Dean Ambrose Wins the U.S. Title at WWE Extreme Rules, What Happens Next?

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2013

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Dean Ambrose is your new WWE United States Champion.  He defeated Kofi Kingston at Extreme Rules in the third match of the night, marking Ambrose’s first title in WWE.  Now the question is, what happens next? 

For any critics of The Shield who may still be out there, this title victory may go a long way in silencing them.  Because despite how unimportant the secondary championships may appear to be at times in Vince McMahon’s company, the fact is that the belts are still a big deal.

Putting the United States title around the waist of Ambrose? That’s a very big deal.

From the moment that The Shield debuted in WWE they have been virtually unstoppable.  Many Superstars have made the mistake of getting in their way and they have each fallen one by one. Sheamus, Randy Orton, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho, John Cena, The Rock and even The Undertaker have all tasted The Shield’s brand of justice.

All of them have been left for dead.

Their meteoric rise to the top of WWE is unparalleled, and just when it seems as if they may be pushed back on their heels, the trio from NXT always finds a way to regroup and come out on top. Using gang warfare, The Shield works together in every encounter and every assault they perpetrate.  

If you knock one down, the other two take his place.  The Shield leave absolutely no breathing room for their opponents and it’s because of this one-for-all group mentality that they have been the most dominant force in WWE.

But they have always operated outside of the system.  They come to the ring through the crowd, not down the ramp.  They have no allies except for each other, and as soon as they are finished doing business in the ring, they disappear until the next program.

For all intents and purposes, The Shield is an outlaw faction who does not have to adhere to any set rules or guidelines laid out by the company.  They are anarchists with no authority over them at all.

But not anymore.

Now, one of them has a championship.  For Ambrose, that means that he is now at the mercy of the WWE hierarchy.  Vickie Guerrero, Booker T, Teddy Long, Triple H and of course McMahon, all have authority over him.  Ambrose now operates and performs at their whim.

Even though The Shield has been allowed to commit the acts that they have with no one governing them, the fact is that it could all be explained very easily.  McMahon or Triple H’s point could always be that they chose to leave it up to the WWE Superstars to handle their business against The Shield, to somehow work it all out. 

Perhaps they wanted to see just what Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns could do in the ring, to see if they truly are the future of WWE as many fans believe them to be.

But now that Ambrose has a belt, it’s game on.  Now, he is under direct WWE jurisdiction.  He can technically no longer walk away from a challenge if he and his Shield teammates are evenly matched against three baby faces. Basically, if he wants to remain United States Champion, he cannot say no.

When Ambrose does defend his title, he may no longer have backup at ringside.

Again, if he wants that belt, then he will have to play ball.  A no interference stipulation can be added to his matches, forcing him to compete alone or be stripped of the championship.

Perhaps in lusting after gold, The Shield has managed to outsmart themselves.

Now for the reality of it all.

The truth is that The Shield has been three of the hottest new prospects that WWE has seen in years. They are very good at getting into their characters, they have excelled in their roles and they play them to the hilt.  Collectively, they are successful in every way.  Individually, they have great potential.

So, why ruin it now?  Why handcuff The Shield because of championship gold?  The bottom line is, if it’s working, don’t mess with it.  Don’t repair what is not broken.

The Shield is working.  It’s working on every level.  Perhaps this is WWE’s belief as well, so even though my theories about Ambrose coming under fire from company authority would provide a nice twist, the fact is that it may not be what happens.

Ambrose’s victory for the WWE United States Championship could be the first step into a new direction for The Shield.  The company could choose to tweak the storyline and begin featuring Ambrose more in an individual role, essentially forcing him to become a company guy.  But whatever the future holds for Ambrose, the fact is that this title win could likely be the first of many in his WWE career.

Believe in Ambrose.