Dean Ambrose is one third of The Shield, WWE’s most dominant faction. From the moment that Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns first debuted in 2012, they have been at the top of the heap in WWE. And while Ambrose’s ability in the ring has earned him the respect of his peers and fans alike, it’s his U.S. title reign that has been somewhat of a disappointment.
The fact is that the title is being wasted on Dean Ambrose. At this point, it’s just a decoration around his waist.
The concept of The Shield was obvious to many fans from the start. After all, introducing three fresh faces onto the main programs at once is practically unheard of. Developing those talents and allowing them to evolve at a certain pace is almost impossible. The truth is that the main roster is just too big; it’s hard enough for fans to accept one new star at a time, much less three.
But teaming the trio from NXT together was a great way to get the job done. Three potential stars, all appearing together under the same gimmick and being allowed to get in the ring to show what they can do? This was a prime example of just how good WWE can be when they are clicking on all cylinders.
It was an innovative idea, to throw three untested talents onto the front burner of WWE. Truth be told, if it had all gone a little bit differently, we could have seen nothing more than a poor attempt at reviving the Nexus gimmick.
However, the collective talents of Seth, Dean and Roman could not be denied. They more than lived up to the hype, completely inhabiting their characters and making it work from top to bottom. And when championship gold was brought into the equation, it served as a validation for fans who truly believed in The Shield and supported them from day one.
Roman and Seth’s tag team title run was one of the best that we have seen in recent memory. They were at the center of what could be described as a tag team revival, with several different duos chasing them for a chance at winning the championships.
The Usos, The Prime Time Players, Team Hell No and the men who eventually won the straps, The Rhodes Brothers, all of them turned in one great performance after another against the champs. Rollins and Reigns weathered the storm in every situation and had it not been for the interference of Big Show, as well as incredible momentum on their side, Cody and Dustin Rhodes may have never won the belts.
But while Seth and Roman carried the title belts with distinction in one exciting match after another, Dean was left as the odd man out. This is perhaps the most curious part of The Shield’s storyline in my view and I have had a difficult time trying to understand it.
The fact is that Dean Ambrose has future main event star written all over him. He is so attuned to his character, so comfortable in his own skin, that when fans watch him, they know they’re getting the real deal. The way he carries himself in the ring, the tone of his promos, it’s obvious that Ambrose just has it.
For me, Dean has the potential to be the top heel in WWE. He is that good, that committed to his craft and his character that it shows every time he steps into the ring. Ambrose may be over, he may be hated, but it’s nothing compared to what he could be in the future.
And because of all that potential, all that ability, Ambrose should be enjoying a United States title reign that rivals any we have seen in years. Right now, we should be talking about the outstanding job that Dean has done as U.S. champion and the new level of respect he’s brought to the belt.
However, that is just not the case. Ambrose won the U.S. Championship back on May 18 at Extreme Rules. Since then, he has had 11 televised title defenses on pay-per-view and regular TV combined. That basically equates to less than half of one title match per week in six months. Of course, we have seen Ambrose in the ring quite a bit in those six months, as The Shield have continued to work in six-man tag team matches.
So essentially, Ambrose has just been keeping the United States title warm. And with that being the case, then why exactly does he have it?
Don’t misunderstand me here, I’m not suggesting that Ambrose should not have won the title. I’m also not suggesting he does not deserve it. But until WWE allows him to have a true title reign, then I believe the belt is just being wasted on him.
The truth is that despite how WWE tries to sell it to fans, the title does not make the man, the man makes the title. In theory, Dean should have elevated the belt far above where it was. But if he never defends it and if there is never a legitimate rivalry for it, then Ambrose has no chance of bringing the title up in the eyes of the fans.
Ambrose is more than capable of having a great United States Championship reign, he’s just not being allowed to. And until he is, the belt is just taking up space around his waist.
And that is a bit of booking that is not innovative at all.
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