What if Dean Ambrose's departure is just a work?
The news came as quite a surprise to the WWE Universe. Sure, Ambrose has not been booked too well since he made his return to television last summer, but the idea of him leaving had never crossed anybody's mind.
So what if, this is all just an elaborate work on the part of the WWE?
The timing of the whole situation seems a little bit crazy. Dean Ambrose gets humiliated by Nia Jax on Raw, then a few hours later, a leak suggests he is leaving the company before the WWE themselves confirm that leak in a statement on their official website.
Announcing that a superstar is leaving the company is generally unheard of unless they are retiring (which shouldn't be ruled out). So why give Ambrose that luxury? With AEW sniffing around, the WWE announcing Ambrose's departure seems a surprising move.
Sure, there is every chance that Ambrose is well respected enough that the WWE doesn't want to burn any bridges, but lets be honest, that has never stopped them in the past.
Well, now is the time to get your tin foil hats on because there are plenty of reasons to suggest that this whole thing is just an elaborate work and that the WWE is bracing itself to launch into an exciting new era.
It's no great secret that the WWE is always at its best when it blurs the line between reality and fiction, just take a look at The Attitude Era and The Summer of Punk. With some serious competition on the horizon, what if the WWE are deciding to revisit this strategy in preparation for a battle with AEW?
The leak of Ambrose's departure and the announcement from the company themselves happened incredibly fast, and the use of his name on the website harks back memories of CM Punk's 'suspension' back in 2011. The WWE is well aware that the internet will do the majority of their work for them in this regard, and as long as dirt sheets don't question it, a lot of other people won't either.
The hottest topic on the wrestling internet right now is what stars could be tempted to leave the company for AEW, and maybe, just maybe, the company has decided to play into that themselves.
By recognising the potential exodus of talent they could be facing, the WWE could actually be getting ahead of the game with a story like this.
On top of that, the WWE Universe has been crying out for something different for some time now. The company has always excelled when they have an anti-hero at the top of their card, and given the recent success of Becky Lynch, they could see Dean Ambrose as a potential male draw - as the company's bona fide rebel.
Of course, the biggest question in this scenario would be - what is the endgame?
That is where this theory falls apart a little bit, but a big surprise return over the summer, or perhaps even a big storyline to coincide with Double or Nothing could be the answer.
Ultimately, Ambrose's departure seems fairly legitimate at the moment, but it will definitely be interesting to see how the WWE manages this in the coming weeks. Announcing a superstar's departure ahead of time is, generally speaking - new territory for the company, so their next moves will be interesting nonetheless.