In an interview with the Monitor, Dean Ambrose told Greg Luca he nearly died during his recovery from triceps surgery.
Originally expecting a three to four month recovery from a torn triceps, Ambrose spent eight months away from in-ring action. Because of complications during recovery and an extended time out, Ambrose described his time off television as “one nightmare after another”.
Ambrose revealed he ended up having two surgeries. The first was to repair the torn triceps tendon in his arm but the second was a surprise to Ambrose.
“I thought I was just going to turn right back around and get on a plane and go home, and they were like, ‘No, you have to go in again for surgery like right now.’ I was like, ‘Oh, no.’ I had just kind of got through all of the stitches and all of that stuff. It was a giant mess. I just kept having to start back from square one.”
Turns out, Ambrose had a staph infection that nearly killed him. He spent a week in the hospital and got a round of antibiotics to treat the MRSA.
Ambrose returned to Raw on August 13 on the go home show for SummerSlam. Anyone who watched the show could tell Ambrose had gotten himself in incredible shape prior to returning to the ring. So, how did he do it?
“Nothing fancy. Pretty basic. Just basic powerlifting. Bench, squat, dead lift. It’s a lot easier when you have the time to just recover and stuff. Being on the road 280 days per year, you’re working 30 minutes per night and traveling all around the world, recovery is a lot harder. But nothing fancy. Just super basic, heavy-ass weights.”
Besides adding bulk to his frame, Ambrose made other changes to his look. He came back with a shorter haircut. As a result, most critics have observed that he looks more dangerous.
“Right after I got hurt, I cut my hair really, really short. Like, all the way. After it grew out a little bit, I liked it. So I was like, I’m just keeping this. I wanted to do that for a long time, actually. I said, ‘I’m just keeping it like this, I don’t care what anybody says.’”
This Sunday at Hell in a Cell, Ambrose and Rollins face Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. Wrestling is about championships and money, therefore, you would expect his number one goal to be capturing titles. Ambrose has a different mindset.
“At this point, money or any kind of quantifiable statistics, titles or whatever, or any kind of validation from anybody is not really important to me any more at this point. The most important thing, the thing that makes me the happiest, is just being happy with a piece of work. Like an artist makes a watercolor painting or whatever, and they sit back and go, ‘I’m really happy with that.’ …
Because I’ve had all the other things. Out of every thing that there is, that’s still the most rewarding thing and the only thing that drives me or gets me really excited other than just the live performance and being in front of the crowd, is that artistic, creative satisfaction.”