If you heard the name Jonathan Good, you wouldn’t think much about it. It sounds fairly nice and wholesome, and honestly we wouldn’t spend much time imagining the person who has that name. But what if we said Jonathan Good was someone who has spent the better part of 11 years developing his craft inside and out of the ring? Many fans that follow the WWE may not know that Jonathan Good has gone by various aliases in the past. Today, he is none other than Dean Ambrose.
During his time in independent promotions, Good was known for his brutal fighting style and his ability to captivate an audience due to an unrelenting will to achieve. He was being noticed and it was only a matter of time before he transitioned from the independents onto a much grander stage. Once the opportunity presented itself, Dean Ambrose was born.
Good’s career certainly saw its ups and downs. Much like anyone else’s career that undergoes a change, Good’s travels from promotion to promotion throughout his career led him to go in a number of different of directions. Whether it was sporting long hair with different colors or psychedelic looking tights in an effort to stand out, Ambrose really ran the gamut of looks while trying to evolve. Today, the wrestler who bled to get noticed is gone and in his place is someone who creates emotion in other ways.
Good did whatever he needed to do in order to be a pro wrestler. It’s a story not unlike that of many other aspiring wrestlers, but Good’s story has a happy ending. We give you 15 things you need to know about Jonathan Good, better known as Dean Ambrose.
15. He’s Currently Dating WWE personality Renee Young
One of the worst kept secrets about Ambrose has been his personal life. Whether you’re talking about stories of the circles he has traveled in or who he is friends with, Ambrose’s personal life has been quite public. When rumors initially surfaced that Ambrose was dating WWE interviewer Renee Young, some tried to pry to see if it was true. The relationship is kept off screen as the company doesn’t recognize it in any storylines. However, whenever Renee is interviewing Ambrose, fans are quick to examine if there is any subtle flirting taking place between the two.
14. He Was A Multiple Time Heavyweight Champion Prior To WWE
Many may think that Ambrose came out of nowhere to earn the recognition he has; they should think again. Prior to coming to WWE, Ambrose competed for several popular independent promotions, including Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA) and Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW.) Ambrose captured the Heavyweight championship in both of those promotions. While he was competing for CZW he won the title twice, and while he was competing for Les Thatcher’s HWA he captured the title three times. Ambrose’s championship success is not something of lesser value because it reflects that he was held in high regard during his time with those promotions.
13. His Wrestling Persona Is Based On…
When we see Dean Ambrose doing crazy and unpredictable things, keep in mind that this is art imitating life. He came out of a life of crime and poverty to be where he is today. He grew up in a very rundown section of Cincinnati, Ohio, living in government housing where the buildings were run down and to say he felt like garbage would be an understatement. During this time he had to look out for himself and do what he needed to in order to survive. He overcame obstacles in life in order to achieve in the ring.
12. He Used Wrestling As An Escape From His Childhood
At times we daydream in order to escape the harsh realities of life. For Ambrose, wrestling provided him that same escape. While his life circumstances forced him to have to think for himself, it also put him in troubling and dangerous situations. Life was a struggle for him, as he had to sell drugs in order to protect himself from being beaten up. He would get into fights even though he kept to himself while walking down the streets of Cincinnati. When each day seems like a struggle to live, Ambrose needed an outlet. He found that outlet in wrestling.
11. He Worked Concessions and Set Up Rings Before Wrestling
As we grow up, we all do jobs we only take to make a living. Some kids have paper routes. In the case of Dean Ambrose, as a teenager, he sold popcorn to the public that attended shows for Heartland Wrestling Association. During this time he learned how to set up and take down the ring. This is a job that many independent wrestlers have to do, but in the case of Ambrose, he did it before he began to train to wrestle at the age of 18. We all have to start somewhere and this was where Ambrose started.
10. He Dropped Out Of High School After Beginning to Wrestle
Ambrose’s dedication to his craft meant he was committing himself completely to wrestling. He saw a flyer promoting an HWA show in a flea market in Cincinnati and attended the show. That flier also featured an ad for Les Thatcher’s wrestling camp. After committing to working under Thatcher, and a year of training, Ambrose made the conscious decision to drop out of high school. His decision to leave his education behind meant that he was clearly looking ahead to opportunities that may be waiting for him in wrestling.
