Sometimes as a self-professed logical wrestling fan, you just need to take a step back and reevaluate your opinion on fan favourites. It’s very easy to like someone who everyone else likes and you can sometimes see yourself being swayed by public opinion. A lot of the time, the most popular superstars really aren’t that special when you remove their hype. In that vein, I’m here today to tell you why Dean Ambrose really isn’t as good as he’s made out to be.
Dean Ambrose is one of the most talked about WWE Superstars on the roster today not because of his current matches but because of the hype that surrounds him. I personally have nothing against the guy, but the way the WWE Universe have portrayed him to be the second coming of the Attitude Era is nothing short of laughable. He’s a decent asset for the WWE to have but at the moment he’s so far behind his peers it’s embarrassing. There’s a reason why Ambrose will never ever be the guy and nor will he ever be considered for the role. If you look past all his craziness and eccentric mannerisms, there truly isn’t much there to be admired.
Here are 15 reasons why Dean Ambrose is the most overrated wrestler on the roster today.
15. He’s Just Not A Star
Seriously, name me one thing Dean Ambrose does better than anyone else on the roster? If you say “act crazy,” I’ll point you towards R-Truth. If you say ‘bring intensity’ I’ll point you towards Roman Reigns. But if you were to say “be average,” then ok… I could concede that one. Whether it’s due to his appearance or personality, Dean Ambrose just isn’t the star the WWE initially wanted him to be.
You can’t even say it’s down to bad booking, because true stars rise to the cream of the crop. Daniel Bryan was booked horribly, as much as they tried to hold him down, he still rose to the top. AJ Styles at the start of the year was also losing all his PPV matches but the fans still viewed him as a star, because of his aura & ability. Ambrose doesn’t have that presence or capability to draw in viewers to the product. At least when you look at Roman Reigns, he gives off the feel that he’s a somebody.
14. He Hasn’t Lived Up To His Indy Hype
Before he was known as Dean Ambrose, Jonathan Good was the Internet’s darling under the name of Jon Moxley. For around seven long years, Moxley wrestled on the Independent circuits across the states including Ring of Honor and Evolve. The persona he portrayed was one of craziness, recklessness and hardcore wrestling. The online wrestling community loved it. His wackiness and general lack of care for his own safety was seen as entertaining in those bingo halls. His promos were also a big hit, Moxley would go on several minute long rants that truly emphasized how unstable he was. It made him excitable and captivating, in contrast to today.
With all this likability, it’s understandable that wrestling fans were incredibly excited for the arrival of Good. When he signed for the WWE in 2011, celebrations were held online. But now the hype has well and truly dried up, the lack of fruits are there to be seen. We haven’t seen these epic promos or death-defying wrestling spots in a WWE ring that we were promised.
13. He Brings Others Down
Name the last time Ambrose elevated his opponent in a feud to the point where they both looked like a million bucks once it ended. He doesn’t make others look good because he doesn’t understand how to. His intensity is channelled in a way that doesn’t rub off well on his opponent but instead it creates havoc & confusion, which distracts from the selling point of the storyline.
After a feud with Ambrose, superstars rarely look better than they did going into the bout. In fact, depending on their star power they can come off worse after a feud with the Lunatic Fringe, because of how bland his rivalries are. When viewers don’t understand how one competitor operates, it reflects badly on the other competitor because the whole match up is then rendered as a write-off.
12. No Identity/Character
Who is Dean Ambrose? One day, he’s a maniac that wants to fight everybody; the next he’s a comedian spurting out awful jokes. Like seriously, who is he meant to be? It’s hard to get behind an inconsistent persona that shows no indication of a creative direction. I don’t think the majority of the WWE Universe can get behind a character that he himself doesn’t care about. When he’s crazy, he doesn’t care about the repercussions and when’s jovial he doesn’t care about the segment he’s in. It just creates a weird vibe to those in the arena and watching at home.
There’s no method to his madness, he doesn’t do things for “good”… he just does them because he wants to. I honestly think a heel turn would do him good, because he hasn’t really grasped this whole babyface concept. Heel-ish antics would suit his lack of identity and bi-polar nature way more. It would also give him more creative freedom with his actions.
