After requesting a match with The Viper earlier in the evening, Dean Ambrose took on Randy Orton. The two tough-as-nails Superstars fought vigorously and the action was furiously competitive, until Luke Harper (who had just eaten an inadvertent dive from Ambrose moments earlier) abruptly entered the ring just as it seemed Orton was gearing up for an RKO. The distraction proved costly, however, with Ambrose being able to capitalize as The Apex Predator attempted to usher Harper out of the ring, rolling up Orton for the win.
After the contest, Harper and The Viper began exchanging blows before Bray Wyatt separated them and then struck Harper, as well exchanging tense words with Orton before Harper promptly exited.
After taking a moment to officially declare himself as a participant in the Royal Rumble Match, Dean Ambrose welcomed the Superstar he defeated for the Intercontinental Title last week to “The Ambrose Asylum.”
The Miz wasted no time claiming that he, too, has declared himself as a participant in the Royal Rumble Match. He then went on to suggest that Ambrose should hand over the Intercontinental Championship after the controversial ending of their title contest last week. The Lunatic Fringe did not bite on that bait, but offered an olive branch of sorts by re-gifting “The Miz Participation Award” back to the A-Lister.
From there, Miz and Ambrose got into it, with Ambrose ultimately getting the upper hand after he ducked a Maryse slap that wound up connecting with Miz square in the jaw. He then handed Maryse the award as a parting gift.
Thirty Superstars from Raw and SmackDown LIVE will fight for sports-entertainment immortality when the annual Royal Rumble Match takes over WWE Network on Sunday, Jan. 29. The winner of the massive melee, now in its 30th year, will go on to challenge for a World Championship in the main event of WrestleMania this April.
A tradition dating back to 1988, the Royal Rumble Match starts with two participants, and new Superstars entering the ring every 90 seconds. This continues until all 30 Superstars have entered the bout. Elimination occurs when a Superstar is thrown over the top rope and both of his feet hit the floor. The last Superstar in the ring will be declared the victor.
So far, the following the Superstars have been announced for the gigantic match: The Undertaker, Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, Dean Ambrose, The Miz, Seth Rollins, Big E, Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, Braun Strowman, Chris Jericho, Baron Corbin.
What other Superstars from Raw and SmackDown LIVE will join the fray and fight for the chance to headline The Grandest Stage of Them All? More important yet: Who will be the last man standing when the dust settles inside San Antonio’s historic Alamodome?
Find out when The Road to WrestleMania begins at WWE Royal Rumble 2017. The huge event takes place Sunday, Jan. 29, at 7 ET/4 PT, live on the award-winning WWE Network.
What a way to ring in the new year! After a couple of weeks of run ins with The Miz and his meddling wife Maryse, the devious duo took things a little too far as first Maryse slapped Dean in the ring, and then she hunted down Renee Young backstage and slapped her teeth out too! Uncalled for, and it was enough to send Dean in to a suitable enough rage to manhandle The Miz all over the ring, beat him up, and take his stuff. Yep, we’re celebrating the new year with an Intercontinental Championship win! We’re sure The Miz wont let this rest and more shenanigans are in store, but for now we bask in the glory of his win. Congratulations, Champ! Here’s what WWE.com had to say!
Following their confrontation in the ring earlier in the evening and then Maryse slapping Renee Young backstage, the stakes were raised even higher for The Miz and Dean Ambrose’s Intercontinental Championship Match.
Ambrose was a house of fire right out of the gate, bringing furious flurries of offense to Miz both in and outside of the ring. The A-Lister was able to gain control, however, when Maryse was able to distract The Lunatic Fringe.
From there, the two Superstars put forth a thrilling and brutal contest that kept the WWE Universe on its toes. Maryse tried to pull a fast one by slapping Ambrose, clearly looking for a disqualification, but instead Ambrose pleaded with the referee to simply eject Maryse, which is ultimately what occurred. From there, The Lunatic Fringe survived an assault with the Intercontinental Championship behind the referee’s back, then reversed a Skull-Crushing Finale into Dirty Deeds to defeat Miz for the Intercontinental Championship.
WWE.com have a feature up presenting their picks for the 25 best matches of 2016, with four of Dean’s matches making the list this year! See the write ups on those matches below with some thoughts from WWE.com editors and Dean himself. You can see the full countdown of all 25 matches over on WWE.com.
