If you heard the name Jonathan Good, you wouldn’t think much about it. It sounds fairly nice and wholesome, and honestly we wouldn’t spend time thinking of the person who has that name. What if we said Jonathan Good was in fact someone who has spent the better part of the last 11 years developing his craft inside and out of the ring. Many fans that follow the WWE may not know that Jonathan Good has gone by various alias in the past. Today, he is none other than Dean Ambrose.
During his time in independent promotions, Good was known for his brutal fighting style, and his ability to captivate an audience due to an unrelenting will to achieve. He was being noticed, and it was only a matter of time before he transitioned from the independents onto a much grander scale. Once the opportunity presented itself, Moxley was gone and Dean Ambrose was born.
Growth and development in Good’s career certainly saw its ups and downs. Much like anyone else’s career that undergoes a change, Good’s transitions from promotion to promotion throughout his career led him to go in a number of different of directions. Whether it was long hair with different colours, or psychedelic looking tights in an effort to stand out, Ambrose really ran the gamut while trying to evolve. Gone is the wrestler who bled to get noticed, but is it forgotten? To this, we give you 14 things the WWE want you to forget about Dean Ambrose:
14. Ambrose was in a feud with Seth Rollins prior to their time on the WWE main roster
During his time down in Florida Championship Wrestling, Ambrose challenged Seth Rollins. Both men made an incredible showing competing in an iron man match in the process. They then had a rematch in the weeks that followed for the FCW 15 title which also resulted in a draw. After this, they took part in a third match that once again went to a draw only to go to sudden death and resulted in a win by Rollins. Ambrose did eventually defeat Rollins during a tournament to determine a new FCW Heavyweight Champion. Both men’s time in the WWE has seen its share of crossroads. The promotion would rather focus on their time in The Shield together and not make mention of how the two were rivals during their time in FCW and NXT.
13. He was aligned with a former NXT wrestler prior to coming to the WWE
During his time in HWA, Ambrose formed a faction of wrestlers. While a number of them compete all over the world and on the independent circuit, one member of Ambrose’s faction appeared to be following a similar path to him. As part of the group The Crew, Sami Callihan was among the smallest members of the group. By today’s account, Callihan’s name may not sound familiar to fans. However if we were to call him Solomon Crowe, then fans of NXT would unquestionably know who we are talking about. Until recently, Callihan was a member of the NXT roster until asking for and being granted his release. Little is mentioned of Ambrose’s independent past as it’s probably in the best interest of the WWE to try to state that they created the character when in fact that isn’t the case.
12. Ambrose competed briefly for Ring of Honor
Even though Dean Ambrose earned a great deal of notoriety competing for promotions such as CZW, Dragon Gate USA and HWA, there was another prominent promotion that Ambrose competed in that is also highly regarded amongst wrestling fans. It was in 2007 when Ambrose competed in two matches for Ring of Honor. He first partnered up with Alex Payne against one half of the All Night Express, Rhett Titus and Bobby Dempsey. The other time was against Mitch Franklin that took place off camera. Both matches resulted in defeat for Ambrose. While it is a small sample size for Ambrose’s time in Ring of Honor it did happen. This is just another example of the talent the WWE has provided opportunities for within the smaller promotion.
11. He idolized Bret “Hitman” Hart
Being an avid wrestling fan and one to watch a number wrestling tapes growing up, Ambrose states former multi-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Bret Hart, as someone he looked up to. Hart’s character always fought the odds and always had to endure the challenges of what those obstacles brought with them. Hart could endure an insatiable amount of punishment and demonstrated incredible stamina in the process. His tactical and technical approach in the ring allowed for the Hitman to overcome the odds against adversaries that were often bigger than he was. These are qualities that Ambrose carries with him in the ring today. While having idolized Bret isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it certainly doesn’t seem fitting for the Ambrose character to have it publicized.
10. Ambrose dropped out of high school a year after beginning to wrestle
Ambrose’s dedication to his craft early in life meant he was committing himself completely to wrestling. He saw a flyer promoting an HWA show in a flea market in Cincinnati that he eventually went to. The flyer was also promoting an ad for Les Thatcher’s wrestling camp. After committing to working under Thatcher, Ambrose made the conscious decision to drop out of high school after more than a year of training. His decision to leave education behind meant that he was clearly looking ahead to opportunities that may have been waiting for him in wrestling. In the event that the WWE takes part in a stay in school promotion, they would have a difficult time using Ambrose to help support the cause.
9. Ambrose used wrestling as an escape from his childhood
At times we tend to dream in order to escape the harsh realities of life. For Ambrose, wrestling provided him that same escape from life. While his life circumstances forced him to have to think for himself, they also put him in troubling and dangerous situations. Life was a struggle for him as he would have to sell drugs in order to prevent himself from not being beaten up. He would have fights provoked with him even while keeping to himself and walking down the streets of Cincinnati. When each day seemed like a struggle to live, Ambrose needed an outlet. He found that outlet in wrestling. Reality was an often cruel place to be for the young Ambrose and he could take solace in knowing that wrestling provided him with the hope he would need.
