The Shield, a popular stable in the wrestling world, have been broken up for a while. It seems there are hints that the status quo is going to change in the near future. The WWE are not scared to reform stables that have gone past their prime. The Shield though is different than the New World Order (NWO) and Degeneration X (DX) though. The Shield were one of the more recent stables that got over with the fans and showed that the whole is better than the parts that form it. The NWO, in all incarnations, had the problem of letting just about anyone join, even referees and announcers. Degeneration X were just getting old and the product changed while the members tried to stay the same. The Shield though, they were able to keep things fresh.
Three Man Teams While New, Aren't
Maybe because it has been a long time since we saw a three man stable that was this believable and interesting. The ring attire of The Shield was rather drab riot police looking black outfits. Their ring entrance was new for this generation, coming through the crowd- something Roman Reigns continues to do. Together they were able to hold their own against just about any opponent they faced. The Shield operated on their own terms, much like the Fabulous Freebirds did back in the day.
At one point in wrestling history there were a few promotions that had three man tag team championships. Unsurprisingly, the Fabulous Freebirds were the main holders of these titles in each of the organizations that made the belts available.
What Happened to the Shield Was Already Written
Seth Rollins, known as the “Architect of the Shield”, turned on his brothers when he hit Roman Reigns with a chair to the back. This set off a chain of events that forced Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose (the other members) to go into singles competition. Why Reigns and Ambrose didn’t continue as a tag team has always baffled me. The only reason for them to not become a two man tag team was to attempt making the individual wrestlers stars on their own. This has not happened, at least none have gone onto the heights set by other former tag team members like Bret Hart (former Hart Foundation member), Shawn Michaels (former Rockers member) or Booker T (former Harlem Heat member). Of the three members of the Shield, only Seth Rollins has gone onto win the current main title of the company, like the aforementioned former tag team members.
When in Doubt, Reform on the Other Side
Roman Reigns has had pretty universal heat as a singles wrestler, the problem for WWE is that they have been pushing him as a “face” (good guy) and not a “heel” (bad guy). Seth Rollins has gotten pretty good heat as a heel through his antics in, and out of, the ring and his association with “The Authority” (current big name heel stable). Dean Ambrose is the only one that would be a surprise to see turn heel as he is seeing quite a bit of support from the fans. As history has shown us, in wrestling the best time to turn heel is when you have tons of support from the fans. That means it would make sense to turn Ambrose heel sooner than later. For the Shield to reform as a heel stable they will need something big to happen that will force Ambrose to the other side.
At Payback, the next WWE pay per view, it is all three former members of the Shield in a Fatal Fourway match with Randy Orton (a person that is no stranger to playing either side of the storyline). In this match it is possible that we will see a heel turn by Reigns and Ambrose as they join with Rollins to beat Orton- turning the match into a 3 on 1 affair. This would allow Rollins to pin a beaten down Orton for the win, keeping his title and reforming the Shield all in one swift move.
Could It Be, Could the Shield Reform at Payback PPV?
The question now is, will the WWE writers let it happen? The possibility is there. Over the last several months there have been hints of it happening. Sure, there have been matches where former Shield members took on each other, literally beating each other up pretty badly, but there could be more to it than what we see. One “convenient” moment was Wrestlemania 31 where Reigns took on Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. After a grueling build up where Lesnar was pretty much exhausted Rollins joined the match for the win. This happened because Rollins held the “Money in the Bank” briefcase that allowed him to get a title shot whenever he wanted, he chose that moment at the tail end of the main event of Wrestlemania 31. Pinning a battered Reigns Rollins took the title from Lesnar since the match was then held under triple threat rules (the current champion need not be pinned to lose the title).
Printing Money and Cashing Checks
WWE are well versed in marketing their characters. This has been evidenced time and time again with wrestlers that were home grown or those that came from another organization. Proof of this continues when you look at wrestlers that have moved on from WWE to another promotion, they are recognizable but not as prolific as they were in the “big leagues” of wrestling. If anyone can pull off reforming the Shield as a heel team and get fan support for it, it is the WWE.
At the end of the day, the WWE is a profit earning company and will do what they have to do to bring in money. Right now, keeping the Shield apart is working, somewhat, but bringing them back together could push ticket sales through the roof. The Shield were a stable that drew attention when their music hit, only Ambrose has come close to that same level of support from fans in his career in singles competition.