If we were to all list our top five favorite things happening in the WWE right now, I think that the Shield would be on almost every single one of those lists, and quite possibly in many cases sitting at the very top of the list. It seems to be the rare case where the mob of wrestling internet fans and WWE creative have similar levels of faith in the same group of guys. Ever since their debut last November, The Shield has been booked to look strong against some of the heaviest hitters in the company including some part timers bordering on legend status. And the matches that The Shiled have been involved in have been almost universally fantastic including a Match of the Year contender at TLC last December. That being said, The Shield is fast approaching six months of active in ring work as a group. It’s time to start wondering what WWE might have in store for the group. So lets take a look at what some of the more popular possibilities may be.
The Shield goes for Gold: With them feuding with Team Friendship over the past couple of weeks, it would seem that a shot at the tag team championship would happen soon for The Shield. The first question in this scenario would be which two of the three Shield members would be wearing the titles, but that question could be taken care of by other popular rumors that Dean Ambrose would be gunning for the USA championship leaving the other two to get the tag titles. Have all of this happen in a single PPV, and you’ll go have The Shield going from nothing to the holders of three belts all in the span of a matter of hours. Surely that would mean great things for the Shield? Well maybe not. First of all, while The Shield has technically been three guys all working together for a common goal, Dean Ambrose has always felt like the unofficial leader of the group. Maybe it’s because of all the hype the Internet was giving the guy before he ever came on, or maybe it’s because he has the best mic skills of the three, but whatever the reason, Ambrose seems like the voice, and therefore the brains of The Shield. Give him a title that’s different from the other two, and you’ll really cement the idea that they are serving as backup for Leader Ambrose. And if that’s what the WWE wants, to have Ambrose be the breakout star of the group, that’s fine, but the thing is, Having the USA title won’t really achieve that. In his time with the Shield, Ambrose has attacked and gone up against the likes of John Cena, The Undertaker, Ryback, and The Rock. These are guys who, to be honest, can’t be concerned with who the USA champion is. The mid card title is probably a step sideways at best for Ambrose and won’t really help in the long run.
The Split-up: The eventual end of all groups of two or more wrestlers. In fighting and disagreements lead to mistrust in the ring, lead to betrayals, lean to more fighting and bickering, lead to an eventual showdown at a PPV to cement the breakup of the group. This usually results in one of the members turning face or heel depending on the circumstances, and it is very possible, in fact even probable that this could happen to The Shield at some point. The problem is, these breakups are rarely good for anybody. Alex Riley broke up with the Miz and has barely been seen since. Awesome Truth broke up and R-Truth went from facing the Rock at Survivor Series to his dancing bit again. The Corre imploded and now Wade Barrett is the only member who hasn’t faded away or been put in 3MB and even he can’t seem to break out of the middle of the pack. I guess you could say the one true breaking off of a group success story from recent years would be CM Punk and Nexus, but that involved no fighting amongst members, had no final breaking point fight at a PPV, and only resulted because of Punk moving on to bigger and better things. So WWE, when the time eventually does come to dissolve The Shield, please remember which route CM Punk took and which route Heath Slater took.
The next NWO: It’s been said more than once that the worst thing that WWE can do with the Shield is to make them into a modern day NWO. After all, remember what a mess that became, and remember how badly it ended? While I don’t deny that NWO was a mess eventually, nothing in wrestling lasts forever, and more often than not, when it does end, it tends to end awkwardly and poorly. What WWE is much more likely to focus on is the crazy amount of money NWO merchandise was making during its height and that the name can still sell DVD documentaries all these years later. And hey there are worst things that could happen. If we start adding members to The Shield like crazy, maybe the NWO formula will be followed to the letter and John Cena can take the Hogan role of surprise member of the group. Hey, at least then we’ll all get that heel turn we’ve been begging for all this time.
Tags: cm punk, dean ambrose, john cena, Kofi Kingston, nWo, Raw, Team Friendship, The Shield, WWE