Dean Ambrose talks Wrestlemania 32 and what it will be like to face Brock Lesnar with no rules on Sunday night
Dean Ambrose is considered one of the top talents in WWE nad has a chance to become a superstar this Sunday when he faces Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 32. Ambrose grew up on the independent circuit in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, before making his WWE debut as part of “The Shield” faction alongside Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. Now he’s considered one of the faces of WWE after his run as Intercontinental champion and a series of extremely well received matches against Kevin Owens.
This weekend, Ambrose will face the former UFC champion and WWE champion in a ‘no holds barred street fight’ that promises to be one of the most highly anticipated matches of the card, not to mention a brutal and punishing display of physicality from both men. Ambrose spoke to FOX Sports about WrestleMania 32, how he’s managed to avoid injuries, working with legends of the ring and how he matches up with Lesnar.
FOX Sports: Obviously big match coming up, WrestleMania is right around the corner, how are you feeling about this big event?
Dean Ambrose: Feeling good. I’m constantly in a state of readiness. That’s the way I’ve been going for the past two or three years. Especially in the last year, on the road 300 plus days a year — “Main Event,” “RAW,” “Smackdown,” house shows — whatever it is. Tag matches, singles matches, three-way, four-way, cage matches, whatever it is. On one hand, I’ll be limping into WrestleMania, but on the other hand I’m very sharpened and battle hardened and war ready. It will be the biggest night of the year, one of the biggest shows of all time, a billion people watching on TV. But on the other hand, once you get used to all the outside pressures and obligations that come along with WrestleMania season, it just becomes another day at the office. A very dangerous day at the office, but there’s nothing new for me. Once the bell rings, it’s like after getting that first hit in a football game — after that, you’re in the game. If there’s any jitters, it just goes away. My adrenaline receptors are nearly burnt out. For me once that bell rings, it’s a 20×20 ring and I’m in the fight.
FS: You have such a physical style in the ring and you put your body through a lot. We’ve seen a lot of injuries lately with Seth Rollins and John Cena, so how have you kept your body together? How have you been able to stay active and stay upright while a lot of people are falling by the wayside around you? DA: A lot of that just taking care of yourself and training properly. I keep myself flexible, I just compete at my normal body weight. I’m trying to carry around an extra 30 pounds, a lot of injury-prone musculature. I keep my body in its most prime, healthy state and also I’ve just been lucky.
On the other hand, I’m also constantly hurt. I’ve been hurt for 10 years. It’s not like I’m not constantly dealing with a litany of injuries that I have myself. If it’s not one thing, it’s another thing but I’ve just been able to keep rolling. I’ve not had anything catastrophic happen to me. It’s a funny thing because it’s always like the crazy freak things. It’s not like ‘Oh he got hurt when he jumped off the top of the cage.’ It’s like ‘He got hurt stepping into the ring’ or ‘popped his shoulder out giving a high five’. It’s the little things you can’t plan for. It’s not anything that ever enters my mind.
FS: Going into WrestleMania there are a lot of eyeballs on you, and a lot of expectations and excitement around you going into the match. Do you feel that anticipation growing? And when you hear people say the future of the company lies in your hands, how do you feel about that, especially going into an event as big as this one?
DA: I feel like the present of the company lies in guys like our hands. The guys who are in the business every single day, guys like myself, Roman Reigns, Dolph Ziggler, whoever it is, guys who are out there busting our asses every night, putting smiles on faces and putting our bodies on the line. Guys like myself and Roman Reigns, we take an ownership like these shows are our shows every night.
We feel like this company is our company. As far as WrestleMania, there’s a lot of extra excitement, there’s so much white noise and people always say stuff. I’m just worried about what I’m doing and going out there and putting on the best match that’s in front of me. When you’re going in there with Brock Lesnar, you can’t have anything else on your mind. I think that’s why I’ve been so successful is that I’m not worrying about anything. I don’t really care what anybody thinks, I don’t care what anybody else’s opinion is, I don’t care what anybody else is doing. I just go out there and do what I do and see where the chips fall. And here we are and I’m fighting Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.
