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Dean Ambrose

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Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose WrestleMania 32 Axxess.jpg
Ambrose in March 2015
Birth name Jonathan Good[1]
Born (1985-12-07) December 7, 1985 (age 30)[2][3]
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States[1]
Residence Las Vegas, Nevada, United States[1]
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 "Jon" Good (born December 7, 1985) is an American professional wrestler signed to WWE under the ring name Dean Ambrose. He is signed to WWE's SmackDown brand and is the current WWE World Champion in his first reign.

In WWE, he is also a one-time Money in the Bank winner, as well as a one-time Intercontinental Champion and a one-time United States Champion, with his 351-day United States Championship reign being the third-longest in history and a company record within WWE (who acquired the title in 2001). From 2011, Ambrose competed in WWE developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), before joining the WWE main roster in 2012 as a member of the The Shield with Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Ambrose has headlined multiple pay-per-view events for WWE and made his acting debut in the WWE Studios production 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown (2015).

Good is also known for his work on the independent circuit as 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, and Dragon Gate USA, winning the FIP World Heavyweight Championship once and the CZW World Heavyweight Championship twice.

Professional wrestling career

Heartland Wrestling Association (2004–2010)

Good began working for Les Thatcher at the Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA) as a teenager; he sold popcorn and set 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][6] 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 Quinten Lee and Ala Hussein, who made up the team Foreign Intelligence, beat Necessary Roughness for the HWA Tag Team Championship, Moxley started teaming with Ric Byrne in a team known as Heartland Foundation. They beat Foreign Intelligence for the title on August 19, 2005, but were stripped of the championship for unknown reasons the same day.

Jon Moxley on the independent circuit in 2010

In 2006, Moxley started challenging for the HWA Heavyweight Championship. 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, he 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 again defeating Parks. Three days later, on January 2, 2007, he lost the title to Brian Jennings.

Moxley returned to the tag team division when he teamed up with his former trainer Cody Hawk.[5] On June 12, 2007, Moxley and Hawk defeated Tack and Tarek the Legend to win the HWA Tag Team Championship. Moxley and Hawk's reign only lasted four days as Andre Heart and Richard Phillips, collectively known as GP Code, beat 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 beat the Kosher Klub. They held the title until December 2 when they were beaten by The Irish Airborne (Dave and Jake Crist). Just over two weeks later, Royal Violence regained the HWA Tag Team Championships as they beat Irish Airborne 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 titles. On July 14, Moxley lost the HWA Heavyweight Championship to Gerome Phillips.[7]

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.[8] Moxley wondered why Jacobs attacked him, then both proceeded to have a war of words with each other in the back.[9] On August 21, at IPW 9th Anniversary: Reign of the Insane, Moxley defeated Jacobs to successfully retain the IPW World Heavyweight Championship.[8] On October 2, at Shocktoberfest Moxley defeated Drake Younger in a three stages of Insanity match to successfully retain the IPW World Heavyweight Championship.[10] 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.[11]

Combat Zone Wrestling (2009–2011)

Tlyer Black Lose To Moxley in 2009
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 to Nick "F'N" Gage in a triple threat fans bring the weapons match, also including Scotty Vortekz, in the semi-finals. On October 25, 2009, Moxley participated in the CZW Tournament of Death: Rewind, 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.[12] On August 14, Moxley regained the CZW World Heavyweight Championship from Gage in a three-way dance, also involving Egotistico Fantastico.[13] At the CZW 12th Anniversary show on February 12, 2011, Moxley lost the CZW World Heavyweight Championship to Robert Anthony.[14]

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][15] 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.[16]

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 also in a dark match.[3]

At Full Impact Pro's (FIP) Southern Stampede show on April 17, 2010, Moxley defeated Roderick Strong to win the vacant FIP World Heavyweight Championship.[17] On August 7 at Cage Of Pain III Moxley defeated Bruce Santee to retain the title.[5][18]

