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JON.
FUCKING.
MOXLEY.
"This is what you call a Paradigm Shift."
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Jonathan David Good (born December 7, 1985) is an American professional wrestler best known for his eight-year run at WWE. As the psychotic heel Jon Moxley, he has participated in multiple indie promotions, perhaps most prominently in WCW's former farm league Heartland Wrestling Association, Insanity Pro Wrestling, CZW, and Dragon Gate USA.

He signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2011, and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), WWE's developmental promotion, with the new ring name Dean Ambrose. The next year, he debuted on WWE's main roster alongside Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins as part of the villainous stable The Shield at that year's Survivor Series. The group—Ambrose included—turned face in March 2014, only for Rollins to betray and attack them that June. Outraged by his teammate's treachery, Ambrose began a deeply personal feud with his former Shield partner. During his tenure there, he became a one-time United States Champion, with his 351-day reign being the third-longest in history and the longest within WWE (who acquired the title in 2001), a three-time Intercontinental Champion, the 2016 Money in the Bank winner, a one-time WWE Champion, and a two-time Raw Tag Team Champion (with Seth Rollins). He is the youngest Grand Slam Champion at 31 years 8 months old, edging out The Miz by one month!

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Ambrose would depart WWE in April 2019 following Creative Differences, making him the most sought-after free agent in wrestling until signing a deal with All Elite Wrestling the next month. He made his AEW debut under his pre-WWE ring name Jon Moxley at the company's inaugural event Double or Nothing, laying waste to Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega. Shortly thereafter, he made his first NJPW appearance a memorable one, winning the IWGP US Championship in his first match with the promotion. Moxley's AEW contract allows him to work international and indy shows that don't conflict with AEW.

At AEW's Revolution, Moxley defeated Chris Jericho to become AEW World Champion.

As usual, The Other Wiki has more information about his career.


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Mox Tropes:

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     In General 
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Despite being a face, he fits the archetypal "bad boy" role well enough, and it no doubt played a large in his popularity with the female demographic.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: There's something wrong with him, but precisely what that something is might be impossible to discern. Aside from being violent and angry, which could be attributed to his traumatic childhood, he also exhibits paranoia, hears "voices" occasionally, and swings wildly between despair and begging his opponents to "put him out of his misery" to being a ranting near-psychotic with a God complex. Perhaps the closest diagnosis would be Borderline personality disorder, but he doesn't fit well into any diagnostic criteria.
  • Anti-Hero: Probably the stand-out example in wrestling for the 2010's. A self-aware anti-hero on top of that. He's called himself a "scumbag" in face promos, and is a Combat Pragmatist of the highest order. Take away all of that, and he still wouldn't be a straight hero because he's not sane enough. And yes, he's self-aware about that too.
  • Ax-Crazy/Cloudcuckoolander: As Jon Moxley, he was this in the indies. As Ambrose in FCW, he still demostrated just plain brutal examples- for instance, see his rematch with William Regal, where he beats Regal so badly that Regal's bleeding and confused, and the entire locker room has to come out and restrain him, and even then he breaks away and tries to go back for more. Within the WWE scope of affairs, this one actually warranted him being "banned" from the new NXT both in and out of kayfabe—in-universe it was due to the brutality making him unsafe for the rest of the developmental roster to work with, in reality because creative struggled to find a proper way to follow up on it with the transition to NXT. Until, of course, enter the Shield. Early it seemed to have been reined in somewhat since hitting the main roster as part of the stable, but even now he still shows signs of being off his rocker. Ambrose's eccentric tendencies when The Shield was interviewed (ask Michael Cole) or in match situations made clear that he was by far the most violent, erratic member of the trio. His mannerisms only add to it- he constantly twitches, flinches and seems to talk to himself when he's not on the mic, like he's just waiting an excuse to fly off the handle and beat the hell out of someone. He's licked his hand before slapping Sheamus; actually stroked Randy Orton (who is no stranger to Ax-Crazy behavior himself) on the shoulder, basically petting him as if he was his pet, in a backstage vignette, and at least one occasion, foamed at the mouth during a match. And check the promo where The Shield calls out the Wyatt Family. Rollins and Reigns actually do most of the talking, mainly because Ambrose is completely flipping out in the background to the point where he can't put sentences together. Then after Seth Rollins turned on the group, Ambrose went into excruciating detail about how he would rearrange Rollins' face (see below). After twitching the entire time he smacked the mic out of his own hand, only for Reigns to give him a smile (almost in a friendly, "How the hell am I supposed to follow that?" manner), and Ambrose to gingerly bend over and hand Reigns the mic.
    Ambrose: When I get the opportunity to rearrange your face, which I will... your nose isn't gonna be over here anymore, it's gonna be over here... [slides finger from his own nose towards his ear]... by your ear. I say "ear" because you're only gonna have one left. I'm gonna rip your dirty, stinkin' hair out by the roots, and I'm gonna stuff it in your mouth— there'll be plenty of room where your teeth used to be.

    Seth Rollins... [begins to hyperventilate and beats his own chest while smiling maniacally]... my brother... we want you to stand out here in front of the whole world, and we want them to hear Triple H's words comin' out of your mouth. We're gonna listen to every word of it, and then we're gonna beat the hell out of you. [slaps microphone out of own hands emphatically]
  • Blood Knight: Fits this either as Ambrose or Moxley, but is much more open about it as the latter. Especially after leaving WWE, where he's picking fights with people like Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer.
  • The Bus Came Back: He made a surprise cameo in a March 2020 episode of WWE Backstage when he crashes his wife Renee Young doing a video call to Booker T and Xavier Woods. This marks his first appearance in WWE television since his departure in April the previous year.
  • The Cameo: He makes one in a March 2020 episode of WWE Backstage by appearing in Renee Young's screen due to him chasing their pet dog.
  • Disappeared Dad: Brought up by Bray Wyatt during their first feud in WWE.note  Also mentioned funnily enough by Brodie Lee upon their first confrontation in AEW.
    Brodie Lee: I don't know what you are. Or if you're just a scared little fatherless boy from Cincinnati!
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In his WWE days, he made Bray Wyatt suffered a Villainous Breakdown and made Brock Lesnar staggered with a low blow. He also gave Minoru Suzuki two deathriders, before eventually defeating him.
  • Finishing Move: In his early WWE career, he used a headlock driver called Dirty Deeds, later changed to a snap double arm DDT. In his first match as Moxley post-WWE, he debuted an even more brutal lifting version of the Dirty Deeds called the Death Rider. He also uses both Dirty Deeds and Death Rider interchangeably in AEW... both under the same new name, being called the Paradigm Shift.
  • Foil: Can be seen as this to CM Punk if you think about it. Both were hugely popular during their peak times in WWE only to be bogged down by bad booking and exhausting schedules eventually causing them to leave the company. With Punk walking out after one bad creative decision too many and Moxley/Ambrose leaving once his contract ran out. And both went on podcasts after they left the company to discuss their grievances publicly. But the difference between them is Punk let his experience taint his overall love for wrestling and hasn't step foot in a ring since. Mox/Ambrose made it clear his greivances were mostly creative and that he still loved wrestling and debuted in a new company not 2 months later and continues wrestling. Even going to New Japan Pro-Wrestling and competing in the G1 Climax that same year which is more grueling than the usual WWE schedule.
  • Guttural Growler: Just about every instance where he has the chance to talk he's this speaking in a very scratchy, raspy way. In both WWE and especially in AEW take the first promo he cut for the company as an example. Probably best illustrated when he's cutting a promo in the ring. He's usually always screaming roughly into the mic about something.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: The one thing that's consistent about his erratic personality is that he's liable to snap at a moment's notice.
  • Happily Married: In 2017 to Renee Young.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite his passion for wrestling, Moxley had shown that he is a great actor, having played both a hero and a villain in seperate movies, and got praised in both of them for his acting.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: He has neutral strength, speed and resistance but, for better or worse, doesn't stick out as extraordinary in any one area... unless you're counting bat-shit insanity as a stat.
  • One Degree of Separation: He, as Jon Moxley, and Seth, as Tyler Black, have wrestled and/or tagged with a lot of the same people. Perhaps their strongest connection is Jimmy Jacobs, who Mox had a major feud with that ended in a "I Quit" match, and who Black used to be best friends with in Wrestling Society X and the Age of the Fall up until their relationship degenerated. In spite of all that, and although Good and Lopez had probably met prior before, the two hadn't wrestled each other or worked together until they met up in FCW. There, they soon found out they were "wrestling soulmates". (Incidentally, Jacobs would later work for WWE for a while as a writer.)
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: His character towards the end of his WWE run and expressed on screen in AEW as Jon Moxley. He didn't even look at the new WWE contract he was offered before leaving. And said directly to Chris Jericho when he attempted to recruit him into the Inner Circle.
