Rumours were running rampant all day long that Dean Ambrose was on his way out from WWE, but we’ve always decided not to write on rumours. Only when they turn out to be true. WWE just had to confirm what the world was now aware of, Dean Ambrose chose not to renew his contract with the company when it expires next April.
“Dean Ambrose (Jonathan Good) will not be renewing his contract with WWE when it expires in April.
“We are grateful and appreciative of all that Dean has given to WWE and our fans. We wish him well and hope that one day Dean will return to WWE.”
If you watched WWE Chronicle last November, Ambrose, 33, was teasing the idea of stopping his wrestling career soon. Last year, when he was recovering from arm surgery, he almost died from a staph infection, which is enough to make a man reflect on his life and, obviously, his career. Most recently, his SHIELD “brother” Roman Reigns was announcing he was suffering from leukaemia. That night of October, on RAW, Ambrose was there to support his friend, but his eyes were already looking elsewhere.
Ambrose was said to have given his notice to WWE as he’s unhappy with his position and has been for some time, particularly disliking of the “hokey” material that he had been given since his comeback from injury, a week before SummerSlam. While Ambrose’s contract expires after WrestleMania 35 in early April, he could always be written out of storylines before that.
WWE is said to have offered Ambrose a 5-year new contract a few weeks ago, one that would include a significant pay increase, but he chose not to re-negotiate and instead gave notice that he would not re-sign. He is said to have broken the news this weekend and indicated he was not interested in negotiating further and made it clear this isn’t about trying to get more money.
At Royal Rumble, Ambrose was eliminated by Aleister Black in the Royal Rumble match and was not booked like a big deal in the match likely because he refused a new contract. But the rumour of his departure took more sense yesterday night on RAW. After his match against former SHIELD partner and Royal Rumble winner Seth Rollins, Ambrose was interrupted by Nia Jax and Tamina, while doing a promo, because they had a match. Jax got in Ambrose’s face, punched him in the back and he left. This awkward segment could have been teasing a future Jax vs Ambrose match. But a man vs. woman match has never been WWE’s cup of tea over the years.
The so-called “Lunatic Fringe” made his pro wrestling debut in 2004, working for promotions like CZW and Dragon Gate USA, before signing a WWE developmental contract in 2011. He wrestled in FCW and made the transition with the first class of NXT stars, before making his main roster debut with The Shield in November 2012.
During his 6 years with WWE, he captured the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, the Intercontinental Championship three times, RAW Tag Team Championships two times, and the United States Champion, making him a Triple Crown and Grand Slam Champion. He is also a former Money in the Bank briefcase winner. He wrestled 1,054 matches between March 2012 and December 2017 without missing any significant stretch of time, until his arm injury in December 2017.
Ambrose’s WWE gimmick has seen him characterized as a mentally unstable and unpredictable wildcard, walking in the footsteps of legendary lunatic wrestlers, like Brian Pillman or Stone Cold Steve Austin. This “Lunatic Fringe” character has always pretty much been a good reflection of what Ambrose has been in real life. Some of you may remember the Stone Cold Podcast that was aired in August 2016. The exchange was supposed to offer fans an insight into Ambrose’s past and mindset, even if his answers were terribly awkward at times. To the point of having Steve Austin even questioning him if he was complacent and asking him to raise his game.
Ambrose has always been described as a man “pretty much impossible to read,” according to his colleagues, something that has probably been his biggest asset in the ring. There have been stories in the past that Ambrose doesn’t like scripted promos, or doing cheesy storylines, but he has been one of WWE’s biggest attractions and popular wrestlers over the years, because of that unpredictability.
In a few months, you’ll hear about a new wrestler, maybe in NJPW, AEW or somewhere else. His name could be Jonathan Good or Jon Moxley. It will quite simply be WWE’s Dean Ambrose making his way to a new life and a new wrestling career. Or maybe, he will quietly be at home, watching his wife, RAW announcer Renee Young, commenting the show he would have been a part of for so many years. Time will tell, but one thing is sure with Dean Ambrose, you’ll never know what his next move will be.