In today’s editorial, I’m going to talk/write a little bit about The Shield. That’s right. I speak out loud to myself as I type. It’s not weird. it’s normal. I want to quickly celebrate their awesomeness, while pondering what the future may have in store for this excellent unit.
Well, these three guys have been a constant presence in the main event of WWE’s flagship show Raw every week for the past year. The mark they have made on the business is unquestionable. They made stables cool again. When you compare them to the kind of groups TNA is often guilty of churning out on a quarterly basis, you see that The Shield are booked as strong, ruthless and unashamedly cocky. Even the look, the ring gear, is distinctive. Most importantly, when you put three athletes of gold quality into a group, you are a long way towards success from the get go. Every one of them can cut a promo, every one of them can use facials, and every one of them can deliver in the ring. Their respective abilities do vary, but we will get to that later.
The latest chapter of The Shield’s era has seen them portrayed as the men with gold. That changed last week when Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns were defeated for the Tag Team Championships. This leaves only Dean Ambrose left holding gold, in the shape of the United States Championship. The three continue to remain relevant, represent the regime and Triple H and will probably still occupy the main event every week for a while longer. The question does remain though, what is the long term plan for The Shield and did that title loss to Goldust and Cody Rhodes mark the beginning of a new, possibly final chapter for The Hounds of Justice.
The group have been at large for over a year now, and while they aren’t at all stale, it might be getting towards that time when WWE at least need to plan for a separation. They are still dominant characters, despite losing a little shine. They are still the highlight of most episodes of Raw in terms of in-ring product, providing frenetic, high-octane six man tag matches with anyone crazy enough to face them. They are still all on the same page. It can’t be denied though, that now they have lost the titles, there is a chink in the armour. This presents a possible opportunity to split up the group logically, and to give their break-up the booking the run has deserved. There a lot of theories out there, but if it were up to me, this is what I would do.
I’d have Dean Ambrose begin to lose patience with Rollins and Reigns when they lose tag team matches. He would also undermine them directly, and inadvertently, because of his growing ego. I would have him keep making the point in promos that he is still the US Champion. The interesting thing about The Shield is that they have always said they are equals, without a leader, controlled by no-one. If it were up to me, Dean would begin to present himself as the unofficial head of the group, which would annoy the hell out of the other guys. Over time, this could elevate Ambrose to the place of top heel, and allow the other two to continue working as a team for a little longer, with the potential for a face run. It would take a lot of work and planning, but I would like to see something along the lines of this.
If they do split up, what will be next for each guy? Even if Rollins and Reigns did continue to operate as a team for a while, that would need to come to an end eventually. The stable has been pushed so perfectly that no one member should be satisfied with a team role. Every one of them has the ability and the potential to become a World Champion in the WWE, and I expect them all to do so. Some will do it quicker than others, but they will all reach the top, in my view.
As for individual talents and directions. Ambrose should continue in a heel role. He is just a master at working the camera and using his face and his voice to get heat. Like all of the very best traditional bad guys, he has ring psychology down to a science and can back up his mouth with his work. He has all the dynamics needed to be a top guy.
I think Seth Rollins is the best wrestler of the group. He is destined to join Daniel Bryan and CM Punk as an “ROH guy” who reached the pinnacle. He is far from shabby on the mic too, and I could envisage him in either role. For me, a top babyface spot would work fine to start with. Potential feuds with the guys previously mentioned would be delicious. We have already seen the kind of clinics he can put on with Bryan as a part of a heel stable, let alone as a solo babyface.
I feel mostly the same about Reigns, and that’s why I think it might be beneficial to keep those two together as a team and turn them face for a while, before they go it alone. Reigns may get heat from some fans for being just a big guy with a huge physique, but that is pure jealousy. He contributes just as much as the other two in these great matches, and given the right direction and guidance, I could see him filling the shoes of Batista. He has an excellent family lineage in the business, something which should be exploited in putting his character over the top as a giant prototype of a wrestler.
In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge the emergence of these three top athletes in the biggest wrestling company in the world. I would like to also give credit to said company, for booking the stable to near perfection. There are always little things you might tweak here or there, but for the most part, they have got The Shield spot on. The other workers have benefited from having them out there to work with. The fans have been treated to excellent matches. The guys themselves have been given a really strong platform, from which to push on and become the best that they can be. A deserved pat on the back for Triple H and the Creative Team.
Looking to the future, I see bright things for Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose and I comfortably predict that each one of them will be WWE Champion at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Thanks for reading. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.