    Moxley: I didn't come to AEW because someone backed a truck full of money up to my house. I CAN’T BE BOUGHT. note 
  • Socially Awkward Hero: As a face, and definitely in Real Life, he qualifies, whether he's rambling, being oddly quiet, or (as Dean Ambrose) insulting Canadians to Sami Zayn's face.
  • True Companions: Played wonderfully straight throughout the end of 2013 and into 2014. There was so much tension between Ambrose and Reigns that just about any other team/stable in WWE history would have long since imploded on itself — it seemed painfully obvious that WWE's creative team was setting up a team-wide split (possibly to turn Roman Reigns face and give him a push). Seth Rollins, being the manipulative chessmaster that he is, gave the two something to confront as one when he walked out on them, then used the situation to convince them to put aside their issues, resulting in The Shield becoming stronger than ever and making a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Sadly, after making it perfectly clear that The Shield were Evolution's superiors, Rollins stabbed Reigns and Ambrose in the back and would go on to claim that the brotherhood he presented the Shield as was just a lie that they believed in; to him they were nothing but business partners. However, once again the two responded only by banding closer together, and while they may have decided to split up and operate on their own, they still remain brothers and are after the same targets.
    • Years after the breakup, Rollins turned face, and, having regretted his actions, tried to make amends with Ambrose. Ambrose was not receptive to the idea at first, but on some level he still saw Rollins as this, enough that he started to flip-flop over it. On Rollins' part, he was sincere in his efforts and desperate enough to win Ambrose's forgiveness that he was willing to take a steel chair to the back for it, which Ambrose ultimately couldn't go through with. After that, the reconciliation was inevitable. While Ambrose himself snapped from all the angst and issues he'd dealt with in WWE and turned on Rollins a year later, this time it took only a few months for him to come back to the fold one more time before leaving the company with The Shield's brotherhood intact.
    • Speaking of leaving WWE, if Jon Moxley's interview on Chris Jericho's podcast is any indication, this friendship goes beyond the screen and beyond the three men's ties to the company. While he'd already made the decision to leave and wrestle elsewhere months ago, the moment that sealed that decision for good was when Vince tricked him into disrespecting Reigns' then-ongoing second bout with leukemia for heel heat one week after his Face–Heel Turn against Rollins, then tried to tell him to do it again but much worse the next week, which he refused. While Rollins and Reigns, or more to the point, Colby and Joe, both pleaded a few times with him to reconsider his departure, Jon was able to confirm that things were still good with them, as they understood why he did what he did, having been there with him and seen much of what troubled him with Vince's creative process.
  • Wild Card: He fits this to a T. Just read all the character related tropes.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Whenever his past—which is all legit, mind you—is brought up in storyline, both as Mox and Ambrose. The man grew up in low-income housing and was even homeless a few times. His mother worked as a prostitute—who was frequently abused by her clients—to put food on the table, while his father is in prison. He was forced to sell drugs in high school, had his baby cousin- actually his sister; he doesn't tend to mention her, for privacy- taken away from him by child protective services, and dropped out of high school at age sixteen to attend Les Thatcher's wrestling school. A wrestling school he couldn't legally attend until he was eighteen, so he paid his dues by cleaning up the building all by himself every night while observing the workers in the ring and practicing his promos to himself—a talent that ended up making him famous. And he's woven all of that seamlessly into his characters, using wrestling as a form of therapy, just like he said he did.

     As Jon Moxley 
  • A God Am I: In a CZW promo just before a triple threat title match with Egotistico Fantastico and Nick Gage, he's a god of wrestling (not because he's champion, because he has a fanny pack and he's capable of getting away with wearing it).
  • Alliterative Name: Known as "Moxley Moxx" when he was a part of International Wrestling Association's cruiserweight division and participated in the series for their hardcore title at the 2006 Christmas in Puerto Rico.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • From the very moment of Moxley’s debut at AEW, he attacked Kenny Omega and continued to do this in subsequent weeks. Its pretty clear that Moxley's main goal is to topple AEW's golden boy and to make an immediate name for himself. In response, Omega chatised Moxley for his insanity as well as his tenure at WWE especially in the last few months. A match between them was initially scheduled at All-Out but was postphoned due to Moxley suffering from MRSA staph infection. At Full Gear, the two fought in a brutal unsanctioned Lights Out match with Moxley coming out the victor.
    • Aside from Kenny Omega, Moxley also attacked Chris Jericho on his debut. Once Moxley's feud with Omega has ended, he set his sights on Jericho and the two even brought up their 2016 feud while they were in WWE. Jericho attempted to recruit Moxley into the Inner Circle to which Moxley pretended to join before admitting he's only lying and is aiming for Jericho's AEW World Championship.
  • Bash Brothers: With Sami Callihan, especially in the German westside Xtreme wrestling promotion, where they were tag team champions.
  • Boisterous Weakling/Big Bad Wannabe: He came into NEPW, of the Bone Krusher Academy fame, with the announcement he was going to "destroy everyone". Guess how well that worked out? Here's a hint, one of his first targets and his first opponent was half his size Tiny Tim and he still needed help from Cry Baby to pull it off.
  • Call-Back: Post-WWE, Moxley (within NJPW) has taken to making his entrances through the crowd as in his days with the Shield.
  • Cut Short: He had to vacate the Full Impact Pro Heavyweight title, due to defenses conflicting with his new FCW schedule. He was the second longest title holder after Homicide at that point too.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Him beating Jake Hager in a 30 minute match on Dynamite is this since Hager was up until that point unbeaten in AEW and in MMA.
  • Eviler Than Thou: So why was El Illegal Chicano cheered in IWA? Part of it was not being a pair of arrogant, aggressive "anglos"(Hade Vansen was the only one from the UK but Mox sided with him so...)
  • Game Changer: Pretty much the essence of his 'Paradigm Shift' promo. He himself is this as well for AEW being the first main event star in his prime to 'jump ship' from WWE to AEW and prove that you can be a star without being in the WWE.
  • Gimmick Matches: Lost the Insanity Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Title belt to Jimmy Jacobs in a Dog Collar match. Being a CZW Alumni, he's also been in Triple Threat "fans bring the weapons" matches and Ultra Violent three-ways. He defeated Brain Damage in a Dining Death match. There's also an infamous barbed-wire deathmatch in Germany between him and Sami Callihan that left a pair of huge scars on his shoulder from getting tangled in the wire.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: He reasoned Team Chikara were just a bunch of fan pleasing performers who would fold the moment he started punching them, even Jigsaw and Hallowicked, but he singled out Mike Quackenbush, as only wanting to fight Moxley because he didn't want to look like a punk and expressed desire to know what Quackenbush's blood smelled like, figuring he would learn at the same time as Quackenbush himself.
  • Hearing Voices: He used this—which he suffers with in Real Life—as a facet of his Moxley character.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Singing about CZW Cage Of Death with Tan Drake to Rich Swann's guitar, played like the joke that it was.
  • I Work Alone: So far seems to be his character in AEW Mox doesn't seem to have any interest in teaming or relying on anyone else on the roster besides himself, just ask PAC. Interesting because AEW is in the midst of a turf war between The Elite and The Inner Circle warring for control over Dynamite and the top Championship while Mox himself is the top ranked single's competetitor and shows no allegiance to either party.
    • Pushed even further as time went on because Mox was the one to eventually win the title off of Jericho and has individually beaten every member of the Inner Circle despite pretty much going against them alone. Time will tell if this factors into future feuds against The Elite.
  • I Was Beaten by a Girl: A literal case and a rookie girl at that when La Amazona knocked him out of the International Wrestling Association's cruiser weight title tournament.
  • In the Hood: He was often shown wearing hoodies during his days as Jon Moxley.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Thought taking a Sawzall to the face was too phony for CZW's Tournament of Death 8 as the Sawzall was rendered harmless beforehand. The blade's motion moving the blood already on his face coupled with his selling made it one of the more infamous spots of the event and of Moxley's pre-WWE career.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Is very brash and outspoken, but acknowledges these faults and holds himself to his own code of honor. He also has a strong distaste for bullies and cowards, namely Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle. Seemingly backed up when he steps in to stop the Inner Circle's relentless assault on Darby Allin.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Jon Moxley was promoted this way for years. That's right, the self-important braggart prone to pulling his hair and scratching at invisible objects is totally accessible! Astonishingly it often worked.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Most of his matches tends to be this, taken up to eleven with his match against Minoru Suzuki, Tomohiro Ishii, and Lance Archer.
