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Dean Ambrose

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Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose WrestleMania 32 Axxess.jpg
Ambrose in March 2016
Birth name Jonathan David Good
Born (1985-12-07) December 7, 1985 (age 31)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Residence Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Spouse(s) Renee Young (m. 2017)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Dean Ambrose[1]
Jon Moxley[2][3]
Jonathan Moxley[3]
Moxley Moxx[3]
Billed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)[4]
Billed weight 225 lb (102 kg)[4]
Billed from Cincinnati, Ohio[4]
Trained by Cody Hawk[5]
Les Thatcher[5]
Debut June 2004[3]

Jonathan David Good (born December 7, 1985) is an American professional wrestler and actor currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the Raw brand under the ring name Dean Ambrose.

Good is also known for his work on the independent circuit under the ring name Jon Moxley between 2004 and 2011. He worked for various promotions including Full Impact Pro (FIP), Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), Ring of Honor (ROH), Evolve Wrestling (EVOLVE) and Dragon Gate USA (DGUSA), winning the FIP World Heavyweight Championship once and the CZW World Heavyweight Championship twice.

After signing with WWE under his current ring name, Ambrose competed in their former developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), along with their current territory NXT through 2011, before joining the main roster in 2012 as a member of The Shield with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. Ambrose won his first championship while in the group, the United States Championship, with his 351-day reign being the third-longest in history and a company record within WWE (who acquired the title upon purchasing World Championship Wrestling in 2001).

Following The Shield's breakup, Ambrose has gone on to become a one-time WWE World Champion, a two-time Intercontinental Champion and a one-time Raw Tag Team Champion (with Rollins). He was also the 2016 Money in the Bank ladder match winner and successfully cashed in his contract to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Upon winning the Raw Tag Team Championship, Ambrose became the twenty-seventh Triple Crown Champion and the sixteenth and youngest Grand Slam Champion. Ambrose has headlined multiple pay-per-view events for WWE.

Good made his acting debut in the WWE Studios production 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown (2015).

Early life

Jonathan David Good[1][6] was born on December 7, 1985[2][3] in Cincinnati, Ohio.[1] Much of his wrestling persona is based on his own real-life upbringing in Cincinnati's East End, where he spent much of his childhood in public housing.[5] His father, who worked in Indianapolis 70 miles away, was largely absent in Good's life[7] and Good has gone on to say that his biggest accomplishment since joining WWE was being able to buy a house for his mother away from the rough neighborhoods in Cincinnati.[7] An avid wrestling fan who idolized Bret Hart as a child, Good used wrestling as an escape from his rough upbringing by immersing himself in wrestling videotapes and reading stories about wrestling's earlier days.[5][8] A year after beginning to train as a wrestler, he dropped out of high school,[8] which he later compared to Peter Gibbons from the movie Office Space coming to work and "checking out".[7]

Professional wrestling career

Heartland Wrestling Association (2004–2010)

Good began working for Les Thatcher at the Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA) as a teenager by selling popcorn and setting up the ring before beginning to train at the age of 18 (Thatcher refused to train Good until he was 18 years old) as a professional wrestler under Thatcher and Cody Hawk.[5][8] Using the ring name Jon Moxley, he made his debut in June 2004. Less than a year into his career, Moxley teamed up with Jimmy Turner as Necessary Roughness and on May 11, 2005 they defeated the team of Extreme Desire (Mike Desire and Tack) to win the HWA Tag Team Championship.[5] After Ala Hussein and Quinten Lee, who made up the team Foreign Intelligence, defeated Necessary Roughness for the HWA Tag Team Championship, Moxley started teaming with Ric Byrne in a team known as Heartland Foundation. They defeated Foreign Intelligence for the title on August 19, but were stripped of the championship for unknown reasons the same day.

Moxley on the independent circuit in 2010

In 2006, Moxley started challenging for the HWA Heavyweight Championship and he assembled a stable called The Crew which over time had wrestlers like Sami Callihan, Dick Rick, Eric Darkside and Pepper Parks. On May 9, 2006, Moxley beat Pepper Parks to win the HWA Heavyweight Championship and held the title for more than four months until he dropped it to Chad Collyer on September 12. Moxley regained the HWA Heavyweight Championship on December 30 by defeating Parks, but lost it on January 2, 2007 to Brian Jennings.

Moxley returned to the tag team division when he teamed up with his former trainer Cody Hawk.[5] On June 12, Moxley and Hawk defeated Tack and Tarek the Legend to win the HWA Tag Team Championship. However, Moxley and Hawk's reign lasted four days as Andre Heart and Richard Phillips, collectively known as GP Code, defeated them for the title. Moxley continued to work in the tag team division for the rest of 2007 through early 2010.

