If you're looking for the best overall babyface character right now in WWE, look no further than Dean Ambrose.
John Cena gets cheered and hated to the extreme, and WWE has commercialized that. Daniel Bryan is injured for an extended period of time. Chris Jericho will be back on the tour bus before we know it. Roman Reigns has grand potential but is still being developed.
Ambrose is the perfect package.
He looks the part. He isn't dressed in wrestling tights and looks nothing like a traditional professional wrestler. He looks like he's about to walk into a bar for a brawl.
He's not walking down the ramp to wrestle; he's walking down the ramp to fight.
His style in the ring backs up his look. He throws wild punches, moves at a reckless pace and sells the moves just as raw as he delivers them.
His selling quality reminds me of Steve Austin and Mr. Kennedy.
Both of those guys were very good at making it look like they were in a legitimate fight with their general way of moving around and how they sold punches and kicks. The audience suspends its disbelief when watching the art form of professional wrestling, but any amount of realism a performer can insert is a good thing.
Ambrose can also talk the part. This should be no surprise to any WWE fan after he unofficially declared himself the vocal leader when he nailed an awesome promo in The Shield's first interview with Michael Cole.
He doesn't speak like he's reciting a script or trying to imitate and remember how a producer just told him to deliver a promo. He speaks like Dean Ambrose would speak. He knows what words to use and how to use them. That's a skill that goes away in WWE as the years go on.
I especially love when he uses creative ways to describe his nemesis Seth Rollins. Every week he finds some servant role to list him as in regard to Triple H. This past week he called him “Triple H's bag boy.”
In all of this description of the Ambrose character, we have to address what makes him a babyface—his sympathy.
Ambrose, Austin, Mick Foley and others can be anti-authority or ready for a violent fight, but that doesn't instantly translate to being a babyface. Being able to draw sympathy from spectators and make them feel for whatever cause or story being told is vital.
The crowd supported Austin in his cause to defy the evil boss. The crowd supported Foley in his lifelong quest of becoming WWE champion after trying so hard and willing to do anything including falling off cages or on thumb tacks.
Similarly, the crowd supports Ambrose because a guy he called a brother stabbed him in the back and took greed over loyalty.
The WWE is smart to keep the storyline simple. Everyone can understand this story and side with Ambrose. There is no mixed reaction or turning the channel when he comes out. He's compelling to watch, and it's easy to feel the emotion he's feeling.
When he was attacked by Kane, Rollins and Randy Orton on Raw, he played it right. He realized he was surrounded and struck first. They knocked him to the ground with a violent burst of offense. Just when we thought he couldn't take anymore, he worked up enough strength to ask, “Is that all you guys got?”
It was a brilliant line that fits Ambrose. The fans responded in support for him and his toughness. They also feared for him, given the continued beating he was about to receive.
People will pay to see Ambrose. They will pay to see him get redemption. He is WWE's best overall babyface.
Justin LaBar is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the creator of the "Chair Shot Reality" video talk show and "Wrestling Reality" radio show.