  • Obfuscating Disability: After he rejected Chris Jericho's invitation to join the Inner Circle, the Circle attacked him and Chris Jericho stabbed him in the eye with a spike. Moxley would wear an eyepatch over this eye for weeks as he secured his position as #1 contender to Jericho's World Championship, but at AEW Revolution, at the climax of the championship match, Jericho blinded Moxley in his remaining eye, only for Moxley to pull the eyepatch off an reveal to a shocked Jericho that he wasn't as blind as Jericho thought.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Reason why he attacked Inner Circle member Santana by stabbing him in the eye as Chris Jericho had done to him weeks before.note In Moxley's own words:
    Moxley: An eye for an eye!
  • Perky Female Minion: As Mox became more and more lost, Christina Von Eerie and Trina Michaels brought some much welcome pep to his segments.
  • Power Stable
    • Moxley's own "Crew" with Pepper Parks, Sami Callihan, Dick Rick and Eric Darkside in Heartland Wrestling.
    • KAMIKAZE USA with Akira Tozawa, Gran Akuma, SHINGO and YAMATO in Dragon Gate.
  • Really Gets Around: Mox bragged pretty constantly about being this.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: If he is allowed to swear then by Sonny Jim, he will. See: His match with Minoru Suzuki in New Japan Pro-Wrestling on February 9th, 2020. Combines with Cluster F-Bomb.
  • Son of a Whore: Something Jimmy Jacobs is not afraid to remind Jon Moxley of.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: His famed line from his 2010 promo against Bryan Danielson while still wrestling as Jon Moxley.
    Moxley: What I want…is BRYAN DANIELSON'S HEADon a STICK.
  • Tag Team:
    • Necessary Roughness with Jimmy Turner in the Heartland Wrestling Association.
    • The Heartland Foundation with Ric Byrne.
    • Royal Violence with King Vu, also in Heartland.
    • Briefly teamed up with Brian Kendrick in Dragon Gate USA but would quickly be dropped by Kendrick, so he could reunite with Paul London.
    • Switchblade Conspiracy with Sami Callihan.
    • British Militia with Hade Vansen in the Puerto Rican branch of the International Wrestling Association
  • Take Over the World: Boasted to Team Chikara while he was in Dragon Gate USA (presumbably he expected the rest of KAMIKAZE to help him somehow). No, this was not some elaborate Chikara plot, Mox was being driven (more) insane by Jimmy Jacobs.
  • Take That!: One of the more subtle shots Jon Moxley took at his WWE run after his release came at the climax of his brutal debut match in NJPW against Juice Robinson where he finally managed to connect with his WWE finisher Dirty Deeds (now only called the double-arm DDT), only for Robinson to kick out. Instead of being shocked, Moxley only grinned as if to say "Oh, that was too weaksauce for you, huh?" before pulling Juice up and hitting him with his devastating new finisher, Death Rider (basically Dirty Deeds elevated). Before long this became a staple of his in long drawn-out intense matches, with Death Rider securing the wins that Dirty Deeds can't.
  • The Rival:
    • Even though Pepper Parks was part of Mox's crew, they still fought over the HPW Heavyweight Title belt. Mox and tag team partner King Vu were also frequent opponents in Heartland.
    • Has consistently opposed Jimmy Jacobs wherever the two should meet up.
    • Slash Venom(otherwise known as Flash Flanagan) and La Zona Ilegal (Jumping Jeff Jeffrey y Chicano) in IWA Puerto Rico
  • Shout-Out: Ever since he defeated Minoru Suzuki, Moxley has added the Gotch Piledriver as one of his signature move.
  • The Social Darwinist: Professional wrestling is about survival of the fittest and Moxley will light your very CZW arenas ablaze till they're all nothing but ash if that's what it takes to prove it!
  • Troll: Tricking Chris Jericho and The Inner Circle into believing he would join them. Dramatically unzipping his hoodie to reveal he was wearing an Inner Circle shirt and spending around 10 minutes dicking around drinking and celebrating with a lil' bit of the bubbly only to stop the festivities abruptly smashing one of the bottles over Jericho's head and leaving through the crowd. He could have easily just said no.
    Moxley: Chris my friend... I was just kiddin'.
    • Bonus points for Moxley because Jericho had promised him a Ford GT worth $750,000 if he joined them and he specifically asked for the keys from Chris while they were celebrating. When he escapes into the crowd he taunts the Inner Circle with the keys in hand. So, Moxley doesn't join the Inner Circle and stole a very expensive car right out from under Jericho.
  • Versus Title: EVOLVE 7: Aries vs. Moxley.
  • Villain of Another Story: Jon Moxley got to be a referee at some events where his girlfriend was wrestling. Pure cronyism, but a referee Mox is a better behaved Mox.
  • Would Hit a Girl
    • As Jon Moxley, there were very few backstage interviewers for CZW and IPW whom he didn't manhandle.
    • His glee for beating on the Lovely Lacey kicked off his feud with Tommy Dreamer in Dragon Gate USA. Then there was Jon Moxley's (in)famous best five with Traci Brooks. At first the most eventful thing were Mox's comments making it sound like something else entirely was going on but then he got pinned and this trope came into play.
    • The Switchblade conspiracy targeted Delirious's Translator Buddy Daizee Haze in the International Wrestling Cartel.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: He had pink hair for a time in the Heartland Wrestling Association.

     As Dean Ambrose 
  • Always Someone Better: Despite his poor track record with feuds, Dean was this to Kevin Owens, who has yet to beat him clean or otherwise in a one-on-one match.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: During a handicap match against Seth Rollins and Kane on the August 1, 2014, edition of SmackDown, Ambrose dropped this heartbreaking Star-Wars inspired line just before beating the hell out of Rollins.
    Dean: I loved you, Seth! You were my brother!
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Seth Rollins, going back to their FCW days (in fact, Rollins was Ambrose's first enemy in FCW). They apparently mended their fences long enough to form The Shield and become "brothers," but their rivalry has re-ignited, twice as bitter as before, with Seth's betrayal. Ambrose is now obsessed with beating the tar out of Rollins. The mere sight of him seems to throw Ambrose into a mindless rage. After Ambrose finally got his revenge at Money in the Bank 2016, things cooled off a bit, and a year later the two buried the ratchet and reunited as a tag team (though not until after weeks of bickering), winning the RAW tag titles together, which eventually led to reuniting The Shield in full. Unfortunately, Ambrose got injured a few months after, and when he returned his relationship with Rollins began to fray again, culminating in him betraying Rollins the same night Reigns was forced to go on hiatus to battle his leukemia, ending The Shield once more (and quite possibly forever), and restarting their rivalry once again.
    • Kevin Owens managed this distinction with only two months of serious feuding. Unlike Rollins, there's Nothing Personal about it besides the Intercontinental Championship; the two just plain don't like each other.
    • AJ Styles is shaping up to be this as well, in a half-serious half-Sitcom Arch-Nemesis sort of way. Confirmed on the 11/1/16 edition of Talking Smack, in which Dean compared himself and AJ to Peter Griffin and the chicken.
    • The Miz from WWE SmackDown until July 2017. Their wives were even involved at one point. After that point, Miz decided to antagonize Rollins and Reigns as well, which led to the Shield finally reuniting.
  • Badass Beard: In 2016, he grew one.
  • Badass Boast: "Only three things survive a nuclear explosion: Twinkies, cockroaches, and Dean Ambroses."
  • Bash Brothers:
    • With Roman Reigns, especially after the breakup of The Shield.
    • When he and Seth Rollins finally buried the hatchet and became a team again, it was like they hadn't lost a beat.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Attempted to make John Cena tap out to the STF, and at No Mercy 2016, did the same to AJ Styles using the Calf Crusher.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Bray Wyatt has found out (or, to be honest, already knew) that bringing up Ambrose's erstwhile father (who's in prison and was apparently either neglectful of Ambrose as a child, or simply absent from his adolescent years) is the most volatile of any berserk buttons that Ambrose has. The look on Ambrose's face whenever the subject arises, which can only be described as one of murderous fury and child-like sadness, proves just how dangerous pushing this particular button can be.
    • Wyatt lampshaded the trope on November 14, 2014, during an episode of SmackDown:
      Bray Wyatt: Now Dean, I don't know if you realize this, but... how predictable ARE you?! I mean... every time I want to see your shining face, all I have to do is push your buttons or pull the strings, and out you come, fueled with rage!
    • Up until Wyatt showed up, Seth Rollins (post-Shield betrayal) was a walking berserk button for Ambrose, to the point where the only way for Rollins to get through a week of television shows without Ambrose trying to beat the shit out of him was for Ambrose to go shoot a mov-er... get his head stomped through cinder blocks.
    • Nobody Calls Me "Nerd"!. Seth tried to warn them!
    • Anyone who messes with Renee Young is going to answer to him. One episode of Total Divas has Dean chasing a man who stole Renee's hat. Unfortunately, this is used by Bobby Lashley against him on his final apperance on Raw.