In 2009, Moxley started teaming up with rival King Vu in a team known as Royal Violence. They captured the HWA Tag Team Championship twice while teaming together. The first time they captured the title was on October 14, when they defeated the Kosher Klub. They held the title until December 2, when they were defeated by The Irish Airborne (Dave and Jake Crist), but regained it on December 19.

While still one half of the HWA Tag Team Champions with King Vu, Moxley captured the HWA Heavyweight Championship for a third time. On January 6, 2010, he successfully cashed in his "Pick Your Poison" title shot against Aaron Williams. King Vu then turned on Moxley, costing them the HWA Tag Team Championship. On February 24, The Noble Bloods (Lord Matthew Taylor and Sir Chadwick Cruise) defeated Royal Violence for the championship. On July 14, Moxley lost the HWA Heavyweight Championship to Gerome Phillips.[9]

Insanity Pro Wrestling (2007–2011)

After Moxley's successful defense of the IPW World Heavyweight Championship against Aaron Williams at IPW Desperate Measures on June 5, 2010, Jimmy Jacobs attacked Moxley causing the locker room to come out and separate them both.[10] Moxley wondered why Jacobs attacked him, then both proceeded to have a war of words with each other in the back.[11] On August 21 at IPW 9th Anniversary: Reign of the Insane, Moxley defeated Jacobs to successfully retain the IPW World Heavyweight Championship.[10] On October 2 at Shocktoberfest, Moxley defeated Drake Younger in a Three Stages of Insanity match to successfully retain the IPW World Heavyweight Championship.[12] On January 1, 2011 at Showdown in Naptown, Moxley lost the IPW World Heavyweight Championship to Jimmy Jacobs in a dog collar match due to referee stoppage.[13]

Combat Zone Wrestling (2009–2011)

Moxley after defending the CZW World Heavyweight Championship against Nick Gage in 2010

On June 6, 2009, Moxley was a participant in Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW)'s Tournament of Death VIII. In the first round, Moxley defeated Brain Damage in a Dining Death match, but lost in the semifinals to Nick "F'N" Gage in a triple threat Fans Bring the Weapons match also including Scotty Vortekz. On October 25, Moxley participated in the CZW Tournament of Death: Rewind and in the first round he faced Thumbtack Jack in a Four Corners of Fun dog collar match, which he lost.

At the CZW 11th Anniversary Show on February 12, 2010, Moxley defeated B-Boy to win the CZW World Heavyweight Championship.[5] On August 8, Moxley lost the CZW World Heavyweight Championship to Nick Gage in a Ultraviolent three-way dance also involving Drake Younger.[14] On August 14, Moxley regained the CZW World Heavyweight Championship from Gage in a three-way dance also involving Egotistico Fantastico.[15] At the CZW 12th Anniversary show on February 12, 2011, Moxley lost the CZW World Heavyweight Championship to Robert Anthony.[16]

Dragon Gate USA (2009–2011)

Moxley started working for Dragon Gate USA (DGUSA) in 2009 and on November 28 he defeated B-Boy via submission in a dark match.[3] Moxley continued to work for Dragon Gate USA in 2010 and on January 23 he defeated Darin Corbin in a dark match. Later that night, he attacked Lacey until Tommy Dreamer made the save.[3] Moxley then teamed up with Brian Kendrick on March 26 in a match against Paul London and Jimmy Jacobs in which Moxley and Kendrick won. Following the match, Kendrick and London put Moxley through a table.[3] On March 27, Moxley made his pay-per-view debut with Dragon Gate USA in Phoenix, Arizona, facing Dreamer in a hardcore match taped for Mercury Rising, which Moxley won.[5][17] At the May 8 Uprising pay-per-view taping in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Moxley suffered an injury where his left nipple was nearly severed during a match with Jimmy Jacobs.[18]

At Freedom Fight (which aired on January 7, 2011), Moxley and Akira Tozawa were defeated by Homicide and Open the Freedom Gate Champion BxB Hulk in a tag team match.

Other promotions (2007–2011)

Moxley competed in two matches for Ring of Honor (ROH) in 2007. On February 23, Moxley teamed with Alex Payne in a losing effort against Bobby Dempsey and Rhett Titus in a dark match.[3] On June 22, Moxley lost to Mitch Franklin in another dark match.[3]

At Full Impact Pro's (FIP) Southern Stampede event on April 17, 2010, Moxley defeated Roderick Strong to win the vacant FIP World Heavyweight Championship.[19] On August 7 at Cage Of Pain III, Moxley defeated Bruce Santee to retain the title.[5]

Moxley made his Evolve debut at Evolve 3: Rise or Fall on May 1, 2010 by losing to Drake Younger.[20] On July 23, Moxley fought Brodie Lee to a double disqualification at Evolve 4: Danielson vs Fish.[21] At Evolve 6: Aries vs. Taylor on November 10, Moxley defeated Homicide in a Relaxed Rules match after the referee called for the bell.[22] On April 19, 2011, Moxley wrestled his Evolve farewell match, facing Austin Aries in a losing effort.[23]

Moxley made his debut for Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW) on October 23, 2010 at Halloween Hell in which he defeated Devon Moore.[24] On February 5, 2011, JAPW debuted in South River, New Jersey and Moxley became the newest member of the United States Death Machine.

