Posted by: brad – Jun 26, 2014
It's definitely debatable what has been the best part of the WWE's product for the past twenty months, but whenever you bring up that discussion, one of the first things to come to mind would have to be The Shield, the three man faction made up of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose.
Since that first interview with The Shield in November of 2012, Dean Ambrose has been perhaps the most captivating and intriguing part of the group, being compared to wrestling legends such as "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Brian Pillman. Some took it even farther and made the link between Ambrose and Heath Ledger's portrayal as The Joker! With the end of the Shield just happening, Ambrose is on his own for the first time in WWE and if this past Monday night is any indication, it seems like the crowd is ready to see Ambrose tear through the WWE roster as a solo wrestler in the same fashion he did as part of The Shield.
We got to speak with Dean Ambrose on the eve of Sunday's Money In The Bank PPV and a few weeks before he and the rest of the WWE return to Richmond at the Coliseum for Monday Night RAW. As always, he had plenty to say and a unique way to put it.
Money In The Bank is this Sunday night and you're in the traditional match alongside six other wrestlers. What kind of thoughts or reservations do you have going into this match, especially considering ladder match pioneers like Edge and Matt Hardy have been so vocal about the long-term damages from them?
You know, it's one of those things where a lot is at stake and you might have to take a big risk to get up that ladder. There's a lot in play. Lots of metal, high heights, and a lot of players in the game. It's a very unpredictable situation. You just have to go into with no fear and no reservations. You just have to go for it. You got to pick your spots and be smart though. Once you're in front of that crowd, those lights go up, you see the briefcase hanging, and you feel the adrenaline; all your fears disappear. If you have fears in your head, that's when you're going to get hurt. You got to let that stuff leave your head, otherwise it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You can be smart, but just don't hesitate. It's like Patrick Swayze said in Point Break. "Fear causes hesitation and hesitation causes your worst fears to come true."
Does anyone in the office or backstage give you any advice or even guidelines on these matches?
Not really. I mean, everyone knows the score by this point even if it's your first time. Usually everyone backstage is just crossing their fingers, praying, saying their Hail Mary's, or whatever they have to do hoping nobody gets hurt. Pretty much everybody's eyes are glued to the screen. Lot of "Oohs" and "Aahs," but more "I hope he's okay" and worrying and relief when it's over and everyone comes out okay.
Now, three weeks ago, Seth Rollins turned on you and judging by the recent TV, it looks like you and Roman Reigns are no longer partnering together. What did you think about the turn and how it was done?
You never know what's going to happen on Monday Night RAW. You always got to to tune in because anything can happen and the same things goes for us when we show up each Monday night. You never know what's lurking around the corner or what twist they're going to throw your way. The cool thing is The Shield never started going on the downslide. We went out at our absolute apex with a clean sweep of Evolution, one of the most decorated and dominate stables of all time. The cool thing to take away is that we did go out on a high point whereas other groups don't and I take a lot of pride in that. We're all still three of the best performers in the company and are still always going to carry that mindset and that work ethic and be that symbol of excellence. That becomes part of your psyche and you want to go out there every night, bust your ass, put on the best show possible, and refuse to be out-done by anyone. You're still going to see that from us. You won't see us working together in the classic Shield way, but all three of us with all of our egos and aspirations and desire are still going to be on your TV making our way up top. It's an exciting time for the fans.
With Reigns being booked as WWE's next big star and Rollins aligned with Triple H, are you worried at all about getting lost in the shuffle like so many other superstars are lately?
Pretty confident, huh?
I've got confidence for miles and miles every day I wake up. If you know anything about me or anything about my history, if I'm backed into a corner, I will put my head down and swing and bite and scratch and crawl and throw punches until my arms fall off. I get where I want to go whether anyone likes it or not. I've made a career and life out of proving people wrong and making people eat their words. I get where I want to go and get what I want. It's not always a typical storybook because it's Dean Ambrose - it's not going to be. It might get ugly and might not always be the prettiest. I might have some scratches and bruises, but I'm going to get to where I want. You know, it can be really easy to listen to people. I'm a guy - I don't listen to things or to the little things that is. The gossip or comments of public perception. All that matters is the crowd. I know who I am and I know what I do and I know how hard I've worked to get here. You never know which way the road is going to turn. I think the top guys wake up every day in the morning and look at themselves and say, "I'm a top guy, I'm a world beater, and no one's going to stop me from getting what I want." I do the same and I feel the same and have for a long time.
You're one of the stand-outs each night on TV with the way you portray yourself on camera, in the ring, on the mic, and so on. Who do you draw inspiration from to put that all together or does it just come naturally?
I've been obsessed with wrestling for as long as I can remember. I used to scour every flea market and video store for tapes and I just amassed this giant collection of crappy bootleg video tapes. I've studied so much of the business from all aspects. Every territory, promotion, wrestler - trying to build up an encyclopedic knowledge of everything. You never know when that can help you out. I don't have anyone in particular that inspires me, but stuff rubs off naturally. You watch a lot of guys and study a lot of guys and you're going to pick up some of their mannerisms. When I get out there though, I'm very comfortable once the red light goes on and I'm front of the camera because that's the time when you can just let go and do what you want to do. I literally go out there and don't think about what I'm going to do. I just do stuff. I have no inhibitions. I'm not going to walk this way for my entrance, walk three steps down the ring, take my left hand up, and do my pose while I stand on the buckle. That's not me. If I'm a bad mood, you'll always see some kind of autobiographical reference of what kind of mood I'm in that day or what kind of situation that day. If I'm in a bad mood, I'm going to be scowling. If I'm in a good mood, I might be smiling. Maybe not. I might be kind of dancing or hopping if I'm a good mood. It will always reflect how I'm feeling right there in that moment. If I'm in a hurry, I'll be in the ring fast. If I'm not, I'm going to go slow. I really just let it all hang out and whatever you see is whatever you get. I can't tell you what it's going to be day to day because I just don't know.
To finish up, who in the locker room are you closest with?
Roman Reigns. He's still my best friend, my buddy, and travelling partner. Me and Roman are tight. We've had on our differences on TV and we get into each our faces because we're two alpha males so we'll butt heads, but that's why we love each other. We're brothers and push each other and still got each other's back. For Roman, he's a super-charismatic, loveable, soulful guy that can be a beacon for everyone in the locker room which I think is just really good right now.
The locker room that is?
Yeah, we've just got a really good crew in the locker room. There are tons of guys I travel with or hang out with, but the whole locker room right now is just great. There's not that division of top guys and bottom guys now that there used to be or has been in the past. I think The Shield helped that because we're young guys who came in and said we're going to take over this company by working hard and busting our ass. There's been a lot of other people who came in after us and kind of took that similar mindset or copied it and it really helped things I think. It's just a really good locker room now and one of the best I've ever been in. Lot of young hungry guys that all like hanging out with each other and love the business and want to see each other do well. I think it means great things are on the way for the company, for all of us, and for all of the fans.
Dean Ambrose and the rest of WWE return to Richmond with Monday Night RAW at the Coliseum on July 14th. View more information as well as where to buy tickets by clicking here.
Words by Doug Nunnally, Photos via WWE