Dean Ambrose, the former WWE Champion that was recently the Intercontinental Champion, is planning on leaving World Wrestling Entertainment in April shortly after WrestleMania.
The story was reported by Wade Keller of the Pro Wrestling Torch, who notes that Ambrose “will be finishing up when his current contract expires at the end of April, according to three PWTorch sources.” Ambrose told Vince McMahon his decision in a meeting this weekend while Keller notes that Ambrose was offered a new contract and a raise a few weeks ago.
The report from Keller noted that Ambrose has been frustrated with the creative team and the direction of his character. Ambrose apparently made it clear that it’s not about the money. There have been stories in the past that Ambrose doesn’t like scripted promos or doing cheesy storylines that WWE has people do sometimes. Ambrose was eliminated by Aleister Black in the Royal Rumble and was not booked like a big deal in the match likely because he refused a new contract.
It was also reported by PWInsider that Ambrose has turned down WWE’s deal, so there’s another credible site reporting the same thing. It was noted by PWInsider’s Mike Johnson that Ambrose was offered a five-year contract with WWE that was worth over seven figures per year, but Ambrose turned the deal down.
UPDATE 4:30pmET: WWE has confirmed that Ambrose will be leaving the company when his contract is up in April. You can read the statement here.
Ambrose won the Intercontinental Title from Rollins at TLC in December, but then he lost the title in a triple threat match with Rollins and Bobby Lashley a few weeks ago. The heel turn from Ambrose has not made him into one of the hottest heels in WWE as the company had hoped. He has become stagnant in the role.
This week on Raw, Ambrose had a pretty good promo exchange with Triple H and Seth Rollins leading to an Ambrose match against Rollins. That led to Rollins beating Ambrose clean in the middle of the ring to have Rollins look great following his Royal Rumble win on Sunday night.
After the match, Ambrose looked like he was going to deliver some speech because he was frustrated, but he was interrupted by Nia Jax and Tamina because they had a match. Jax got in Ambrose’s face, punched him in the back and he left. It was an awkward segment that teased a future Ambrose vs. Jax match although WWE has not done a man vs. woman match in several years. After Jax was in the men’s Rumble match, perhaps they plan on having Jax wrestle some men.
Ambrose is married to Renee Young, who is one of the three announcers on Raw. There’s no news on her future with the company although she could definitely stick around while he moves on.
Ambrose, whose real name is Jonathon Good and wrestled previously as Jon Moxley, is 33 years old. It’s not known if he would want to go to another wrestling company like All Elite Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling or somewhere else, but he is a pretty big name as a former WWE Champion and if he’s not going to be in WWE then he’s going to want to go somewhere where he’s happy.
TJR Thoughts: I’m surprised by this news, but the reality is we never really know who is unhappy in WWE because most of the talent keeps it quiet. I remember watching the Dean Ambrose episode of WWE Chronicle on WWE Network and he teased the idea of stopping his wrestling career soon. I didn’t really believe it and thought that maybe he was in character, but now perhaps there is truth to it. Last year when he was recovering from arm surgery and almost died from a staph infection, it had a major effect on him, which is understandable because it was a major ordeal that he went through.
He might want to do something else with his life. I’m not really sure, but if you watched his WWE Chronicle episode then you know he had some interesting comments during that show. I’ll post a clip from it below.