The Shield made an impact in professional wrestling. Only a small handful of stables and tag teams reached a comparable level of success and notoriety. It’s not a stretch to recall the Fabulous Freebirds, D-Generation X or the Von Erichs when drawing historical comparisons. They’re not in the same league as the Four Horsemen, but the Shield still rank among the very best in the long and colorful history of this quasi-sport.
It broke people’s hearts to see them break up. No really, it did; I read more than a few teary diatribes on the subject. This, more than any other match, shows you how excellent Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns were as a collective unit. You can’t break a heart without seizing it first. The Shield won the hearts of the fans as performers and made the audience care.
This is why I hate to tell you that breaking them up was the right move.
The Shield had nowhere left to go. They ripped through Evolution version-old, as they should have, and Triple H‘s squad folded their tent after Batista left to promote “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Rather than rekindle a program with the Wyatt Family, WWE made the call to break the team apart and move in a fresh direction
The Shield were at their peak after sweeping Evolution in a no holds barred elimination match at Payback. There’s only one place you can travel from the top, and that’s down. Instead of letting the group fade into upper mid-card obscurity, they shattered the union when people cared the most.
Was there money left to be made with the Shield? Probably, particularly on the merchandising front. On the other hand, Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns have a chance to spring the company to life as singles competitors, spear-heading the next generation of elite WWE wrestlers. Why delay the inevitable?
A serious Roman Reigns singles push was only a few months away anyhow, and fans are already reacting to him like a big-time star. Rollins has shown a masterful ability to sell for baby faces and I’m confident he’s going to shine in his new role as a heel. Ambrose is more of a mystery and positions as the odd man out, but his unique charisma, interview skills and fiery persona will help him.
This is a delicate time for WWE. The past generation is slowly but surely fading away, and a new breed is on the rise. Shall we let the old guard die an easy, peaceful death? Come on, this is wrestling!