For quite a while, we’ve been hearing about how much better it would be if Dean Ambrose made a heel turn. And with the rumors raging on about the “Lunatic Fringe” making a heel turn ahead of WrestleMania 33, reports suggest that Ambrose may be next in line to feud with The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship. Could this, despite Miz’s heel status, be the catalyst for Dean’s first villainous role since early-2014, or merely a way for WWE to keep the mid-card title relevant?
Last Sunday, Dean Ambrose faced AJ Styles for the WWE World Championship at WWE TLC, coming so close to winning back the belt, but ultimately failing due to the interference of James Ellsworth. The Inquisitr reported yesterday that Ambrose may be “out of chances” when it comes to the SmackDown brand’s top title, but as we saw on Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown Live, Ambrose was invited as The Miz’s guest on the Miz TV segment, which eventually led to General Manager Daniel Bryan booking a match between both men for the Intercontinental Championship.
Dean would lose this match, and as The A.V. Club noted, this wasn’t due to Ellsworth’s betrayal, but rather due to his incompetence, adding “another wrinkle” to the ongoing Ambrose/Ellsworth storyline. Based on how this storyline has played out, it may not be 100 percent clear whether Ellsworth has become a villainous, albeit comedic, character. But it could be the seed for a Miz vs. Ambrose feud for the Intercontinental Championship, and just might be what Dean Ambrose needs to make a heel turn.
Citing a report from Wrestling Observer, Cageside Seats reported Friday that 2017’s top two men’s feuds on SmackDown Live would feature John Cena fighting for a record-tying 16th World title reign versus WWE World Champion AJ Styles, and Dean Ambrose going after The Miz’s Intercontinental belt. Since winning the title from Zack Ryder one day after WrestleMania 32, The Miz has brought a lot of prestige back to the IC title, and a feud against Ambrose may help the belt remain relevant despite its mid-card status. But how could this rumored feud play out?
At the moment, Miz doesn’t have an official long-term feud for his Intercontinental Championship. With his victory over Dolph Ziggler at TLC to end their epic rivalry, The Miz has held the title for over seven months combined in 2016. And since the year is almost over, it may be about time for another long-term champion to step up. This could very well turn out to be Ambrose, who had also held the Intercontinental title in the recent past, but if he does win the title for his second reign, there just might be a heel turn involved.
The Inquisitr cited a YouTube video from Pro Wrestling Unlimited in yesterday’s report, which suggested that SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon’s attempts to get Dean Ambrose out of the building were the “first steps” to establishing Dean as a heelish anti-authority character. As his ongoing battles against babyface authority figure Daniel Bryan make up a key part of The Miz’s current character, this could mean a Dean Ambrose heel turn, if the Lunatic Fringe wins the IC title and rebels against good guy commish McMahon like Miz has rebelled against Bryan. And, as we said yesterday, this could lead to Shane vs. Ambrose at WrestleMania 33, now that plans for Shane vs. Brock Lesnar may be out of the window due to Lesnar’s feud against Goldberg.
Of course, an Ambrose vs. Miz feud for the Intercontinental Championship may not lead to Ambrose winning the title, nor may it definitely lead to a Dean Ambrose heel turn. And if he does turn heel, it may or may not have any title belts up for grabs. But this new development does suggest WWE remaining invested in the “unstable” member of The Shield going forward, and having big plans for him in 2017, even if they may not involve regaining a main event title just yet.
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