Dean Ambrose: Why The Shield's Leader Is WWE's Next Breakout Star

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2012

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

The Shield is not only a trio of young superstars that is out to stop injustice in the WWE, but it also represents the future of the company. While all three men have a chance to do something special in WWE, there is no question that Dean Ambrose is the one to watch moving forward.

When The Shield made its first appearance at Survivor Series by attacking Ryback and powerbombing him through the announce table, it was obvious there were big plans for them. Ambrose, along with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, made an immediate impact and has continued to do so by attacking the top faces on the roster.

Every Shield member has their merits, as Rollins is excellent in the ring and Reigns is the intimidating presence the group needs, but Ambrose is the total package. Although The Shield is supposed to be portrayed as a triumvirate of equals, Ambrose has essentially taken on the lead role without it actually being said.

In their initial sit-down interview with Michael Cole, Ambrose took the lead and did most of the talking. Also, when they cut their backstage promo that aired on SmackDown last week, Ambrose was the dominant voice once again. It's obvious the WWE trusts Ambrose's ability to work the mic, so he has been given the most opportunities to do so thus far.

While Ambrose hasn't had the opportunity to prove it yet, he's a good in-ring worker in his own right. He may not be quite at the same level as Rollins, but he's already probably one of the better pure wrestlers in WWE. As important as that may be, the ability to cut an effective promo and connect with the fans is probably an even bigger deal in the WWE currently.

Ambrose has an interesting style that helps him stand out from the crowd. Some have compared his character to Heath Ledger's interpretation of The Joker in Dark Knight, and while I can see that to some degree, Ambrose has been perfecting his character for a long time in NXT Wrestling and on the independent scene, so he has made it his own.

His promos thus far have been deliberate and calculated, but he also brings an almost psychotic flair to the table as well. He truly is the perfect heel because he seems as though he may actually be mentally unstable, and that type of realism is paramount when it comes to getting a gimmick over with the fans.

Although it isn't an identical situation, Ambrose's role with The Shield reminds me of Wade Barrett with Nexus. Barrett was presented more clearly as a leader than Ambrose has been to this point, but just as Barrett was featured more prominently than his stablemates, Ambrose has been front and center for The Shield. If the WWE has its way, Ambrose will be the main-event-caliber star of the group.

There have been a lot of comparisons thrown around with regards to Ambrose, but the one that I prefer to make is Brian Pillman. Despite the fact that he passed away far too early, Pillman had an indelible mark on the Attitude Era. Many believe it was his famous encounter on Raw with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin that officially ushered in the WWE's most profitable and popular product.

Pillman was known as "The Loose Cannon" for his unpredictable and psychotic behavior, and I see a lot of that in Ambrose. Pillman didn't have the opportunity to accomplish a ton in the WWE due to an injury and his untimely death, but he was the perfect character for that time period and may very well have been a main-event player.

The same can said of Ambrose as he is already being billed as a future world champion despite only being on the WWE roster for a few weeks. Obviously there is plenty left to play out when it comes to The Shield storyline, but when the time comes for the alliance to split up, Ambrose is the one who is likely to shine brightest.

Things don't always go according to plan in the WWE, but a quick look at the roster tells you that even the guys who are considered rising stars in the WWE are in their early 30's for the most part. Ambrose has time on his side, however, as he is just 27 years old and will have every opportunity to prove himself as a top heel moving forward.

The Shield as a whole has certainly breathed new life into what was a somewhat stagnant product, and hopefully Ambrose will continue to do precisely that for a long time to come.


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