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE

Florida Championship Wrestling (2011–2012)

On April 4, 2011 it was confirmed that Good had signed a developmental deal with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Dragon Gate USA granted his release from the promotion.[25] Good had previously appeared for the promotion as Jon Moxley on January 20, 2006, when he teamed with Brad Attitude in a loss to MNM in a match taped for Velocity.[3] On May 27, he joined WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) under the name Dean Ambrose.[26][27]

Ambrose yelling at fans during an NXT event in October 2012

Ambrose made his televised debut on the July 3 episode of FCW where he challenged Seth Rollins, another prominent independent wrestler.[26][28] Ambrose and Rollins had their first match for the FCW 15 Championship in a 15-minute Iron Man match on the August 14 episode of FCW which ended in a draw with neither man scoring a fall, so Rollins retained the title.[29] A subsequent 20 minute rematch for the title two weeks later resulted in a similar 0–0 draw.[29] A second 30-minute rematch for the title on the September 18 episode of FCW went to a time limit 2–2 draw and the match was sent into sudden death rules, where Rollins scored a pinfall to win the match 3–2.[26][29] Of note, an entire episode of FCW was dedicated to hyping and showing the third match in the series.[29] Ambrose finally beat Rollins in a non-title match in the first round of the Super Eight tournament to crown the new FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion.[30] However, Ambrose was unsuccessful in the tournament final as Leo Kruger won the fatal four-way match.[30] Ambrose also cost Rollins his FCW 15 title by attacking Damien Sandow during his title match with Rollins, causing a disqualification in the deciding fall.[31] Ambrose then unsuccessfully challenged Sandow for the FCW 15 title,[32] before Leakee defeated both Ambrose and Rollins during a triple threat match to determine the number one contender to the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship.[33]

At an FCW house show on October 21, Ambrose challenged WWE wrestler CM Punk, who was making a guest appearance, to a match in which Ambrose was defeated in a 30-minute match, but was later paid tribute to by Punk.[26][34] Ambrose's behind-the-back attack on WWE wrestler and FCW commentator William Regal set up a match between the two on the November 6 episode of FCW, where Regal pinned Ambrose to win the match.[26][35] Following the loss to Regal, Ambrose became obsessed about wanting a rematch and regularly taunted Regal by using Regal's finishing moves to win matches.[36] Ambrose started appearing at WWE house shows in December 2011.[37] At WrestleMania XXVIII Axxess in April 2012, Ambrose had a confrontation with veteran hardcore wrestler Mick Foley, claiming that Foley needed to be held accountable for leading a generation astray.[38] Ambrose continued his verbal assault on Foley through Twitter[39] and WWE reacted by "sending Ambrose home" from the SmackDown taping.[40] Ambrose challenged old nemesis Seth Rollins for the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship on the June 24 episode of FCW, but Rollins defeated him.[41] Ambrose finally received a rematch with Regal on the final episode of FCW on July 15, which ended in a no contest when Ambrose kneed Regal's head into an exposed turnbuckle, causing Regal to bleed from the ear, but after the match nonetheless applauded Ambrose and allowed him to deliver a running knee lift, which prompted the FCW locker room to get in the ring to separate Ambrose from a fallen Regal while commentators questioned whether Regal would ever be able to wrestle again.[42]

The Shield (2012–2014)

Ambrose (center) as part of The Shield in February 2013

In November 2012, Ambrose made his main roster debut at the Survivor Series pay-per-view event alongside Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, as they delivered a triple powerbomb through an announce table to Ryback during the triple threat main event for the WWE Championship, allowing CM Punk to pin John Cena and retain the title.[43] The trio declared themselves The Shield and vowed to rally against "injustice", while they denied working for Punk, even though The Shield would routinely emerge from the crowd to attack Punk's adversaries, including Ryback and the WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane).[44][45][46][47] This led to a six-man Tables, Ladders and Chairs match being set up for the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view event on December 16, where Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns defeated Team Hell No and Ryback in their debut match.[48] The Shield continued to aid Punk after TLC, both on Raw and at the Royal Rumble in January 2013.[49][50] The night after the Royal Rumble it was revealed through footage that Punk and his manager Paul Heyman had been paying The Shield and Brad Maddox to work for them all along.[51] The Shield then quietly ended their association with Punk while a feud with John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus led to a six-man tag match on February 17 at Elimination Chamber, which the Shield won.[52][52][53][54] The Shield had their first match on Raw the following night, where they defeated Chris Jericho, Ryback and Sheamus.[55] They continued to feud with Sheamus, who formed an alliance with Randy Orton and Big Show to face off The Shield at WrestleMania 29 on April 7, where The Shield defeated the trio in their first WrestleMania match.[56][57] The following night on Raw, The Shield attempted to attack The Undertaker, but were stopped by Team Hell No.[58] This set up a six-man tag team match on the April 22 episode of Raw, where The Shield emerged victorious.[59] Four days later on SmackDown, Ambrose made his singles debut against The Undertaker and lost by submission, but immediately after which The Shield attacked Undertaker and performed a triple-powerbomb on him through the announce table.[60][61] On the April 29 episode of Raw, The Shield defeated Team Hell No and WWE Champion John Cena in a six-man tag team match.[62] Later that week, Ambrose picked up his first singles victory by defeating Kane on SmackDown.[63]

