In late January 2019, WWE had officially announced that Dean Ambrose had chosen not to renew his contract that expires shortly after WrestleMania 35. At first, many believed that it was a work, because WWE never usually announces departures so far in advance, especially for a star of the caliber of Dean Ambrose.
For those who did buy it, it came as an absolute shock. Naturally, Ambrose wasn’t in the best position since returning. He had a long layoff, returned, finally turned heel in the most opportune moment, and while it seemed like it would be the long overdue storyline between Ambrose and Rollins, the direction they took was a rather bizarre one.
Rather than Ambrose unleashing a darker, more sinister version of himself (one which he could definitely pull off, given that he’s had a rather dark and disturbing past in real life at one point in his early years). However, it turned out to be a little more comedic, and the feud lost the fire that it had rather quickly. The payoff was an Intercontinental Championship match at TLC, and that disappointed more than one could imagine.
Ambrose did win the title, but it would mark the beginning of a “hot potato” period for the Intercontinental Championship, as he would drop it to Bobby Lashley less than a month later, and Lashley himself wouldn’t hold the title too long before winning it back. Either way, Ambrose dropping the title seemed like the death sentence in his WWE run, and with a very short Royal Rumble appearance, it was clear that he wasn’t satisfied creatively at all.
At the start after the announcement, WWE really didn’t acknowledge Dean Ambrose’s contract situation. It was only after Roman Reigns returned and requested to reunite The Shield one last time that they publicly acknowledged Ambrose’s contract situation. There were all sorts of contrasting rumors about it as well, with some reliable sources saying that he was expected to renew his contract, while other sources said that he is, in fact, leaving the company.
Despite all the confusion, Ambrose’s booking on RAW week-by-week told the whole story. From main eventer, he quickly dropped down the pecking order and began to be used only to put over other talent, such as Drew McIntyre. With hardly any wins anymore, Ambrose’s role with WWE has been made crystal clear, and any hope of him renewing his contract and him leaving being a storyline has vanished.
However, Ambrose has been a top-caliber talent for a very long time in WWE, which is what surprises many fans as to why he isn’t getting a farewell match at WrestleMania. Both Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins are occupied in their own WrestleMania bouts, but for Ambrose, there’s been absolutely nothing announced, nothing planned, and from the look of things, he may not even be on the WrestleMania card.
Even if he were to enter the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, it really wouldn’t do justice to him, especially since the winner never really gets pushed anyway. However, there’s also the argument that Ambrose deserves a good farewell match at WrestleMania, and it’s not unreasonable to think so.
After all, Ambrose had been on the main roster since late 2012, and until late-2017, he had zero injuries, zero sick days and was consistently the Iron Man of WWE, year after year. In fact, when he became WWE Champion and Roman Reigns had gotten suspended for failing the Wellness Policy, there needed to be a star to carry the company, and Ambrose did it in the craziest way possible, going so far as to wrestling at two different shows in one day.
Sure, his last run may not have lived up to expectations, but with all that said, Dean Ambrose connected with the WWE Universe and earned his way to the top of the card. WWE knew exactly how reliable he was, and he was always carefully pushed and protected to make sure that he could be used at any given time if there was a catastrophe (like the mid-2016 Reigns suspension). Though he was always a #3 to his other two Shield brothers, he gave a lot to the company, and for that alone, he deserves a good farewell at the grandest stage of them all.
Perhaps pitting Reigns against Ambrose in a friendly contest at WrestleMania would have been the direction to go, but it seems like that’s something we won’t ever get again. Hopefully, Dean Ambrose succeeds wherever he goes outside of WWE.