25. Triple H vs. Dean Ambrose — WWE Championship Match (WWE Roadblock)
WE SAID: Dean Ambrose is dangerous enough when he improvises, but watching him go into a match with a plan is something else entirely. At WWE Roadblock — mere weeks before WrestleMania 32 — The Lunatic Fringe battled The Game not only for the WWE Championship, but also for the opportunity to change the landscape of The Show of Shows. Methodically focusing his attack on the left leg of the champion, Ambrose nearly dethroned The King of Kings more than once. Were it not for an ill-timed elbow drop onto the announce table, WrestleMania 32 just might have emanated from The Ambrose Asylum. — JAMES WORTMAN
THEY SAID: “Maybe my favorite match of the year. It was old-school. And it was at a special Live Event pay-per-view in a smaller venue. Not as much lights, set or anything and it was only a couple weeks before WrestleMania, which is all about spectacle and craziness, but this was just about two guys doing the dance in the ring under the lights. Not a lot of people can do that style of match. To be there in that kind of scenario and test myself against Triple H and go toe-to-toe and hold-for-hold was very personally rewarding.” — DEAN AMBROSE
24. Team Raw (Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman) vs. Team SmackDown LIVE (AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Shane McMahon, Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton) — 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Men’s Elimination Match (Survivor Series)
If there was a WWE equivalent to a big-budget summer popcorn flick this year, it was undoubtedly the Survivor Series main event. The heavily hyped battle between Raw and SmackDown LIVE was so packed with marquee stars, high stakes and even comic relief (thanks to Team Blue mascot James Ellsworth) that you wouldn’t have been surprised to find out it was directed by Joss Whedon. The nearly hourlong (!) affair — which saw Roman Reigns almost hospitalize Shane McMahon with the ugliest Spear of 2016, The Shield Triple-Powerbomb AJ Styles through an announce table and Randy Orton & Bray Wyatt walk out as survivors — left us slack-jawed, breathless, and asking one question: When’s the sequel? — RYAN MURPHY
22. Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho vs. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn vs. Alberto Del Rio — Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Money in the Bank)
WE SAID: If there is such a thing as a glass ceiling, Dean Ambrose had been slamming his head against it for a solid year leading up to this star-making match for The Lunatic Fringe. But to only highlight Ambrose’s ultimate Money in the Bank victory — and subsequent cash-in — would do a disservice to the magnificent performances of Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Cesaro, Sami Zayn and Alberto Del Rio, all of whom laid their bodies on the line in the most inventive fashion possible to reach the proverbial next rung. Ambrose’s victory was sweet, to be sure, but anybody here would have been a worthy champion-in-waiting. To quote one of the participants: Drink it in, man. — ANTHONY BENIGNO
THEY SAID: “I hate Ladder Matches. If I’m never in another Ladder Match again for the rest of my life, I’ll be happy. But on that night I had a job to do. Had to get up that ladder, get that briefcase. The way I figure it, every time we step in the ring, it’s some kind of gamble. So if you’re gonna roll the dice with your body and your safety, you might as well go all in and go for the big money all in one night in Las Vegas.” — DEAN AMBROSE
6. AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena — Triple Threat WWE Championship Match (No Mercy)
No Mercy’s Triple Threat WWE World Title Match was unique from the word go as it was the very first pay-per-view main event in history to open the show. John Cena was out to tie WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair’s record by claiming a World Title for the 16th time, Dean Ambrose was looking to regain the title taken from him just one month earlier and WWE World Champion AJ Styles was determined to cement his place as “The Champ that Runs the Camp.” Let the free-for-all commence! In the end, Styles took advantage of the anything-goes rules of a Triple Threat Match, clobbering Cena with a steel chair to hang on to the WWE Championship. Phenomenal. — MIKE BURDICK
After last weeks vicious attack by The Miz, Dean Ambrose is out for a little payback. The opportunity presents itself perfectly when The Miz demands an interview with the woman that slapped him last week, Renee Young. As Renee interviews Miz and asks him about the upcoming year, Ambrose sneaks up behind him stealthily dressed as security, much to the amusement of his lady. Renee backs off as Miz realizes his predicament, but its a moment too late as Dean attacks. Beating Miz into a pulp and serving the security their own backsides too, before calmly taking a walkie talkie and reporting back that everythings ‘All clear’. Well, for now.
Looking for payback on Dean Ambrose for pinning him in the Fatal 4-Way Elimination No. 1 Contenders’ Match last week, Luke Harper battled The Lunatic Fringe one-on-one.
During the contest, Ambrose struck Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton on the outside and a few minutes later was able to secure the victory with a cradle.
After the contest, The Wyatts brutally beat down Ambrose, leaving him lying in the ring. This prompted the return of The Miz and Maryse. Miz waited until Ambrose rose to his feet, then Miz savagely attacked him yet again, laying him out with the Skull-Crushing Finale in a bit of clear retribution for Renee Young’s slap earlier in the evening.
With it being announced moments prior that James Ellsworth’s WWE Championship opportunity had been suspended due to him coming down ill on SmackDown LIVE, the show-opening “Miz TV” became the hot stove for all things title talk.
WWE Champion AJ Styles was the initial guest of Intercontinental Champion The Miz and it didn’t take long for The A-Lister to more than subtly suggest that he should be the new No. 1 contender for Styles’ title. However, the two were quickly interrupted by Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler, both of whom seemed ready to fight.