11. He’s The Worst Out Of The Shield
This is a sad, sad reality, but we have to be truthful – the Lunatic Fringe has been left in the dust by his Shield brethren. The heights Roman & Seth Rollins have reached in the past two years Ambrose will never be able to reach. Not because of opportunities but because of ability. Roman & Seth are the two top guys on RAW while Ambrose is playing second fiddle to a host of guys on SmackDown, not in terms of position, but in terms of star power.
Reigns is already a 3-time world champion while Rollins is a two-time holder, with a near year-long reign under his belt. While The 30-year old has only held the WWE title once and doesn’t look set to be recapturing it anytime soon. If we were to measure the individual popularity levels of the trio, Ambrose would be last in all departments; merchandise sales, drawing power, social media presence and pay-per-view buys.
10. He Doesn’t Respect Legends
For a top guy in the WWE to outright show no respect for his predecessors is an abomination. It shows a lack of respect to the men & women that have paved the way for him. It also raises doubts over his ability to represent the company from a PR stance. In an interview with TribLlive.com, the Lunatic Fringe shockingly said “a lot of people talk about the attitude era being so great but a lot of it was terrible crap.” The Attitude Era is literally the reason Ambrose is standing where he is today.
If it weren’t for the work of Austin, Rock, Foley, Undertaker, Angle & HHH, there wouldn’t be a WWE today for Ambrose to make his livelihood from. The most popular era in professional wrestling saved the sports entertainment industry. He’s ridden a wave of comparisons with legends, comparisons with Austin & Roddy Piper have portrayed Ambrose as someone attainable to these standards. However, in reality he’s nowhere near to them in any aspect and he never will be.
9. He Doesn’t Produce THOSE Moments
Name the one great moment that represents who Dean Ambrose is today, besides him getting turned on by Seth Rollins… It’s a struggle because when you look back on his WWE career, he hasn’t made an impact as a solo competitor. Ambrose has literally been involved in no special moments, when you look at all the main event talents, they all have that one moment that defines them. Reigns has that night in Philly when he superman punched Mr. McMahon and pinned Sheamus, Rollins has his MITB cash-in moment in the main event of WrestleMania 31, Styles has his clean victory over John Cena at SummerSlam and Cena….. well, he just has too many to name.
Now of course, I know booking has been a factor in all of these moments. But we can’t just act like Dean hasn’t been given the main event opportunities to create several moments himself. He has always teased the potential to create a moment but has always failed to execute it. Ambrose to me embodies the Mayweather–Pacquiao bout, great hype, promise & promotion but very little end product.
8. He Doesn’t Have The Look
Like it or not, Dean Ambrose just doesn’t have that conventional main event look. He doesn’t have the “it” factor, yes, he may be a little unique but his presence doesn’t draw. He doesn’t portray himself as a top guy, neither does he perform like one. To be a champ you have to present yourself as a champ. Could you imagine Ambrose on the Jimmy Kimmel Show representing our company? I’m not even sure he’d be allowed into the building.
“What about Daniel Bryan?” I hear you say. Yes, Daniel Bryan looked like an average man with a small stature but his GREAT wrestling ability & underdog complex made him likable. Ambrose looks like an average guy and performs like an average guy. We all know Vince has a fetish for body-builder type guys and Dean doesn’t fit this image. The only way he’d force Vince’s hand would be for him to tear the house down, PPV after PPV, which he doesn’t do.
7. Rarely Produces GREAT Matches
When Dean doesn’t have his former Shield brethren to carry him, he’s unable to produce great matches on a regular basis. You can literally count on one hand the amount of GREAT single matches Ambrose has had over the past two years. He had that one with Triple H at Roadblock earlier this year, him & Styles were decent at Backlash, but besides those, what other classics has he had? He hasn’t. He’s been given the right builds and the perfect opponents to produce but has failed woefully. Big feuds with Lesnar, Wyatt & Chris Jericho over the years have all been rendered forgettable by the masses, because of his sub-par performances. People say he’s a star because he’s a workhorse and is always consistent, but I don’t think there’s any pride in producing consistently average matches. Some of his matches have been memorable, but clearly not for the right reasons.
6. He’s A Poor Man’s Roddy Piper
When the Shield initially disbanded, they all received desirable comparisons. Reigns was likened to Cena, Rollins was likened to Shawn Michaels and due to his perceived unpredictability, Ambrose was said to be this era’s Rowdy Roddy Piper. But boy were we wrong. Perhaps Ambrose took this comparison too lightly and got complacent with his role. If you’re going to base your whole career off of a Hall of Famer, at least have the decency to try and add your own element to it.