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

He made his debut for Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW) on October 23, 2010 at Halloween Hell in which he defeated Devon Moore.[23] On February 5, 2011, JAPW debuted in South River, New Jersey. At this event, 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.[24] 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, 2011, he joined WWE's developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), under the name Dean Ambrose.[25][26]

Dean Ambrose yelling at fans during an NXT event in October 2012

Ambrose made his televised debut on the July 3 episode of FCW television, where he challenged Seth Rollins, another prominent independent wrestler.[25][27] 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 television; the match ended in a draw with neither man scoring a fall, so Rollins retained his title.[28] A subsequent 20 minute rematch for the title two weeks later resulted in a similar 0–0 draw.[28] A second 30-minute rematch for the title on the September 18 episode of FCW television 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.[25][28] Of note, an entire episode of FCW TV was dedicated to hyping and showing the third match in the series.[28] 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.[29] However, Ambrose was unsuccessful in the tournament final as Leo Kruger won the fatal four-way match.[29] 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.[30] Ambrose then unsuccessfully challenged Sandow for the FCW 15 title,[31] before Leakee trumped both Ambrose and Rollins during a triple threat match to determine the number one contender to the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship.[32]

At an FCW house show on October 21, Ambrose challenged WWE wrestler CM Punk, who was making a guest appearance, to a match; Punk accepted and defeated Ambrose in a 30-minute match, and later paid tribute to Ambrose.[25][33] 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 television, where Regal pinned Ambrose to win the match.[25][34] 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.[35] Ambrose started appearing at WWE house shows from December 2011.[36]

At WrestleMania XXVIII Axxess, Ambrose had a confrontation with veteran hardcore wrestler Mick Foley, claiming that Foley needed to be held accountable for leading a generation astray.[37] Ambrose continued his verbal assault on Foley through Twitter[38] and WWE reacted by "sending Ambrose home" from the SmackDown taping.[39] Ambrose challenged old nemesis Seth Rollins for the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship on the June 24 episode of FCW TV, but Rollins defeated him.[40] Ambrose finally received a rematch with William Regal on the final episode of FCW television 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. After the match, Regal applauded Ambrose and allowed Ambrose to hit him with the "Knee Trembler". Afterward, the FCW locker room stormed the ring to separate Ambrose from a fallen Regal while commentators questioned whether Regal would ever be able to wrestle again.[41]

The Shield (2012–2014)

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

Ambrose made his main roster debut on November 18, 2012, at the Survivor Series pay-per-view alongside Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins; they assaulted Ryback during the triple threat main event for the WWE Championship, allowing CM Punk to pin John Cena and retain his title.[42] The trio declared themselves "The Shield" and vowed to rally against "injustice". They denied working for Punk, but routinely emerged from the crowd to attack Punk's adversaries, including Ryback and the WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan).[43][44][45][46] This led to a six-man Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match being set up for the TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view, where Ambrose, Reigns, and Rollins defeated Team Hell No and Ryback in their debut match.[47] The Shield continued to aid Punk after TLC, both on Raw and at the Royal Rumble in January 2013.[48][49] 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.[50] 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.[51][51][52][53] The Shield had their first match on Raw the following night, where they defeated Chris Jericho, Ryback, and Sheamus.[54] They continued to feud with Sheamus, who formed an alliance with Randy Orton and Big Show, and at WrestleMania 29, The Shield defeated the trio in their first WrestleMania match.[55][56] The following night on Raw, The Shield attempted to attack The Undertaker, but were stopped by Team Hell No.[57] This set up a six-man tag team match on the April 22 episode of Raw, where The Shield emerged victorious.[58] Four days later on SmackDown, Ambrose made his singles debut against The Undertaker, but lost via submission, after which The Shield attacked Undertaker and triple-powerbombed him through the announcer's table.[59][60] 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.[61] Later that week, Ambrose picked up his first singles victory by defeating Kane in a singles match on SmackDown.[62]

