Dean Ambrose has had one of the longest farewells in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) – at least in recent memory. The "Lunatic Fringe" made it clear prior to the Shield’s final outing on Sunday that he is leaving on his own terms – but questions remain about his potential return to the promotion in the near future.

The 33-year-old confirmed earlier in the year that he will leave WWE when his contract expires at the end of April and the company also put out a statement about his impending departure. But since the announcement, there has been much speculation about him changing his mind and just taking a short break from WWE.

Pro-wrestling insider and expert Dave Meltzer says WWE do not expect Ambrose to join rival promotion All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and expect him to return in the future. And that is said to be the reason the company is giving him such a lengthy farewell – the Shield made their final appearance at a live event on Sunday night when they beat the team of Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin.

“He’s had so many farewells it’s not even funny […] It’s different. My gut is that they don’t expect him to go to AEW. They expect him to come back and they wanna make it a big deal and when he’s ready to come back he’s happy to come back and the fans see him as a big star,” Meltzer said, as quoted on Ringside News. “He’s burned out and he’s unhappy. If he’s unhappy then whatever he’s unhappy about probably isn’t going to change. If he’s burned out and needs a rest then he’ll probably come back.”

Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose celebrates victory over the Miz during the WWE show at Zenith Arena in Lille, France, May 9, 2017. PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

Ambrose is still a much-loved superstar among the WWE Universe and losing him to a rival franchise will be a big blow to the company. But he was coy when speaking about his future plans, but was clear about wanting to leave WWE on his own terms.

The Shield member also indicated during his interview with Michael Cole that he was offered a hefty contract by WWE. He claimed the “million dollar man” did not get what he wanted this time around – it was unclear if he was referring to Vince McMahon, the chairman, with whom the buck stops for all things WWE.

“Let me stop you right there, because I already know what your final question is gonna be, okay? And I don’t appreciate people putting words in my mouth, and I don’t appreciate people trying to tell the story of my life to fit their narrative, okay?” Ambrose told Cole during the Shield’s final sit down on the WWE Network.

“Eight years ago, I walked into this casino. And now I’m cashing in my chips, and I’m walking away from the table. I won the game. And what I do with the rest of my life from here on out, is my business. I answer to no one. This time, the million dollar man didn’t get what he wanted. Cause I can’t be bought,” he added.