In the lead-up to WrestleMania 35, wrestling fans around the world hoped against hope that WWE’s confirmation of Dean Ambrose’s imminent departure from the company sometime in April was all a “work,” or part of a scripted storyline. However, it still appears that Ambrose is really on his way out of the company, with the latest sign of this being a “dark,” or non-televised segment after last night’s Monday Night Raw where the “Lunatic Fringe” said goodbye to the WWE Universe.
As reported by Wrestling Inc., Ambrose was joined by former Shield stablemates Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns for his farewell segment, where, in a speech to the fans, he recalled how The Shield had made their debut as a faction at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where last night’s Raw was aired. Ambrose also recalled a past comment made by former WWE backstage producer and Hall of Famer Arn Anderson, who once said The Shield was made up of “two indie schmucks and a football player.” This was in reference to Ambrose and Rollins’ long track record as independent wrestlers and Reigns’ background as a defensive lineman for Georgia Tech and the Canadian Football League.
In addition to looking back at The Shield’s history at Barclays Center, Ambrose briefly went into character to thank Rollins for stomping Brock Lesnar’s “dumb, lunchbox head into the ground” and “[taking] the [Universal] title back for the boys” at WrestleMania 35. On a more serious note, he also said he was glad that Reigns “[beat] the s**t out of cancer” after taking several months off from WWE to battle leukemia.
After Dean Ambrose thanked the fans for their support and took multiple bows to bid them farewell, The Shield performed their trademark fist bump and ended the segment with their ring music playing in the background.
Prior to the farewell segment, Ambrose was advertised to face Bobby Lashley in what was supposed to be his final WWE match, though as Cageside Seats noted, the match never actually took place due to Lashley’s mostly one-sided beatdown of Ambrose.
The news of Ambrose’s plans to leave WWE once his contract expired was first reported by PWTorch editor Wade Keller toward the end of January. According to Keller, Ambrose had given his notice to WWE officials after turning down a contract extension and a “raise,” supposedly because he was frustrated with the “hokey” storylines and tweaks involving his in-ring character. At the moment, it isn’t clear where Ambrose may be heading after WWE, though as Sportskeeda noted, there’s “definitely a chance” he could be headed to All Elite Wrestling, which counts Cody Rhodes, Chris Jericho, Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross, and Neville among the WWE alumni on its roster.