What do the betting odds tell us about the future of Dean Ambrose?
On Sunday night, we were treated to the last chapter for The Shield, in an event aptly named The Shield: Final Chapter. It was an exercise in futility for WWE fans, as it basically served as an outlet to sell two more Shield themed t-shirts, and got them all riled up for the Shield (and Dean Ambrose, of course) one…more…time.
Basically? Y’ALL GOT WORKED AGAIN! (Worked for your viewership time and spending dollars, anyway.)
The Shield is easily one of the Top 5 WWE creations of the past 10 years, and in my opinion the best stable the company ever produced. Yes, that’s better than Evolution or DX, because The Shield elevated three individuals who, at the time of their debut, where nobodies to a standard WWE audience. Don’t get on me about Seth Rollins as Tyler Black and Dean Ambrose as Jon Moxley—I know about those. I saw them live. But the key here is the standard WWE audience. Never forget that we aren’t the target audience. We’re the money marks for them!
Now as I was saying, The Shield took three wrestlers and used a gimmick trio for their debut. All three went on to become world champions, and all three finished in the Top 10 in the earnings list for multiple years. If the goal of The Shield was to turn all three into stars, then this was a smashing success. Today, one man (Seth Rollins) is the current Universal Champion, another (Roman Reigns) just got shipped to Raw after main eventing 4 straight WrestleManias (and probably narrowly missing a fifth), and the third (Dean Ambrose) is a former world champion and the most talked about wrestler in the business today. That’s a damn good success rate!
Now that their final-really-last-ending-finale-showdown with Baron Corbin (who sucks), Bobby Lashley, and Drew McIntyre is over, we can look to the future for all three men. Seth Rollins’ future is easy, he’s the Universal Champion and taking the lead on Raw. Roman Reigns’ future is equally easy. He’s the “biggest acquisition in Smackdown history” and is likely to be WWE Champion by the end of 2019.
For Dean Ambrose, the future appears to be far less certain. He seems to be done with WWE for now, and that leaves the internet world guessing. And when there’s an opportunity to guess, there’s an opportunity to bet—I usually hit Sports Betting Dime to see what the odds are for these things.
SBD sets the odds at 1/6 (-600) that Dean Ambrose is leaving the WWE at the end of April. An April departure was announced in January, and while he was still being hyped for some post-Mania events, they were all still in April. As any contract lawyer could tell you, it makes as much sense that Ambrose’s WWE deal would expire at the end of a specific month as after a specific show. Some theorized that his rumored departure was just a guise setting up something bigger, but our oddsmakers believe it’s highly likely that April marks the end of the Ambrose era, at least for the time being. Many expect to see him take his talents to All Elite Wrestling, which reportedly offered him a massive $6 million deal.
Now we have no way of confirming that lucrative figure from AEW, but we know the group fronted by The Elite has money to spend, and outside of CM Punk (who might be interested now more than ever), no name would draw more eyeballs to the fledgling company than Dean Ambrose (or Jon Moxley, as would likely be the case).
All Elite Wrestling actually offers some other benefits outside of money that Dean Ambrose would like: Creative Freedom and Reduced Schedule.
The creative freedom seems obvious, as his character is one that seemingly succeed in a less scripted environment, where word choice isn’t scrutinized and the performer is trusted to hold of the direction for their character.
However, don’t sneeze at the reduced schedule. If AEW airs live on a weekly basis (I think it settles into more of an alternating schedule of live and taped), and has a handful of live “major” events per year, you’re looking at around 60 dates per year—and that’s if he works every week of TV (he shouldn’t). If they alternate the TV schedule like I said, now you’re looking at approximately 34 dates per year. Both of these numbers are assuming 8 special events per year which is purely a “guesstimate.” But it helps set the table.
For WWE, you’re looking at around 240-260 dates per year, which is more than 4 times the highest AEW estimate I could develop. That’s a huge benefit for a talent like Dean Ambrose, who had an entire WWE Network special where he talks about the road breaking him down.
The title of this article is “If I’m Betting On Dean Ambrose…” and if I was (I’m not), I would still bet on a WWE return. I’ve used #Houston2020 a few times, as I think it makes perfect sense for Dean Ambrose to take his time off and be a surprise entrant (and winner) in the 2020 Royal Rumble match. Imagine if Dean Ambrose was the Royal Rumble winner and faced with the following choices for his WrestleMania 36 opponent: Universal Champion Seth Rollins or WWE Champion Roman Reigns. Could we see Winner Take All, Part 2?
Save for that last part, I can see Dean Ambrose actually having this agreement in place with WWE. At the very least, WWE can freeze his contract for 9 months, while still paying him. I can’t imagine a world where they don’t. They’ve done it to others (Rey Mysterio, Neville, and would do it to Sasha Banks), and it benefits them to pay Ambrose to sit at home and not work for the perceived competition. Letting him go is great for the business as a whole, but not a good business move for WWE.
Dean Ambrose leaving WWE and showing up at Double Or Nothing, Fyter Fest, or Fight For The Fallen sounds great. But we all have tons of ideas that sound great and never come to fruition. While you never say never in this crazy world of wrestling, when it comes to Dean Ambrose’s next in-ring move I am saying “See you in Houston!”