What a difference a week makes. Last Monday, all three former members of The Shield shared the ring on “The Ambrose Asylum.” And Dean Ambrose suggested that he might, just might, win Money in the Bank and cash it in on whomever was left standing in Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins’ WWE World Heavyweight Title Match. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened, and Raw opened this week with Reigns and Rollins each approaching The Lunatic Fringe for first crack at his prize.
Reigns opted to lay down what amounted to a gentleman’s challenge to his brother from another mother, but a twitching-mad Rollins chose instead to demand that The Lunatic Fringe award him the first rematch. Reigns offered to fight for it. Rollins said no way (Jose). With Stephanie McMahon absent, Shane McMahon provided the solution, scheduling Rollins and Reigns in a No. 1 Contender’s Match for later in the night. And so begins the reign of WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose. Drink it in, man.
As any lunatic worth his salt is wont to do, Dean Ambrose kind of screwed everything up for Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank. So “The Man” and “The Guy” met again on Raw in a rematch, with the winner set to challenge The Lunatic Fringe for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WWE Battleground.
The two picked up right where they left off, though Reigns secured an early advantage by virtue of a tremendous boot to the face and some earth-shaking rights to the face. Rollins found his own groove by going to the air, but Reigns hung tough until the battle spilled to the outside and a Spear to Rollins over the Spanish commentary table left them both unable to answer the referee’s 10-count. So Roman Reigns didn’t beat Seth Rollins. Seth Rollins didn’t beat Roman Reigns. What does that mean for WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose? Hell, he’s hardcore: He’ll take ’em both.
Two years removed from the unforgettable rupture of The Shield, newly crowned WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose faces his fellow former Hounds of Justice Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns in a Triple Threat Match at WWE Battleground.
A three-way showdown among Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns seemed inevitable from the moment Rollins stabbed his brothers in the back, dissolving the once-dominant faction. Less expected was that it would be The Lunatic Fringe sitting in the catbird position as defending champion. Yet, Ambrose earned that accolade at WWE Money in the Bank, winning the event’s namesake match and cashing in his guaranteed championship match contract that same night against Rollins, who himself had just pinned Reigns to regain the title.
The cyclonic turn of events turned WWE on its head and underscored what everyone already knew: Competition among the former Shield allies runs deep and is full of parity.
So evenly matched are the Superstars that a single No. 1 contender could not be named the following night on Raw, when The Big Dog and The Architect jockeyed for the right to challenge Ambrose. As the thrilling match reached its crescendo, Reigns Speared Rollins onto the Spanish announce table and neither Superstar could beat the referee’s 10-count.
Even though no decisive winner was declared, Ambrose proved himself to be a fighting champion right away, volunteering to take on both Reigns and Rollins on Sunday, July 24.
With that, the table is now set for one of the most anticipated WWE World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat Matches of all time. Which ex-Hound of Justice will prove his supremacy at WWE Battleground? Will it be the rebuilt and redesigned Architect, eager to win back the title he trained so hard to reclaim, only to lose it moments later? Will The Big Dog use his punishing strength to dismantle both friend (Ambrose) and foe (Rollins)? Or might the match’s Lunatic Fringe remind those who know him best just how dangerous he can be?
Watch the Shield showdown that has been years in the making when WWE Battleground airs live on the award-winning WWE Network Sunday, July 24, at 8 ET/5 PT.
Dean spoke with CBS Boston about his plans with the Championship, getting to sleep in his own bed and how it felt to finally reach the top.
BOSTON (CBS) — Sunday night in Las Vegas, Dean Ambrose won two matches in one night. He beat five other men in a Money In The Bank Championship contract ladder match. He went from winning that contract to — about an hour later — pinning Seth Rollins, in eight seconds, to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Seth Rollins had just beaten Roman Reigns following two Pedigrees.
A day later, Felger & Massarotti executive producer James Stewart talked to Ambrose.
James asked Dean if he’s slept since he won the championship and if he got to party with the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I actually got to sleep in my own bed last night, which is a rare, rare treat, because I live in Vegas,” Ambrose said. “I only slept in it for about an hour-and-a-half, but it was a good hour-and-a-half.”
Ambrose said the strongest feeling after winning the championship was one of relief.
