Phil Strum of the Poughkeepsie Journal has a detailed Q&A online with WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose. Below are the highlights:
First meeting Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns:
The three of us met for the first time in Tampa in Florida Championship Wrestling or developmental. We all had the attitude that we wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. So that was the first time. I had met Seth once or twice before. We had crossed paths a couple of times, but nothing more than a handshake and a hello. The first time we sat down and talked and worked together was Florida and that was opponents. I was also across the ring from Roman Reigns many times. We were never on the same side. Then we started The Shield and we had a natural chemistry. We’re only three guys, but that’s the perfect number because it’s a numbers advantage, but we’re not coming out with a whole parade of hangers-on. There’s no loose fat hanging off that has to get trimmed. We’re many moving parts and every moving part has its job. We’re in sync. Each of us brings something completely different to the table. We’re apples and oranges and bananas if you try and compare each one of us to the other.
Who came up with The Shield:
I can tell you it’s been an ever-evolving process. I don’t think we knew where we wanted to go. Every week, it’s been a new idea. An on-the-fly idea. Coming out of the crowd was not a pre-planned, premeditated idea that someone came up with in a meeting room. Everything has kind of organically evolved. Instead of coming through the entrance way, we wanted to make a statement to people that what you see is not like every other WWE superstar, every other normal wrestler. It was done to separate ourselves. We’re not like everyone in the back. We’re completely different and more dangerous and something you’ve got to keep your eyes on.
Everything from the moves we do to the things we wear to the things we say, all of them have been on the fly. We’re making it up as we go along. If something feels natural, we do it. If somebody says a good line, it’s like, hey I like that line, let’s go with it. Or someone does a good move, hey I like that move, let’s do that again. It’s been an on-the job process. You’re watching it unfold with your eyes as much as we are and I think that’s one of the exciting things for the fans.
Being in the ring with Undertaker:
Being across from The Undertaker is a very surreal experience. It felt like it must have been a dream. On the other other hand, this is a window that’s only open for who knows how long and how quickly it’s going to close. You better take advantage of it. I’m not intimidated by any scenario, whether it’s The Undertaker or John Cena or anybody. We’re going to do this. At this level, it’s kind of like the fight or flight kind of thing. All of us are kind of put in a position where you don’t get intimidated by the magnitude or the pressure of it. You don’t feel it. You feel the aura of The Undertaker. He has a presence. This is the most legendary guy you’re standing across the ring from and as big of an opponent as you can get. It’s like winning the lottery and I’m not about to not cash my lottery ticket in. You have ice water running through your veins. You’re out of your mind. It’s funny. The music’s playing. The pyro’s going off. It’s The Undertaker’s music. But once the bell rings and you make physical contact, it starts to work and the world shrinks down to a 20-by-20 ring and it’s any other match really and you have to stay on your game once the bell rings.
What goes into his approach cutting promos:
Cutting a promo has always come very naturally and it’s nothing I ever had to work on. I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t have a particular process. You have to not be afraid to be yourself and let go and tap into how you really feel. You need to let loose. If you can do that, you can show people a different side of your personality. Get in front of the camera and be free. I enjoy being in front of the camera and I use it as an outlet. In real life, I’m a pretty private person. I’m not a flashy, attention-seeking, kind of guy. When the red light goes on, you have an opportunity to be whatever you want and let loose and use it as an outlet. I’m able to take a lot of aggression off my choice. I guess my best advice would be to just cut loose and not be afraid to just let your real self come out from inside.
If you get intimidated by the camera, that shows through. Just enjoy cutting it loose. Guys today, a lot of them only learned one way to do it. They came up in developmental or whatever and are told what to say and that’s the only way they know how to do it. I didn’t come up that way, fortunately. I don’t want anybody to tell me what to say. When you put words in my mouth, I don’t like that. With a promo, you have an opportunity to sell tickets and sell pay-per-views and create interest. Every single time, the camera’s on you, you have a chance to expand your bank account and puts (butts) in the seats and help your performance. It’s all a big part of a masterpiece of an angle or a story that climaxes in a match. It all ties together. The things aren’t separate for me. Say you have a year-long feud that has three matches and 20 promos. It’s all one big work of art that ties in together. You think ahead of what’s going to happen in the ring. It all ties in together. It’s one big puzzle with a bunch of different pieces.
Click here to read the Q&A in its entirety.