  • Best Served Cold: Seth Rollins betrayed the Shield back in 2014 by planting a steel chair into Ambrose's back - a fact that Ambrose never quite got over. For a while, the mere sight of Rollins would drive Ambrose into a blind fury. As the months passed, though, he learned to control and harness some of that anger, probably so much so that Rollins didn't think Ambrose was a serious threat to him anymore (especially after Bray Wyatt interjected himself into Ambrose's sight). When Rollins spent half a year in rehab for his injured knee, his first thought was to come back, go after Reigns, and recapture the title he never lost. He did; and it was only in that moment, when Rollins had achieved a goal he'd been going after for months, that Ambrose, fresh off a Money in the Bank briefcase win, cashed in for the title and pulled it all out from under him. And unlike Seth's act of treason, Dean told everyone ahead of time this was coming.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: On a meta-level, Dean Ambrose was one of the hardest working team players on WWE’s roster. But after being loaded down with too many bad gimmicks, written promos stifling his creativity, a botched micro-managing of his long awaited heel turn, and some downright depressing scripted insults towards one of his true best friends, Dean Ambrose left... and Jon Moxley returned to set the wrestling world on fire in AEW and NJPW, and bury the WWE’s creative process on Chris Jericho's podcast.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Anytime he acknowledges the "Lunatic Fringe" handle and general reputation he's been given, lampshading the fact that they mainly wear out "crazy" synonyms on him in order to sell T-shirts.
  • Boisterous Weakling/Big Bad Wannabe: Was starting to become this towards the tail end of 2013. After Rollins and Reigns lost the WWE Tag Team Championship, Ambrose started boasting of being the only member left with a championship (the WWE United States Championship), but from then on Ambrose was frequently the one pinned during The Shield's matches.
  • Brass Balls: There are few who would be more than happy to stare down Brock Lesnar in the middle of the ring, and Dean Ambrose is one of them. On the February 22, 2016 edition of Raw, Ambrose showed that he might have the biggest pair in the company. After Lesnar attempted to hospitalize him before the show started in retaliation for (arguably) costing him the triple threat number one contender's match the night before at Fastlane 2016, Ambrose hijacked an ambulance (again) and drove back to the arena to confront Lesnar. Once there, he tore off his neck brace and quite literally dragged his body towards the ring, where Paul Heyman and Lesnar had just cut a promo. The god of violent retribution, perhaps feeling the slightest tinge of mercy, simply stepped on Ambrose's head and over his body towards the ramp, only to turn back when Ambrose told him to kiss his ass and challenged to a No Holds Barred Street Fight at WrestleMania. Lesnar, perhaps a bit impressed, promptly gave him an F-5 and told Heyman to tell Ambrose that his challenge had just been accepted. Ambrose's reaction? To smile.
  • Bring It: In his feud against Brock Lesnar going into Fastlane 2016, he asked Brock Lesnar to be the monster he is: to beat him so bad that he can't stand up. On the February 8, 2016 episode of Raw, Brock beat him pillar to post with suplexes and F5s…and he still got up laughing!
  • Broken Pedestal: This was mutual with The Shield, post-Face–Heel Turn in 2018. From the perspective of his once-brothers, he was the team's heart in their reunion run, as it was his continued solidarity with Reigns and his forgiveness of Rollins that brought the team back together. When he fell to injury in 2017, they defended him from insults by both ally and foe alike, and refused to accept any replacements. For his part, if his WWE Chronicle edition is any indication, he believes that Seth never cared to check on him during a time in which he was dealing with a potentially life-threatening medical issue related to his shoulder injury, until such a time as he knew Dean would be back and ready to go so he could call him back to action.note  Weeks after his turn he claimed that he once believed The Shield made him strong, but now came to see backing up Rollins and Reigns as a burden holding him back, and also accuses the three of them of having been "rotten to the core" behind the scenes.
  • Butt-Monkey: If something bad is going to happen to a member of The Shield, more often than not it's going to happen to him.
  • Call-Back: Prior to a Fatal 4-Way Match for WWE Payback 2015, He, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins were inovlved in a backstage brawl, ending with Seth running away without the WWE Championship. Dean picked it up from the ground, placing it on Roman's shoulder and said, "Don't worry. I'll take it on Sunday". Flash forward a year later prior to Triple-Threat Match at Battleground between him (current WWE champion), Reigns and Rollins, Ambrose confronts Reigns at a Live Event as the latter is holding the championship belt before he tossed it back to him, silently emulating the same words he was told.
  • Character Development: Ambrose has grown significantly from his debut. Initially he started out as the hotheaded Wild Card member of The Shield who frequently went overboard with beatdowns against the Shield’s enemies and showed hints of being the one to turn against his teammates. Becoming jealous of Reigns and fueled by revenge towards Rollins. But overtime and on his own after The Shield’s dissolution he learned that that behavior doesn’t often lead to him winning matches. And he grew into a more collected and trusting person able to depart the company and parting ways with Rollins’ and Reign’s as friends.

    • Never was this more apparent than his storyline between Seth Rollins in 2017 where he ended up learning to forgive his former teammate. When Rollins sold out The Shield in 2014 Ambrose became obsessed with getting revenge against Seth for what he did never missing an opportunity to beat the hell out of him. But by 2017 he’d mellowed out significantly getting his revenge against Rollins by winning the WWE Championship from him and finding his own way after getting drafted to Smackdown. When he returned to RAW and found himself face to face with Rollins again who’d undergone character development of his own and apologized to him for past actions Ambrose forgave Rollins’ for what he’d done. Rollins even going as far as offering to take a steel chair to the back just as Seth had done to him all those years ago and Ambrose declined. Something that never would have happened 3 years ago.

    • Also reflected in his relationship with Roman Reigns though more understated. During the original Shield run around 2013 and going into early 2014 Ambrose started to become insecure due to Reign’s standout performances. Being the sole survivor for one example at Survivor Series 2013. He became jealous and increasingly hot headed even attempting to throw Reigns out during the Royal Rumble 2014 to only get thrown out himself. But their relationship changed when Rollins’ turning against them instead of severing their bond it strengthened it and they became closer no longer under the pressure of competing against each other and at the Royal Rumble 2015 one year later in the final four against Big Show and Kane with a Headbutt of Love Ambrose fought together with Reigns not even attempting to toss Reigns out. Their relationship remained strong all throughout Ambrose’s tenure in WWE and they continued to trust each other completely, never feuding. He’s come a long way from the guy everyone thought would be the first one to turn on The Shield.

  • Combat Pragmatist: And not in the heroic "defensive" sort of way, either. Irritate him enough (doesn't take much) and he will willingly go outside of the rules to cause you as much pain as possible. He's lost a match or two by DQ by going to town on people with chairs at random.
    • Other than that, Ambrose's gameplan during a given match seems to be "run full speed at anyone not on my side and hit him repeatedly." As JBL constantly mentions regarding his standing elbow drop from the top rope, Ambrose doesn't care if what he does is a traditional wrestling move or not, as long as it hurts his opponent.
  • Confusion Fu: Seems to be a character point with Ambrose. While his other former Shield brethren had pretty clearly defined functions and styles in the ring (Seth as the high-flying technician and Roman being the muscle), Ambrose is a lot more random, and it shows up in his ring psychology. Unlike other well-promoted faces, he doesn't seem to have a standard Five Moves of Doom. His hard-hitting Pendulum Clothesline is set up by a rebound off the ropes, which probably happens about twenty times in your standard wrestling match. His "Dirty Deeds" Double Arm DDT doesn't seem to have a tell until he actually locks the arms. It's often said on match commentary that opponents don't know what Ambrose is going to do next primarily because Ambrose himself doesn't know what he's going to do next.
    • Extends to his high-flying moves as well. While the suicide dive can be hit from out of nowhere, it's also equally as possible that he'll go for the dive, stop before he hits the ropes, and then plancha his opponent instead. Or do a turnbuckle-assisted elbow drop. Or simply roll out of the ring and simply punch his opponent in the face faster than his opponent can counter.
  • Cool Loser: Ambrose is no doubt one of the more entertaining, charismatic superstars on the roster and has put on some hard-hitting, entertaining matches with the likes of Seth Rollins, Wade Barrett and Bray Wyatt... but he didn't win a single PPV match or come out on top of a feud in between the Shield dissolved in June 2014 (or, if you count his time as a singles competitor in The Shield, since Night of Champions 2013, where he beat Kofi Kingston to retain his United States Championship) until Extreme Rules 2015 in April 2015, where he defeated Luke Harper in a Chicago Street Fight. Granted, a few of those PPV losses have been due to being screwed at the end somehow. Only Wyatt really ended their feud clean. Finally, officially, subverted at TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs 2015 when he won the Intercontinental Championship from one Kevin Owens, his first championship since he held the United States Championship while still in the Shield. This was further subverted after he won the WWE Championship and pinned both Roman and Seth clean in the space of the week to retain the title and win the blowoff to The Shield break-up storyline that had been going on for two years.
