It’s #TheShieldWeek at Juice Make Sugar, and we’re talking all things Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose. But like so many young stables that have come and gone before them, each of these guys has something to learn, and room to grow. For Ambrose, it could be the difference between being memorable and legendary. Thankfully, we’re here to help them same way we would any other athlete: give him tape He Should Watch. And loving our readers like we do, we have some tape You Should Watch of the work that reminds us of his because what’s more fun than old wrestling videos?
He Should Watch
When you think of Dean Ambrose, you likely tend to think about him in broad gestures, over-the-top selling and exaggerated mannerisms. Whether or not he makes what he does believable is of less concern to him than making it look good and dramatic, which while not the preferred style of everyone, definitely seems to be the favorite amongst successful WWE superstars.
And when you combine that with Ambrose’s surprising size — at 6’4”, he’s billed as the tallest member of The Shield — you get a combination that is essentially the prototype for what a professional wrestler should be.
So who better for him to learn from than the man JBL likes to refer to as “what you would get if you built a sports entertainer from ground up”: Randy Orton. Not on the mic, of course, or even his in-ring work. What Ambrose should be taking notes on is how to use his size, strength and agility to his advantage when it comes to playing “crazy”.
Orton, more so than perhaps any other main eventer in history, goes on what fans of GTA V would call “Rampages”. Like Trevor with a fully loaded automatic rifle, Randy has been known to annihilate potential threats through a series of brutal attacks more often than not escalating to a punt, which has become the ultimate way to write someone off television for as long as necessary. Sometimes, they even come back as different people entirely.
Much of this comes from Orton deceiving size. Anyone who has seen Orton in person knows he’s much closer to the size of a Goldust than they make him out to be — but like Ambrose, this is infrequently for any number of reasons. But it also comes from the complete focus Orton seems to have once he reaches his boiling point. He doesn’t control his frenzy as much as let him control him, and when it works, it creates brilliant programs like the one he had with Triple H in the lead up to the (ultimately disappointing) WrestleMania 25 main event.
And it’s more than just the big explosive things, like DDTing Stephanie. It’s the moments before he does whatever unspeakable thing that came to his mind. Like this moment with John Cena’s father:
He simply acts, swiftly, directly and obviously. While there may be larger, big-picture plans involved, it is the deliberateness of his actions that make Randy Orton who he is, and if Ambrose can learn to harness that, he may end up having as much success as Orton has.
You Should Watch
Ambrose’s ne’er-do-well persona gives him a lot of appeal among a certain portion of the fandom, and the palpable swagger — along with his considerable indy credentials — he infuses into everything he does also seems to help keep him lush in black tanktops for the time being, but what’s allowed Dean to connect most with fans is how entirely unique he is as a total package. Gifted workers with a clear MO and an identifiable characters that they “wrestle to” exceptionally well, with (albeit somewhat derivative of pop culture) top-notch mic work and Master’s degrees in selling don’t come around that often, but when they do, they often end up being among the most beloved characters and performers in the entire industry.
And there is perhaps no greater example of that than Eddie Guerrero. Born and raised in El Paso, TX as part of the illustrious Guerrero wrestling family, Eddie run as a lying, cheating and stealing raspscallion helped sell out arenas throughout the country. He manage to to bring a Cabana-esque enthusiasm to the theatrics of wrestling, an infectious joie de vivre which eventually lead him to one of the more inspiring title wins of his era, defeating Brock Lesnar in one of the more celebrated title matches of the era.
This is just the beginning of Eddie’s considerable catalog — which we will obviously probe more in-depth for an eventual Wrestler of the Week — but shows best how much the crowd truly loved watching Eddie perform. (And, how much Michael Cole loved calling his matches.)
For all the talk — by us, mostly — of wrestling to a character, no one has ever done it better than Eddie, and it’s not likely anyone ever will.