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Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins will be a feud for the ages

It's really early, but so far WWE has made the right calls even when many wanted them to go another way. With that and just a little luck, the pair should have an epic program. And not just this go round, but for years to come, too.

Monday night on Raw, WWE made it clear that in the wake of Seth Rollins' betrayal of his brothers in The Shield, Dean Ambrose would be coming after the turncoat while Roman Reigns focused on the veteran members of his new faction.

It was the latest in a string of smart moves that Creative has plotted for the big Summer program of 2014.  Whether it was booked a month or moments in advance, Rollins sneaky chairshot to Reigns sparked fan interest immediately.

Many were surprised that it was Seth and not Dean who went rogue (including this writer).  The most frequent comparison for Ambrose is to Rowdy Roddy Piper, and his pre-WWE work was as a rudo as well.  Rollins, on the other hand, looks like the lead singer for an emo punk band and his ringwork features high flying moves that bring audiences to their feet.  He was pegged as the second coming of Jeff Hardy, but with more solid fundamentals and none of the personal baggage.

In turning the presumptive babyface into their hottest villain, the company shows the first signs of learning who their 21st century audiences want to cheer and who they want to boo.  After a decade of "Let's Go Cena"/"Cena Sucks", needing to resort to CM Punk defiling the remains of the dead to get heat as a heel, thinking that crowds would accept Daniel Bryan as a bad guy because he wore a mechanic's cover-all and watching arenas sing along with their new cult leader character, they've headed off any need to convince crowds who to root for by making the move that the storyline called for and that made sense for the existing characters.

As Seth Rollins' masterful interview on Raw laid it out for us, he knew he was the best worker and the brains behind The Shield for all of the reasons he would have normally been cast as a good guy.  Assuming that WWE would treat him favorably as a result, fans are ready to boo him just as much as they did the returning Batista when the company assumed he'd be loved because he looked the part.  Slap a suit on him, and you've got the perfect 'Reality Era' heel.

Similarly, the attributes that would have made Dean Ambrose the perfect 1980s bad guy were all on display in his equally great speech from Monday.  And they're all the reasons that crowds in the 2014 were always going to cheer him - regardless of if WWE tried to make him evil.

Also from the segment that gave us Ambrose's promo, it was made clear that The Shield's revenge would be a two-pronged attack.  Roman Reigns is the kind of mega-presence that connects with fans across eras, so it makes sense to put him with the more established names in The Authority, Triple H and Randy Orton.  The Big Dog also needs the most seasoning, and will benefit greatly from spending time working with multi-time champions like The Game and The Viper.

From there, Creative should be able to stick to more familiar scripts and mostly stay out of Ambrose and Rollins' way.  They have a history of great matches against one another in Developmental, and it was abundantly clear from Raw that they understand their motivations in this program.

And there's no reason that this shouldn't be the first of many go 'rounds between the two young guns.  Whether they end up with multiple World title reigns on their résumé, or they turn into workhorses like Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit who raise the quality of every card they're on from the mid-card while LOLROMANWINS, we will hopefully be watching the two 28 year olds battle for the next ten years.

It's been clear for at least a year that Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins were legitimate WWE Superstars.  But with a couple of weeks worth of smart decisions where they expertly read their audience, Creative has provided them with a head start on a feud that should be epic and could quite possibly be one that defines their generation of pro wrestling.

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