This past Monday on Raw we saw Dean Ambrose lose his US title in a twenty-man battle royal that was sanctioned by Triple H, as revenge for The Shield getting the win over himself, Batista and Randy Orton at Extreme Rules the previous night.
Sheamus was crowned the new champion of the prestigious title which over the last few months has seen very little action since Ambrose and the other Shield members have been locked in feuds with the newly reformed Evolution, and The Wyatt Family before that.
It could be argued that it was the right move for Ambrose to drop the belt, restore some life into the championship and give somebody else the opportunity as it hasn't really been defended much and it seems slightly pointless for him to keep hold of it at the moment.
However, it seems as if this very sudden loss has been executed quite lazily and that, if this was always the WWE's intention, Dean Ambrose's reign should've ended way back at the start of the year before they were propelled into the main event stories we have witnessed.
Of course there is always the argument that a title defeat would've made The Shield look weak when they least needed to, especially after Roman Reigns' incredible performance in the Royal Rumble match, but based upon the way things have panned out, it's certain that would've been forgotten by now.
The WWE creative team should've made a bigger deal out of this, turned it into a bigger story and used it to further fuel the idea that The Authority are making life as hard as possible for The Shield, and that Evolution are the most dominant faction in the history of the business. Here's how it could've all been executed:
The night after Extreme Rules it would be announced that Dean Ambrose is to defend the belt against a strong opponent, let's say Alberto Del Rio. Ambrose would get the win but it would be immediately announced that he would then have to defend it again on Smackdown later the same week. He would go onto to win that as well and the pattern would continue with the matches becoming increasingly more difficult and unfair. He might wrestle more than one opponent in one night, triple threat matches, and matches with stipulations that put him at a disadvantage but would always manage to overcome the odds and emerge victorious.
Ambrose would wrestle everybody in the locker-room that feels they are deserving of a shot – Dolph Ziggler, Mark Henry, Rob Van Dam, Jack Swagger, The Big Show, Fandango, Rusev, Titus O'Neil. He would wrestle both of the Rhodes Brothers in a triple threat match, which would also be a good way of linking in the inevitable break-up of Cody Rhodes and Goldust as they both fight for the same glory. Ambrose may even wrestle in a battle royal akin to the one that we saw this week, but his scrappy, brawling style would eventually lead to him winning it.
Triple H tries as hard as he possibly can to strip Dean Ambrose of the title but to no avail. Imagine the scenes as Ambrose leans through the second rope clutching his gold after just knocking off another opponent as Triple H stands at the top of the ramp turning a darker shade of red with each passing second and threatening to take off his shirt and tie.
We reach the Smackdown before the next PPV, Payback - which has a rather fitting title for what is about to occur – and it is announced that Dean Ambrose will face a mystery opponent that following Sunday with the stipulation that the rest of The Shield are banned from ringside and that Hunter himself will be the special guest referee.
Payback arrives and Ambrose is waiting in the ring to find out who he faces – it's “The Animal” Batista, to whom he loses the belt after a suspiciously quick three-count from Triple H. You might argue that it is useless to put that belt on Batista, but his run will be so short-lived that he drops it to Sheamus the following night on Raw after some interference from “The Hounds Of Justice”.
The belt that was becoming so stale has now been given a new owner, allowing the Shield/Evolution feud to continue having simultaneously reinforced that Ambrose was a brilliant champion this whole time.