Ambrose as United States Champion in July 2013

While The Shield continued to feud with Team Hell No, Ambrose simultaneously entered a feud with the United States Champion Kofi Kingston, whom he to earn victory in a six-man tag team match,[64] which prompted Kingstong to attack Ambrose on SmackDown following a singles win over Daniel Bryan.[64][65] On the May 13 episode of Raw, The Shield's undefeated streak in televised six-man tag team matches ended in a disqualification loss in an elimination match against Cena, Kane and Bryan, when Ambrose was disqualified as Reigns and Rollins attacked Cena.[66] On May 19 at Extreme Rules, Ambrose defeated Kingston to win the United States Championship, his first singles title in WWE.[67] Ambrose made his first televised title defense on the following episode of SmackDown, retaining the title by disqualification as the rest of The Shield interfered and retained again against Kingston on Raw the next week.[68][69] On the June 14 episode of SmackDown, The Shield's unpinned/unsubmitted streak in televised six-man tag team matches ended at the hands of Team Hell No and Randy Orton, when Daniel Bryan submitted Rollins.[70][71] At Payback on June 16, Ambrose defeated Kane via countout to retain the United States Championship and successfully defended the championship against Kane the following night on Raw, when he won by disqualification.[72][73] On July 14 at Money in the Bank, Ambrose competed in the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, but failed to win the match despite interference from Reigns and Rollins.[74][75]

During the SummerSlam kickoff show, Ambrose retained the United States Championship by disqualification against Rob Van Dam.[76] In August, The Shield began working for chief operating officer Triple H and The Authority[77] while Ambrose began a feud with Dolph Ziggler, against whom he successfully defended the title at Night of Champions and on both SmackDown and Main Event in September and October.[78] On October 27 at Hell in a Cell, Ambrose lost to Big E Langston by countout, but retained the title.[79] Tension began brewing among The Shield in October, especially between Ambrose and Reigns as Ambrose was the only member left with a championship.[80] At Survivor Series on November 24, The Shield participated in a traditional Survivor Series match and Ambrose was the first man eliminated while Reigns won the match as the sole survivor.[81] At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, CM Punk defeated The Shield in a handicap match after Ambrose received a Reigns spear aimed for Punk.[82] At the Royal Rumble on January 26, 2014, The Shield participated in the Royal Rumble match and Ambrose eliminated three wrestlers and tried to eliminate Reigns, who retaliated by eliminating both Ambrose and Rollins.[83][84] In February 2014, Ambrose retained the championship against Mark Henry with a disqualification loss.[85] A rematch in March yielded a pinfall victory for Ambrose.[86] The Shield would lose to The Wyatt Family at Elimination Chamber on February 23, with Ambrose absent during the finish of the match.[87]

Ambrose along Seth Rollins (left) and Roman Reigns (center) as part of The Shield in April 2014

Despite more tension, The Shield reconciled in March[88][89] and began a feud with Kane, turning them into fan favorite characters[90][91] and resulting in The Shield defeating Kane and The New Age Outlaws at WrestleMania XXX on April 6.[92] The Shield next turned on Triple H,[93] who reformed Evolution with Batista and Randy Orton to take on The Shield.[94] On April 28, Ambrose surpassed Montel Vontavious Porter as the longest reigning United States Champion under the WWE banner.[95] On the May 2 episode of SmackDown, Ambrose retained the title in a fatal four-way match against Alberto Del Rio, Curtis Axel and Ryback.[96] As part of their feud with Evolution, The Shield won a six-man tag team match at Extreme Rules on May 4.[97] The following night on Raw, Triple H forced Ambrose to defend the championship in a 20-man battle royal with Rollins and Reigns not part of the match, which saw Ambrose surviving until the final two, but ultimately losing to Sheamus, thus ending Ambrose's record title reign at 351 days.[98][99] After Ambrose failed to regain the championship in a singles match on SmackDown against Sheamus, The Shield once again defeated Evolution at Payback on June 1, prompting Triple H to initiate "Plan B".[100] This involved Rollins turning on Ambrose and Reigns, subsequently aligning himself with Triple H.[101]