Being eccentric and dressing like a dude off the street has already been done, it’s been done and it will never be excelled. Piper was charismatic, Ambrose isn’t. Piper offered something different, Ambrose is a less desirable sequel. This comparison couldn’t have been anymore way off, we got too excited by his aggressive facial expressions and unorthodox hairstyle. Arenas don’t sell out to see what Ambrose is going to do next like they did for Piper.
5. Poor At Promoting Matches
Ambrose has personally never sold me on any of his matches. He gives casual viewers no reason to sign up to the WWE Network and watch him. He doesn’t have the ability to make his matches look special or main event worthy. Even when he’s been placed last on PPV cards his bouts haven’t felt like main events. Remember how special his main event match at TLC 2014 against Bray Wyatt was? No, me neither.
To be in the spot Ambrose is currently in, he has to give people reasons to get behind him. Main events can make or break a card and Ambrose doesn’t have the ability at the moment to make them worthwhile. As the top babyface on SmackDownLive the onus is on Ambrose to sell his feud with Styles, instead Styles is the more over of the two. He doesn’t make people care and now the fans don’t care about his matches.
4. He’s Not Interesting
Fans were sold a dream by his anti-hero persona and “crazy” facial expressions. We’ve been led to believe that Ambrose is not conventional and because of this he’s therefore been perceived as interesting, but he’s not. Even in gimmick matches, the Lunatic Fringe hasn’t been able to deliver engaging matches that wow the WWE Universe. His feud against Wyatt was lazy, his street fight against Lesnar promised much but delivered little and his asylum match with Jericho was a mess from head to toe. With every poor gimmick match delivered, the expectation of Ambrose to perform goes down and so do the interest levels in him. We’re bored of being let down by him. His craziness has never translated into his matches and fans will also say that he’ll ultimately lose the feud anyway. It’s near impossible to sustain interest in a wrestler that doesn’t do what he’s promoted to do.
3. He Had His Chances
I know the common belief is that Roman Reigns was always the chosen one from the Shield trio but nobody can ever say Dean wasn’t “pushed”. While the Shield was still in effect Ambrose was the only one of the three to gain a solo championship run at the time. He was even portrayed as the leader of the group at one time with Reigns & Rollins being labelled as his backup dancers. He was also afforded the unbelievable opportunity of fighting the Undertaker one on one on an episode of SmackDown.
Nobody on this earth can say that Dean Ambrose hasn’t had his opportunities. He’s been given the ball but has dropped it several times, thus allowing his peers to pick it up in front of him. For someone so widely anticipated, he really hasn’t delivered in the main spots, no wonder Reigns & Rollins are now so far ahead of him. Perhaps some aren’t cut out for the spotlight.
2. His Finisher Is Pathetic
If we’re debating the weakest finishers in history, the dirty deeds would have to be in the conversation. All the greats have iconic finishers that make you as a fan strongly believe the receiver will be down for the three count. It’s hard for you to take a ‘top guy’ serious when his finishing move is a move we see every single day by all types of wrestlers, even jobbers.
Finishing moves have to be impactful and a big deal, a glorified DDT is common and can be performed by anybody. Where’s the impact? Where’s the believability? Where’s the wow factor? You’re telling us that this wrestler is the most unpredictable and crazy person on the roster but his finishing move is the most dull & unoriginal move known to man. Just add something to it, if you’re not gonna’ change it at least give it a layer up move. Please.
1. He Can’t Wrestle
Well, someone had to say it. This definitely goes under the radar way too much and I’m not sure why. Dean Ambrose really isn’t that good a wrestler. His move set is limited and repetitive in comparison to other top guys. I know his style is meant to be one of a brawler, but I have not once been amazed by a wrestling spot from Ambrose. Yeah, a suicide dive is nice, but half the roster already do that. I honestly cannot name one good move the Lunatic Fringe does in the ring.
I’ll admit he has good ring psychology and interesting mannerisms but his wrestling ability is limited and incredibly overhyped. Why Dean Ambrose doesn’t get “you can’t wrestle” chants I do not know. John Cena literally has more moves than him, if you don’t believe me, go and count them. His movement in the ring is also awkward, perhaps due to his ring attire or most probably due to his lack of ability. Let’s stop judging wrestlers based on hype and start looking at their performances instead.