ambrose’s in-ring work consists of no wasted motion as everything is done for a reason. Even the little things, such as Irish whipping an opponent into the opposite corner are executed with a certain gravitas that screams “This guy is different.”
These days, most wrestlers make a quick sneer or feel simply taking a bump is enough to sell a move. Ambrose gets it. He sells like the heels of old while playing the crowd like a Stradivarius. The story of anguish reverberates through his whole body.
Promos come as natural as breathing does for the new United States champion. His mannerisms are reminiscent of Heath Ledger’s “Joker” and as he speaks in a slow and deliberate pace. Instead of just yelling the entire time, his monotone passages lead to a stirring gradual crescendo.
Over the years, names such as RVD, Mysterio, Jericho, Bryan, Punk and, Ziggler have garnered the respect and admiration of the internet wrestling community with a demand to have them pushed to main event status at every turn. Ambrose brings something to the table that is different than anyone else on that list.
There is a reason why he got to work a singles match with The Undertaker. The company realizes they have something in Ambrose and tested the waters in having him work with one of the greatest of all time. Undertaker is not just some wrestler who comes to the building, looks at the booking sheet, and takes whatever he is given. I’m willing to bet he was asked in advance if he would work with Ambrose. Perhaps, The Deadman himself requested the match since he knows his days are numbered and wanted to go one round with a guy who has a lot of hype.
While he is talented enough to play a babyface, being a heel is what will bring him to the promise land. Truth be told, I haven’t been excited about a talent in a long time. Even if he doesn’t become a mega draw at the box office, his conspicuous performance will make him a high level main event player. I could be right on the money or I could be completely out of my mind. Either way, I think the future looks bright because I believe in Dean Ambrose.
Atlee Greene is a former wrestler who has followed professional wrestling for 25 years and writes about wrestling, mixed martial arts, and comic books on his blog, Midnight Logic and is also the host of The Body Slam Podcast which can be found, right here, at gerweck.net.