  • Corpsing: On the January 6, 2014 edition of Raw, if one looks closely, they can see Ambrose cracking a smile when Jake "the Snake" Roberts has his snake lying on his (Ambrose's) "unconscious" body. Either the licks were ticklish, or Mr. Good was trying to quell his inner fanboy.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: His title win was this to some, since after so many near-misses, many were convinced that the company would never pull the trigger on him.
    • It was safe to say that no one expected Ambrose and Rollins to ever willingly team up again, much less reconcile, win the Tag Team Championships, and re-form the Shield with Reigns.
  • Cut Short: The second Shield run and his tag team with Rollins, as of 12/18. Ambrose's elbow injury acquired at TLC finally caught up with him, and he was pulled from the show and sent for surgery. It remains to be seen how long he'll be out.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Ambrose had this for some time after the Shield's debut (he was the first opponent The Undertaker faced in singles competition on SmackDown since his part-timer status).
  • Deadpan Snarker: If he's in a relatively stable state of mind, he has a tendency to make sarcastic jabs at anyone and everyone.
  • Defiant to the End:
    • As a face, he plays this trope straight often. At one point, he caught a serious beatdown at the hands of Seth Rollins, Kane and Randy Orton, and when the assault was seemingly over, he snarled at the three "Is that all you got?", despite the fact that he couldn't stand on his own. The smart remark got Ambrose Curbstomped by Rollins for his trouble.
    • In a match against Cesaro on SmackDown, the latter mercilessly attacked Ambrose's severely injured shoulder with a kendo stick, and while writhing in pain and gritting his teeth, all Ambrose had to say was "We can do this all night, Cesaro!" Ambrose, in his face incarnation, can sometimes give even Mankind a run for his money in the "More pride/guts than brains" department.
  • Determinator: As part of his Ax-Crazy personality, it's become apparent that he has an absurdly high pain threshold and a refusal to stay down while he's still conscious. When The Authority's three-man squad cornered him in a boiler room, it took them several minutes to beat him down, and it was only after a Chokeslam from Kane and a Curb Stomp from Seth Rollins that Ambrose finally lost consciousness. To say nothing of the fact that Ambrose has sold an injured shoulder for well over a month and keeps wrestling in matches anyway.
    • At Hell In A Cell, he took a near 20-foot drop off the cell through a table, along with Seth Rollins, only to practically tear apart the stretcher he was being wheeled out on to get at Rollins and throw him in the cell to finish their business once and for all. That is why Mick Foley, who knows all too well about going beyond his limits (ESPECIALLY in the Cell), picked Ambrose to come out on top at HIAC.
    • The 2016 Royal Rumble. Ambrose wrestled Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing match for the Intercontinental Championship to open up the PPV, where both men went through absolute hell. After Ambrose retained by pushing Owens off the turnbuckle and into two stables stacked on top of each other, both men proceeded to pull double duty and enter the Rumble later that night. Ambrose entered two-thirds of the way through and made it to the final two, outlasting several major stars such as Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, The Wyatt Family, and even his best friend Roman Reigns. He was also very close to throwing out Triple H and winning the whole thing altogether if he hadn't been fatigued by the Last Man Standing match. His stellar performance got him (and Owens) universally declared as MVP of the night.* Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Regardless of how much of a bad idea it is, him calling out Brock Lesnar usually ends with him getting suplexed and/or F5ed.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Ambrose went on a losing streak during his initial feud with Seth Rollins. This was mostly due to the fact that he was selling a shoulder injury from the week after Rollins betrayed the Shield all the way through the night Rollins curb-stomped him out of comission for a month. That shoulder injury was pretty much the only reason Ambrose would ever lose to Rollins, who was by that point a cowardly heel who never hesitated to run a way from a fair fight.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: In the weeks leading up to his Heel turn on October 2018, Dean complained that since the Shield reformation, its always been about Rollins and Reigns. He on the other hand has no single titles, being out of action for almost a year and during this period, Rollins replaced him with Jason Jordan as his tag team partner.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Ambrose makes a quick cameo in CM Punk's DVD Best in the World, backstage and talking with Punk.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The ending of Money in the Bank 2016. After a heartbreaking betrayal, seemingly endless hardships, and years of effort, Dean Ambrose finally became WWE Champion. Nobody in the company deserved it more than him, and the fans loved every moment of it.
  • Expy:
    • Ambrose has quite a bit of Heath Ledger's Joker in his mannerisms and voice. The Joker comparisons even been made in-universe by way of an offhand comment from John Cena.
    • He's also drawn more than a few comparisons (especially with his promo style) to Brian Pillman or even a young Roddy Piper. Regarding this, Ambrose has said that he's watched so much wrestling in his life, from everywhere and from every time period, that more often than not, he has no realization that he's seemingly channeling any one wrestler. So he's gotten comparisons to, besides the aforementioned Pillman and Piper, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Terry Funk, Jake Roberts... it's an almost endless list because of his natural charisma, intense promos, and eclectic in-ring style. You could even call him the closest thing that the WWE's ever had to Mayumi Ozaki, the "Queen of Hell".
    • There are increasing parallels being drawn in-universe between Ambrose and Mick Foley, as an Ensemble Dark Horse brawler who veers toward hardcore wrestling (as much as possible in modern WWE, anyway), has a ridiculously high threshold for pain, and (depending on when you approach him) falls somewhere on the sanity scale between "a few sandwiches short of a picnic" and "short of the whole damn picnic". Ambrose also uses a double arm DDT as his finisher just like Foley did, and in the March 14, 2016 episode of Raw, was gifted the trademark barbed-wire-covered bat that Foley used during his heyday for his match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32. To top it all off, Foley himself drew parallels between Ambrose's title win at Money in the Bank and his own back in 1999.
    • In looks and personality he is one for John Bender of The Breakfast Club.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In the main event of the October 22, 2018 episode of WWE Raw, after winning the Raw tag team championships for the 2nd time, Ambrose turned heel and attacked Rollins for the first time since 2014 and officially ended The Shield's second run.
  • Fighting with Chucks: Dean surprisingly knows how to use one during his match against Chris Jericho in the first ever Asylum match. He even teaches Renee how to use it on her birthday.
  • Flanderization: Back in his Shield days he was portrayed as a mercenary type character who was able to put on a normal face, but was obviously unhinged and just waiting for an excuse to hurt somebody. After The Shield broke up and he didn't bother with that normal facade anymore, he began devolving briefly into a "lunatic" character who frequently costs himself matches by trying to perform pointless stunts that only end up hurting himself. Fans are pretty split on which portrayal they prefer.
  • Forgiveness: Without a doubt, the hardest thing Dean Ambrose ever had to do in his entire career was forgive Seth Rollins. It became clear early on that it wasn't because he didn't want to — on the contrary, more than once it was implied that it was the one thing he wanted to do, more than anything else. It was because Dean was scared of doing so and being betrayed again, causing him to lash out when Seth tried to make amends. On Seth's end, he completely understood Dean's anger and refusal and was willing to take his verbal and even physical abuse, but it didn't stop him from being frustrated about it, especially since Dean wasn't innocent either (though admittedly more justified). Eventually, both realized that in order for to reconcile, Seth had to forgive Dean as well.
  • Foreshadowing: On the last Raw before Money in the Bank 2016, Ambrose holds an Ambrose Asylum segment with his former partners Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins on their upcoming championship match. Near the end Ambrose interjects that since he's part of the Money in the Bank match at the PPV also, he could win the contract and cash in his opportunity that same night on whoever wins between Rollins and Reigns. He proceeds to do exactly that and win his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • Making it a point that Rollins will not cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase.
      Ambrose: Every time you ever think about cashing in that contract, I’m gonna be there. I’m gonna haunt you. So go and make all the plans you want, 'cause that briefcase you’re holding doesn’t have a contract inside. It’s loaded with TNT, and every time you try to cash it in, it’s gonna blow up in your face, Seth. Believe that.
    • How right did he turn out to be? Rollins had to wait until WM 31, when Ambrose was completely debilitated and damaged in the IC Title Ladder match, before he could think to cash in his MITB contract in the main event.
