If you live under a rock and haven’t heard, last night was kind of a big deal for Cleveland. Lebron James, through sheer will and perhaps a little bit of help from God, led the Cavaliers to a title and sent the entire city of Cleveland into a frenzy. Nothing is getting done there for at least two weeks, and the fact that the Cavs became the first team to come back from a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals is just the icing on the cake. Plus, most Warriors fans are Raiders fans, so them being sad today makes this writer extraordinarily happy. It’s the simple things in life that you treasure.
So what does any of this have to do with wrestling? Well, as you may or may not know, Dean Ambrose is also from Ohio. Cincinnati, to be exact. He is probably all too aware of the decades of suffering that Cleveland has endured, so I find it quite poetic that on the same night that Lebron brought a championship to his hometown, Dean Ambrose shocked the wrestling world and became the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
I would say that you can’t write this stuff, but you can. And they did.
Am I saying that Ambrose finally received his well-deserved break only because the Cavs won a title? Well, I’m not NOT saying that. WWE loves to capitalize on publicity to garner attention on its product. It’s why they’ve always incorporated war time animosity into their storylines and why they’re always hellbent on reminding us how well they are doing on social media.
But I really hope that’s not the case. It would cheapen a special night for Ambrose, who seemed destined to loiter in mid-card hell for all time. Much like his hometown Bengals, Dean always comes up short when it matters the most. He’s lost feuds with Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar and virtually everyone else they’ve put him up against. Often times, Dean served as Roman Reigns’ sidekick, despite the fact that he always got a better pop from the crowd than his former Shield brother. It’s very discouraging to see one of your favorites constantly being aside for someone else.
When Ambrose won the Money in the Bank ladder match last night, that in itself was a huge deal. It was the vote of confidence that Dean had been waiting for, that maybe someday we’d finally see him break through the proverbial glass ceiling.
But I never in my wildest dreams saw it happening that quickly. Dean cashed in his briefcase on Rollins, who had just beaten Reigns to become the new champion. A good night turned into a great one. The most improbable of outcomes came to fruition, just like it did for the Cavaliers.
Much like Dusty Rhodes, Bret Hart, Daniel Bryan, Sami Zayn and every other underdog in wrestling history, Dean has an innate ability to resonate with the crowd. He elicits unwavering support from the fans because we so desperately want to see him win the big one, and it breaks our hearts when he’s denied. As a result, Dean will always be more popular than a guy like Roman. We can relate to Ambrose and his struggle to the top of the mountain in our own lives. It’s a lot harder to do that with Roman when it feels like he was just given the damn mountain.
I have no idea how long this will last. Maybe Dean is just a placeholder while Vince McMahon and his creative team of monkeys try to figure out how to get Roman more over with the fans. It could be a ploy to build suspense heading into the brand split, and that our hearts will be broken all over again when Dean loses the title. Or maybe, just maybe, Ambrose is being given the nod because wrestling fans prefer him as champion over Roman.
Too often in WWE, we focus on the wrestlers who are being held back or aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve. More specifically, we look to the future because we aren’t satisfied with the present. In this case, especially if you’re a fan of the Lunatic Fringe, I recommend living in the moment. Enjoy every day that Dean is the champion, because in wrestling nothing is for sure.