Since WrestleMania, Dean Ambrose has lost some of his spark. WWE's insistence on pushing the loveable lunatic angle has left an insipid, cartoonish feel to his character.
This PG version isn't working. When Ambrose was made to start courting the fans, he started to lose them, they wanted the anti-hero he started out as, but they ended up with the court jester.
Fans have quickly started to become disinterested and the boos (or worse, the silence) can't be far behind. Many are now predicting a permanent mid-card slot for Ambrose, but many others, still believe he's worth more than that.
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Vince Russo has called him a product of poor writing, several others have named Ambrose as someone whose potential is either, not being used, or is being actively misused. Everyone, fan and authority alike, has their own opinion on what went wrong and how it can be fixed.
My personal theory is the WWE weren't ready for Ambrose to become so popular with the crowds. They made a hasty attempt to capitalise on it and they missed the point. The Ambrose character was meant to be an unpredictable, aggressive, and street smart pro wrestler who happens to be funny, not a funny guy who can also wrestle. He's not meant to be a joke act.
The lunatic fringe label has become a problem, more so since WWE started to acknowledge their superstar's indie careers. Several times in the last few months Ambrose, and WWE commentary teams, have referenced Ambrose's past in CZW, even going as far as showing short clips in promotional material.
But the CZW style of pro wrestling is in no way compatible with PG era WWE, so while they can tease the sort of bad behaviour long time fans know Ambrose is capable of, everyone knows it can't be delivered.
And a build up to something which never materialises quickly becomes a letdown. The logical step is for Ambrose to be allowed to return to the arrogance and attitude he has previously displayed.
He's tried to be the lunatic fringe the company way, he's played nice with others and done everything that's been asked of him, but while his former Shield brothers are fighting it out for the title, he's been fed to Brock Lesnar and smacked on the head with a potted plant by Chris Jericho.
It's time to move from loveable lunatic to a full on angry madman. In this 'new era', which is supposed to bring us greater authenticity, it's not right to try to take the madness out of Ambrose. It's been there too long, it is an authentic part of his wrestling persona.
However, it is time to give him back his edge, the grit people commented on so frequently until recently. In PG era WWE, that means taking on heel characteristics.
An interview released on the WWE YouTube channel suggests this is the way forward for Ambrose.
The interview portrays a sense of arrogant, slightly delusional, entitlement. It's a potential set up to a full rant about being passed over, being screwed out of his rightful place, and not being prepared to take it anymore, followed by the almost inevitable series of 'unprovoked attacks'.
It needs to happen soon, while there is still some interest in Ambrose. Done properly, it could be the perfect way to rejuvenate his character and propel him to the next level.
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