With just a few days remaining before WrestleMania 35, the clock appears to be ticking on former WWE Champion Dean Ambrose as he seemingly runs out the remainder of his contract and prepares to leave the company. At the moment, he doesn’t appear to be booked to show up at WrestleMania on Sunday, and as Cageside Seats noted, there’s a good chance WWE will continue limiting his participation to non-televised house shows and dark matches until his contract expires later this month.
While Ambrose’s on-air ally and real-life friend Seth Rollins had mainly stayed mum about his former Shield stablemate’s impending departure, even as WWE officially confirmed it toward the end of January, that changed earlier this week when Rollins opened up about the matter in an interview with WWE’s Cathy Kelley. As quoted by Cageside Seats, Ambrose’s decision proved to be heartbreaking one for Rollins, who said that “this place can be frustrating” for someone like Ambrose, who had toiled in the business “nonstop” for over 15 years.
“And so sometimes, you just need to step away, you know, and take care of yourself. And I wish him luck obviously in whatever he wants to do, and we’re still going to be friends and brothers and I’ll love him for as long as we can, but um, he just marches to the beat of his own drum, man. He’s like a wild animal. Sometimes you just can’t put him in a cage or tame him. That’s just not how he operates.”
— Cageside Seats (@cagesideseats) April 4, 2019
Later on in the interview, Seth Rollins acknowledged what had previously been reported as the main reason why Dean Ambrose turned down a lucrative multi-year offer to remain in WWE. He said that he understands how Dean feels about creative freedom with regard to his character, adding that his longtime friend needs to head in a “different direction” when it comes to his storylines and character changes. But with said creative issues reportedly behind Ambrose’s decision not to re-sign with WWE, Rollins also admitted that he had never imagined a situation where any member of The Shield would have to leave WWE for one reason or another.
“[I]t’s gonna be weird to come into a locker room and he’s not there and knowing he’s not coming back anytime soon,” said Rollins, who promised to continue supporting Ambrose even if he leaves WWE this month as expected.
While Rollins will be heading into WrestleMania 35 on Sunday as Brock Lesnar’s challenger for the Universal Championship, multiple outlets, including WrestlingNews.co, have predicted that Ambrose could be the next former WWE superstar to take their talents to All Elite Wrestling. However, Comic Book quoted WWE Hall of Famer Booker T, who recently said on his podcast that Ambrose might be better off taking some time off from the ring. He explained that being a professional wrestler can be very “stressful” and “depressing,” even for someone like Dean whose wife, Monday Night Raw commentator Renee Young, works for the same company.