Ask PWTorch ASK THE SPECIALISTS ROUNDTABLE: Should WWE be doing more with a fresh star like Dean Ambrose?
Jan 21, 2015 - 12:15:41 PM
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The "Ask the Specialists" Roundtable is the latest spin-off from the "Ask the Torch" feature. CSI led to CSI: New York and CSI: Miami, which is where you'll find the Specialists tackling a daily topic submitted by PWTorch readers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask the Specialists Roundtable #72
- Question from Aaron P.: Don't you think WWE should do a lot more with Dean Ambrose? He seems like he could be a modern version of Roddy Piper in 1986-87.
- "Hits & Misses" Jon Mezzera responds: I am a big fan of Dean Ambrose and I think anyone familiar with Roddy Piper would see the similarities. However, he was in the main event of the Hell in a Cell PPV in October. He was in the main event of the TLC PPV in December. They had him in a high-profile feud against Bray Wyatt. Now, I haven't been a huge fan of that feud, so I might do something different with him. But, your question implies a much bigger push, and I'm not sure I would have him higher on the card than he is now.
I would not go all in with him and have him with the Royal Rumble and headline WrestleMania. Not yet. I would have him below Daniel Bryan on the depth chart. He is going to be below Cena. When you think about Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, and Sheamus (once he returns), there is a lot of competition for the #3 babyface. I would have Ambrose in the mix, but I'm not sure I would automatically put him #3. But, I would certainly consider it.
- "Mr. TV" Justin James (@Justin_M_James) responds: I don’t want WWE to do “more” with Dean Ambrose, I want them to do “better” with Dean Ambrose! Ambrose is getting tons of TV and PPV time. The issue isn’t his lack of time, it’s that they are putting him in lame, boring feuds, undercutting him, and having him look like a loser far too often. They may think his character can survive this booking, but it didn’t work for C.M. Punk, Daniel Bryan wasn’t helped by it, Dolph Ziggler has not been successful with it, and on and on.
- "Falls Count Anywhere" Tony Donofrio (@TonyDonofrio) responds: I don’t think the problem is doing “a lot more” with Ambrose. The mistake WWE has made in recent months is putting him in campy skits that involve therapists, hot dogs, ketchup, mustard, etc. The first few months post-Shield, Ambrose was WWE’s hottest face and got over ORGANICALLY. Ambrose is full of charisma and is someone that WWE should trust to be himself as much as possible.
The Piper comparison is not a bad one, but I tend to see more of a Piper/Brian Pillman/Scott Hall type of mix and in no way is that a bad thing. Again, the question will be whether WWE will allow him to succeed by being himself or continue to set him up for failure with campy outside-of-the-ring segments.
- "Common Fan" Jimmy Eaton (@TheCommonFan) responds: Thanks for the question, Aaron. I love Dean Ambrose and think he should honestly be in the driver seat for a headline match at WrestleMania. But, since WWE halted all the momentum he had after Reigns was injured, it's an uphill battle. He could be a modern Piper but I think he'd be the first to say that he wants to be the first Dean Ambrose. He was over, still is, and needs to be treated with much more protection instead of losing hardcore matches regularly on TV.
- "Instant Reaction" Ben Tucker (@BTuckerTorch) responds: Yes, they should. But with Cena, Orton, Bryan, and Reigns all above him in the face pecking order and only three or so credible heels in the company, there isn't much he can do. You can only be so good on your own in wrestling. He needs a partner to dance with and ample amounts of time (like with Seth Rollins). The Wyatt feud should have been incredible, but instead felt as cobbled together as a typical Smackdown.
- "Mr. PPV" Nathan Kyght responds: 100 percent agree, Aaron, and kudos on the comparison. WWE Creative is in some strange funk at the moment, but I absolutely agree that they could promote Ambrose as such. He has that feel.
- "Showstopper" Shawn Valentino responds: Thanks for your question, Aaron. From the first time I saw Dean Ambrose in The Shield's first backstage interview on Raw, I knew he was something special. He had an unhinged darkness that made him stand out on screen, and what made him intriguing was that it was subtle. He looked like a time bomb about to explode at any second, but it was not goofy and exaggerated like most of what we see on television. It is a quality you rarely see in a wrestler, and he looked to be the stand-out talent in the faction. I thought he would be one of the great heels of the next generations.
When WWE prematurely broke up The Shield, Ambrose's natural cool factor and element of danger made him a crowd favorite. He still has the qualities that can make him a dangerous outlaw, but WWE has done a terrible job presenting him as an anti-hero. Ambrose has an authenticity about him that can make him successful as a heel or a face, but it has been tarnished by a series of lame, cartoony segments that came off as bad Nickelodeon outtakes. Here are some changes I would make immediately that would make him a stronger character:
(1) Have the idiotic commentary team stop calling him unstable and making his unhinged persona too corporate and contrived. ... (2) Get rid of that "Unstable" shirt and have cooler, more subtle merchandise. ... (3) Stop placing him in dumb pranks and stunts. ... (4) I would like to see less interviews with him, but make it really count when he talks. I would like him in unscripted black and white backstage interviews where he can let loose. ... (5) Do not put him in a gimmick match for at least three months. They are worn out, and they are watering down his character.
[ FYI: The specialists consist of a mix of current PWTorch contributors providing their opinion on today's wrestling scene and modern wrestling history questions, including Shawn Valentino, Michael Moore, Ben Tucker, Jon Mezzera, Justin James, Brian Leahy, Jimmy Eaton, Nathan Kyght, Tony Donofrio, Mike Roe, and Mike Metzger. ]
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