9. He Idolized Bret Hart
Being an avid wrestling fan that watched numerous wrestling tapes growing up, Ambrose states that former WWE World Heavyweight champion, Bret ‘The Hitman‘ Hart, was someone he looked up to. Hart’s character was that of someone who fought the odds and overcame all challenges and obstacles brought before him. Hart endured intolerable amounts of punishment and demonstrated incredible stamina in the process. His tactical and technical approach in the ring allowed for the Hit Man to overcome the odds against adversaries that were bigger than he was. These are qualities that Ambrose carries with him in the ring today.
8. He Teamed Up With a Former NXT Wrestler Before WWE
During his time in HWA, Ambrose formed a faction of wrestlers. While the other members compete all over the world and on the independent circuit, one member of Ambrose’s faction followed a similar path to him. As part of the group ‘The Crew,’ Sami Callihan was among the smallest members of the group. Today, Callihan’s name may not sound familiar to fans, but if we called him Solomon Crowe, then fans of NXT would know who we are talking about. Until recently, Callihan was a member of the NXT roster until recently asking for and being granted his release.
7. He Has Defeated A Former ROH World Champion
As mentioned previously, Ambrose cut his teeth on the independent circuit, defeating the likes of Paul London, Jimmy Jacobs, and Rhett Titus, one half of the All Night Express. It was also during this time that he faced the current ROH Television Champion (also a former ROH World Champion) in a match for the vacant Full Impact Pro (FIP) World Heavyweight Championship. On April 17th, 2010, Ambrose defeated Roderick Strong to capture the FIP World Heavyweight championship. Strong’s ability in the ring is renowned, so to have Ambrose defeat him for a title should be considered quite the accomplishment.
6. He Competed In ROH
While Dean Ambrose earned a great deal of notoriety competing for promotions such as CZW, Dragon Gate USA and HWA, he also competed for another prominent promotion that is highly regarded among wrestling fans. In 2007, Ambrose competed in two matches for Ring of Honor; he first partnered with Alex Payne against Rhett Titus and Bobby Dempsey, and then had a match against Mitch Franklin that took place off camera. Both matches resulted in defeat for Ambrose. While Ambrose’s time in Ring of Honor was brief, it did happen.
5. He Feuded With Seth Rollins Before The Shield
During his time down in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), Ambrose had a lengthy feud with Seth Rollins. Both men had an incredible showing, including competing in an iron man match. They had a rematch in the weeks that followed for the FCW 15 title, which also resulted in a draw. After this, they took part in a third match that once again went to a draw, only to go to sudden death that resulted in a win for Rollins. Ambrose did eventually defeat Rollins during a tournament to determine a new FCW heavyweight champion.
4. He Argued With Mick Foley Prior to WM28
During WrestleMania XXVIII Fan Axxess, Ambrose had a public ’confrontation’ with WWE Hall of Famer and hardcore legend Mick Foley. During this confrontation, Ambrose claimed that Foley had to be held accountable for ‘leading a generation astray’. Both Ambrose and Foley continued their jabs at one another via Twitter. Ambrose initially tweeted ‘#WWE likes to pretend Mick Foley never existed. WWE is still apologizing for him by sterilizing the product. #Raw.” Following Ambrose’s tweet, Foley responded by saying: “Having a blast with my kids at Disney. Not really concerned about some guy I’ve never heard of.”
3. He Held The US Title For 351 Days
It seems like a distant memory because his reign as champion wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really all that good either. On May 19th, 2013 Dean Ambrose defeated Kofi Kingston to capture the WWE United States Championship. He held the title for a remarkable 351 days, 14 days shy of a full year, before being defeated by Sheamus on May 5th, 2014 in a 20 man battle royal. What was also interesting about Ambrose’s reign is that he was the longest reigning US champion under the WWE banner. Ambrose was never pinned, disqualified or made to submit during this reign.
2. He Was Written Off TV To Film 12 Rounds 3
In the heat of the feud between Ambrose and Rollins, Ambrose was written off for nearly a month of their program. There was so much heat between the two and Ambrose’s character was being fleshed out and reaching its peak during his feud with Rollins. Through an angle where Rollins curb stomped Ambrose’s head through cinder blocks, Ambrose was written off, allowing him the time to film the WWE Films movie 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown.
1. He Earned Accolades From PWI In 2014
The wrestling publication Pro Wrestling Illustrated has long been heralded for its annual rankings. During 2014, Ambrose was recognized for his contributions to wrestling on two separate fronts. First, he was co-winner of the ‘Feud of the Year’ award for his battles with Seth Rollins. However, Ambrose’s popularity reached a new high as the publication named him the ‘Most Popular Wrestler of the Year’. The edgy, unabashed character had resonated with fans in a way that no other had that year and Ambrose stood head and shoulders above the competition.
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