Feud with Seth Rollins (2014–2015)

Ambrose promptly began feuding with Rollins, which included Rollins costing Ambrose a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank on June 29 and the duo attacking each other.[102] During this period, Ambrose and Reigns quietly separated as a team, with Ambrose debuting new ring attire and new entrance music.[103] After being added to the Money in the Bank ladder match at Rollins' request (as he threatened to hijack the match somehow if he was not), Ambrose lost the match when Kane attacked him and helped Rollins win.[104] Ambrose was scheduled to face Rollins at Battleground on July 20, but he was ejected from the arena by Triple H for fighting with Rollins backstage and Rollins subsequently announced that he had won their match by forfeit, prompting Ambrose to return to the arena and attack Rollins.[105] Ambrose and Rollins eventually wrestled at SummerSlam on August 17 in a lumberjack match, which Ambrose lost after interference from Kane.[106] Ambrose attacked Rollins again the following night on Raw, causing them to face off in a Falls Count Anywhere match which Rollins won by knockout when Ambrose was attacked by Kane and subsequently had his head driven through a pile of cinderblocks by Rollins.[107] Ambrose was stretchered out of the arena and the storyline was put to place to explain Ambrose's absence from television while filming Lockdown.[108] Ambrose returned at Night of Champions on September 21 by attacking Rollins.[109] Following weeks of Ambrose attacking Rollins, the duo faced off in a Hell in a Cell match at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event on October 26, where Ambrose lost when the returning Bray Wyatt interfered and attacked him.[110]

The next few weeks saw Ambrose and Wyatt taunting and attacking each other in both backstage and in-ring segments, with Wyatt claiming that he could "fix" Ambrose, leading to a match at Survivor Series on November 23.[111][112] Ambrose lost the match by disqualification after utilizing steel chairs, including a table.[113] This led to a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match between the two at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 14, during which a television monitor blew up in Ambrose's face, allowing Wyatt to win the match.[114] The feud concluded when Wyatt beat Ambrose in the first ambulance match held on the January 5, 2015 episode of Raw.[115] Ambrose's booking during his feuds with Rollins and Wyatt was criticized by commentators, including James Caldwell of the Pro Wrestling Torch, who stated that although "he's a utility main eventer", his lack of victories indicated that he was not a guy WWE was positioning "for a 2-3 year sustained run on top".[116]

Ambrose in January 2015

On the January 19 episode of Raw, Ambrose defeated Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett in a non-title match.[117] At the Royal Rumble on January 25, Ambrose participated in the Royal Rumble match, but was eliminated by Big Show and Kane.[118] The following weeks, Ambrose demanded a match for Barrett's title which Barrett declined, leading to Ambrose attacking him, tying his hands around the ring post and forcing him to sign a contract for a title match at Fastlane on February 22,[119] where Ambrose lost the subsequent match by disqualification, but stole the championship belt afterward.[120] At WrestleMania 31 on March 29, Ambrose participated in a seven-man ladder match for the championship, but lost after Luke Harper performed a powerbomb on him through a ladder and knocked him out of the match as result.[121] After further attacks between the two,[122][123][124] Ambrose defeated Harper at Extreme Rules on April 26, his first singles victory on a pay-per-view event since The Shield split up.[125]

Ambrose returned to feuding with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, defeating him on the May 4 episode of Raw and as per pre-stipulation by Kane was added to the title match at Payback (a fatal four-way match also including Randy Orton and Roman Reigns) on May 17 and Ambrose's first opportunity for a WWE's world title.[126] However, he failed to win the title.[127] At Elimination Chamber on May 31, Ambrose defeated Rollins by disqualification in a title match, but failed to win the title.[128] Despite the loss, Ambrose took the title belt with him and challenged Rollins in a ladder match at Money in the Bank on June 14, which he narrowly lost.[129]

WWE World Champion (2015–2016)

"Crowd was more into Ambrose than (Roman) Reigns... Why does Ambrose continue to do more jobs when he's the most over babyface they have?".
Wrestling Observer writer Jeff Hamlin in November 2015[130]

After Money in the Bank, Ambrose continued teaming with Reigns and eventually helped him in his feud with Bray Wyatt after Luke Harper reunited with Wyatt,[131] which culminated to a tag team match at SummerSlam on August 23, where Ambrose and Reigns defeated Wyatt and Harper.[132] The following night on Raw, Ambrose and Reigns fought Wyatt and Harper in a SummerSlam rematch, during which Braun Strowman made his WWE debut, joining The Wyatt Family and helping Harper and Wyatt attack Ambrose and Reigns.[133] At Night of Champions on September 20, Ambrose, Reigns and a returning Chris Jericho were defeated by Wyatt, Harper and Strowman in a six-man tag team match.[134] Following Rollins' injury, which forced him to vacate the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in November 2015, Ambrose entered a 16-man tournament to determine a new champion.[135] After defeating Tyler Breeze,[136] Dolph Ziggler[137] and Kevin Owens,[138] Ambrose ultimately made it to the finals at Survivor Series on November 22, but lost to Reigns.[139]

