In April of last year, a great independent wrestler, known by many as Jon Moxley, signed a developmental deal with WWE. I was in attendance to see one of his final independent bookings and didn't know that he was just signed by the top promotion in the world.
Moxley was stellar and, despite being in the main event of the first of two shows I would see that day, was the memorable star from either of the cards. He had such great mat awareness, an unusual offense and such a great ability to sell moves. He was a worker, and a great one at that.
Moxley would appear in FCW in May of 2011 under the name Dean Ambrose. Ambrose went directly into great feuds while in FCW. In what has become the staple of the developmental territory, Ambrose was immediately involved in FCW 15 title matches. The FCW 15 Championship, for those unaware, promotes the 15-minute matches of old by having 15-minute Iron Man-type matches. Upon debuting in FCW, the holder of that title was Seth Rollins, the man formerly known as Tyler Black in the independents.
Multiple matches between Ambrose and Rollins, some that went beyond the normal 15-minute time limit, are among the greatest matches in the territory's history. Despite never winning gold in FCW, Ambrose was immediately recognized as one of the most WWE-ready talents early in his development.
The company has certainly noticed Ambrose and his talent. WWE Champion CM Punk traveled to an FCW house show last October simply to face Ambrose. Ambrose would also have great confrontations with WWE superstar and commentator William Regal. By December, Ambrose was touring with WWE and appearing on house shows. He has essentially spent the past six months having matches at house shows and dark matches prior to televised WWE events.
Ambrose is in no hurry to debut, especially since there have been many debuts already this year and a lot of undefeated streaks that are still current. His encounter backstage with Mick Foley may have derailed his debut a bit, but Ambrose is still an immense talent that WWE needs for the future.
Ambrose doesn't turn 27 until December, which is a scary thought. We could be in line for a good decade or so of Dean Ambrose. Upon his debut, he will already be on the level with the best sports entertainers in the WWE. A feud with CM Punk or Daniel Bryan just makes some fans salivate at the thought.
Dean Ambrose's first year on the main roster will likely not come close to the debut years of the likes of Brock Lesnar, Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio. An immediate world title run doesn't seem very likely, but a great start and carving himself out a respectable spot in the company is in the stars for Dean Ambrose.