United States Champion Dean Ambrose def. Dolph Ziggler

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September 15, 2013

DETROIT — United States Champion Dean Ambrose might not have instilled in Dolph Ziggler The Shield’s idea of “respect for the business,” but the rabid Hound of Justice nonetheless escaped Night of Champions with his title reign intact.

In a competitive outing defined by parity, the volatile titleholder narrowly avoided losing the stars-and-stripes title on numerous occasions before claiming victory at just under 10 minutes.

View photos of the title clash | Ambrose sings the "Ballad of Dolph Ziggler"

Early on, The Showoff bested Ambrose in an exchange of holds on the mat, before the pace quickened. The “slightly off” Ambrose, as Michael Cole put it, sidestepped a collision but then chose to mock Ziggler, for which The Showoff rewarded him with a pristine dropkick to the face.

The Showoff continued his assault, dumping the titleholder over the top rope and then cornering him with vicious knife-edge chops. The challenger’s enthusiasm got the best of him, however, and Ambrose coolly exploited Ziggler’s missteps, few though they were.

Despite Ambrose’s efforts to wear down his No. 1 contender, the tireless Ziggler fought on, at one point connecting with a top-rope X-Factor when Ambrose took too long to scale the turnbuckles. Moments later, the athletic wonder caught Ambrose with the Famouser, but the U.S. Champion — ever cognizant of his ring positioning — grabbed hold of the bottom rope to break the pinfall.

Ambrose clawed back into the fight, attempting to drill Ziggler head-first into the canvas with the move that has sealed so many matches for the unpredictable Shield member in the past. Ziggler squirmed out of the tight predicament and nearly pinned Ambrose with a lightning-quick rollup. The challenger’s subsequent attempt at a huge splash in the corner, though, proved unwise, as the Hound of Justice avoided the impact, locked in a headlock and planted his opponent’s skull into the mat for the three-count.

With his hope of recapturing the U.S. Title dashed for the time being, Ziggler must confront the reality of competing under WWE COO Triple H’s heavy-handed leadership sans championship gold. Ambrose, meanwhile, continues his steady U.S. Championship reign, all the while reinforcing The Shield’s reputation as enforcers not to be messed with.

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