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Why Dean Ambrose Must Register Clean Win at WWE Payback 2016

Published by Bleacher Report on Tue, 19 Apr 2016

Dean Ambrose without a doubt lost a little of his luster following his humiliating loss to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32. That said, his pending program with Chris Jericho as WWE Payback 2016 nears could be exactly what he needs to get his path to superstardom back on track.Since breaking out on his own two years ago, Ambrose has come close to solidifying his status as a main event-caliber competitor on several occasions, but he has fallen short of securing the victory when it has mattered most.Look no further than his feuds with Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt, and Lesnar. Throughout their various battles, only once did he defeat Rollins on pay-per-view, and that was by way of disqualification at Elimination Chamber 2015.Ambrose is a rare type of babyface that remains beloved by the WWE Universe even in defeat, but how many times can he lose in high-profile bouts before fans start to see him as an upper-midcard-level star at best'Henceforth, his rivalry with Chris Jericho couldn't have come at a better time, as it will allow Ambrose to register the clean win he could desperately use at the moment.Jericho is in the midst of an excellent run with WWEarguably his best since 2012, when he feuded with CM Punk over the WWE Championship. Unlike in past years, he has been able to sink his teeth into what he's been given, as seen in his storyline with AJ Styles.As fantastic of a fan favorite as Jericho is, he is significantly more effective in the heel role. Since flipping the switch in early March, he has gone all out in insulting the audience and ensuring he elicits a negative reaction, showing shades of his persona from 2008.In a shocking turn of events, he decisively defeated Styles in their WrestleMania match. However, it ultimately worked out for the better given The Phenomenal One became the new No. 1 contender to the WWE Title the next night on Raw.It marked Jericho's premier victory on the grand stage in over six years, and while he will always be perceived as credible due to his longstanding status in the company, a big win here and there will establish him as more than just a part-timer passing through to put over the younger talent.Ambrose will be the first beneficiary with their likely Payback match looming large, and with Jericho on his way out of the organization, there is no reason for Y2J not to do the honors for Ambrose.Beyond their recent interactions on Raw and SmackDown, Ambrose and Jericho have history dating back to September's Night of Champions pay-per-view. The two teamed up in six-man tag team action alongside Roman Reigns against The Wyatt Family.The former Shield stablemates and Jericho were unsuccessful in usurping the sadistic stable, and afterward, Jericho gave Ambrose the dreaded "cold shoulder." According to The Wrestling Observer (h/t Wrestle Zone), it was believed a 'Mania match between them was only inevitable, though plans seemingly changed once AJ Styles arrived on the scene.However, it isn't too late to revisit the rivalry because it has plenty of potential to be entertaining. Their face-to-face encounter on last week's Raw was fun for what it was, and their match should be equally enjoyable.With a win over Jericho on May 1, Ambrose could be catapulted back into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture, where he belongs. Chasing the championship while his longtime friend Roman Reigns is in possession for the prestigious prize would certainly make for a stellar story in time for SummerSlam.The key is that the victory versus Jericho comes in clean fashion. That way, Ambrose can prove he is worthy of not only hanging with, but beating, the very best the business has to offer.GrahamMirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is ajournalism major atEndicottCollege. Visit his website,Next Era Wrestling,and "like" his officialFacebook pageto continue the conversationon all things wrestling.Follow @WrestleRant
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