    • Historically in wrestling, there are two ways to guarantee one's calculated plan will fail: if it gets leaked on camera in advance or if it's a repeat of something they've already done. Furthermore, the Money in the Bank ladder match takes quite a toll on every competitor involved—there's a reason Kane's the only one who ever cashed in MITB the same night he won it. So naturally, on the go-home Raw to Money in the Bank 2016, Dean Ambrose, the same guy who's either come up short or got screwed countless times in world title situations, attempts at revenge on Seth Rollins, and competitions against Roman Reigns alike, took it upon himself to host The Ambrose Asylum with Reigns and Rollins as his guests and outright tell them that he would win the MITB ladder match and then cash in on the winner of their title fight that same night to walk out the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. On its face it looked like Ambrose had just screwed himself into coming up short in the title picture yet again, either by painting a target on his back by slighting the physical stake of the ladder match or by openly scooping the champ in on his move in advance and giving them time to prepare for it. Even Rollins dismissed the possibility out of hand in an interview later in the week, it was so blithely stupid. Except it wasn't.
    • Even after taking a hellacious beating from Brock Lesnar, he wasn't about to let Kevin Owens get the drop on him.
      Ambrose: Hey Kev! There's a giant TV screen right there, I can see you from a mile away!
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Look at Ambrose's hand gesture at about fifteen seconds in.
  • Gimmick Matches: He's often put into different types of No Disqualification matches. In 2016, he introduced a variant of a Steel Cage match which befits his Lunatic Fringe gimmick, an Asylum Match.
  • Grand Finale: The main event of Fastlane 2019 with The Shield was treated like this for Ambrose. Both to pre-existing Shield storylines with Rollins and Reigns and to his WWE career and story arc as a whole since he was leaving the company. note  A lot of emphasis was put on this being the end of and era with Reigns begging for Rollins and Ambrose to repair their relationship note  before Ambrose left so they could get the band back together one last time. With commentary putting it over as the match ended and Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns hugging together in the ring.
    Corey Graves: And finally, everything ends up exactly how it should be.
  • The Heart: Seems to have become this to the Shield in their second run, especially after his injury. Every time someone mentions Ambrose's injury, expect Roman Reigns to go ballistic (particularly at Samoa Joe, who injured his "brother") and Seth Rollins to Death Glare. It makes sense, as out of all three members, Ambrose is arguably the one who took the break up the hardest. It was only because of his forgiveness and reconciliation with Rollins that the reunion run was possible in the first place.
  • Heel–Face Turn: When The Shield collectively turned face. After the split, Ambrose is still a bit psychotic, but still a face. In 2019 Ambrose reunited with Rollins and the recently returned Reigns on the March 4 episode of Raw, after they assisted Ambrose from an attack by Elias, Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley the previous week, reverting Ambrose into a face again.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: A leather jacket became part of his "street brawler" outfit ensemble since June 2014.
  • He's Back: At Night of Champions 2014, Seth Rollins offered an open challenge to anyone in the locker room since Roman Reigns had to undergo emergency hernia surgery a few days before the event. Cue Dean Ambrose rolling up in a cab and beating Seth up and down the arena.
    • In the last moments of the 8/13 Raw before Summerslam, Seth Rollins came out to announce that he'd have backup for his Intercontinental Championship match against Dolph Ziggler (who had Drew McIntyre in his corner ready to continue his recurring beatdowns of Seth)... a returning Dean Ambrose, fresh off eight months of rehab. The roof blew off the building when Dean appeared (looking like he'd been in prison lifting weights, not rehabbing a triceps injury).
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Him and Roman are this both onscreen and in Real Life, exemplified by his honorary Samoan status.
    • Him and Seth also shared a similar a dynamic while they were still in the Shield, which is partially why Dean took Seth's betrayal so badly. They returned to this dynamic when they made up and became tag team partners in 2017.
  • History Repeats: Dean wins his first and third Intercontinental Championship at TLC at the same month.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: With Seth Rollins, in a deep contrast to his relationship with Roman Reigns. While mostly everyone sees him and Roman as bros, by mid-2017 everyone, including those who usually ignore the homoerotic aspect of wrestling, were starting to view his relationship with Seth in a decidedly non-platonic light. It certainly seems to be intentional, seeing as WWE centered their reconciliation storyline around the question of "Are Seth and Dean getting back together?", and considering that Ambrollins is THE Fan-Preferred Couple of The Shield (some might even say its the most popular pairing in modern wrestling fandom), a person wouldn't put it past the company to milk that for all its worth.
  • Honorary True Companion: To the Anoa'i family in kayfabe, though it's also been implied to be Reality Subtext. He's been so heavily associated with them that it's often joked that Dean is the only Samoan other than Samoa Joe in the company that's not blood-related to them.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Has done this twice through his own show, The Ambrose Asylum. First was during his feud with Chris Jericho, when Ambrose hijacked the latter's Highlight Reel; the second was against The Miz and his own show Miz TV (after the latter also hijacked The Highlight Reel on the very same night.)
  • Hypocritical Humor: Prior to their match against Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio, Ambrose warns Cesaro and Sami Zayn to watch out for the former two because they are Canadians, in front of his own Canadian tag team partner Zayn. Oh, and guess where his girlfriend comes from?
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: An underlying current of Dean's character is his desire to be a part of family/unit, in relation to his Dark and Troubled Past, which has only been alluded to onscreen. For all his claims of being a lone wolf, Dean never tried to push Roman away after the Shield's initial break up. To say nothing of how badly he took Seth's betrayal; part of why Dean was so reluctant to forgive Seth is because he wanted to, but was also terrified of being burned by him again.
  • In the Hood: In 2014, Dean Ambrose started wearing a hoodie during his entrance.
  • Irony: In Kayfabe, one of the main reasons why authority figures are so against him becoming WWE Champion is because his insanity and general unpredictability makes him a potential risk for scandal should he ever become the face of the company, hence why they support the other members of The Shield (they picked Seth Rollins to pull a Face–Heel Turn on the group and become the face of the company, and shortly after Rollins got injured, Triple H said that they considered Roman Reigns for that spot, but that he put his morals and convictions first rather than selling out). Out of Kayfabe, Ambrose is the only member of the group to not have scandal attached to his name. Rollins got caught having an affair behind his fiancee's back when she posted NSFW images of him and his lover on social media, and has been plagued with injuries to his opponents during his title reign, culminating in he himself getting injured to end said title reign. The aforementioned lover also got fired six months after their affair was revealed for something completely unrelated to the incident — someone dug out Neo Nazi artwork that was posted on her Twitter and Instagram, and it reflected badly on Seth, who was still dating her at the time. Reigns has had his controversial mega-push where he was clearly projected to be the next face of the company, despite the ardent and vocal resistance of fans all across the country, and then his suspension for a wellness policy violation. Ambrose, being an incredibly private person (he virtually has no personal presence on social media), a safe and decent worker, a company man, and an Ensemble Dark Horse, proved to be the most reliable of the three as the potential next face of the company, especially after all the work he put in during the 2016 Road to WrestleMania when the other two were out of commission. That's probably part of why they decided to finally pull the trigger on him at the 2016 Money in the Bank PPV.
  • It's Personal: Ambrose's feud with former Shield teammate Seth Rollins, whom Ambrose had considered a brother. Keep in mind that, at the Shield summit following Rollins's Rage Quit, Ambrose had said that the one thing he couldn't stand was being lied to by somebody he trusts.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Make no mistake, Ambrose was an absolute prick to Dolph Ziggler in their Summerslam feud, putting down his abilities as a wrestler and mocking him for not having what it takes to be a world champion. However, he was right about one thing. As Dean put it so delicately to Dolph, even if Ziggler did win and become the world champion, it doesn't mean his problems will magically disappear overnight and his life will become complete. On the contrary, his life as a world champion will become even more stressful as pressures will mount for him to carry the company on his back. Not only that, but wrestlers, management, and even fans themselves will watch him like vultures and just wait for him to slip up and fall. Basically, even if Dolph does win, his critics, doubters, and personal demons will still be there but as world champion, he has an even bigger target on his back for all the doubters and naysayers. Pretty much, Ambrose gave Dolph the straight scoop and told him that he'd better have "ice water running through [his] veins" if he wanted to be world champion.
  • Lampshade Hanging: On the March 3, 2016 episode of SmackDown, Kevin Owens tried to jump Ambrose from behind while Ambrose was facing the ramp. After dodging the attack and sending Owens scurrying with a chair shot to the back, he casually informed K.O. that he saw him coming a mile away because "There's a giant TV screen right there" while motioning to the large TitanTron display.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Ambrose's 2010s hairline is in... let's say, famously rough shape. On the other hand, Moxley in his very early career had a flowing mane past his shoulders. This can be seen in an appearance he makes for WWE Velocity in 2006, barely 20 years old.
  • Made of Iron: In defiance of WWE's incredibly grueling physical schedule, Ambrose had, up until December 2017, been their resident Ironman. This status includes a streak of over 900 matches wrestled, fewer than 40 consecutive days off at a time, and no major injuries.
