Night Shift: Is Dean Ambrose Part of a Very Elaborate Work?

Night Shift: Is Dean Ambrose Part of a Very Elaborate Work?


Is Dean Ambrose part of a very elaborate work?  There’s no way to know yet, but everyone’s ready to chime in.  Clock in with me for the Night Shift, where speculation exceeds 240 characters and makes as much sense as Vince McMahon in a bra-and-panties match.

As usual, a disclaimer: I am a reporter, and I report things.  I try to approach them with positivity and passion, and I will continue to cover the Dean Ambrose story as it unfolds.  Also, the term “work” in wrestling means that the fans/crowd known as “marks” are being worked, made to believe what a company or performer wants them to believe.  It’s all terminology left over from the bygone days when pro-wrestling was still a traveling circus sideshow act.

Hard to imagine it would grow into this and still keep it’s turns of phrase.  Now, as those forefathers of the WWE probably said, on with the show!

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The wrestling world (and my own poor heart) exploded over the rumour and subsequent confirmation that Dean Ambrose would be leaving the WWE after Wrestlemania 35.  However, as fast as the confirmation came, the speculation followed. Would Dean go to All Elite Wrestling like Chris Jericho and absolutely destroy the game as Jon Moxley?  Would he take a break like Kenny Omega to play Kingdom Hearts 3? Would he head to UFC and use his martial arts background? What would Renee Young, his wife whom I will protect with my entire being, decide to do?  

First, let’s talk about Renee, as this changes the picture LOT less than most people think.  Young made her mark in the wrestling world by being the very best with nearly every job thrown at her, and when Talking Smack was cancelled, it’s no secret that her heart was broken.  ESPN has come up in conversations over the years; are they going to finally make her an offer she can’t refuse? All signs point to no: she and Ambrose have been on different touring schedules many times in the past.  

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Young recently became the first full-time female commentator for RAW, and while her performance has been hindered by backstage production, she’s charming and an excellent foil to #CoreyGraves. If she gives that up, it’s not as though she’s going to follow Ambrose on the road or move somewhere different: she’s worked hard to make their house in Nevada into a home over the past few years.  Also? She was a strong performer before she got married, and her ambitions are separate from her love life. To assume she will go wherever Ambrose does is absurd in the post-modern world of Now.

Onto Dean Ambrose: he makes us laugh, he makes us weep, and recently, he’s made us wonder what the hell is going on.  Without the weird People Are Filthy angle, there was a portrayal of a mentally ill person who just realized his illness is being used for other people’s gain.  His explosion of rage and mourning as he put Seth Rollins’ fuzzy little head into the concrete the day Roman Reigns, their Shield brother, announced his furlough…well, that makes a lot of sense through the lens of a man pushed over the edge.  

Reigns’ illness was worked into Ambrose’s heel turn, and no one was happy, Dean included. Watching him deliver those lines was like watching a man with a numb soul. Afterwards, once Ambrose would finish the scripted part of a scene, he’d always give us a taste of his real talent and rage.  It wasn’t enough to keep him afloat with fans. Ambrose was left unmoored for a few weeks in his usual holding pattern with Seth, and we all wondered what was happening.

The Royal Rumble was disappointing for Ambrose.  Raw After Rumble, however, gave us something we’d been missing: Triple H.  The man brings out the best in so many performers that it’s hard to begrudge him anything.  Dean uttered one sentence, “Do you have to ask your father-in-law for permission?”, the crowd chanted “YES HE DOES,”  and Trips greenlit the best match Seth and Dean have had since the night of #RomanRoman’s departure. Then Dean attempted to address the crowd, only to be cut off by Nia Jax.  The current angle with Nia is what it is, and that’s a discussion for another day.


Overnight it was reported by PW Torch that Dean was leaving the company, and by morning we had confirmation from the Dubya that it was true.  The press release was stranger than most because it wasn’t in the normal WWE style. Missing were the overarching “come to terms” and “best wishes for future endeavors” lines we’ve come to expect from these press blips; instead we were treated to a much softer statement.  This was enough to fire up the Night Shift!

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The concept that came up was this: Dean is part of a massive work set to test the waters of AEW’s popularity and reach, and the timing is too perfect to deny the possibility.  Sunday, he entered at Number 14 in the Royal Rumble which is never a great start. Monday, we saw Ambrose attempt to address the crowd regarding his WWE journey. By Tuesday we had a soft press release for his departure two months in advance, something the Dubya never does.  Why in the world would WWE keep Dean in the spotlight and prime time for almost 10 weeks when they could be building up new talent on the main roster?

Why would #TripleH start a new storyline with a wrestler vacating a position? It makes no sense, even though Dean is a main event draw.  Will they use him in every show from now until he leaves, working him to the nub and messing his character up so badly even Cody Rhodes couldn’t save him?


Naw, man, my Night Shift opinion is that this is an important and planned work within the #WWE.  Dean’s in transition, and his contract DOES come up right after WM35. He has no social media presence other than an empty Twitter account.  He was lackluster Sunday night and on fire Monday Night, after he was supposed to have given his notice. He tried to talk seriously to the crowd before being interrupted (and I bet we’ll see a few weeks of interruptions).  

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He’s the quintessential performer for this, especially with Renee as a fictional factor. It’s too perfectly set up. It walks like a work and quacks like a work, and you know what that means. I think we’ll see Ambrose attempt to talk to the WWE Universe seriously a few more times, and he’ll be interrupted every single time until an “I leave” ultimatum comes into the picture.  

What do you think?  Be a part of the #NightShift and tell me all about it in the comments below or on Rumbling Rumors’ twitter, @rumblingrumors!  

#LaurenGoodnight thinks you’re all numpties.
Follow her on twitter @lulugoodnight

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Night Shift: Is Dean Ambrose Part of a Very Elaborate Work?
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