In December, Ambrose started a feud with Kevin Owens after Ambrose became the new number one contender for the Intercontinental Championship, which was held by Owens.[140][141][142] Ambrose won the Intercontinental Championship for the first time after defeating Owens at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 13.[143] On the December 22 episode of SmackDown, Ambrose defeated Owens and Ziggler in a triple threat match to retain the title.[144] On the January 7, 2016 episode of SmackDown, Ambrose and Owens faced off again, though the result was a double countout.[145] This led to a Last Man Standing match between the two at the Royal Rumble on January 24, where Ambrose retained the Intercontinental Championship[146] while also being the runner-up in the Royal Rumble match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[147] The following night on Raw, Ambrose was announced as part of a triple threat match against Reigns and Brock Lesnar at Fastlane on February 21, with the winner going on to face Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 32.[148] In the weeks preceding the match, Ambrose repeatedly taunted and goaded Lesnar.[149] On the February 15 episode of Raw, Ambrose was forced to defend the Intercontinental Championship in a fatal five-way match and lost the championship when Kevin Owens pinned Tyler Breeze.[150]

Ambrose as WWE World Heavyweight Champion in July 2016

After losing the Fastlane match when pinned by Reigns,[151] Ambrose was attacked by Lesnar upon arriving at the arena.[152] This set up a confrontation on Raw, where Ambrose would return driving an ambulance only to be attacked again and then Ambrose challenged Lesnar to a No Holds Barred street fight match at WrestleMania 32, which Paul Heyman accepted on Lesnar's behalf.[153] On the February 29 episode of Raw, Ambrose interrupted Triple H by issuing a challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship[154] at Roadblock.[155] During the main event on March 12, Ambrose executed a Dirty Deeds and pinned Triple H for a three count, but as Ambrose's foot was under the rope it was void and Ambrose later lost the match.[156] Ambrose then continued his feud with Lesnar cutting promos on him, continuously challenging him, resulting in hardcore legend Mick Foley giving Ambrose his signature barbed wire baseball bat on the March 14 episode of Raw.[157] The following week on Raw, another hardcore legend, Terry Funk, gave Ambrose a chainsaw.[158] Ambrose ended up losing the match between the two of them at WrestleMania 32 on April 3.[159][160]

In April, Ambrose began a rivalry with Chris Jericho after Shane McMahon cancelled The Highlight Reel and replaced it with The Ambrose Asylum.[161] This resulted in a match at Payback on May 1, where Ambrose defeated Jericho.[162] The following night on Raw, Ambrose invited Stephanie McMahon on The Ambrose Asylum, confronting her about being insincere with her recent nice demeanor and rather than give him an answer she cancelled Ambrose's show and reinstated Jericho's Highlight Reel, prompting the two to attacking each other and ending with Jericho smashing Ambrose's potted plant "Mitch" over his head to extend their feud.[163] After destroying Jericho's light-up jacket[164] and being put by Jericho in a straitjacket,[165] Ambrose challenged him to an Asylum match (a steel cage match with weapons hanging above the cage and a stipulation where escape from the cage was not allowed or would not allow for victory) at Extreme Rules on May 22,[166] where Ambrose won by pinfall when performing a Dirty Deeds on Jericho after slamming him onto a bed of thumb tacks.[167]

"To this point, Ambrose had lost almost every big match he has been in with Rollins, Wyatt, Reigns, Triple H and Lesnar all getting their hands raised at the end [...] We already knew that Dean Ambrose had the ability to be a biggest star of The Shield. Maybe now, especially in light of recent news, he will be".
Wrestling Observer writer Steve Khan on Ambrose's WWE World Heavyweight title cash-in at Money in the Bank[168]

On the May 23 episode of Raw, Ambrose defeated Dolph Ziggler to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match on June 19,[169] which he won.[170] Later that same night, he would cash-in his briefcase and quickly defeated Rollins (who had in turn just defeated Reigns for the world title) to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first time.[171] After the number one contender's match between Rollins and Reigns ended in a double countout the next night on Raw,[172] on Ambrose's request Shane McMahon announced a triple threat match for the title, now reverted to being called the WWE Championship, between Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins at Battleground.[173] In July, Ambrose successfully defended the title in two singles match against Rollins on both Raw and SmackDown before Battleground.[174][175][176] On July 19 at the 2016 WWE draft, Ambrose was drafted to SmackDown, being the brand's first draft pick and bringing the WWE Championship with him.[177] At Battleground on July 24, Ambrose successfully retained his title against Rollins and Reigns by pinning the latter.[178][179] Ambrose then successfully defended the renamed WWE World Championship, which was now exclusive to SmackDown, against Dolph Ziggler at SummerSlam on August 21.[180][181] His next title defense was at Backlash on September 11, where he lost the title to AJ Styles after Styles hit Ambrose with a low blow while the referee was down before executing a Styles Clash.[182]