  • Master of Disguise: How he normally ambushes his enemies. So far, he's been a hotdog vendor, a cameraman, a pizza deliveryman, a hockey player, the Mountie, the Miz's security guard and a bear costume.
  • Messy Hair: To go with his personality.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Sort of an example in Professional Wrestling. After the break-up of The Shield, Ambrose went from using a headlock driver called Dirty Deeds as his Finishing Move to start using a double underhook DDT as a new finishing move, which is also called Dirty Deeds. It has easier and faster setup and execution (in and out of kayfabe) and is more damaging (kayfabe-wise) than the original headlock driver version (In reality, it is because 1) nobody in the current roster uses the double underhook DDT and 2) the original Dirty Deeds greatly resembles Adam Rose's Party Foul and Ambrose probably decided that he should be the one who must change his own finisher).
  • Motive Decay: His 2018-2019 Face–Heel Turn suffered this in short order as WWE could not commit to a reason for his turn. First he claimed to have realized that backing The Shield weakened him rather than making him stronger as he initially thought; then he vaguely alluded to the trio having secretly been "rotten to the core" while implying that Reigns' bout with leukemia was his penance for this; then he called Rollins a posturing false hero for his "The Reason You Suck" Speech against Baron Corbin and claimed it was no different from Seth's earlier manipulation of both Roman and himself; and this was before WWE stopped mentioning Reigns after getting wind of enough fan backlash. Once that happened, WWE gave him a Bane gimmick with a SWAT team, which not only completely undercut the scene of him burning a tac vest after betraying The Shield, but also effectively reverted him back to the "wacky Dean" antics of his face run except with a weird germaphobic fixation for Cheap Heat. This destroyed his heel run and set him up to go back to being a face and reunite The Shield as soon as Reigns returned both in-universe and in Real Life.
  • Mr. Fanservice:
    • During the tail end of the Shield's heel run, Seth Rollins actually once got on the microphone and gender-flipped Sable's Catchphrase to describe Dean Ambrose as a way of getting Cheap Heat in the middle of an Ambrose match.
    • Dean is arguably the most popular member of the Shield with teenage girls, if not women in general. While he isn't a Pretty Boy like Seth or a conventionally handsome Hunk like Roman, he is good-looking in his own right and his charisma combined with the "bad boy" vibe he gives off gives him more sex appeal than both.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • What he did to William Regal. Holy God, what he did to William Regal...
    • He also gave numerous beatings as a part of The Shield.
    • Took one from Seth Rollins and Kane at the conclusion of an epic no DQ match on the Raw after SummerSlam 2014. He wasn't seen since then... until Night of Champions 2014 happened.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: He's very fond of kissing his opponents in the middle of matches. Particularly Seth Rollins. Subverted during his feud with Bray Wyatt. After a table spot, Ambrose kisses Wyatt (keep in mind that Wyatt himself kisses his opponents in the forehead before hitting his finishing move), who returns the favor by beating the shit out of him.
  • Noodle Incident: On the 9/22/14 episode of Raw, Ambrose (for about the tenth time) tried to jump Seth Rollins, only to be apprehended by The Authority's security goons, who would have escorted Ambrose out of the building until Stephanie McMahon, in a moment of cunning, had him thrown into a locked storage closet and set 5 guards in front of the only door. He reappears at the end of the episode in a box that, given Seth Rollins' dialogue, was probably supposed to be full of several cinder blocks. It's never explained where Dean would have put the cinderblocks... or, more importantly, how the hell Ambrose managed to escape a locked closet with five very burly men guarding the only door... His explanation for how he escaped from that closet? "There was a backdoor."
  • Not So Different: From Randy Orton, who was also pushed well and truly over the deep end by a friend's betrayal and has leaned to channel that madness into his wrestling and promo styles, although he's a little more crazy than Orton. Randy may hear some voices in head, but it's his rage that really makes him dangerous — unprovoked, Randy can at least assume the appearance of someone with sound mental faculties (if a little bit ruthless). With Dean, you can tell right off the bat that the man is not right in the head, unprovoked or not.
  • Obfuscating Insanity:
    • Make no mistake, Dean Ambrose is eccentric and unpredictable and tends to wear his heart on his sleeve. But don't think for a second that the man isn't smart. In the build-up to the 2014 MITB, Ambrose used his established loose-cannon status to secure a place in the match. When he got the news that Seth Rollins literally begged that he be put in the match, Ambrose's initial reaction was to laugh and say "I knew he would." In short, Ambrose played him like a fiddle. Who's the chess-master, again?
    • Taking advantage of Cena's tendency to take on all comers by causing the rest of the Authority to get involved in his and Cena's No-DQ Contract-on-a-Pole match for Hell In A Cell against Seth Rollins. Cena predictably started trading blows with Rollins, Orton, and Kane. Meanwhile, Ambrose snuck around behind the action and by the time Cena had cleared the ring, Ambrose already had the contract in hand.
    • He did this for Money in the Bank 2016. Starting with the go-home show, he just made the most idiotic mistake you could make with a master plan in wrestling by blatantly announcing the plan to its intended victims, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, in front of the whole world before even getting the pieces in place (which in itself would be a doozy of a task). But that's just it. He did it blatantly. To get said victims to completely underestimate him and dismiss the idea of it working. The result? He walked out of Money in the Bank the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The February 10, 2014 episode of Raw saw Ambrose claiming that the reason nobody was challenging him for his title was, simply put, because no one had the guts. This spurs him to issue an open challenge to the locker room later that night. Cue chanting and hip-hop beat... yep. It's Mark Henry. Ambrose was visibly terrified.
    • His knee-jerk reaction to Rollins hitting Reigns with a steel chair was equal parts disbelief, confusion, and this trope.
  • Perma-Stubble: There was a time when he did wrestle without hair below his eyelashes, believe it or not. Though in 2016 he grew a full beard.
  • Popularity Power:
    • A lot of people perceive this to be the reason why Ambrose got relegated to being just "Roman Reigns' best friend" during the Wyatt feud, though Ambrose got his own push towards the Intercontinental Championship eventually. The truth of the matter is, Ambrose was pretty much the only male singles face that was completely over with the audience by the end of 2015, especially since the injury bug went nuts around that time and Daniel Bryan had been a non-factor for most of the year. Reigns, who the company desperately wanted to get over as the next top face even though the fans made it blatantly clear that they wanted Ambrose if Bryan was no longer an option, was partnered up with him as a result. Not that it didn't make sense, thanks to the Shield and all, but it didn't make the fans any less resentful, and the Intercontinental Championship was an attempt to compromise. Further complicating the issue is the fact that the man Ambrose eventually took the title from was Kevin Owens, who was popular himself. Many considered this to be a blessing in hindsight, since Ambrose and Owens proceeded to have a critically-acclaimed feud that many fans stated was the most interesting thing on WWE programming for its duration.
    • When Ambrose finally won the WWE Championship, the crowd absolutely exploded, and the following night they were hot for him, chanting his name and "YOU DESERVE IT!", and hanging on to every word of his championship promo. A lot of people have remarked that Ambrose's reign is refreshing, since he's arguably the first true face champion since Daniel Bryan. Everyone who has held the title since Bryan was forced to vacate it were either heels (Rollins, Lesnar, Sheamus, Triple H) that had issues getting heel heat from the crowd,note  or faces (Cena, Reigns) that were from divisive to universally disliked.note  Ambrose is the first champion in a while to get a reaction that isn't disingenuous.
    • Ambrose was so popular that every time he teased a potential Face–Heel Turn in 2018, the fans cheered for him. WWE was only able to successfully turn him on the one night that the fans would've never accepted it: the night Roman Reigns was forced to vacate the Universal Championship and take a hiatus from WWE due to his leukemia returning. It was the night that him and Seth Rollins needed each other more than ever, the night they won the Tag Team Championships together in Reigns' name, the night that everyone, from the fans to Ambrose and Rollins themselves, needed a feel-good moment to end on. Hell, it was the night that finally managed to band the world behind Reigns. Instead, the fans watched The Shield implode for a second time, and this time, not from an unexpected, calculated betrayal, but from one that had building for a long time, and had boiled over in a extreme fit of emotion. And even then, people sympathized with Ambrose even though they hated what he did, as they understand on some level why it happened.
  • Power Stable: In much less flattering role, The Shield were brought under Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in WWE and made to protect Randy Orton.
  • Power Trio: The Shield, Rollins being the high flier and the strategist, Reigns being the muscle and Ambrose being the unpredictable brawler and talker.
  • Precision F-Strike: When Seth Rollins turned his back on The Shield, you can see Dean Ambrose mouth what appears to be "The fuck...?"