8. He worked concessions stands and set up rings before training to wrestle
As we grow up, we all do jobs in life in order to make a living. As kids we often have paper routes. In the case of Dean Ambrose, as a teenager he sold popcorn to the public that attended shows for Heartland Wrestling Association. It was also during this time where he would learn to set up and take down the ring. It is a job that many independent wrestlers have, but in the case of Ambrose, he did it before he began to train to wrestle at the age of 18. We all have to start somewhere and this was what Ambrose had to do. By working in concessions and setting up the ring he did what he had to do in order to get a chance. It’s a lesson he surely wouldn’t regret.
7. The “Lunatic Fringe” character is based on his own real-life upbringing
When we see Dean Ambrose doing crazy and unpredictable things, we need to keep in mind that is art imitating life. He had come from a life of crime and poverty to be where he is today. He came from a very rundown section of Cincinnati, Ohio that was pretty much government housing. The buildings were all torn up and to say he felt like garbage would be an understatement. It was during this time where he had to look out for himself and really had to do what he needed to in order to survive. He overcame obstacles in life in order to achieve in the ring. We often don’t realize someone’s struggles until we’ve walked a mile in their shoes. For Ambrose, life is imitating art.
6. He was written off television to allow him to make a movie
In the heat of the feud between Ambrose and Rollins, Ambrose was written off the script for nearly a month of their program. There was so much heat between the two and Ambrose’s character was being flushed out and began to reach its peak during his feud with Rollins. The battles between the two during their time in FCW pale in comparison to their battles on the main roster. As part of an angle where Rollins curb stomped Ambrose’s head through cinder blocks, Ambrose was written off as part of an injury angle allowing him the time to film the WWE Films movie 12 Rounds: 3. It’s a huge departure from the guy who is made to seem like he’s willing to do anything to anyone. Ambrose can take direction, but it’s better left out as he’s the guy that won’t conform.
5. Ambrose earned accolades in 2014 for “Feud of the Year” and “Most Popular Wrestler of the Year”
The wrestling publication Pro Wrestling Illustrated has long been heralded for its annual rankings and recognition for those a part of it. During 2014, Ambrose was a winner on two separate fronts for his contributions to wrestling that particular year. The first award being that he was co-winner of the Feud of the Year for his battles with Rollins. However, Ambrose’s popularity reached a new high as the publication named him Most Popular Wrestler of the Year for 2014. The edgy, unabashed character had resonated with fans in a way that no other had that year. Ambrose stood head and shoulders above the competition. Today Ambrose is ear-marked as a competitor that will just about do and say anything, but it should be noted it wouldn’t be the first time he’s earned praise for his work.
4. He held the United States Championship for 351 days
It seems like a distant memory because his reign as champion wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really all that good either. On May 19th, 2013 Dean Ambrose defeated Kofi Kingston to capture the WWE United States Championship. He held the title for a remarkable 351 days, 14 days shy of a full year as he was defeated by Sheamus on May 5th, 2014 in a 20-man battle royal. What was also interesting about Ambrose’s reign is that he was the longest reigning US Champion under the WWE banner. Ambrose held the title the longest and was never pinned, disqualified or made to submit during this reign. So while early on in his singles run he was made to seem like the guy that didn’t achieve much, it’s often forgotten that he held that title for nearly a year.
3. Ambrose had a public confrontation with Mick Foley prior to WrestleMania 28
During the WrestleMania 28 Fan Axxess, Ambrose had a public confrontation with WWE Hall of Famer and hardcore legend Mick Foley. It was during this confrontation where Ambrose claimed that Foley had to be held accountable for “leading a generation astray.” Both Ambrose and Foley continued their jabs at one another via Twitter. Ambrose initially tweeted: “#wwe likes to pretend Mick Foley never existed. WWE is still apologizing for him by sterilizing the product. #raw.”
Following Ambrose’s tweet, Foley responded: “I had a slight problem at SmackDown, so I took care of it. I didn’t ask WWE to send him home, but I’m glad they did. Sayanora scumbag.” Whether the confrontation was a work or not, it certainly didn’t help Ambrose’s cause at the time. It’s an event that the promotion would have rather preferred was kept on the down low.
2. He has captured a Heavyweight Championship multiple times
While many will think that Ambrose came out of nowhere to earn the recognition he has, they should think again. Prior to coming to the WWE, Ambrose competed for a number of popular independent promotions such as HWA and CZW. During his time with both promotions Ambrose captured the Heavyweight Championship. While he was competing for Combat Zone Wrestling he won the title twice and while he was competing for Les Thatcher’s Heartland Wrestling Association he captured the title three times. Ambrose’s championship success is not relegated to something of lesser value, but was seen in high regard during his time with both promotions. The WWE may in fact try to advertise an Ambrose WWE Championship win as his first Heavyweight Title when that wouldn’t be accurate.
1. Ambrose is currently dating Renee Young
One of the worst kept secrets as it applies to Ambrose has been his personal life. Whether that meant stories about what circles he has traveled in or who he is friends with, Ambrose’s personal life has been quite public. When rumors initially surfaced that Ambrose was dating WWE interviewer Renee Young, more would pry and provoke a response about it. The relationship is kept off screen as the company doesn’t recognize it in any storylines. However, whenever Renee is interviewing Ambrose, fans are quick to want to see if there is any subtle flirting taking place between the two. The relationship has been kept off screen, but the rumor mill doesn’t prevent multiple questions of when their off-screen courtship will turn into an on-screen storyline.