On the September 20 episode of SmackDown Live, Ambrose gave Cena his first clean loss in nearly seven years on television shows,[183] but was unsuccessful in regaining the championship at No Mercy on October 9 in a triple threat match also involving Cena, who was pinned by Styles.[184] On the November 1 episode of SmackDown Live, after defeating Styles in a non-title bout he became the number one contender for the WWE World Championship[185] and would face Styles in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 4.[186] On November 20, Ambrose teamed with Styles as part of Team SmackDown at Survivor Series alongside Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton and Shane McMahon in a winning effort.[187] During this time, Ambrose became working along with James Ellsworth, helping Ellsworth to secure two singles victories over Styles[188][189] before defeating Styles once more on the November 22 episode of SmackDown in a ladder match with a SmackDown contract for Ellsworth on the line.[190] However, Ambrose failed to defeat Styles after Ellsworth initially appeared to help him, only to push him off a ladder into multiple tables and allowing Styles to retain the title.[191] This prompted Ambrose to hit Ellsworth with the Dirty Deeds on the December 6 episode of SmackDown Live, but nonethless later that night Ellsworth would try to make peace with Ambrose during his Intercontinental Championship match, which backfired as Ambrose eventually lost the match.[192]

Intercontinental Champion (2016–2017)

Ambrose as Intercontinental Champion in May 2017

Ambrose would then fail to become once again the number one contender for the reverted WWE Championship[193] in a fatal four-way elimination match involving Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper and The Miz, who would later interfere to cost him the match.[194] Ambrose's feud with Intercontinental Champion The Miz got heated on the December 20 episode of SmackDown Live, when Renee Young interviewed The Miz following his successful title defense against Apollo Crews and asked Miz about his "obsession" with Ambrose, at which Miz sarcastically responded by revealing Ambrose and Young's real life relationship, prompting her to slap Miz.[195]

After Ambrose attacked The Miz during his interview with Young with his intention of challenging Miz for the Intercontinental Championship,[196] he won the title for a second time on the January 3, 2017 episode of SmackDown Live after the referee ejected Maryse (The Miz's real life wife) from the ringside due to an interference.[197] On the January 10 episode of SmackDown Live, Ambrose announced his participation in the Royal Rumble match set on January 29,[198] but would be eliminated by Brock Lesnar after lasting almost 27 minutes.[199][200] On February 12, Ambrose took part of the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match at the event of the same name, where he eliminated Baron Corbin with a roll-up pin only for Corbin to attack him afterwards, allowing Miz to eliminate Ambrose.[201] Ambrose called out Corbin over the next couple of weeks while Corbin attacked him backstage and indicated his desire to take the Intercontinental Championship from Ambrose.[202][203] This would set up a match between the two on the WrestleMania 33 kickoff show on April 2, where Ambrose successfully retained the title.[204] On the April 4 episode of SmackDown Live, Ambrose lost to Corbin in a non-title street fight rematch,[205] which would be his last match for the brand as he moved to the Raw brand as a result of the Superstar Shake-up.[206]

In May, Ambrose resumed his rivalry with The Miz, who was also drafted on the Raw brand along with Maryse as part of the Superstar Shake-Up,[206] after Miz defeated Finn Bálor and Seth Rollins in a triple threat match on the May 1 episode of Raw to become the number one contender for Ambrose's title.[207] After Ambrose lost a title match by disqualification after he performed a low blow on The Miz,[208] he was then slated to defend the title in a rematch against Miz at Extreme Rules on June 4 in which Ambrose could lose the title if he were to be disqualified.[209] Ambrose would eventually lose the title match by pinfall, thus ending his reign at 152 days.[210]

The Shield reunion (2017–present)

