Craig Wilson, Brian Damage and Jamie Lithgow
Seven days ago the WWE pulled the trigger on Dean Ambrose having him, firstly, win the Money in the Bank briefcase then later on in the same night have him cash in just after Seth Rollins pinned Roman Reigns to grab the WWE title. In today’s Sunday Sermon we discuss that title win and what an Ambrose era might look like.
Craig: It’s fair to say that Dean Ambrose leaving MiTB was a massive surprise to most people. In fact, it was only Jamie that predicted an Ambrose win in the ladder match with Brian and I going for Kevin Owens.
It was a great, great moment though. The stunned faces of the fans in attendance and I have to say it was one of the happiest moments I’ve seen at a PPV for quite a while.
But where will it go? I held off starting this in case the WWE reversed it on Monday, mercifully they didn’t. Know we hear the news, work or otherwise, that Roman Reigns has a 30 day suspension. It would explain the clean drop on MiTB and would allow him to be back for the triple threat at Background.
So what do you see from an Ambrose title reign? Is he got it for the long haul? Or is he merely keeping it warm until Battleground?
Brian: In my opinion, Ambrose will be champion for as long as people want him to be champion. I don’t think he’s a transitional champion at all. If what we read is true, ever since Roman Reigns was the WWE world champion…house show revenue has been down approximately 30%. I know house shows aren’t what they use to be back in the day, but they still generate income for the company.
Reigns just wasn’t likeable enough as champion to put “asses in the seats.” Dean Ambrose on the other hand is widely more popular. Is he Steve Austin-esque…not quite, but he has the personality and gimmick that can go so many more places than ever Reigns could as champ.
Jamie: I too saw a report about house show attendance suggesting that the ‘B’ shows headlined by Ambrose did equally as well as the ‘A’ shows featuring Reigns. With TV ratings at a fairly consistent level and John Cena still the merchandise kingpin, I guess house show numbers are as good a barometer as any for how popular a champion is.
With Reigns’ suspension – we assume it’s legit, I’ve seen no reason to doubt it – there is a small cloud of doubt as to whether or not Ambrose is indeed just a placeholder until Reigns returns? That’s the conspiracy, but if WWE still want Reigns as Champion then why have Rollins beat him clean prior to Ambrose’s cash-in? Why book Reigns in the Battleground main event if they already knew he would not be around to promote it? Why waste the MiTB gimmick after one of the most hyped matches ever? The conspiracy makes even less sense when you consider that Ambrose will be the WWE Champion during the draft edition of Smackdown, which WWE obviously hope will be a big deal.
I’m optimistic. If WWE are entering a new era then placing Ambrose front and centre indicates that they are starting to walk the walk, and not just talk the talk.
Brian: I agree with Jamie 100% on all of his points. Dean Ambrose is not your prototypical champion that Vince likes to usually see. His gimmick of being “unstable” makes for some intriguing circumstances in the future.
We can all kinda agree that Roman Reigns was a one trick pony as champion. What you see is usually what you would get from him. Whereas Dean Ambrose character could go in several different areas.
Craig: Agree with everything so far. It will be intriguing how the WWE deploy Ambrose. He certainly is not a traditional champion, in terms of what Vince McMahon usually goes for.
The first real indicator of if Ambrose is champion for the long haul is if he wins the triple threat at Battleground. Although with Reigns’ suspension, it’s odd that that’s happening at all. I guess a lot of Ambrose’s chances rely on how the A house shows, with him as champion, do.
Jamie: I assume we will see Raw and Smackdown house shows, rather than ‘A’ and ‘B’? Still, with no plans announced to create a new heavyweight title one has to assume that whatever show Ambrose appears on will be the ‘A’ show, right?
I agree with Brian regarding the Ambrose character, there’s just more you can do with him. Roman Reigns is Captain America when we already have Superman (John Cena). With Ambrose we have a guy who can be booked to win, lose or draw without losing all his credibility. I hate to make the comparison, but the unpredictable nature of Dean Ambrose is somewhat reminiscent of the Stone Cold Steve Austin character. He’s just a more versatile leading man, which is important because hopefully he will face lots of different challengers. Let’s face it, entertaining as some of them were, with Roman Reigns headlining PPVs it was the same match month after month.
Craig: I think the change is welcome. It’s going down a different route with their champion, and a change can really make a difference from top to bottom on the card as well as amongst the fanbase. I also don’t think there’s really much pressure on Ambrose. After all, if house show attendances go up then it’s a win. If they don’t, then perhaps there are other attributing factors to a drop in fans going along.
Are you pretty positive about Ambrose as champion, from either a change point of view or intrigued about the new direction? Leave your comments below.
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.