FS: You don’t get into this business without being a fan, so when you hear comparisons for your style to famous wrestlers from the past — and then you have guys like Terry Funk and Mick Foley talking to you going into a match like this — do you allow yourself a moment to enjoy this and revel in the fact that you are being compared to guys like that?
DA: It’s funny how comparisons go and everybody gets comparisons to everybody else, and I don’t try to pattern myself from anybody else. But I’m huge fan of the business and I’m an old-school guy so to be able to go off the cuff with Mick Foley, who shows up and wants to be a part of something. Then a guy like Terry Funk who comes all the way to Philadelphia from Amarillo cause he wants to be a part of something. It was really cool with Terry Funk because I think a lot of the old-school guys get a kick out of me and they see what pro wrestling used to be. For him to come all the way to Philadelphia and do that bit and when he walks in and sees WWE and how it is today, he’s probably thinking ‘What is all this crap?’.
To have an old-school, outlaw, cowboy professional wrestler, who is Terry Funk 24/7, the real deal, to have him in the room and the red light goes on and boom, he’s on, he’s Terry Funk. I was like ‘That’s how it’s done!’ After having a conversation with him, an old-school guy like that, that makes me know I’m on the right track and I’ve done things my way. It makes me feel good.
FS: One final question about Brock Lesnar — obviously he’s a beast inside and outside the ring. Thoughts on him and the physicality of what we’re about to see unfold on April 3?
DA: It’s the most dangerous match possible. It’s the most hardcore stuff. It could be a flaming table, ladder, exploding ring, whatever stuff you can think of and I’ve been in all of them. But there’s no more dangerous match than just being in the ring with Brock Lesnar. He is so physically overwhelming and the attributes that he has — let alone against little old me. That in itself makes it a very hazardous and dangerous situation.
I’ve often sought that out and you don’t understand living until you come really, really close to dying. I like to fly close to the edge, I like to play with fire. I’ve always kind of gotten off on that. Being in front of 100,000 fans is besides the point. The fact that it’s a street fight and not only am I going to have weapons in my hands, but you’re going to arm this guy? This guy that can break people in half with his bare hands? He touched me in the parking lot, barely even trying, and I went flying, careening across the parking lot. Now you’re going to arm him with weapons. That’s exciting. That’s what pumps me about it. It’s kill or be killed. It’s not every day you get to play a game of legit Russian roulette. It’s very exciting for me.
Less than 7 days to go and the final RAW before Wrestlemania, and Dean’s on the warpath. The time for chit chat is over, the time for Heyman’s rambling is done. Dean interrupts the talkers and heads down to the ring to load up a cart full of the weapons he plans on pummeling Brock Lesnar with on Sunday. From Barbie the Baseball bat to Chainsaw Charlie, to steel pipes and ring steps, he’s not playing anymore. Bring on Wrestlemania.
Following the carnage in which he took out both Dean Ambrose and The Wyatt Family on SmackDown, Brock Lesnar came to Raw. The outspoken Paul Heyman made it clear that not even a lunatic could survive against Lesnar in a No Holds Barred Street Fight. The Beast would take the weapons available to him and perform an unpleasant procedure on Dean Ambrose.
Ambrose soon interrupted with a wagon, completely ignoring The Conqueror as he proceeded to fill it with a crowbar, a steel pipe, nun chucks, “Barbie” the barbed wire baseball bat from Mick Foley, the chainsaw from Terry Funk and the top portion of the ring steps.
WWE WrestleMania takes place THIS SUNDAY on WWE Network & of course, I will be in attendance. Another Las Vegas resident that will be there is WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose, who will battle Brock Lesnar in a Street Fight!
The “Lunatic Fringe” was cool enough to call into X107.5 from backstage at WWE RAW tonight in Brooklyn, NY.
Dean Ambrose is on the show to discuss his upcoming No Holds Barred Street Fight with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania next weekend, his recent Roadblock main event with Triple H in Toronto, Terry Funk’s appearance on Raw and more.
CBS Sports have a new article on Dean talking about his beginnings in wrestling, working on the independent circuit, making it to the WWE and his upcoming match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32. Here are some highlights, head on over to their website for the full article!