Ambrose as United States Champion in July 2013

While The Shield continued to feud with Team Hell No, Ambrose simultaneously entered a storyline feud with the United States Champion Kofi Kingston. Ambrose pinned Kingston to earn victory in a six-man tag team match, and was attacked by Kingston several days later following a singles win over Daniel Bryan.[63][64] 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.[65] On May 19 at Extreme Rules, Ambrose defeated Kofi Kingston to win the United States Championship, his first singles title in WWE.[66] Ambrose made his first televised title defense on the following episode of SmackDown, retaining his title by disqualification as the rest of The Shield interfered, and retained again against Kingston on Raw the next week.[67][68] 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.[69][70] Two days later at Payback, Ambrose defeated Kane via countout to retain the United States Championship, and successfully defended the championship against Kane the following night, when he won by disqualification.[71][72] 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.[73][74] Ambrose retained his United States Championship at SummerSlam by disqualification against Rob Van Dam.[75] In August, The Shield began working for chief operating officer Triple H and The Authority,[76] while Ambrose began a feud with Dolph Ziggler, against whom he successfully defended the title at the Night of Champions pay-per-view and on both SmackDown and Main Event in September and October.[77] On October 27 at Hell in a Cell, Ambrose lost to Big E Langston by countout, but retained his title.[78] Tension began brewing among The Shield in October, especially between Ambrose and Reigns as Ambrose was the only member left with a championship.[79] At Survivor Series, The Shield participated in a traditional Survivor Series match; Ambrose was the first man eliminated while Reigns won the match as the sole survivor.[80] At TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, CM Punk defeated The Shield in a handicap match after Ambrose received a Reigns spear aimed for Punk.[81] At the Royal Rumble, The Shield participated in the Rumble match; Ambrose eliminated three wrestlers and tried to eliminate Reigns, who retaliated by eliminating both Ambrose and Rollins.[82][83] In February 2014, Ambrose retained the championship against Mark Henry with a disqualification loss;[84] a rematch in March yielded a pinfall victory for Ambrose.[85] Also in February, The Shield lost to The Wyatt Family at Elimination Chamber with Ambrose absent during the finish of the match.[86] Despite more tension, The Shield reconciled in March.[87][88]

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

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

Championship pursuits (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 and the duo attacking each other.[101] During this period Ambrose and Reigns quietly separated as a team, with Ambrose debuting new ring attire and new entrance music.[102] After being added to the Money in the Bank ladder match at Money in the Bank at Rollins' request, Ambrose lost the match when Kane attacked him and helped Rollins win.[103] Ambrose was scheduled to face Rollins at Battleground, 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.[104] Ambrose and Rollins eventually wrestled at SummerSlam in a lumberjack match, which Ambrose lost with assistance from Kane.[105] Ambrose attacked Rollins again the following night, 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.[106] Ambrose was stretchered out of the arena and the storyline was put to place to explain Ambrose's absence from television while filming Lockdown.[107] He returned at Night of Champions on September 21, attacking Rollins.[108] 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 in October; Ambrose lost the match when the returning Bray Wyatt interfered and attacked Ambrose.[109]

Ambrose in January 2015

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.[110][111] Ambrose lost the match by disqualification after utilizing steel chairs, including a table.[112] This led to a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match between the two at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs in December. During the match, a television monitor blew up in Ambrose's face, allowing Wyatt to win the match.[113] The feud concluded when Wyatt beat Ambrose in the first Ambulance match held on Raw.[114] 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".[115]

On the January 19 episode of Raw, Ambrose defeated Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett.[116] At the Royal Rumble, Ambrose participated in the Royal Rumble match, but was eliminated by Kane and Big Show.[117] 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,[118] where Ambrose lost the subsequent match by disqualification, but stole the championship belt afterward.[119] At WrestleMania 31, Ambrose participated in a seven-man ladder match for the championship, but lost after Luke Harper powerbombed him through a ladder and knocked him out of the match as result.[120] On the April 2 episode of SmackDown, Ambrose fought Harper to a no contest after Harper put Ambrose through a table.[121] On the April 13 episode of Raw, Ambrose attacked Harper after Harper lost to Ryback by disqualification.[122] On the April 20 episode of Raw, Ambrose and Harper once again fought to a no-contest.[123] At Extreme Rules, Ambrose defeated Harper in his first singles victory on pay-per-view since the Shield split up.[124]

