The Wrestling God, JBL has said this numerous times over the past few months, but it truly is difficult to think of a trio that has had a bigger impact in their first year together than the Shield. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns went from nobodies (at least in the eyes of those that do not watch NXT or pay attention to the indie scene) that attacked Ryback out of nowhere during Survivor Series 2012 to three of the most hated men in the WWE today. They have won championships; Ambrose the US title and Rollins and Reigns the tag team titles, they have beaten down some of the biggest stars in the history of the company; The Undertaker, the Rock and John Cena and they have just looked consistently great over their debut year.
However, it seems as if those in the creative (I use that term loosely) department have decided it is time to plant the seeds of a break up. Dean Ambrose has been rubbing his teammates the wrong way over the past month or so and it appears that eventually he will cause the first big fissure within their normally cohesive unit. During tonight's opening segment on Raw, CM Punk appeared to create even more cracks in their once strong facade, challenging the best out of the three to a one on one match. Ambrose stepped up but Punk said he had already beaten him enough and called out Reigns, but Rollins eventually got the match and the loss thanks to a distraction caused by his teammates. I’m not going to pass this off as if I’m the first person to say this, but before the complete dissolution happens, they need to take advantage of the great feud that would be the Shield versus the Wyatt Family.
Since Punk’s Straight Edge Society was forcibly broken up with little storyline explanation and great frustration from Punk and fans such as me and the Nexus/Corre met their eventual ends, there has not been a good heel stable in the WWE. Now that there are two, The Shield and The Wyatt Family, they have a chance to capitalize on what could be an explosive program. We got a chance to see how good that could be on Monday Night Raw a few weeks ago, when the Wyatts came out and interfered in a match between Punk, Bryan and the Shield. The resulting stare down and brawl was incredible to watch and gave those of us salivating over the potential of this program something to whet our appetites. Right now Bray and the rest of his family still have their sole focus on Daniel Bryan and the Shield are apparently doing the bidding of the Authority, although they have been given very little story to go on, if any at all. (Remember when Paul Heyman and Punk supposedly paid them off to take out Ryback and keep Punk champ? Whatever became of that?) It's time for the writers at WWE to pick up the slack and create an interesting story for these two incredibly talented teams to play off of.
When it comes down to getting them together, there are plenty of obstacles in terms of current feuds. I came up with a possible way for them to play off of their involvement with the Authority at the Royal Rumble, costing Randy Orton his shot at winning the Rumble and his potential night off at Mania, but it seems as if creative has once again shifted gears when it comes to the Shield. They were once acting essentially as mercenaries for the company's hand picked champion in Orton. If all four of them were involved in the Rumble match, that hypothetical scenario could have drawn the ire of Triple H and the rest of the Authority and then the Wyatts could have been pulled in to work with Orton et al, getting back at the Shield for their incompetence. But their involvement with the Authority was parlayed into a feud with CM Punk and Orton will defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena in the main event of the Royal Rumble.
The Wyatt's current feud with Daniel Bryan is finally getting somewhere after weeks of him fighting off Bray's invitation to join him. After facing all three family members, Bryan has succumb to their nonstop beatings and is now part of the family as well. This has the makings of something that could be incredibly entertaining with Bryan's ability to adapt and evolve as a character, from heel to face and back again. However, this will not be a program that ends anytime soon if the slow burn that it has been so far is any indication. The Shield could very well be finito by the time the Wyatts are ready to move on.
With Bray’s unbelievable work on the microphone during promos, Ambrose’s proficiency on the mic as well, Reigns and Rollins' athleticism and incredible work in the ring and the two powerhouses in Rowan and Harper, this could be some captivating television. Unless the writing team surprises everyone and comes up with a way to tie their current angles together however, we will all miss out on a stellar clash between the two best teams in the company today.
Individually, the three members of The Shield will all go on to big things. Ambrose has a cocky swagger and bravado that just oozes from him every time he is in the building. He can work very well in the ring, although he has not been showcased all that well during his debut year on the main roster. When they finally force the break up, he will work best as a heel. He’s proven as the mouthpiece for this team that he can create and build on heat from the fans without a solid storyline given to him from the writers. Rollins could work as either a heel or a baby face, as he did in Ring of Honor with great success. There is no doubt he stills needs work on promos but if he is paired with a solid manager (Heyman anyone?), he could improve his skills in this facet of the game. In the ring Rollins is one of the most talented workers the WWE has going right now. Last Friday (or whenever they happened to tape it) on SmackDown, he showed out in his match against John Cena. Rollins should be a main event talent before too long after being the most overlooked of the three. Roman Reigns could be the biggest star out of all. He hasn’t been in the business too long but he has taken to the ring surprisingly well. He delivers his spear with incredible force, which is a good and bad thing as Edge can attest to. As an All-Defensive player at Georgia Tech, he has the athleticism to work any type of match and not blow up when he is finally set out on his own. It doesn’t matter in my opinion what role they decide to put him in, he will be a main event talent alongside his other two teammates.
Before they all go on to potentially greener economic pastures, The Shield should be in the ring together come WrestleMania time against the Wyatt Family. The WWE would be passing on a big draw for the hardcore wrestling fans wanting to see the awesome match these two teams would put on and the more casual fans would be looking at the future of the company. In the end, it’s what’s best for business as ole Hunter loves to say.