If you heard the name Jonathan Good, you wouldn’t think much about it. It sounds fairly nice and wholesome, and honestly we wouldn’t spend time thinking of the person who has that name. However, what if that was the actual name for a character that seemingly demonstrates so much charisma and charm that it would be hard to deny his following. What if we said that Jonathan Good was in fact someone who has spent the better part of the last 11 years developing his craft inside and out of the ring. Many fans that follow the WWE know that Jonathan Good has gone by various alias in the past. These aliases include Jon Moxley and MoxleyMoxx during his time on the independent circuit. Today, he is none other than Dean Ambrose.
During his time in Combat Zone Wrestling, Moxley was known for his brutal fighting style, and his ability to captivate an audience due to an unrelenting will to achieve. It was during his two year run in the promotion that he captured the CZW Heavyweight championship on not one, but two separate occasions. He was being noticed, and it was only a matter of time before he transitioned from the independents onto a much grander scale. Once the opportunity presented itself, Moxley was gone and Dean Ambrose was born.
Growth and development in Good’s career certainly saw its ups and downs. Much like anyone else’s career that undergoes a change, Good’s transitions from promotion to promotion throughout his career led him to go in a number of different of directions. Whether it was long hair with different colours, or psychedelic looking tights in an effort to stand out, Ambrose really ran the gamut while trying to evolve. Wrestlers often take time to find themselves as performers, and Good is no different. He was trained by legendary wrestling trainer Les Thatcher while in the Heartland Wrestling Association. Much like anyone looking to be seen and heard, he did whatever it took. Whether it was working concessions or setting up the ring, Good did whatever he needed to do until he was old enough to get trained. It’s a story not unlike many other aspiring wrestlers. The difference here is the 18 year old kid who was once selling popcorn and waiting patiently to be trained by Thatcher is now on the cusp of becoming a prominent main event star with the number one promotion in the world.
After 11 years of developing his craft, Good became the guy that sacrificed all he had for the chance to show what he was worth. During a recent edition of the WWE Network’s Table for 3 with Kevin Owens and Cesaro,Ambrose talked about the struggles that those similar to him would have to endure, such as the issues of finance and finding appropriate accommodations. Ambrose isn’t so far removed from where he came from, but he can unquestionably see where he is going. There was something about him that always seemed special: his innate ability to articulate his thoughts, his leadership role with The Shield, and his ability to do whatever was necessary to prove his point in the ring. During his time in FCW he feuded with Seth Rollins oddly enough, but it was undeniable that the two of them were destined for greater things and that their time in Florida Championship Wrestling would only be a short time.
Upon his debut on the main roster, Ambrose walked alongside Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Together the trio formed arguably the most destructive and united front the WWE has seen in a number of years, The Shield. The somewhat unkempt Ambrose in FCW was now dressed in swat team like fatigues and had his hair combed back, much like an assassin. Ambrose was immediately thrust to the head of the group. One of the reasons could be his promo skills and ability to capture the attention of the audience. Another reason could easily be his presence; his presence alone made others take notice. Even as part of a collective unit, Ambrose stood out. Every time you looked into his eyes you knew that he had something evil in store for his opposition. Throughout the faction’s existence, the argument often remained, who was the true leader, within the group. While many believed that it was Rollins that would get lost in the shuffle, it was he that ultimately ended the group. It was also during this run with The Shield that Ambrose captured the United States Championship. His run with the title wasn’t the most memorable, but he can always claim to have never actually been beaten for the title, as he lost the belt during a battle royal.
It wasn’t until the Shield split that we saw what was always hidden behind, the eyes of Ambrose. It was as if the WWE had taken Brian Pillman,Roddy Piper and Stone Cold Steve Austin and put them all in a blender, and the result was ‘The Lunatic Fringe’ Dean Ambrose. He would stop at nothing to get his hands-on Seth Rollins. It was as if all the pent up emotion that Rollins’ betrayal created caused Ambrose to erupt. The two worked a fairly long program, with Rollins ultimately going over in the end. Did this mean that Ambrose took a step back? Not in the least. His character was always moving forward.
He was unrelenting, especially in his program with Bray Wyatt. While the result of that feud didn’t put Ambrose at the head of the line when it came to contending for the WWE World Heavyweight title, it didn’t put him at the back of the line either. Ambrose was going to keep moving forward and last year has shown how the character has continued to fighter for a greater good. Ambrose’s feud went back and forth with Wyatt, and came to an end just before the beginning of 2015. Some fans may have been concerned that losing to Rollins and losing to Wyatt would have set him back, but that wasn’t the case in the least, as Ambrose was positioned to overcome adversity and continue to move forward.
Ambrose is one of very few characters on the roster that can lose a match or feud, but that doesn’t deter him from coming back and challenging others. Over the past year he has feuded with Luke Harper, Wade Barrett, and challenged for the Intercontinental championship. That is hardly someone who has been buried by the WWE.Ambrose’s character has done some pretty amusing and clever things in order to earn attention. Whether it was walking in the snow to the WWE headquarters in nothing but a t-shirt and jeans to get himself heard, or tying Intercontinental champion Wade Barrett’s hands around a ring post and forcing him to sign a championship match, Ambrose got himself noticed.
One of the most notable matches for Ambrose this year was the Intercontinental championship ladder match at Wrestlemania, where he had one of the craziest bumps of the night. As Luke Harper pushed Ambrose off a ladder, he fell outside the ring onto a ladder that was bridging the barricade and the ring apron. The landing saw Ambrose crash through the ladder with the aluminum crashing onto the back of his head. It didn’t matter that whether he won or lost that moment stood out above any other during this match because of the effect on the audience. Ambrose then feuded briefly with Luke Harper, and while it didn’t make him, it certainly didn’t hurt him either. The two were given the opportunity to brawl and beat each other down, with Ambrose eventually getting the better of Harper.
Ambrose is certainly over with the crowd, so his position in a feud with familiar faces gave credibility to the storyline and matches. During the Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns feud, Ambrose was brought in by Reigns as his ‘family,’ and it certainly gave this character continued significance. Ambrose was as much an equal part of this feud, and became invested in seeing Reigns succeed. Ambrose stood by Reigns’ side throughout the feud; in fact, on a recent episode of Raw, Ambrose, Reigns and former Shield member Seth Rollins all stood together in an effort to thwart the Wyatts.
Now that the feud with the Wyatts has drawn to a close, where does that put Ambrose? Where exactly does he go from here? He could easily compete and contend for the championship, or event hold the title. Some fans have been clamouring for an Ambrose heel turn for some time, but in all fairness, does that make the most sense? He is so ‘over’ with the audience because of his unpredictable character and unrelenting nature in the face of adversity. The character has legs to grow and develop.
Many wrestlers don’t hit their stride until their thirties, and at just under thirty, Good’s Ambrose character continues to evolve. It’s incredible how the kid that was setting up rings and selling concessions for Les Thatcher is a bona fide main eventer. His road wasn’t easy, and he certainly didn’t compete in the most enviable of circumstances, but he persevered. It was as though he took nuances of his time in Combat Zone Wrestling, but built up the emotion and sped up the reaction time in the ring. It would make the most sense for him to keep the status quo because for all his unpredictable qualities, down deep he still would rather fight the common wrong that exists in the WWE more than anything else. Could he argue that he has had to play second fiddle far too long while others surpassed him? He could, but it makes more sense to maintain that maniacal character that causes fear in heels than to have him as a heel that creates fear in faces. He can look ahead to see that all that he has done and all that he continues to do is worth it. Good things appear on the horizon for Jonathan Good, and everything is turning up roses for Ambrose.
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