Just last year, it seemed as if the WWE‘s roster was the best in a decade. Daniel Bryan was making his long awaited ascension to the top. The Undertaker was hoping to return to action on a semi-regular basis. The Rock had even shown up at a third straight WrestleMania. Things were looking up.
How quickly things have changed.
The aforementioned Bryan has had a series of injuries that derailed his push. It doesn’t look like the Undertaker or The Rock will ever be back for more than a match or two per year, and the company had a highly publicized exit from mega star CM Punk in January. Throw in absences and releases to supporting players like The Big Show, Mark Henry, Christian, Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio and Bad News Barrett, and the once loaded WWE roster is quickly thinning.
A couple of months ago, the WWE ripped the hearts out of many fans due to the breakup of the uber-popular Shield stable. Over the previous 18 months, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins had lit the WWE on fire and helped reinvigorate every aspect of the program, namely tag team wrestling. Unbelievable six man tag matches and shocking moments became the norm, and the group immediately left their mark.
The Shield didn’t have a peak, they had one sustained, awesome run. In the midst of that awesome run, the WWE realized that it was in trouble with their roster. Batista left the company to promote his upcoming movie and the brand was left with yet another gaping hole to fill. The trigger was pulled and the Shield was split.
What resulted was the WWE getting three top level acts to work with instead of one. The unit in which had provided the company with stellar six-man tag matches for a year and a half was being looked at to carry the weight of the promotion through singles competition. The project hasn’t failed.
After feuding with Evolution, Team Hell No, New Age Outlaws, CM Punk, Ryback, The Wyatt Family and tons of others, there wasn’t much left for The Shield to accomplish as a team. That isn’t the case as singles stars, as all three members now have a fresh canvas and a new run to work with.
If the first few months are any indication, the move has paid off and provided Raw with the relief it needs with a depleted set of superstars. Could you imagine the upper-midcard scene without the likes of Roman Reigns’ rise, or the awesome Ambrose vs. Rollins feud? The decision to break up the Shield was not only a good one, it may have very well saved the quality of Raw.