Ambrose continued to feud with Miz, leading up to a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship at Great Balls of Fire on July 9, where he lost after an interference by the Miztourage (Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas).[211] The next night on Raw, Ambrose attacked Miz and the Miztourage, but due to being outnumbered former stablemate and long-time rival Seth Rollins saved Ambrose, who later that night revealed his untrustworthiness towards Rollins only to save him after an attack by The Miz and the Miztourage due his rivarlry with Miz.[212] After failing to gain Ambrose's trust, Rollins offered Ambrose to attack him with a steel chair as retribution for Rollins' betrayal, but Ambrose refused and the two were then ambushed by Miz and the Miztourage, which resulted in Raw General Manager Kurt Angle scheduling a handicap match for the following week on Raw,[213] in which Ambrose pinned Miz to end their prolonged feud while refusing to fist bump Rollins after the match.[214] In the following weeks, Ambrose and Rollins started a feud with Raw Tag Team Champions Cesaro and Sheamus[215] and eventually getting a title match at SummerSlam,[216] but the two kept distrusting each other.[217] This led the two to argue in the ring on the August 14 episode of Raw, which culminated in Ambrose and Rollins brawling with each other only to fight off Cesaro and Sheamus and performing a fist bump to a loud ovation.[218]

At SummerSlam on August 20, Ambrose and Rollins defeated Cesaro and Sheamus to capture the Raw Tag Team Championship,[219][220] making Ambrose both a Triple Crown and Grand Slam champion in the process.[221] After weeks of feuding with The Miztourage and Cesaro and Sheamus (against whom they successfully defended their championship on September 24 at No Mercy[222] and on the October 16 episode of Raw),[223] both common enemies of Ambrose and Rollins as well as of former Shield teammate Roman Reigns, they officially reunited with Reigns on the October 9 episode of Raw, reforming The Shield.[224] The Shield was due to face the team of Braun Strowman, Cesaro, Kane, The Miz and Sheamus on October 22 at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in a 5-on-3 handicap Tables, Ladders and Chairs match,[225] but over an illness concern Kurt Angle would take Reigns' place.[226] Ambrose, Rollins and Angle would go on to win the match.[227] Ambrose and Rollins were due to face SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos in a non-title interbrand match at Survivor Series,[228] but they lost the title back to Cesaro and Sheamus after SmackDown's New Day appearance on the November 6 episode of Raw,[229] thus ending their reign at 78 days.[230] This led to a match between The Shield and The New Day at Survivor Series on November 20,[231] which The Shield won.[232]

Wrestling persona

Ambrose's WWE career has seen him characterized as unstable and unpredictable. Referred to as "The Lunatic Fringe" since his time in The Shield (taking the nickname from Cincinnati radio station WEBN, which itself got the nickname from the 1981 song), his gimmick is portrayed as a wildcard. Ambrose's gimmick has been compared to that of WWE Hall of Famers Roddy Piper and Stone Cold Steve Austin, drawing comparison to Brian Pillman and Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker.[233][234][235] Despite expectations that Ambrose would become one of WWE's next top villains even after The Shield turned into fan favorites,[236] Ambrose's post-Shield run as a heroic character gained popularity, with him being cheered over fellow babyface (heroic character) Roman Reigns when they faced off in three world title matches (Payback and Survivor Series in 2015 and Fastlane in 2016).[237][238][239] Ambrose's popularity over Reigns has been especially reflective on the live event circuit, where Ambrose was drawing better on WWE's "B" circuit (usually in smaller markets) than Reigns as champion on the "A" circuit.[240] Ambrose was voted as the "Most Popular Wrestler of the Year" by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 2014 and 2015.[241]

Other media

Ambrose at WWE Axxess in 2014

In August 2014, Good began filming the Lionsgate-WWE Studios co-production Lockdown.[242][243] The film was released on September 11, 2015.[244]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2015 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown John Shaw[243]
2016 Countdown Himself Uncredited cameo

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2014,
2016–2017
Total Divas Himself Guest (season 2, 5 and 7)
Recurring (season 6): 11 episodes

Personal life

Good resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.[1] He is an avid fan of his hometown Cincinnati Bengals and the Cincinnati Reds.[245] He is known as an intensely private person and does not use social media, stating in 2014: "I don't feel the need to open myself up to the opinion of everybody in the world with a phone or computer. I just don't get that; being connected to everybody on such a superficial level like that. It's not really for me".[246]

Since 2013, Good has been in a relationship with WWE announcer Renee Paquette, better known as Renee Young.[247][248] On April 12, 2017, Paquette announced on Twitter that she and Good were now married.[249] Official marriage records showed they got married three days earlier on April 9.[6][250][251]

In wrestling

Ambrose setting up the Dirty Deeds (as a headlock driver) on The Miz
Ambrose performing the Dirty Deeds (as a snap double underhook DDT) on John Cena
Ambrose performing an elbow drop from the top of a ladder at WrestleMania 31

Championships and accomplishments

Ambrose's 351 day reign as United States Champion is the longest under the WWE banner, and third longest overall in the title's history
Ambrose is a two-time Intercontinental Champion

Notes

1 ^ When Ambrose won the title, it was known as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. It was then shortened to WWE Championship in the lead up to the 2016 WWE draft, where he was drafted to SmackDown with the championship. After the Raw brand created the WWE Universal Championship, the WWE Championship was again renamed to WWE World Championship.

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