Until just a few months ago, every member of the Shield had the opportunity to enjoy multiple reigns as world champion except Dean Ambrose. Although he was the first person from the Shield to capture a singles title – winning the United States Championship in May of 2013 by defeating Kofi Kingston – his run was incredibly lacklustre.
Since then, Ambrose has been stuck in mid card feuds, but did manage to have two main event level feuds in early 2016 with Triple H and Brock Lesnar, facing Lesnar at WrestleMania 32. Seemingly, this was foreshadowing his ascension up the rankings, as he was able to win the Money in the Bank match and cash it in the same night to win the WWE World Championship.
While Ambrose’s in-ring work ethic is deserving of a title reign, his ability of transcending his character to be strong enough to please more than just the hardcore fans has been severely lacking. The look of Ambrose does not exude any factors of a star, and this has been detrimental to his progress as champion.
While the long-awaited triple threat match against his former Shield mates ended up being a good match, his feud with Dolph Ziggler at SummerSlam was very rushed and underwhelming. In addition, the match proved to be the same.
Apparently, the overall fanbase are not showing much confidence in Ambrose either. Although his feud with AJ Styles is a fresh angle heading into BackLash this Sunday, Ambrose at the top of the totem pole has done nothing to elicit new viewers, or maintain the current ones.
In fact, per Showbuzz Daily, the most recent go-home show to the Backlash pay per view – which closed with a faceoff between Ambrose and Styles – drew the lowest rating since the brand split nearly two months ago. This does not bode well for the “Lunatic Fringe”, as he is at the helm of the blue brand.
There should not be any dispute that Ambrose is in dire need of some kind of repackaging. While a natural on the mic and in the ring, these components do not equate to box office. Instead, as longtime wrestling fans have seen from the likes of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and Ultimate Warrior, a strong character can take you where good ring work cannot. Whether it is a heel turn, or simply a change in attire and music, something needs to happen in order to increase the stock of the current WWE World Champion.