Dean Ambrose talks Wrestlemania 32 and what it will be like to face Brock Lesnar with no rules on Sunday night.
Dean Ambrose is considered one of the top talents in WWE and has a chance to become a superstar this Sunday when he faces Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 32.
Ambrose grew up on the independent circuit in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, before making his WWE debut as part of “The Shield” faction alongside Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins.*
Now he’s considered one of the faces of WWE after his run as Intercontinental champion and a series of extremely well received matches against Kevin Owens.
This weekend, Ambrose will face the former UFC champion and WWE champion in a ‘no holds barred street fight’ that promises to be one of the most highly anticipated matches of the card, not to mention a brutal and punishing display of physicality from both men.
Ambrose spoke to FOX Sports about WrestleMania 32, how he’s managed to avoid injuries, working with legends of the ring and how he matches up with Lesnar.
Obviously big match coming up, WrestleMania is right around the corner, how are you feeling about this big event?
Feeling good. I’m constantly in a state of readiness. That’s the way I’ve been going for the past two or three years. Especially in the last year, on the road 300 plus days a year — “Main Event,” “RAW,” “Smackdown,” house shows — whatever it is. Tag matches, singles matches, three-way, four-way, cage matches, whatever it is. On one hand, I’ll be limping into WrestleMania, but on the other hand I’m very sharpened and battle hardened and war ready. It will be the biggest night of the year, one of the biggest shows of all time, a billion people watching on TV. But on the other hand, once you get used to all the outside pressures and obligations that come along with WrestleMania season, it just becomes another day at the office. A very dangerous day at the office, but there’s nothing new for me. Once the bell rings, it’s like after getting that first hit in a football game — after that, you’re in the game. If there’s any jitters, it just goes away. My adrenaline receptors are nearly burnt out. For me once that bell rings, it’s a 20×20 ring and I’m in the fight.
You have such a physical style in the ring and you put your body through a lot. We’ve seen a lot of injuries lately with Seth Rollins and John Cena, so how have you kept your body together? How have you been able to stay active and stay upright while a lot of people are falling by the wayside around you?
A lot of that just taking care of yourself and training properly. I keep myself flexible, I just compete at my normal body weight. I’m trying to carry around an extra 30 pounds, a lot of injury-prone musculature. I keep my body in its most prime, healthy state and also I’ve just been lucky.
On the other hand, I’m also constantly hurt. I’ve been hurt for 10 years. It’s not like I’m not constantly dealing with a litany of injuries that I have myself. If it’s not one thing, it’s another thing but I’ve just been able to keep rolling. I’ve not had anything catastrophic happen to me. It’s a funny thing because it’s always like the crazy freak things. It’s not like ‘Oh he got hurt when he jumped off the top of the cage.’ It’s like ‘He got hurt stepping into the ring’ or ‘popped his shoulder out giving a high five’. It’s the little things you can’t plan for. It’s not anything that ever enters my mind.
Going into WrestleMania there are a lot of eyeballs on you, and a lot of expectations and excitement around you going into the match. Do you feel that anticipation growing? And when you hear people say the future of the company lies in your hands, how do you feel about that, especially going into an event as big as this one?
I feel like the present of the company lies in guys like our hands. The guys who are in the business every single day, guys like myself, Roman Reigns, Dolph Ziggler, whoever it is, guys who are out there busting our asses every night, putting smiles on faces and putting our bodies on the line. Guys like myself and Roman Reigns, we take an ownership like these shows are our shows every night.
We feel like this company is our company. As far as WrestleMania, there’s a lot of extra excitement, there’s so much white noise and people always say stuff. I’m just worried about what I’m doing and going out there and putting on the best match that’s in front of me. When you’re going in there with Brock Lesnar, you can’t have anything else on your mind. I think that’s why I’ve been so successful is that I’m not worrying about anything. I don’t really care what anybody thinks, I don’t care what anybody else’s opinion is, I don’t care what anybody else is doing. I just go out there and do what I do and see where the chips fall. And here we are and I’m fighting Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.
You don’t get into this business without being a fan, so when you hear comparisons for your style to famous wrestlers from the past — and then you have guys like Terry Funk and Mick Foley talking to you going into a match like this — do you allow yourself a moment to enjoy this and revel in the fact that you are being compared to guys like that?
It’s funny how comparisons go and everybody gets comparisons to everybody else, and I don’t try to pattern myself from anybody else. But I’m huge fan of the business and I’m an old-school guy so to be able to go off the cuff with Mick Foley, who shows up and wants to be a part of something. Then a guy like Terry Funk who comes all the way to Philadelphia from Amarillo cause he wants to be a part of something. It was really cool with Terry Funk because I think a lot of the old-school guys get a kick out of me and they see what pro wrestling used to be. For him to come all the way to Philadelphia and do that bit and when he walks in and sees WWE and how it is today, he’s probably thinking ‘What is all this crap?’.
To have an old-school, outlaw, cowboy professional wrestler, who is Terry Funk 24/7, the real deal, to have him in the room and the red light goes on and boom, he’s on, he’s Terry Funk. I was like ‘That’s how it’s done!’ After having a conversation with him, an old-school guy like that, that makes me know I’m on the right track and I’ve done things my way. It makes me feel good.
One final question about Brock Lesnar — obviously he’s a beast inside and outside the ring. Thoughts on him and the physicality of what we’re about to see unfold on April 3?
It’s the most dangerous match possible. It’s the most hardcore stuff. It could be a flaming table, ladder, exploding ring, whatever stuff you can think of and I’ve been in all of them. But there’s no more dangerous match than just being in the ring with Brock Lesnar. He is so physically overwhelming and the attributes that he has — let alone against little old me. That in itself makes it a very hazardous and dangerous situation.
I’ve often sought that out and you don’t understand living until you come really, really close to dying. I like to fly close to the edge, I like to play with fire. I’ve always kind of gotten off on that. Being in front of 100,000 fans is besides the point. The fact that it’s a street fight and not only am I going to have weapons in my hands, but you’re going to arm this guy? This guy that can break people in half with his bare hands? He touched me in the parking lot, barely even trying, and I went flying, careening across the parking lot. Now you’re going to arm him with weapons. That’s exciting. That’s what pumps me about it. It’s kill or be killed. It’s not every day you get to play a game of legit Russian roulette. It’s very exciting for me.
By Damon Martin / Fox Sports / 29 March 2016
* Of course, Dean Ambrose entered the WWE through FCW and only had his best feud there against William Regal. But it’s okay, Fox Sports, there’s no need to make that popular.