The Lunatic Fringe started out strong on the WWE roster as one-third of The Shield, a faction featuring fellow up-and-comers Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Their rise to superstardom in WWE is well-documented and led to all three making names for themselves.
Although Ambrose was rarely showcased as a singles competitor during his in The Shield, it was clear he had plenty of untapped potential and would be a breakout star as soon as the members went their separate ways.
Sure enough, Ambrose emerged as a beloved babyface in the summer of 2014, when his hot feud with Rollins played a part in his ascent. In the years that followed, he scratched and clawed before finally becoming WWE champion in June 2016.
Unfortunately for him, it was at that point when his popularity peaked. Not only did he fail to evolve as a character, but his world title run suffered from phoned-in performances and unoriginal mic work.
Despite The Shield's various reunions in recent years, it still seemed as if Ambrose was treading water. His long-awaited heel turn in October gave him a new lease on life and has resulted in renewed interest from fans, though it's unknown how high his ceiling will be going forward.
Aside from the Universal Championship, Ambrose has held every active WWE title, feuded with almost everyone and worked as both a babyface and a heel since 2012.
On paper, he has achieved almost everything possible in WWE, but some might argue the company's booking of him is holding him back from attaining superstardom. Even as a heel, he's been limited with what he can say and do, resorting to insulting the audience and regurgitating the same poor material week after week.
Beyond making the most of his program with Rollins, Ambrose's sole goal should be to re-establish himself as a main event-caliber competitor. He has all the tools necessary to be a credible universal champion, but it's merely a matter of whether WWE will choose to utilize him at that level.
In the immediate future, no one is a better fit for the top heel spot on Raw than Ambrose. Despite how disappointingly he has been handled since his return to the ring in August, the flagship show is desperate for some sort of spark and could use a real heel babyfaces can benefit from working with.
As a face, Ambrose barely scratched the surface of what he could become, meaning he has a ton of untapped potential in the heel role. He will go far so long as WWE wants to continue featuring him prominently toward the top of the card.
From there, he can enjoy a longer stint in the world title scene as opposed to dropping back down to where he was before a la 2016.
Whether someone is worthy of an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame is entirely subjective since there is no set criteria, but Ambrose's long list of accolades in the company speaks for itself. He has thrived in every situation WWE has put him in and made the most of everything thrown his way.
By and large, he has been one of the most reliable wrestlers on the roster in that he isn't injury-prone. Granted, his complacency and lack of motivation has been noticeable at times, but he has been a constant on WWE programming for a reason, as few Superstars can match his ability to withstand an unreal amount of punishment and keep fighting.
Despite a decorated past in hardcore wrestling, Ambrose's body doesn't seem to have the type of mileage on it that many may think it does. With his days as an active competitor for WWE far from numbered, there's no telling what he will do next to add to his already outstanding career.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.