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Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose: The CM Punk And Daniel Bryan Of This Generation?

Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose have been having one heck of a feud since the demise of The Shield. So much so that some of you consider them more viable than Roman Reigns, the WWE’s new chosen one to replace John Cena. Dean Ambrose was written off WWE television on last Monday’s WWE Raw to go film a movie for WWE Films. While Seth Rollins holds the “Money in the Bank” briefcase, but is not in any real position to use it right now realistically with Brock Lesnar holding the WWE world heavyweight championship and the part-time schedule he possesses.

All three were featured in an excellent documentary on the WWE Network last week. In the documentary, it explores the different paths taken by all three members of the former Shield. This was the real life 100% fact based story complete with references to independent promotions like Ring of Honor and Dragon Gate USA where Rollins and Ambrose worked prior to WWE.Rollins was a champion in Ring of Honor with similar experience to that of C.M Punk and Daniel Bryan, while Ambrose carved a different path with many independent promotions outside of ROH. While Reigns talked about his family heritage, his football career that similar to his cousin The Rock fizzled out in Canada. Reigns played in five games total for the Edmonton Eskimos, while The Rock never made it off the practice roster years earlier in Calgary. In the end of this documentary, Ambrose states in a relatively matter of fact way that the future of the WWE runs through them. Confident, brash and borderline cocky it is no wonder C.M Punk took a liking to Dean Ambrose.

Dean according to reports while extremely “over” with fans, to a level that he might be the most popular of the group, in the eyes of the WWE is not ready for the main event scene. The eyes those would be remains a question, but I might suggest they look again. It was a long and lengthy battle before the WWE was willing to admit what Paul Heyman had been telling them for years about C.M Punk. They did not see the star that Paul and eventually fans did see long before them.

Ambrose draws comparisons to so many people it really is amazing the one you hear most often is not Punk, but Roddy Piper. In terms of where he fits in this analogy though, he is the C.M Punk of the group. Ambrose will always be the crazy rebel that does not fit the WWE’s ideal of what a champion should be or is. That sounds very much like Punk, not that Ambrose has all the tattoos, but he has that rebel mindset. In the ring, he fights with a very aggressive style that is not as technical as Punk in the ring. Both try to come off as much as a fighter as they do a wrestler.

Rollins is very much like Daniel Bryan in a sense that of the three guys he was the one most felt would fail. He was the one of the three that was always considered the least of the three. Which if you take the comparison of Cena, Punk and Bryan that held very true until perhaps that last year and half when Bryan’s star began to rise and even surpass Punk in the eyes of almost everyone as the people’s choice. Some say Punk left out of spite and others say that had he not left Bryan never gets his moment at Wrestlemania 30.

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That is a debate to have on a different day as far as Rollins being like Bryan it has some legs to it. Both have beards, started off being not that great on a microphone and can go like crazy in the ring with reckless abandon. Maybe they learned something from the whole Daniel Bryan experience by having The Authority embrace Rollins instead of being against them as Bryan was. It makes it much harder for fans to rally behind that underdog and before you know, you have a fire burning out of control as it happened with Bryan. We should not forget though this entire Bryan rise began with him paired with A.J Lee as a heel. This is how the Shield started as well kind of but not really. They were cast as heels, but their affiliations with Paul Heyman and C.M Punk made the group more in that grey area.

The difference about Rollins and Ambrose is that they were part of a team for close to two years travelling together and working together in the WWE. Will this bond keep The Shield from in reality turning on each other? Perhaps, but there can only be one number one guy and the WWE has made their choice and it is not Ambrose or Rollins. They will always be battling for the real estate of being that second guy to Reigns in being the face of the company.

They say if you don’t learn from history you are doomed to repeat it. The WWE seems to have its next generation of top stars positioned to be in very similar roles to where the top three stars arguably of this generation have been. Will The Shield’s friendship help make it all work better this time around? Also is it wrong to have the assumption these three will dominate that next decade for the WWE. Where do Bray Wyatt, Cesaro and others fall in the mix of top guys going forward as well?

It will be interesting to see if WWE has learned from their experiences with Punk and Bryan or do they repeat the same mistakes with Seth Rollins. In addition, Dean Ambrose, will we grow to resent Roman Reigns in the same way we do John Cena today? You already see people starting to talk about being not sold on Reigns as “the guy”. What will it be like when he actually is in that position and not just in the on deck circle?

There is no doubt people will draw the parallels between the three moving forward. Rollins and Ambrose are destined to be battling to be the alternate option to the face of the company. Regardless of if they are booked as heels or babyfaces, they are going to be cheered by a large segment of the audience.

Believe this though, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose have no intention of being left behind or out the conversation for being the top guy in company. Will they both end up frustrated and beaten up without the true pay off that they could potentially earn like in the case Punk and Bryan? We will see and perhaps the real bond between The Shield in real life will prevent it. Time will tell on this.

What is true and has been from the start is that Reigns is treated differently from the group and protected as such. Still regardless of that, it has not held Ambrose and Rollins from getting themselves “over” in the process as well.

In addition, Triple H is likely running the ship as the final decider and chief at this point in the future. He believes in The Shield and has from that start. That matters a lot for both Ambrose and Rollins as he handpicked them to represent him as his first products out of developmental. Triple H has an interest in all of the Shield succeeding.

For now Reigns remains the Cena in training and Ambrose and Rollins are having one of the most epic and long lasting feuds that should resume as soon as Ambrose returns from his movie obligations.

It is not disrespectful at this point to compare Ambrose and Rollins to Punk and Bryan. In fact, you can argue they are much further ahead of where Bryan and Punk found themselves at the same point in their WWE careers. They are already knocking loudly on the door of the main event scene roughly two years in.

About James Borbath

James has covered the NBA and Toronto Raptors for 6 years for various publications as well as his own website. A native of Hamilton, Ontario where he attended the first ever Royal Rumble, James is a life long wrestling fan and has decided to trade to slams of a different kind in pro wrestling. He hopes his transition will be more successful than Dennis Rodman or Karl Malone. Among his talents is a better than average Randy Savage impression. Follow him on Twitter @condoonthemoon

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