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Would you believe Dean Ambrose believes himself to be on the side of justice? At least he did when he was in The Shield, where justice apparently meant "Ruin the show for the faces by any means necessary." To be fair, given that this is Ambrose we're talking about, it's not hard to believe that this is how his inner sense of morality works.
  • Put on a Bus: After being Curb Stomped through a pile of cinder blocks by Seth Rollins the Raw after 2014's SummerSlam, Dean was last seen being stretchered out of the arena. Off-screen, he refused medical treatment and went missing, leading commentators and The Authority to speculate as to his state until he returned a month later.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Ambrose's Face–Heel Turn is interesting in that it was simply treated as an inevitability. Even years before it finally happened, the fans knew that, one way or another, Ambrose was going to turn heel. It was the most logical direction of his character; Ambrose was never the most stable of individuals to begin with, and with the endless number of misfortunes he's had to endure since the Shield broke up (not least of which was one of his two closest friends betraying him and his other friend), he was going to snap one day. When that day came, at the expense of Rollins (the friend who betrayed him and whom he had seemingly forgiven a year before), the act itself wasn't a surprise to anyone — it was the timing that made it such a shock.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The real reason for the above example in Put on a Bus is that he had to be written out of storyline temporarily so that he could film a WWE Studio movie.
  • Really Gets Around: Subverted with Ambrose's "Titty Master" meme — it began when pictures of Ambrose with "Titty Master" written on the tapes of his hands during a European tour became viral, and Roman Reigns confirmed this was actually in reference to Ambrose frequently wrestling the wide-chested heavyweight Big E during that European tour (and Big E was in fact part of the match from where the pictures came).
  • Red Baron: Michael Cole has dubbed him "The Lunatic Fringe" of The Shield.
  • Remember the New Guy?: All the members of The Shield were introduced as NXT invaders despite Ambrose never actually appearing on the show.note  His WWE.com bio justifies this by saying his closing match of NXT's developmental predecessor FCW against William Regal was so brutal he wasn't allowed to compete on NXT as a result.
  • Revenge Before Reason:
    • Ambrose didn't take his "brother" Rollins' betrayal well. At all. In fact, he would abandon a match in order to get his hands on Seth if the latter happened to appear at ringside. One of those times was when Ambrose was in match to qualify for the ladder match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight title at Money in the Bank. Whoops. To add injury to insult, Ambrose was so blinded by rage that Rollins was able to lead him right into Bray Wyatt's arms and escape without a scratch. Cue Sister Abigail to Ambrose as Rollins watches and laughs.
    • This actually comes back to bite Rollins in the ass somewhat, as Ambrose's assaults show he will pursue him endlessly until he gets his hands on him and Dean actually admits as much on the 6/23/14 WWE Raw, saying he'll go so far as to sabotage the MITB match and the PPV itself unless he's put in the match alongside Rollins and the others. Rollins knows Ambrose isn't just speaking hyperbole and forces Triple H to put Ambrose in the match so he "can control Ambrose."
    • Backfired at Battleground 2014 when Ambrose compromised his match with Rollins by his inability to wait for a chance to get his hands on him and jumped him before the match began, resulting in him getting banned from the building. Not that it stopped him from showing up twice to come after Rollins.
    • Came up again at Survivor Series 2016 after his scuffle with SmackDown teammate/rival AJ Styles and Styles' non-attempt to break up an ensuing pinfall led to Ambrose being eliminated from the 5-on-5 Men's elimination match. Later, after it came down to Styles and the Wyatts versus Rollins and Reigns, cue Ambrose storming the ring, assaulting Styles (his teammate, mind you), and even joining in on a Shield reunion to beat up security and put Styles through an announce table, leading to the WWE World Champion's elimination. All of SmackDown's announce team, who typically don't always get along with each other, lampshaded just What an Idiot! Ambrose was for nearlynote costing SmackDown the match and leading to a Raw sweepnote  of Survivor Series.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: Sure, his unpredictability is what fans love about him, but his character's lack of emotional control seemed to be portrayed as causing him more problems than it solves. Bray Wyatt has even called Ambrose out on it a couple of times, and while Wyatt isn't a hell of a lot more sane than Ambrose himself, and thus his statements ring somewhat hollow, there's some legit reasons to back this up: During his TLC match with Wyatt, Dean Ambrose discovered a small monitor under the ring and saw that it was projecting his face and the crowd behind him on the jumbotron. He clowned around with it, and that let Bray recover and attack him. But far more damningly later was Dean's decision to try to smash Bray Wyatt's face with the monitor. The monitor exploded in his face when it reached the end of its cord, and Bray Wyatt hit Sister Abigail for the pinfall.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: On the 10/6/14 edition of Raw, he was scheduled to team up with John Cena against The Authority (Orton, Rollins, and Kane). During a promo building up to it, Ambrose decided (as they were in Brooklyn), that pissing off down to Coney Island and grabbing a hot dog was a better use of his time than teaming with Cena.note  Subverted; he later came back with a hot dog cart to wreak havoc on the Authority.
  • Signature Move: Rebound/Jawbreaker/Pendulum Lariat, adopted from Nigel McGuinness. In WWE, he's also known for being the one guy that can and will drop the elbow on a standing opponent.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: After the first Shield split Ambrose's outfits shifted to a simple tanktop jeans jacket combo with very little variation for years. When he turned heel on Seth Rollins in 2018 he put a lot of effort in trying to look as different as possible seeming to show up in a different outfit every week to reflect the change in himself. Then when Roman returned from illness he reverted back to The Shields original style but would maintain his more distinct style every now and again before departing the company.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: By necessity. During the build between Fastlane 2016 and WrestleMania 32, Ambrose was effectively the only full-time main event talent active as Roman Reigns had to get facial reconstruction surgery for a deviated septum and would be out for at least a couple of weeks, while the rest (Cena, Orton, and Rollins) were rehabbing serious injuries. With the rest of the main event talent available being part-timers, two of whom only being booked for a couple of shows, Ambrose and Triple H had to carry Raw by themselves.
  • Start of Darkness: His WWE Chronicle episode, which reads less like a documentary and more like his gradual descent into psychopathy.
  • Talk Show with Fists: The Ambrose Asylum, which interrupted one of Chris Jericho's The Highlight Reels.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: To Randy Orton during Extreme Rules 2014:
  • To the Pain: His speech following Rollins' Shield betrayal, in which he goes into gruesome detail about how he plans to beat and mutilate Rollins's face to the point of permanent disfigurement. Yikes.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Not that he wasn't badass before (being a former world champion and all), but when he came back from injury he looked noticeably buffer and had gotten a new haircut, and, as the following week showed, a less "wacky" in-ring style. Combined with a more serious attitude, many fans commented that he looked like someone who had just gotten out of prison.
  • Tsundere: To Seth Rollins during their reconciliation storyline in 2017, which only added to the Homoerotic Subtext of the entire situation.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Roman Reigns. Where one is, the other isn't far behind, and one will usually try to make the save if the other is in trouble. It's even to the point that each is totally supportive of the other becoming champion.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He really doesn't like them. Unfortunately for him, he pissed off Jake "The Snake" Roberts himself on an episode of Old School Raw and ended up knocked out with a snake draped on his chest. He was not very happy when he found this out after the fact, and threw a fit about it the following SmackDown.
  • Will They or Won't They?: The bromantic version with Seth Rollins, in which they spent the summer of 2017 teasing whether or not they would get back together as a team. The fact that they both acted like major Tsunderes to each other during that storyline laid on the Homoerotic Subtext real thick.
  • Worked Shoot: This entire promo, post-Fastlane.
  • Worthy Opponent: Seth Rollins considers them "wrestling soulmates", as stated in The Destruction of The Shield DVD. This is especially apparent during their feud over the FCW 15 title, which is defended in fifteen minute iron man matches. They went the first two matches without falls, and the second match had five-minute overtime. Even their third match, which was thirty minutes, ended in a draw with two falls a piece, forcing them to go into sudden death overtime, which isn't really much of a victory for either man. That series of matches is considered to be among the best in the history of FCW prior to its repackaging as NXT, and really highlights their inability to have a bad match against each other.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: In his early WWE appearance (around the time of WWE Heat), he had pink hair.
  • You Keep Using That Word: Michael Cole insists on calling him "The Lunatic Fringe." Except that "lunatic fringe" refers to a metaphorical place on the outside of society and/or a gathering ground for people who are (at the very least) eccentric. It's not an actual person. While Ambrose is hardly the only act in WWE that's ever been named or at least nicknamed after some sort of trait, event, or metaphor, "The Lunatic on the Fringe" or "Mr. Lunatic Fringe" would both sound better if one had to go for accuracy. Subverted when it was later revealed that it was a slogan for a radio station in his hometown of Cincinnati.

Alternative Title(s): Jon Moxley

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