Monday, April 23, 2012
Dean Ambrose - Pro Wrestling's Next Big Thing
There aren't many times when I look at a young wrestler and try to predict his future in the business. After all, what's the fucking point? Under the WWE creative umbrella, he'll win a title 3 months after debuting, flip from babyface to monster heel atleast four times throughout the year, and eventually be recycled into a new gimmick until he's frustrated enough to quit the business or wrestle for TNA until they go out of business. But there is a new guy about to be called up to the main roster and debut. There isn't a single thing about him that ever needs to be changed. And to think, he's still in his infancy. You are about to witness what could potentially go down as one of the business' greatest antagonists. And you will get to witness it from the beginning, and for years to come. I give to you, Dean Ambrose.
He's not big, but he's tall enough. He's not ripped, but he's solid. He doesn't really look the role, but that will play into his advantage. And he's got a mouth on him that spews a promo like a true traditionalist of the business. A down right gritty renegade who flips the bird to flamboyancy of the entertainment portion but gives his last breathe to finish the fight. When I look at Dean Ambrose, I see Terry Funk in his early twenties.
You may remember him as Jon Moxley, and you may have followed his career on the indy scene in Ring of Honor, to name a few. Feel privileged for that opportunity, for it will hold a special place in your heart to know that you witness the birth of greatness for a mere twenty dollars in a VFW hall. While his name has changed, his formula and ingredients haven't. Ambrose is designed to be a star, and anyone who has the opportunity to share the ring with him will declare it an experience.
I hold high praise for Ambrose, not for what he has done - but for what he believes. In the early 80's, I found my passion for the business through characters who I believed truly existed in the real world. Later on in life, when I first started to break in - I realized that the magic that made them so effective to my imagination was that the person they were in real life wasn't too far off from who they portrayed themselves to be in the ring. To me, that meant that there was some reality to this business. Terry Funk is another who brings truth to my words. The man you meet is the same as the man you watch, cheer and jeer for. The man is a walking, living, breathing character. Ambrose doesn't play it...he IS it!
Recently, Ambrose's debut has been pushed through social media following a series of verbal attacks on hardcore legend Mick Foley. When have you ever heard of a newcomer getting an endorsement from a legend to kickstart his career?
At a house show in December, I saw Ambrose perform in a match against Daniel Bryan. While Bryan's work has been praised as one of the best in the business, it far different from the style Ambrose brought to the fight. It was a clash of two styles which surprisingly, Ambrose garnered more attention. While Bryan's moveset seemed well thought out and better choreographed and designed - Ambrose seemed sloppy, unprepared and trying to adjust to Bryan's dance. You might be asking, "So why are you so high on Ambrose if he looked sloppy?" The answer is, because he designed it that way.
Ambrose came staggering to the ring as if he had been sleeping off a hangover in the locker room from an all night drinking binge the night before. As if an agent yelled to him, "AMBROSE! GET THE FUCK TO THE RING! YOU'RE ON 2 MINUTES!" He sold what he was doing backstage without ever having to say what it was. He let our imaginations run free, but not too free where we got lost in disbelief. We were free to believe what he was feeding us. BIG difference. His ring style simply said, "I came in here to fight. What the fuck is this guy doing flying and bouncing all over the place? Stay still so I can beat the shit out of you!"
Ambrose sold like no other. You bought into his pain, his cockiness, and his arrogance. You almost wanted to fight him yourself.
The office has had him touring with the crew and performing at local house shows to evaluate his work and make sure he's ready for TV. He's been winning his matches so that fans get acquainted with him and his style. In one of his recent wins, he finished the match by rolling down his knee pad and planting a bare knee into the face of his opponent. No finishing move needed. A simple heel tactic that hasn't been seen since the 80's that screams in volumes, "I came here to fight. I came here to win. And I came here to hurt someone". Very reminiscent of Jake "The Snake" Roberts when he first arrived on the scene and stunned the world with his DDT.
Now all that I have written is glorifying Ambrose's ring work. I haven't even begun talking about his promo skills. In all honesty, I could write for hours on how good and effective he is in engaging the audience and keep relevance while portraying a character like he was Marlon Brando. You feel his pain in his words. You sense there are tears in the eyes behind the sunglasses. He paints a perfect picture of how he continues to interpret his feud outside of the ring and into his real life - a trait Don Muraco was legendary for.
If this were a comic book, Dean Ambrose would easily be the character Deadpool. He is an experiment of taking the best qualities out of some of histories best characters and breeding them into one new man. He's a genetic gimmick freak stirring qualities from Funk, Flair, Muraco, Roberts, Arn, Piper, Race - to name a few.
Watch the video above. You are about to witness a legend in the making... as long as the sitcom machine doesn't botch this natural born wrestler by stuffing penciled words down his mouth and allows him spit on his own. If they do it, generations from now will emulate his antics much like Ric Flair is emulated today. I predict, Dean Ambrose will be pro wrestling's next big thing.