After eight months on the shelf, Dean Ambrose made his return to WWE programming Monday night on Raw.
Ambrose arrived to aid Seth Rollins in his feud with Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre, and the Shield teammates quickly dispatched of the pair to close out Raw:
Rollins also announced Ambrose will be in his corner when he wrestles Ziggler for the intercontinental title at SummerSlam on Sunday.
In December, Ambrose underwent surgery to repair a "high-grade triceps tendon injury." WWE announced at the time he would miss nine months of action.
The injury marked the first major setback of Ambrose's career, as he was previously viewed as one of the company's top workhorses because of his durability and willingness to compete night in and night out.
At the time of his injury, The Lunatic Fringe was teaming with Rollins in a feud over the Raw Tag Team Championships against The Bar.
The triceps injury knocked Ambrose out of the picture, which led to Jason Jordan stepping in and winning the titles as Rollins' replacement partner.
While there was much excitement surrounding The Shield's reunion, it appeared snakebitten from the start, as an illness kept Roman Reigns out of TLC, and Ambrose's injury effectively ended the second coming of the highly successful group.
Although injuries are never welcomed in WWE, it can be argued that Ambrose's triceps ailment was a blessing in disguise in some ways.
The Shield angle had already gotten stale by the time he went down, and he was floundering to some degree even before that.
After dropping the WWE Championship to AJ Styles in 2016 on the heels of an 84-day reign, Ambrose struggled to regain his footing.
He engaged in a rivalry with The Miz over the Intercontinental Championship, and although that feud had its moments, it left something to be desired and didn't build on the momentum generated by The Lunatic Fringe becoming WWE champion for the first time.
Missing out on the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 34 wasn't ideal, but Ambrose now has a new opportunity to be an impact player, and the time away has seemingly helped rejuvenate him.
WWE already has a stacked roster, and Ambrose's return adds another main-event-caliber performer to the mix.
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