It’s been a while since I last wrote a wrestling article, but I think there’s been a malaise because of the constant run of bad luck the WWE has experienced in terms of long-term injuries to superstars such as Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns.
You can even argue that the WWE still hasn’t recovered from CM Punk deciding to hang up his boots for good.
Recently though, the most interesting and exciting feud has been between the former members of the most dominant stable in the WWE in recent years, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins from The Shield.
Seth Rollins is without doubt, the top heel in the company right now, and it is a very well-deserved accolade. His heel turn was one of the most unexpected and shocking twists in the saga of The Shield. Mainly because Rollins’ entire in-ring style, which incorporates high-flying motives with technical wrestling, is very much the techniques a face would employ to excite a crowd.
Regardless, he has settled perfectly into the role as the corporate villain who cheats and connives his way to victory, and as the current Money In The Bank briefcase holder he is certainly going to be positioned as their WWE Heavyweight Champion sooner rather than later, which will make for interesting programming.
The title picture at the moment is something which bemuses and baffles me because of the contractual situation the WWE have with Brock Lesnar. It isn’t an ideal situation for anyone considering that the WWE storylines require consistency and continuity in order for them to flow, and Lesnar going AWOL after one of the WWE’s flagship PPVs is disappointing booking.
Hopefully we will see a scenario soon where Seth Rollins cashes in the briefcase and takes the title because at least then it will allow him to develop his character further.
This brings me to the “Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose, who is probably the most exciting character in the company right now, but I can’t help but feel the WWE really needs to loosen the shackles on the Ambrose character and allow him to flourish as an unpredictable tweener anti-hero-type character who isn’t a good or bad guy and who just wants to cause chaos.
It’s been written about a lot but in Dean Ambrose I do see shades of Mick Foley, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Brian Pillman, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Tommy Dreamer butIi don’t think it would be fair to say Dean Ambrose is like a tribute act to any of those guys because he is developing each week.
His mic work is improving, his in-ring style is erratic and unpredictable and his feud with Seth Rollins has been one of the best programmes of the year, alongside The Shield’s brief feud with The Wyatt Family.
The only main criticism I have with the WWE’s handling of the Dean Ambrose character is the rather peculiar move to change his Dirty Deeds finishing move.
It’s a shame that the Rollins-Ambrose feud has reached a conclusion for now and both superstars are being placed in other programmes because I would have liked to have seen the unpredictable Dean Ambrose character still being a thorn in Rollins’ side at any given opportunity.
It’s great to see opportunities being given to the likes of Ambrose, Rollins and Wyatt.
Instead, they have put him in a feud with Bray Wyatt, whom I am a big fan of but whose momentum was ruined by allowing him to be buried by John Cena and then directed into a rather bizarre and pointless feud with Chris Jericho for no apparent reason.
It seems that Bray Wyatt has been reintroduced to the fray to provide sterling promo work alongside Ambrose and build a feud fraught with chaos and danger, and although I’m looking forward to see what transpires, I can’t help but think they really need to run with this feud and allow both characters a bit of a free rein rather burying the whole thing in the mid-card.
I really like the direction the WWE is taking at the moment, and in these unfortunate circumstances where many of its top stars aren’t available due to injury, it is great to see opportunities being given to the likes of Ambrose, Rollins and Wyatt.
When Roman Reigns comes back, I think we’ll probably see him enter into a feud with Seth Rollins in a bid to take the title from him at some point.
The problems Reigns faces though are fans wanting to see him broaden his moveset and improve his mic skills because other than those things, he is a third generation superstar who has the charisma and looks to be positioned as a top star in the company. However he still has much to improve upon in order to get to that level.
Regardless though, all the members of The Shield have a lot of time on their sides, and with the last remnants of the Ruthless Aggression Era fading out over the next few years, I think we can look forward to a different WWE.