WWE Hot Take: Why Dean Ambrose’s Last WrestleMania Match Must Be Roman Reigns


Sometimes it all just comes together. 

So seems to be the case for WWE with Roman Reigns, especially with the recent apparent developments surrounding Dean Ambrose. 

Reigns returned on the February 25 edition of Raw and announced his Leukemia was in remission and he’s back full time already. He’s already booked for a match at the upcoming Fastlane pay-per-view, so any idea WWE would ease him back into things falls flat. It’s a tag match, but he’s back with the big boys in a prime spot already. 

But that still doesn’t solve the WrestleMania problem. 

With Reigns unexpectedly back, what does WWE do? Brock Lesnar’s Universal title has the entire Royal Rumble build surrounding it, with the winner Seth Rollins anointed as the guy to challenge him. Shoving Reigns into the picture would be messy, to say the least. 

What else is there? At Fastlane, Reigns will apparently team with Rollins against Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin and Bobby Lashley. His fighting one those guys at WrestleMania would be met with a shrug. So would his getting thrown into a tag match there, too. A feud with John Cena already happened. His beef with Braun Strowman is tired. 

None of Raw’s top heels are even close to Reigns’ level in the first place. That was part of the original problem—Reigns feasted on mostly everybody, making his only serious threat Lesnar. 

Then there is Ambrose. 

Ambrose has been absolutely ruined since his return from injury, going from a good guy to a bad guy. The latter flirtation was interesting at first until WWE botched it with silly comical promos in doctor’s offices and pretending live crowds stunk, literally holding his nose. It resulted in a terrible feud with Rollins that, given the history there, should have been one of the year’s top moments.

This spiraled into the reports Ambrose was outright going to leave WWE. Lately, it even looked like his marquee feud on the way out the door could perhaps be against…Nia Jax? 

The return of Reigns changes all of this—and as usual, the two are perfect for each other. 

Before Reigns announced he’s back, the best outlook was probably keeping Ambrose strong so he could put over an NXT callup before he left the company. In theory, a match against Reigns would instead help keep one of the star’s top names in a safe spot on the card while Ambrose gets to have a fun feud on his way out the door. 

An elephant in the room is Reigns’ status, anyway. He’s just returned and WrestleMania is close, so the ring rust figures to be real. Ambrose is one of the safest workers in the company and the two have an extensive history together. Throwing them in a heartfelt feud before one of them likely leaves the company protects not only the long-established storylines WWE has constructed leading to the biggest moment of the year, but protects Reigns himself until he’s back to where he wants to be. 

WWE has plenty of time to pull it off, too. Fans had no idea Batista was back, yet in a matter of moments at the end of the very same Raw Reigns made his announcement, Batista created one of the most compelling WrestleMania storylines by having him attack Ric Flair. 

The turnaround can be just as quick. There is plenty of backstory between the characters to make an Ambrose re-turn on Reigns work. He is, after all, the Lunatic Fringe. And let’s not pretend Rollins and Reigns saving Ambrose on Raw was…a happy reuniting event by any means, with Ambrose still very much the odd man out by the end of it: 

Some will indeed clamor for Reigns getting thrown into the main event. But there’s nothing to say he’ll be ready by then and while a recreation of Rollins’ WrestleMania cash-in would be fun, WWE is in a precarious position where they don’t want to ruin the goodwill fans have for Reigns right now. He’s one of their top guys, but he was also a polarizing one. Taking it slow and steady with his character in an organic manner as opposed to just throwing him right back into the top spot is probably the best bet. 

There is good long-term booking potential here too. WWE has never been afraid to blend reality and fake to tell a good story, so Reigns in the underdog role on his way back up the ladder could work, well into SummerSlam and beyond. 

And if it is indeed goodbye for Ambrose soon, no doubt the two would want to work together again on such a stage. Reigns and Ambrose dancing in the middle of the card on a big stage wouldn’t steal the show, but it would be all too poetic and one of the most important matches of the year.