It’s been a hot minute since we last had an article from our resident thinkpiece writer Austin Skinner. But he’s back and taking a look at recent events, specially, Dean’s huge title win! Check it out and feel free to leave your thoughts in comments or on social media!
Ascending the Mountain(s)
By Austin Skinner
Wow. Here we are fellow inmates! Our favorite lunatic has finally reached the very top of the mountain as THE man of the WWE. That’s right, no false captures, Authority power plays, or near wins for Mox this time! It’s real. After what feels so long overdue, Dean Ambrose has finally graced our living rooms as the official (and rightful) WWE Champion. So, before we all have to pinch ourselves and wake up from this fever dream of the lunatic running the asylum, let’s take a victory lap around memory lane! After all, champions aren’t just made overnight…
By now, it is common knowledge that Dean Ambrose is our new WWE Champion and for the moment, all is right in the Ambrose Asylum. However, Dean has been atop several similar mountains before. Though smaller, climbing these previous mountains we’re still very significant in shaping his career. So, to celebrate Ambrose’s long, long journey, I figured why not revisit all times he was crowed a World Heavyweight Champion previous to his most recent with the WWE! It is a rich history and one any Dean Ambrose fan should really know, especially if you decided to skip past the stats section of Dean-Ambrose.net. Across the independent scene from 2006 to 2011, Ambrose (then Jon Moxley) won a total of seven world titles! And for those keeping score, that’s almost one world championship reign a year. Not too shabby for a twenty-something with only a few years of experience under his belt (no pun intended)!
At the tender age of twenty, Jon Moxley would capture his first world title, the Heartland Wrestling Association Heavyweight Championship. After a few months of growing and learning in HWA, Mox progressed to the top of the card rather quickly. A little after two years since his debut, Moxley began challenging top contenders in a chase for the HWA Heavyweight Championship. He would earn the opportunity to square off with then-champion Pepper Parks on May 9, 2006. He would dethrone Pepper and hold his first major title for a little over four months before losing it to long-time rival Chad Collyer on September 12 that same year. However, he would end 2006 as a two-time HWA Heavyweight Champion, once again defeating Parks on December 30 for the title.
Unfortunately, Mox would go on to lose the championship three days later on January 2, 2007, to Brian Jennings. Following these two reigns, Moxley would shift his focus for awhile, doing some travelling around and exploring other areas of the sport. But, by 2010, Jon Moxley pretty much became a collector of big-time belts. First, Jon would set his sites on recapturing his HWA Heavyweight Championship for a third time. On January 6, 2010, Mox would cash in his “Pick Your Poison” championship opportunity on Aaron Williams, who he would go on to defeat to once again be crowed as champion. Another lengthy reign as the man of HWA would follow only to be cut short by July, thanks to Gerome Phillips.
2010 would mark the last year Jon Moxley would be HWA Heavyweight Champion, but the first year he’d win a major title with other wrestling promotions. While simultaneously being Heavyweight Champion of the Heartland Wrestling Association, Mox would try his hand at becoming the Combat Zone Wrestling World heavyweight Champion. His goal would become realized at the CZW 11th Anniversary Show on February 12, 2010, where Jon Moxley would defeat B-Boy for the CZW World Heavyweight Championship! However, this would revive a feud between him and Nick Gage that would ultimately end up costing Moxley the title in August of 2010.
Continuing the feud with arguably his greatest CZW opponent would lead Jon Moxley to a three-way dance held on August 14, where he would regain the CZW World Heavyweight Championship from Gage. This would mark his second reign as CZW World Heavyweight champion, which would last another similar six months. Ironically, at the CZW 12th Anniversary show held on February 12, 2011 (the same event held a year earlier where Moxley won his first CZW World title), Moxley lost the CZW World Heavyweight Championship to Robert Anthony. This would be the final time he’d hold CZW’s most prized title.
Although, around the same time in 2010 as he was the reigning HWA Heavyweight Champion and CZW World heavyweight Champion, “The Street Dog” ventured to Insanity Pro Wrestling in a hunt for their coveted IPW World Heavyweight Championship. He would further round out his collection of world titles with the winning of said championship in March of 2010. This would mark his fifth world championship win, across four years and three different companies. Mox would go on to hold the IPW World Heavyweight Championship for almost a full calendar year before he lost it on January 1, 2011, to Jimmy Jacobs (who he had been feuding with all along) in a dog collar match after the referee was forced to stop the bout.
During his time in Full Impact Pro, Moxley would defeat Roderick Strong to win the vacant FIP World Heavyweight Championship on April 17, 2010. So, let’s get this straight. In 2010, Jon Moxley was HWA Heavyweight Champion, CZW World Heavyweight Champion, IPW World Heavyweight Champion, and FIP World Heavyweight Champion simultaneously for a few months is 2010… All by age twenty-five! It’s pretty crazy to think about. Nonetheless, Mox would vacate his final independent world title, the FIP World Heavyweight Championship, with his signing of a developmental deal with the WWE, as a part of their Florida Championship Wrestling brand.
The King of the Indies headed for bigger and better things, leaving quite a path of great conquest in his wake, and the rest is really history. In five years, he had been a world champion a total of seven times for four different promotions across the United States. 2010 was easily the most predominant of the lot, with a total of five of the seven reigns being held in that year. So, now lets fast forward to today. Dean is no stranger to being the man for the company he represents and has been atop several mountains before he was able to conquer the big one at WWE Money In The Bank this past June. Though the climb was a time-consuming and treacherous one filled with road block after road block and betrayal after betrayal, our man was finally able to get the job done… And how sweet of a job he did. He has ascended the greatest mountain of them all, and stands atop it tall.
Were you surprised to see Dean Ambrose successfully cash in his Money in the Bank the same night he won it?
What World Championship reign Dean lays claim to has been your favorite thus far?
Let your opinions be heard below!