I hate the comparisons of Dean Ambrose with Roddy Piper and Brian Pillman. It’s so lazy and it’s so wrong. Yes, he’s a regular looking white guy who can talk like a psycho and wrestles with intensity. That’s it. It ends there. There have been so many wrestlers who fit that mold: Buzz Sawyer, Shane Douglas, Terry Funk. He’s just as much like those guys if not more so. Piper and Pillman are just the two easiest WWE names to use. But Ambrose’s wrestling style and promo content and basic character expression have nothing to do with either of those guys.
Piper could hardly wrestle at all. He was a brawler who did comedy and was a cowardly, insulting heel. Pillman was a good looking high flyer who was politically incorrect and a bipolar manic depressive. Dean Ambrose, ever since he was Jon Moxley, has been much more unique. He’s an attractive fugly guy who CAN WRESTLE very old school, who can perform a lot of risky spots and who talks about alienation and adversity. There’s nothing psychotic or rude about him. There’s nothing overly dangerous or dumbed down about his wrestling style except for cheating with a fork.
If you followed him as Jon Moxley, you would know he’s famous for appearing to be hardcore when in actuality he’s not. I compare him closest to Sullivan, Abby and Hot Stuff. He’s the first of that genre to make it to WWE. Like them, he worked tiny towns, hardcore promotions, Puerto Rico and the most esteemed pure wrestling promotions in the West. Like them, he’s an insanely safe and detail oriented match maker who rarely puts his body on the line but creates an illusion of being very dangerous and chaotic. And like them, he’s a very level headed and fun person who has convinced the smarkiest of smarks that he’s a grungy angry nasty person in real life. He’s a very old school worker. He’s a born heel who can work with anyone but doesn’t want to hog the spotlight or challenge his haters.
He’s much better than Piper or Pillman, two guys who were ahead of their time, but were egotistical and burned lots of bridges. Neither of those guys would do death matches for 50 people because they found it fun or put over extremely terrible hardcore wrestlers just because they like jobbing. Pillman and Piper are two huge divas to me who are more over for being controversial than being great wrestlers, each only having a handful of great matches, both losing most of their appeal after suffering injuries not long into their careers. Mox has been around 10 years, has never pissed off promoters, never hurt anyone, never hurt himself and who isn’t out to play politics or make the show about him. He’s a good and decent wrestler who paid his dues and now he’s being the same great wrestler he always was.