On the May 4 episode of Raw, Ambrose defeated the WWE World Heavyweight Champion (and former rival and Shield stablemate) Seth Rollins, and as per pre-stipulation by Kane, Ambrose was added to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Payback, a fatal four-way match also including Randy Orton and Roman Reigns, and Ambrose's first opportunity for a WWE's world title.[125] However, at the event, Ambrose failed to win the title.[126] He also failed at Elimination Chamber as, while he won a singles championship match against Rollins, it was via disqualification, thus Rollins retained once more.[127] Despite the loss, Ambrose took the belt with him and challenged Rollins in a ladder match at Money in the Bank which he lost.[128]

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. On the August 6 edition of SmackDown, Reigns challenged Wyatt to a tag team match at SummerSlam, with Reigns and Ambrose facing Wyatt and Harper, which Wyatt accepted.[129] At SummerSlam, Ambrose and Reigns defeated Wyatt and Harper.[130] On the August 24 episode of Raw, Ambrose and Reigns fought Wyatt and Harper in a SummerSlam rematch. During the match, Braun Strowman made his WWE debut, joining The Wyatt Family and helping Harper and Wyatt attack Ambrose and Reigns.[131] At Night of Champions, Ambrose, Reigns and Jericho were defeated by Wyatt, Harper and Strowman in a six-man tag team match.[132]

"Crowd was more into Ambrose than 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[133]

Following Seth 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.[134] After defeating Tyler Breeze,[135] Dolph Ziggler[136] and Kevin Owens,[137] Ambrose ultimately made it to the finals at Survivor Series, losing in a singles match to Roman Reigns.[138]

Intercontinental Champion and various feuds (2015–2016)

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.[139][140][141] Ambrose won the Intercontinental Championship for the first time, after defeating Owens, at the TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view on December 13.[142] On the December 22, 2015 episode of SmackDown, Ambrose defeated Owens and Ziggler in a triple threat match to retain the title.[143] On the January 7, 2016 episode of SmackDown, Ambrose and Owens faced off again, though the result was a double countout.[144] At the 2016 Royal Rumble, Ambrose defeated Owens in a Last Man Standing match to retain the Intercontinental Championship, and was the runner-up in the Royal Rumble match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[145] The following night on Raw, Ambrose was announced as part of a triple threat match against Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar at Fastlane, with the winner going on to face Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 32.[146] In the weeks preceding the match, Ambrose repeatedly taunted and goaded Lesnar.[147] On the February 15 episode of Raw, Ambrose was forced to defend his Intercontinental Championship in a fatal five-way match and lost the championship when Kevin Owens pinned Tyler Breeze.[148]

At Fastlane, Ambrose lost after being pinned by Reigns.[149] The following day, Ambrose was attacked by Lesnar upon arriving at the arena.[150] 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.[151] On the February 29 episode of Raw, Ambrose interrupted Triple H, issuing a challenge for his WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[152] It would later be announced on WWE.com that the match would be taken place at Roadblock.[153] During the main event, Ambrose hit 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.[154] Ambrose then continued his feud with Lesnar cutting some promos on him, continuously challenging him, and on the March 14 episode of Raw, hardcore legend Mick Foley gave Ambrose his signature barbed wire baseball bat.[155] The following week on Raw, another hardcore legend, Terry Funk, gave Ambrose a chainsaw.[156] Ambrose ended up losing the match between the two of them at WrestleMania 32.[157][158]

