The Lunatic Fringe is one of the hottest things in WWE right now. While the WWE fans have known Dean Ambrose for his three-year tenure, Ambrose had made a name for himself even before he ever stepped into a WWE ring. Ambrose was a very successful indie wrestler, having wrestled in many major indie promotions such as Heartland Wrestling Association, Combat Zone Wrestling, and Dragon Gate USA. At each of these stops along the way he learned valuable skills, and what we are witnessing right now is the final product of a long journey to make it to the top.
Ambrose has had successes in WWE from being in one of the greatest factions ever assembled (The Shield) to winning the United States Championship and headlining many pay per view events. However, even with all this success, Ambrose still hasn’t won the ultimate prize in the industry, the WWE Championship. With the direction the booking has gone in lately, one can wonder if he will ever get a chance to hold the title.
In my opinion he should have won the title at the 2015 Survivor Series. He is very over with the fans and WWE needs a guy like him to carry the company during this time of an injury depleted roster. For the sake of wrestling fans and Ambrose, I hope WWE doesn’t make the same mistake they did with the late great Roddy Piper and never let him win the WWE Championship.
Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Dean Ambrose.
10. He Wanted to Wrestle When He Was 16 But Wasn’t Allowed Until 18
Ambrose fell in love with wrestling at a young age. So much so that he tried to become a wrestler at 16 in the Heartland Wrestling Association (AHA). However, the promoter told him to go to college, gain some weight, and wait a few more years. Ambrose couldn’t work for them so he decided to train for them by attending classes. From there, he would start working for HWA by doing various things from selling popcorn to setting up the ring. Little did the organization know that this skinny kid would one day be a fan favorite of the WWE Universe.
9. He Made His Debut At 18
The promoter at the time while Ambrose was training was Les Thatcher, and he didn’t think Ambrose was ready for the ring. Fortunately for Ambrose, he left the promotion and Cody Hawk stepped in and gave Ambrose his shot to prove himself as a wrestler. All the persistency eventually paid off for Ambrose and at the young and tender age of 18 he made his professional wrestling debut as Jon Moxley in AHA after only one short year of training.
8. He Won His First Championship After Less Than a Year Wrestling
In AHA, Moxley would start off in a tag team called Necessary Roughness with a man named Jimmy Turner. Moxley and Turner would capture the HWA Tag Team Championship, giving Moxley his first piece of gold after only 11 months on the job. His biggest accomplishment came in 2006 when he won the HWA Heavyweight Championship.
7. ECW Inspired His Career Path
ECW was a huge influence on Ambrose. So much so that he joined Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW). The action and violence in a different world enabled Ambrose to escape the current environment he lived in, mainly because it was one that he could relate to. It’s no coincidence that CZW’s tagline is “Ultraviolent Entertainment.” Ambrose has incorporated some of the things he’s done in CZW and brought them to WWE. His “unhinged” personality can be greatly attributed to this period in his life.
6. He Lost Two Matches in WWE Back in 2006
Long before the success of Ambrose and The Shield, Ambrose wrestled in WWE in 2006 as part of two jobber tag team matches. He wrestled on Velocity and Sunday Night Heat under his Moxley name. Moxley lost both matches (obviously) but it was his first taste of WWE and it’s crazy to think that years later he would be one of the top guys in the promotion. I suppose WWE really has a knack for undervaluing the talent that passes through their roster…
5. Ambrose and Rollins Are Old Foes
In April 2011, Ambrose signed with WWE and right away was thrown into a feud with Seth Rollins for the FCW 15 Championship. Their first matches for the FCW 15 Championship were classics. All of them were Ironman Matches of 15, 20, and 30 minutes in length. All three of the matches ended in a tie, but Rollins prevailed during sudden death of the 30-minute third match. WWE knew there was something special between these two, and their chemistry continued to be apparent throughout their WWE run in The Shield.
4. He’s The Third Longest-Reining US Champion
Ambrose held the United States title for an impressive 351 days before dropping it to Sheamus. Ambrose’s rein is the longest in WWE history and third-longest of all time, only behind Rick Rude (419 days) and Lex Luger (523 days). Although his rein was lackluster and booked terribly, as he rarely defended it (only 14 times), it’s still a notable achievement. It would have been great to see him defend it with something similar to John Cena’s Open Challenge.
3. Ambrose Had An Altercation With Mick Foley
During WrestleMania 28 weekend, Mick Foley was talking to fans and Ambrose took it upon himself to get into Foley’s face and give him a piece of his mind. Ambrose said Foley was a criminal and needed to be held accountable for young kids imitating his stunts in backyard matches. The two would go on to have a war of words on Twitter and this led to Ambrose being sent home from Smackdown and back to FCW. It’s a shame WWE didn’t jump on this and make it an angle. The two would have put on a legendary hardcore match.
2. His Persona Is Not Fake
Ambrose’s tough guy persona in wrestling isn’t fake. The superstar grew up in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in Cincinnati. Living on the east side of Cincinnati where crime, drugs, and violence where very common, Ambrose had it tough growing up and didn’t see much of a life for himself outside of the squared circle. He used wrestling as an escape stating “There was nothing else. There was the crappy real world, and the awesome world of wrestling which was so much better.”
1. He Has A Bright Future Ahead
As of right now, Ambrose’s future looks brighter than ever. He is one of the top talents in the industry and has produced great matches while headlining pay per views with important matches. He has all the tools to be WWE Champion, and because of this he is now being compared to the late Roddy Piper and to some degree Stone Cold Steve Austin. The question is, will WWE give him the title one day? Lucky for us, we get to watch his career blossom and see Ambrose chase the title for years to come.