Ziggler and Miz, naturally, got into it, leading to Miz hitting Ziggler with a Skull-Crushing Finale and Ambrose striking both Miz and Ziggler with Dirty Deeds while Styles got out of dodge. Things only became more layered when Luke Harper suddenly appeared in the ring behind The Lunatic Fringe, with him laying out Ambrose.
After the chaotic “Miz TV” earlier in the evening, it was announced that a Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match would be had to determine the new No. 1 Contender for the WWE Championship.
AJ Styles sat on commentary as these four Superstars battled for the right to take him on for the most coveted prize in all of WWE. The Miz was ousted first when Dean Ambrose caught him in a rollup for three. The A-Lister’s elimination was followed by Luke Harper, who was taken out by a combo of a Dolph Ziggler Superkick and an Ambrose Dirty Deeds.
The thrilling contest came down to a SummerSlam rematch between Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler. Ambrose and Ziggler went back and forth in a series of thrilling exchanges, until Ziggler, thanks to some involvement from The Miz (who was seemingly out there just to cause a ruckus), was able to catch Ambrose with a Superkick for the victory and the opportunity to capture SmackDown LIVE’s top prize.
Dean Ambrose is not an angry man, they might call him crazy but it takes a whole lot of self control to keep from exploding when someone you thought was a friend has wronged you. Dean displays this self control magnificently at the start of Smackdown, when he interrupts Ellsworth and AJ Styles to simply nail James’ head to the mat and calmly leave. Like making him a human exclamation point that punctuates the statement “You messed up, kid” pretty darn well.
Dean keeps things simmering in to Miz TV, where the obnoxious A Lister (in his own mind) sets out to prod the dormant lunatic in to a reaction. Dean’s amused by this, saying we haven’t seen him truly angry and he’s always surprised by people that attempt to make him so. The Miz arrogantly produces a ‘Participation Award’ for Dean, a consolation prize for the WWE Championship slipping through his fingers thanks to Ellsworth. Dean politely suggests they attempt shoving the entire plaque down The Miz’s throat. Something Daniel Bryan steps in to keep from happening – I’m not sure medical insurance covers plaque insertions – however, Bryan does announce a main event match. Dean Ambrose Vs The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship! Much better.
The main event rolls around and despite a hard fought match, Maryse is up to her usual shenanigans and shoves Dean from the top turnbuckle as he seems to have the match won. This gives The Miz the chance to try and wrap things up, but Dean kicks out. At this point, Ellsworth hurries down to the ring to tell the referee Maryse pushed Dean. Unfortunately for James, he distracts the referee and keeps Dean from getting a three count pin on Miz. Dean notices who caused the distraction and is furious.. and distracted himself enough for Miz to hit him with the skull crushing finale, and end the match.
Ellsworth runs away. Smartest thing he’s ever done. Oy.
WWE World Champion AJ Styles kicked off the show to announce that he would be unable to compete tonight due to an injury suffered at WWE TLC against Dean Ambrose, and thus, his scheduled match with James Ellsworth tonight was cancelled.
Ellsworth arrived, claiming that he thought it was possible that Styles was not competing tonight because he was being “protected” by SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan in fear that Ellsworth would defeat him for the fourth time. However, before Ellsworth could go on too long of a diatribe, he was met by an incredibly disgruntled Ambrose. Still clearly incensed that he cost him the WWE World Title on Sunday, The Lunatic Fringe made a beeline for Ellsworth and dropped him immediately with Dirty Deeds before leaving as soon as he came in.
“Miz TV” with special guest Dean Ambrose
What we’ve learned: It’s probably best to not try and interview the unstable.
Clearly on edge and furious over James Ellsworth costing him the WWE World Title against AJ Styles at WWE TLC, Dean Ambrose was in no mood for Intercontinental Champion The Miz’s sly offhandness on “Miz TV.”
The A-Lister tried to prod Ambrose even further by awarding him the first “Miz Participation Award” for his valiant effort at WWE TLC. SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan arrived to announce that Ambrose and Miz would clash for the Intercontinental Title tonight in the main event!
Following their explosive session on “Miz TV” earlier in the evening, The Miz and Dean Ambrose laid it all out for the Intercontinental Championship in the SmackDown LIVE main event.
The two Superstars battled ferociously and it looked like Ambrose was gaining ground en route to the victory, but then Maryse interfered behind the referee’s back. Much like on Sunday night, James Ellsworth ran out to ringside, but this time it seemed like he was trying to help Ambrose by informing the referee of Maryse’s wrongdoing. All of this calamity led to The A-Lister striking with The Skull Crushing Finale from behind to retain the Intercontinental Championship.
The Lunatic Fringe was enraged after the contest, however, Ellsworth wisely got out of dodge … at least for tonight.