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Aaron Gratton

Gratton’s World of Wrestling: Underused Talent II

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Following such a positive response to the first GWoW blog post, I felt I should continue to examine underused talent – and further more, get fans opinion on my picks.

In the first post, you will have found out that I’m a big fan of Drew McIntyre. If you haven’t read that post, I suggest you follow this link and have a read.

Now, believe or not, McIntyre is used a lot more than my next pick of underused talent. ‘How is that possible?’ I hear you say. Well, because this guy has never actually been used on WWE television… well, not the main shows, anyway. He has been hidden away in WWE’s developmental territory, FCW. Most recently, you have seen Damien Sandow debut and become a huge hit – I saw this guy take on Sandow back in his FCW days. I have also seen him wrestle some of the best matches I’ve seen against William Regal and CM Punk.
The guy I’m talking about is Dean Ambrose.

Who’s he? Well, let me enlighten you. Dean Ambrose (real name John Moxley) is the best thing you haven’t seen. I first came across him when I found his match with CM Punk at an FCW event on YouTube (link here) where he goes toe-to-toe with wrestling’s main guy in a solid 10 – 15-minute match. The video starts with Ambrose delivering a promo about CM Punk (Punk was there for an autograph signing) and how he is the best in the world, not CM Punk. Rarely do you see a young talent deliver as well as Ambrose does here – heck, I can think of 75% of the main roster that could take lessons from Ambrose.

The next I saw of Dean Ambrose was a match with one of the best technical wrestlers of all time, William Regal. Again, another solid 15-minute match. Regal gets the win, but not without putting over the talent of the young Ambrose. Regal gives a lesson in technical wrestling, and Dean Ambrose is there with him every step of the way. Watch the match, and see how well Ambrose ‘sells it’ – particularly a shoulder injury.

Right then, so now you know that hidden away in WWE developmental is a guy who can keep up with the likes of CM Punk and William Regal at their best, can talk on the mic and has a unique character, different from anything we can see right now (and plays it brilliantly). But could he do it in front of the big crowds?
The answer to that is yes. Yes because he’s featured in a host of dark matches on Raw and Smackdown and appeared on various live event shows.

Here is a video of him facing Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson) in December 2011 at a Smackdown live event. Again, showing that Ambrose can hang with the most talented of wrestlers, this time in front of a big crowd. Yes, the crowd could have been better, but forgive their ignorance as there are just some crowds that won’t get into a match, no matter how good it is, if they aren’t household names (just watch TNA and the fans in the ‘Impact Zone’).

So why hasn’t Dean Ambrose been put onto the main roster?

For a year or so now, Ambrose has been the guy many hardcore wrestling fans have been waiting to break through. Teased with his appearances at events and dark matches on Raw and Smackdown. The truth is that Ambrose was meant to have been used by now.

A program was set up between him and Mick Foley. The two exchanged words with each other and used social-media as a means of keeping the program relevant, without having to use any television time to cover it – so as their would still be those fans who didn’t know who he was, thus giving Ambrose the chance to cut a promo to introduce himself to the fans in a way that only he could. One day we’ll see that, and it will be television gold.

But Ambrose crossed a line that not even Mick Foley (the guy who’s fallen off a cell, landed on tacks and gone through flaming tables) was comfortable with – he brought his family into it. Some may rise their eyebrows at Foley having a line (I was shocked too), but even to a stuntman like Foley, family is a no go. So, unfortunately, Dean Ambrose joining the main roster was put back.

When will he be used? Not sure – but surely it must be sooner than later, after all, he and the fans have waited long enough.

Aaron Gratton

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