Ever since The Shield fell apart and the members went their own ways, it’s been kind of different for each of them. Roman Reigns was pushed to the main event scene quickly and faltered. Seth Rollins is there now, and holds the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Dean Ambrose has been in limbo (slightly), but now, his chance is coming, and he’s turning into this generation’s version of Stone Cold Steve Austin and Brian Pillman.
Yes, his actions on last night’s Monday Night RAW had a lot of long-time wrestling fans thinking back to the days of the “Attitude Era.” In a world where WWE is now PG, it was almost a welcoming sight.
Ambrose was always a little “off” when he was with The Shield, and since going out on his own, he’s been labeled “Lunatic Fringe,” and it works for him. Actually, the two legends he is being compared to also had nicknames.
- Steve Austin — Stone Cold
- Brian Pillman — Loose Cannon
The personality of both of those icons are easily seen in Ambrose, but in different ways. Even his ring attire and what he wears all the time on WWE television is reminiscent of both Austin and Pillman, so it’s truly quite uncanny.
After Brian Pillman lost the “Flyin’” nickname and turned into the “Loose Cannon,” he changed a lot about himself. He was still extremely talented in the ring, but did things his own way and added a bit of force and a lot of aggression to his in-ring style.
Dean Ambrose is the exact same way. Ambrose even wears a leather jacket and has a t-shirt with a symbol on it, signifying who he is, much in the same way that Pillman used to do. Their styles are similar in that Ambrose can be aggressive and strong, but he’s innovative (slingshot clothesline through the ropes) and also can fly.
Steve Austin was much the same way in that when he lost the Hollywood Blond persona and took on that of “Stone Cold.” He turned into an entirely different person, and one that didn’t care about authority, drove big trucks into the arena, and even got himself arrested by The Corporation.
Last night, Dean Ambrose drove a big truck into the arena, didn’t care about authority — The Authority — and got himself arrested by the same. In the same mindset, Austin had an innovative and aggressive in-ring style, as does Ambrose.
Oddly enough, Austin and Pillman were tag team partners at one point in WCW and, even though only together for about 10 months, they were very successful. The heel tag team even won the NWA/WCW World Tag Team Championship from Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas, which they held for a few months.
Dean Ambrose is being poised for a WWE World Heavyweight Title run, and this could be his chance to move up into the upper echelon of main event talent. Ambrose spoke with Business 2 Community months ago and said he is his own person, though.
“I’ve watched so much wrestling and studied everybody that I don’t pattern myself off anyone particularly, or trying to fill any particular role. I’m just a weird mismatch of a million different styles and influences and experience. I really don’t know what’s going to happen when I go out there. What you see is what you get and you might get a different thing on a different night, every night. I’m trying to make my own spot.”
The only thing that Ambrose needs to get is to have the fans cheering him whether he is a face or a heel. Austin had it. Pillman had it. Ric Flair had it. Brock Lesnar has it. It’s a true sign that you’re going to succeed.
Dean Ambrose is right. He is his own person, but he shows signs of a few superstars from the past, and that’s not a bad thing. At least he’s being compared to Stone Cold Steve Austin and Brian Pillman, and not someone like Bastion Booger.
[Images via WWE]