“I was immediately so tired from a match that lasted 30 seconds,” he said. “I’ve never been more tired after a match in my life, because it was just like a big weight off my shoulders. Just the responsibility I had to the people who stuck behind me for so long. I’ve been chasing that thing for going on two years now. I’ve come so close to rolling that boulder to the top of the hill, and it kept falling back down over and over. So it was just nice to get that sucker over the hill and say, ‘All right, now we can chill out for a second.’”
James also asked Dean if he would have cashed in on Roman if Roman had retained against Seth Rollins.
“I woulda whacked him right in the back of the head with that briefcase,” Ambrose said. “Here’s the thing: I’m prone to losing things. I lose my keys and my sunglasses and my hat, I’ll lose my shoes. I lose everything. So the thought of carrying that briefcase around for a year, in the airport and going from hotel to hotel and building to building carrying around that ridiculous briefcase, I was like, ‘I’m gonna lose this thing. There’s no way I’m going to be able to keep track of this friggin thing for six months or a year, let’s just get to it tonight and let’s get this sucker out of my hands and get something else in my hands.’”
Saturday night, the WWE will have a live event here at the TD Garden in Boston. The scheduled main event was going to be Roman Reigns defending the WWE Championship against Seth Rollins but now with Dean winning the championship, the main event is up in the air.
“I will face any man, woman, child, any being, any monster that is in Boston,” Ambrose said. “Basically everybody you could possibly want to see is going to be at the TD Garden in Boston, because we love coming to Boston. It’s one of our best towns, our best audiences, and we’ve had a lot of great moments there. It’s kind of one of those shows that everybody looks forward to on the calendar. So everybody’s going to be in the building. I don’t know who’s going to step up. I always step up. I live at the plate, you know what I’m saying? So it could be anybody. Who knows what’s going to happen? But I’m going to be there, and I’m going to be taped up and ready to fight. So we’re going to see what goes down.”
Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Winner – Dean Ambrose
The greatest Money in the Bank pay-per-view of all-time featured one of the most action-packed Money in the Bank Ladder Matches since its inception more than a decade ago. As is standard procedure, bedlam ensued and the high-stakes competition reached new heights of lunacy. For some it was too much, but for Dean Ambrose the setting was perfect as he became the new Mr. Money in the Bank. The moment the opening bell sounded, the battle quickly became a brawl as each competitor selected a target and went on the attack. It didn’t take long for the action to spill to the outside of the ring and match innovator Chris Jericho to immediately go for a ladder. Of course, it was all for naught this early in the contest and the pendulum of momentum swing six ways between Ambrose, Jericho, Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Alberto Del Rio. Appearing in his fourth Money in the Bank Ladder Match, Jericho is no stranger to the physicality needed to compete effectively in the contest. While highfliers like Zayn took to the skies, leaping over the top rope to the outside, Jericho used the ladder as a weapon trying to maintain an edge.
Assaulting his rival Ambrose, Jericho’s momentum was stopped by Del Rio — the only Superstar in this contest to have won the Money in the Bank. Advantages are few and far between in this particular contest, however. Cesaro managed to derail Del Rio and executed multiple uppercuts before being stopped — and thrown face-first into a ladder by Kevin Owens. With the battle intensifying and the brutality of the contest taking center stage, Zayn was the first to ascend the ladder before being pulled down by Del Rio. What followed was a thesis statement as to why Del Rio won the match in 2011. The Mexican Superstar’s offense was an incredible sequence of kicks and ring awareness capped off by a Cross Armbreaker on top of the ladder at Cesaro’s expense. Del Rio’s incredible tactical display was stopped by a superkick by Owens and once again the match devolved into a chaotic cavalcade of momentum shifts and bodies being pulled off the top of the ladder. Some of the most brutal highlights came in the form of Jericho being Cesaro-swung into a ladder, Ambrose leaping off the top of the ladder and taking down Cesaro and The Lunatic Fringe on the receiving end of a cringe-worthy frogsplash on top of a ladder from Owens. Still, arguably the most jaw-dropping moment came when Zayn tried to break KO in half with a Michinoku Driver on a ladder.