On WWE programming, Ambrose doesn’t sit around waiting for good fortune. He shows up at the front door unannounced. He invites his opponent’s best shot with a sneer and a smirk. He attacks. He creates his own opportunities.
That’s why fans love Ambrose. That’s also how he made it to WWE. Tenacious and determined, he simply refused to be ignored.
“I wasn’t ‘gifted’ in the way that Brock Lesnar or Roman Reigns or somebody like that is gifted, in that they got the physical attributes and so forth,” Ambrose said. “I don’t have particular born-in talents and abilities, [but I have] an aptitude for this that a lot of people don’t have, just [from] being a student of this.”
By 2004, Ambrose — then working under the name Jon Moxley — was a real-life pro wrestler on the independent circuit. He became one of the most successful indy wrestlers in the U.S., but it was a far cry from the glorious life he had imagined when he was a teen. The paychecks were modest. The travel was brutal. Instead of performing in spacious arenas in big cities, he sometimes wrestled in high school gymnasiums in the middle of nowhere. Ambrose’s tenacity and refusal to quit saw him through.
“A lot of it is just learning to eat crap and just deal with it,” he said. “If you’re a spoiled person coming into the business the way I did, you won’t last very long. It was very easy for me to just kind of slum my way up through the dredges of wrestling until I got here. That’s just the kind of person I am. It’s where I come from. Just not being spoiled, not being too good, and just being ready to accept that you’re gonna have to deal with a lot of crap to get success.”
Fast forward to 2016. For the most part, Ambrose enjoys all of the perks he once dreamed the wrestling lifestyle would entail. He has enough money to eat well and to not split a hotel room with five different people. The arenas are more spacious, the cities much bigger. And the most curious part of it all? That kid that admittedly wasn’t the happiest or friendliest guy in his neighborhood suddenly has no problem gaining fans in WWE. Ambrose believes it’s because his character is true to life.
“People can see through crap pretty easily,” he said. “Just go out there and be comfortable. Be you. Be authentic.
“If you’re the real you, people can feel like they know you a little bit. I think that’s why a lot of people kind of invest in me. They don’t know me, but they feel like they know me a little bit, because I’m not putting on a front.”
Like Mick Foley or Brian Pillman before him, Dean Ambrose’s appeal doesn’t lie in championship reigns or a spotless win-loss record. He can be decisively beaten and still give audiences confidence that he’s just warming up for an epic comeback the next night. Nothing is ever final with Ambrose. There’s inspiration to be found in that type of resilience.
When he arrives at AT&T Stadium for the highest profile match of his career on April 3, the now 30-year-old Jonathan Good will put on his Dean Ambrose hat. He might listen to music or joke around with other wrestlers just to keep the nerves under control. WrestleMania is where career-defining performances take place in front of record-setting crowds. It can be a lot of pressure for the performers, the select few pro wrestlers who not only made it to WWE — via recruitment, sheer refusal to fail or other means — but earned a spot on the biggest show of the year. The plan, Ambrose says, is to relax and take it all in.
“I’m only going to get that, whatever it is, 30 minutes in the ring, it’s only going to come through my life once,” he said. “So I want to enjoy it. I’m not gonna stress too much. I wanna go out there and really enjoy the moment, have fun, and try to hurt Brock Lesnar.”
Heralded by his always outspoken advocate Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar returned to SmackDown, poised to go head-to-head with Dean Ambrose in a No Holds Barred Street Fight at WrestleMania. But when Heyman called out The Lunatic Fringe to battle The Beast right there and then, The Wyatt Family instead made a surprise appearance to reopen its own conflict with The Conqueror.
As they surrounded the ring, though, Ambrose emerged, with a Kendo stick in hand. As he disposed of an advancing Luke Harper, Lesnar took both Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan to Suplex City. Ambrose charged into the ring and engaged Lesnar with this week’s weapon of choice. But the dominate Beast brushed off his adversary’s assault as if it were nothing and delivered a devastating F-5 to his WrestleMania opponent.