Being the buzzing, devil-may-care member of The Shield again will prove to be Dean Ambrose's elixir.
The dominant trio taking over WWE Raw once more has already transformed him for the better. Ambrose is in the midst of a renaissance thanks to teaming with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins.
In the early stages of The Shield's second stint together The Lunatic Fringe looks rejuvenated, inspired, like a bird rediscovering flight after its broken wings have healed.
ALL caution is being thrown to the wind by #RAW #TagTeamChampions @WWERollins and @TheDeanAmbrose! https://t.co/KGzxGXdDxx2017-10-17 01:51:07
That's going to remain true. The Hounds of Justice roaming the WWE landscape again is going to boost Ambrose's career, even more than it will for Reigns or Rollins.
He first began teaming with Rollins just in time for SummerSlam. Ambrose battled alongside his old brother-in-arms and captured the Raw Tag Team Championship. And suddenly, a guy seemingly on a stationary bike from a booking standpoint had newfound momentum.
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Ambrose and Rollins clashed with Cesaro and Sheamus several times, producing some of the Raw brand's best contests in the process.
The Shield completed its reformation weeks later when Reigns agreed to fight alongside the tag champs.
On Monday's Raw, the trio went a step further. They donned their old black gear, marched to the ring through the stands and exuded that familiar Shield swagger.
His promo had extra oomph. His ring work later that night had electricity aplenty. And The Lunatic Fringe's goofiness had been toned down in favor of a return to his previous persona.
As Daily DDT pointed out, this is indeed the ideal version of Ambrose:
Daily DDT @FanSidedDDT
The best Dean Ambrose is truly back2017-10-17 00:12:36
On his own, he often veered into zany territory. He was a cross between a barroom brawler and Bugs Bunny. There's no room for that while he's with The Shield, so he's been forced to resume being the group's spark plug and wild card.
Both Reigns and Rollins went on to be bigger stars as solo acts.
While Ambrose did win the world title, his post-Shield run has been underwhelming at times. His feuds with Dolph Ziggler, The Miz and others never caught fire. And while Rollins and Reigns were delivering top-flight matches, the other member of their crew was less consistent in that area.
But fighting alongside his brothers has sparked something in him.
.@WWERollins and @TheDeanAmbrose REIGN as they defeat @WWECesaro and @WWESheamus to retain their #RAW #TagTeamTitles! #WWENoMercy #AndStill https://t.co/Q29iRvNDnn2017-9-25 01:14:34
That has already shown up in the form of him nabbing better star ratings from Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t the Internet Wrestling Database). Ambrose's scores for the three pay-per-view bouts before he joined forces with Rollins average out to 2.58. He and Rollins have since delivered at SummerSlam (four stars) and No Mercy (4.25).
And now a classic waiting to happen is on its way.
The Shield vs. The Bar, Kane, The Miz and Braun Strowman at Sunday's TLC PPV is going to be a wild, unforgettable funhouse of a match. It's going to be the best thing Ambrose has been a part of in a long time.
Being a key part of The Hounds of Justice moving forward is going to help Ambrose pile up momentum and reconnect with the crowd.
There's a good chance, too, that he gets a career moment out of it. WWE history says The Shield will break up again. Just about every team does.
If it's Ambrose who stabs his brethren in the back this time around, he will get all the heat and buzz that Rollins got last time around. He'll get a prominent storyline and a newsworthy character shift out of it, as well.
For now, the Cincinnati native has to be thrilled to have such narrative purpose, to be one-third of the hottest act on Raw.