UPDATE: WWE has confirmed he’s leaving. More here.
Well this is a big one.
PWTorch reported today that Dean Ambrose has given his notice to WWE, intending to leave after his contract expires in April.
Sources tell PWTorch that Ambrose has been long frustrated with the creative direction of his character and reached a breaking point recently. He’s indicated to WWE management this weekend he’s not interested in negotiating further and made it clear this isn’t about trying to get more money. One of his colleagues on the roster, when asked tonight about Dean’s demeanor lately and if there were any signs of discontent, said “he’s pretty much impossible to read.” He added, though, that Dean “hates hokey sh–” and, since so much of his character has been portrayed as hokey in the last few years, he’s not surprised that would have built up frustration leading to a breaking point.
Since debuting with the Shield in 2012, Ambrose has always been a featured talent and even had a run as WWE champ during the beginning months of the brand split. He’s held the United States, Intercontinental, and tag team championships in his tenure with the company.
As stated above, the fact it’s not about money but more about creative seems to seal the deal as opposed to the former Shield member leveraging his contract status for a bigger payday.
Ambrose’s apparent disdain for the “hokey s***” is one shared by plenty of fans. Hopes that a heel turn would lead to a more serious, vicious side of the character were unfounded as we still got similar antics with gas masks, vaccines in the rear, and scavenger hunts during his disappointing feud with Seth Rollins.
This would surely be a big loss for WWE, making him a huge free agent in the wrestling world. He’d be a huge get for a new company like AEW (despite Jericho saying they’re not interested in much talent working at other companies) or any of the already established companies competing in a crowding wrestling landscape.
We’ll let you know more with this as it develops.