Although nothing could prepare the WWE Universe for what came next. With one ladder in the center of the ring, two additional ladders were set up as bridges, and at one point, all six Superstars were vying for the briefcase, battling on top of four ladders. Eventually — arguably inevitably — they all fell except Zayn, who nearly grabbed the coveted contract before he was stopped by Jericho. The final battle on top of the ladder came down to Owens and Ambrose — a flurry of desperate but impactful blows were landed by each Superstar hoping the other would fall. Owens took the tumble, falling through one of the ladders set up as a bridge earlier in the contest.
At that moment, the WWE Universe inside Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena rose to their feet and watched as Dean Ambrose unlatched the briefcase and secured his opportunity to challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship anytime he wants.
Seth Rollins def Roman Reigns – Dean cashes in
Dean Ambrose’s music roared to life in the middle of The Architect’s celebration, but The Lunatic Fringe, rather than face Rollins head-on, took a page out of his old brother’s book and struck him from behind with the Money in the Bank briefcase he had only won hours earlier. Ambrose cashed in the contract on the spot. Despite Rollins’ frantic protests, the bell rang, and tolled, in quick succession, as Ambrose obliterated the new champion with Dirty Deeds and pinned him to claim the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Up is down. Black is white. Dogs and cats live together in harmony. The Roman Empire has crumbled. Seth Rollins must reclaim again. The lunatic runs the asylum. And those hard times? They’re long gone, daddy.
WWE.com’s editors along with legendary sports-entertainment journalist Bill Apter offer their predictions for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match contract.
BILL APTER: All of the competitors have a good chance to win this match. However, it’s Cesaro’s time to shine. While the other Superstars try to squash Kevin Owens, Cesaro will focus on the prize at the top of the ladder, and claim a WWE World Heavyweight Title opportunity. WINNER: Cesaro
GREG ADKINS: In a field of wily veterans and New Era standouts, look for Dean Ambrose to establish himself as the newest Mr. Money in the Bank. WINNER: Dean Ambrose
SCOTT TAYLOR: Kevin Owens’ experience competing in high-stakes Ladder Matches over the past year will prove beneficial in this contest. WINNER: Kevin Owens
Money In The Bank is just days away, but Dean’s rivalry with Chris Jericho continues to simmer as he guests on the Highlight Reel in a battle of who’s got the better set. Dean arrives with coffee which he inevitably pours all over Jerichos allegedly $20,000 carpet and incites a brawl. A brawl that leads to the later 6 man tag match between all MITB participants. Despite being out of the match for the most part, Dean gets the final tag and comes in guns blazing. An eventual Dirty Deeds on Owens seals victory for Dean and his team. Yet more momentum, heading in to Sunday. Dean’s sights are firmly set on that briefcase!
The always outspoken Chris Jericho promised to triumph this Sunday in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, a contest he is credited with inventing. But his guest and longtime adversary Dean Ambrose seemed more interested in the six-time World Champion’s $20,000 carpet. After losing his JeriTron 6500 privileges, the unstable Superstar listened as the host of the “Highlight Reel’ belittled him.
The tirade was soon interrupted by Kevin Owens, who emerged to stake his own claim to the contract at this Sunday’s pay-per-view. Alberto Del Rio then came forth. He is the only Superstar in this year’s ladder showdown to already have a Money in the Bank victory on his resume. But before he could finish his statement, Cesaro interrupted. The Swiss Superman didn’t even get a word out before Sami Zayn interrupted as well to discuss SmackDown’s Six-Man Tag Team main event between them. As Jericho tried to take control of his show, Ambrose spilled his coffee all over the expensive carpet and incited a huge brawl.
If you needed an indication of just how chaotic Sunday’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match will be, look at the main event tag team match on SmackDown.
In a contest pitting Sami Zayn, Cesaro & Dean Ambrose against Chris Jericho, Alberto Del Rio & Kevin Owens, the sheer determination of the six Superstars was so intense that several times, combatants “accidently” took out their own partners. When KO didn’t like being tagged into the action, however, he purposefully took out both of both The Ayatollah of Rock ’n’ Rolla and The Essence of Excellence. But in the fury of attacking his own partners, he didn’t see Dean Ambrose, as The Lunatic Fringe hit Dirty Deeds for the victory.
After a busy night on RAW, Dean is scheduled to be in action again on SmackDown teaming up with Cesaro and Zayn to take on Jericho, Owens and Del Rio in a 6-man tag team match. With all of the MITB contenders involved, there’s sure to be chaos on the final stop before Sunday! Click on to find out what happens!