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The Problem With A Shield Reunion

In early 2014, the team of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose, then known as The Shield was red hot. For the first year and a half of their time on the main roster, the Shield performed as heels, serving as enforcers for CM Punk and The Authority. They were known for coming out through the crowd and attacking their victims, usually just overwhelming them with numbers. They were like a polished hybrid of the Nexus and the nWo. The swat outfits and impressive in-ring style made them very popular with the older, more hardcore fans, but nothing like they would be when they finally turned face.

On the March 17th episode of Monday Night Raw, the Shield had refused to attack Jerry “The King” Lawler, choosing to instead attack Kane, effectively turning face and beginning a feud with the Authority. Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose would have a squash match at WrestleMania 30, crushing Kane and the New Age Outlaws in less than 3 minutes. Over the next three months, the Shield would feud with the Authority, specifically a reunited Evolution featuring Triple H, Batista, and Randy Orton.

Coming off of a win over Evolution in a No Holds Barred Elimination match where all three members of the Shield survived, the team was at the peak of their popularity. This was, naturally, the best time for Seth Rollins to turn on the team and join the Authority. All three men have been incredibly successful since the split, combining to win the United States, Intercontinental, and WWE World Heavyweight Championships as individuals, but that hasn’t stopped the fans from clamoring for a reunion. It’s not unheard of. D-Generation X got back together, Evolution reformed, and on the WWE Network, Edge and Christian have a show together. Just because members of a faction break off to be individuals, it doesn’t mean they can’t reunite down the road.

The problem is that it would be a booking nightmare. Unlike the Attitude Era, where there were dozens of main eventers running around, the modern product has very few wrestlers capable of carrying the company from week to week. John Cena, Chris Jericho, Triple H, and Randy Orton, when healthy, are still on the wrong side of 35 and looking to move on from a full time schedule. Brock Lesnar prefers to only work a handful of shows of year and can’t be counted on to carry the smaller pay per views. And outside of that, there just aren’t enough viable contenders to be headliners.

Sheamus was given the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and ratings dropped to their lowest in almost 20 years. AJ Styles is phenomenal, but is unlikely to get a major push because of his time in TNA and New Japan Pro Wrestling. And worst of all, Vince McMahon has dropped the ball with so many NXT call-ups (Tyler Breeze, The Ascension, Bo Dallas to name a few), that it’s hard to see him giving someone like Kevin Owens a main event push.

At the end of the day, the pencil thin main event picture is made up of the three members of the Shield. Dean Ambrose’s devil-may-care attitude and ability to carry himself on a microphone has gotten him ridiculously over with the fans. Seth Rollins’ insane in-ring ability has earned him high praise and comparisons to the great Shawn Michaels. And whether the fans like it or not, Vince McMahon is dead set on having Roman Reigns replace John Cena as the face of the company.

In the last two years alone, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins have won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania, and Dean Ambrose found himself in a high profile feud with Brock Lesnar. The three men have already wrestled each other several times as well. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose have competed in four main events since the Shield split up, and despite being “brothers”, Reigns has pinned Ambrose twice on pay per view in the last four months alone.  Rollins’ injury happened right before he was supposed to feud with Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

The odds of all three men being faces or heels at the same time, be on good terms, and willing to team up again is just so unlikely. It isn’t like Reigns or Ambrose have forgotten what Rollins did to them, or like they haven’t feuded with “The Architect” on several occasions since splitting as a unit. Frankly, the only way to have Reigns or Ambrose turn heel at this point is to have one betray the other, and despite the fans clamoring for it, the betrayal never happens. Even if Seth Rollins does return as a babyface, he has to have championship ambitions, and would not likely want to dive into a tag team feud.

There’s no question that someday the WWE will play their trump card, reuniting the Shield for a cheap pop. The reunion will likely have to wait until the likes of Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, and Baron Corbin have cemented themselves as legitimate main eventers in the company, but if there’s one thing that the McMahons love more than bodybuilders, its money, and bringing the Shield back together would be like printing cash.

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