In April, Ambrose began a rivalry with Chris Jericho after Shane McMahon cancelled The Highlight Reel and replaced it with The Ambrose Asylum.[159] This resulted in a match at Payback, where Ambrose would defeat Jericho.[160] The following night on Raw, Ambrose invited Stephanie McMahon on The Ambrose Asylum and confronted her about being insincere with her recent nice demeanor, and rather than Stephanie give an answer, she cancelled Ambrose's show and reinstated Jericho's Highlight Reel. The two then attacked each other, ending with Jericho smashing Ambrose's potted plant "Mitch" over his head and continuing their feud.[161] After Ambrose destroyed Jericho's light-up jacket[162] and Jericho put Ambrose in a straitjacket,[163] he challenged Jericho to an Asylum match (a steel cage match with weapons hanging above the cage) at Extreme Rules,[164] where Ambrose won after hitting the Dirty Deeds on Jericho onto a bed of thumb tacks.[165]

WWE World Champion (2016–present)

Ambrose posing with the WWE Championship in July 2016

On the May 23 episode of Raw, Ambrose defeated Dolph Ziggler to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match on June 19,[166] which he ended up winning.[167] Later that same night, he cashed-in his briefcase and quickly defeated long-time rival and former Shield stablemate Seth Rollins to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first time; this was just after Rollins captured the world title from Roman Reigns.[168] After the number one contender's match between Rollins and Reigns ended in a double countout the next night on Raw,[169] Shane McMahon, on Ambrose's request, announced a triple threat match for the title between Ambrose, Reigns, and Rollins at Battleground.[170] By the end of June, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship was renamed to the WWE Championship.[171]

Regarding Ambrose becoming a world champion, Will Pruett of Pro Wrestling Dot Net wrote that his "character hadn't truly earned this moment" despite "Ambrose being "the kind of wrestler they could have built a WrestleMania around".[172] Steve Khan of the Wrestling Observer wrote that Ambrose had experienced a "roller coaster ride to the top of WWE": losing "almost every big match he has been in", to Rollins, Wyatt, Reigns, Triple H, and Lesnar. After WrestleMania 32, "Ambrose lost a lot of steam". Now, "WWE put the title on Ambrose when he is at his least interesting point. He's not red hot anymore. The comparisons to Austin have stopped. But, the opportunity still exists to make Ambrose a top guy".[173] On the July 18 episode of Raw, a match for the WWE Championship ended controversially between Rollins and Ambrose in a double pin. Stephanie McMahon announced that Rollins had won the match and was the new champion. After Raw went off-air, Shane McMahon announced that Ambrose had won the match and was still the champion. Lilian Garcia then officially announced that due to the double pin, the match was a draw, and as a result Ambrose remained as the champion.[174][175] 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. Later that night, Ambrose successfully retained his championship against Rollins in a rematch for the WWE Championship, despite Rollins attacking Ambrose before the match started.[176] At Battleground, Ambrose successfully retained his title against Rollins and Reigns.[177] After the WWE Universal Championship was introduced, the WWE Championship was renamed to the WWE World Championship.[178]

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, and has drawn comparison to Brian Pillman and Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker.[179][180][181] Despite expectations that Ambrose would become one of WWE's next top heels even after The Shield turned babyface,[182] Ambrose's babyface run post-Shield gained popularity, with him being cheered over fellow babyface Roman Reigns when they faced off in three world title matches (Payback and Survivor Series in 2015, and Fastlane in 2016).[183][184][185] 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.[186] Ambrose was voted as the "Most Popular Wrestler of the Year" by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 2014 and 2015.[187]

Other media

Ambrose at WWE Axxess in 2014

In August 2014, Good began filming the Lionsgate-WWE Studios co-production Lockdown.[188][189] The film was released on September 11, 2015.[190]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role
2015 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown John Shaw[189]

Personal life

Much of Good's 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] An avid wrestling fan who idolized Bret Hart as a child, he used wrestling as an escape from his rough upbringing by immersing himself in wrestling videotapes and reading stories about wrestling's earlier days.[5][6] A year after beginning to train as a wrestler, he dropped out of high school.[6] An avid fan of both the NFL and the NHL, Good's favorite teams include his hometown Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Flyers.[191]

Good is in a relationship with WWE announcer Renee Paquette, better known by her screen name Renee Young.[192][193]

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 a diving elbow drop from the top of a ladder at WrestleMania 31

Championships and accomplishments

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

Notes

References

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