WWE’s greatest creation of the last decade

It feels fitting that this year marks the 10-year anniversary of his debut on Survivor Series. WWEThe greatest creation of that decade, or even longer, was The Shield.

The Shield crossed paths before forming as a group

When the trio debuted as The Shield at Survivor Series 2012, their paths crossed before their main roster call-ups.

Dean Ambrose (then and now again known as John Moxley) and Seth Rollins (then wrestling under the name Tyler Black) competed extensively on the independent circuit, most notably Ring of Honor, where Black became world champion.

Roman Dominion On the other hand, the likes of Bill Goldberg and his cousin The Rock took the same route by transitioning to wrestling after a short American football career with the Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars and Edmonston Eskimos (of the Canadian Football League).

Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose competed in a triple threat match at FCW

The three men’s careers merged in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), WWE’s old developmental system. Ambrose’s first match under the WWE umbrella actually came against Rollins and led to a long-running feud between the pair.

Reigns then defeated both men in a triple threat match on February 5Th2012, episode of FCW, which served as a precursor to their entire run as a unit on the main roster.

He debuted alongside CM Punk, claiming to be the brains behind the group

The run began as a hired gun/mercenary for CM Punk, who was in the midst of a 434-day run as WWE Champion at Survivor Series. Wearing short black polo necks, three men attacked John Cena And Ryback helps Punk retain his title once again.

Punk credited the idea behind the group and Rollins and Ambrose’s knowledge of the indies makes sense. 10 years later, Ambrose/Moxley and Punk battled for the AEW World Title, a sign of how much had changed in that time.

The SHIELD Survivor Series started in 2012

On their Raw debut a week later per view, the three men identified themselves as The Shield, vowing to rally against perceived “injustices”. This led to the group being nicknamed the “Hounds of Justice”.

In the coming weeks, he continued to attack any and all of Punk’s opponents, claiming that the champion and his manager Paul Heyman were not working for him.

All three started with a long unbeaten run

His in-ring debut came at TLC 2012, where he defeated Ryback, Daniel Bryan and Kane in a 6-man Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. This started an unbeaten streak for the unit until May of the following year.

The loss came in singles action in January when Rollins dropped his NXT title to Big E. This is standard practice given The Shield’s upper-card position on the main roster. Since then, Rollins has won the WWE and Universal Championships, becoming the only man to land all three.

His partnership with CM Punk ended at the Royal Rumble and the focus shifted to fellow big names John Cena and The Undertaker, both of whom were defeated in 6-man tag matches with the teams of Sheamus and Ryback and Kane and Bryan, respectively.

The Shield won their first titles

Their stunning main roster debut was capped off with title success for all three at Extreme Rules, where Ambrose won the US Championship and Rollins and Reigns captured the tag titles. The Shield is now a staple of WWE TV, constantly appearing in main events and feature matches.

An involvement with Triple H led to the eventual breakup of the group

The Shield took their mercenary talents to Triple H and The Authority after going after The Game’s heels on Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam 2013. He helped Randy Orton hold the WWE Title and often attacked those who opposed the new faction.

The seeds of a feud between the trio were soon sown when Rollins and Reigns lost their titles, leaving Ambrose as the group’s sole champion. Losses also began to creep in due to the lack of coordination and communication that was vital to their success.

The breakdown eventually led to an apparent rift between the group after Rollins walked out of a match with The Wyatt Family, who challenged The Shield for group supremacy in WWE.

The restoration of group harmony led to a babyface turn against aging legends Kane and The New Age Outlaws, who were allies of The Authority, after refusing to attack Jerry Lawler. A decisive WrestleMania 30 win resulted, the group’s second and last.

Seth Rollins tunes heel in 2014

At this point, the group breaking up was more of a “when” than an “if,” and Ambrose was heavily tipped to back off on his teammates. Instead, it was Rollins who shocked the world by turning to the dark side.

This followed The Shield’s most iconic feud and victory over Evolution (Triple H, Orton and Batista) when Rollins was Triple H’s “Plan B”. In a more shocking moment, Rollins knocked out Reigns and Ambrose with steel chairs.

All three men enjoyed great success as solo stars

The disintegration of the group led to individual success for all the men and several feuds between them all. In short, as a result of just an 18-month first run as The Shield, the trio’s careers are forever inextricably linked.

Rollins and Ambrose first feuded in the summer of 2014, during which the former, now known as “The Architect”, won the Money in the Bank ladder match. This leads to the most famous cash-in in WWE history.

Seth Rollins cash-in at WrestleMania 31

Won the Royal Rumble in 2015, much to the dismay of fans who felt he was pushing too hard for someone too raw and green, but was destroyed by his ex-brother who cashed in and stole his crowning moment at WrestleMania vs Brock Lesnar. WWE Title.

Rollins’ reign lasted most of 2015 until he had to vacate the title due to a knee injury, which Reigns then won. Reigns then defeated Triple H at WrestleMania 31, the same event that Ambrose lost to Brock Lesnar.

Their dominance was evident in the summer of 2016 before a reunion the following year

The group’s success crystallized in the creation of three main-event players at Money in the Bank 2016. Ambrose defended his title against Return Rollins when he competed in a contract ladder match.

Rollins won the title (and has yet to lose a PPV match to Reigns) but his joy was immediately taken away by Ambrose, who cashed in on poetic justice.

The three members of The Shield were WWE Champions in the space of three minutes and then followed up their dominance with a triple threat on Battlegrounds. A WrestleMania-worthy main-event and a sign of their dominance.

Battlefield 2016

From here, their paths diverged when Ambrose moved to SmackDown in the 2016 draft, while the other two went to Raw. Rollins then turned face after Triple H was betrayed by his one-time mentor.

Their long-awaited reunion came in 2017 after Ambrose and Rollins patched up their friendship and won the tag titles and were later joined by Reigns. This proved to be short-lived as Ambrose went down with an injury, keeping him out for an extended period of time.

Reigns’ illness, Ambrose’s heel turn and his eventual WWE exit

His return in late 2018 coincided with Reigns’ heartbreaking announcement that he had leukemia for the second time, leading to his departure for several months. Later in the night, their Shield brothers won the tag titles in a great moment for all involved.

Roman Reigns Leukemia Publication

It was around this time that the long rumored Ambrose heel turn finally shocked the crowd. Unfortunately, his run was booked horribly and ultimately led to him not renewing his contract with the company.

With his departure confirmed, Ambrose held one last reunion in the spring of 2019 before moving on to pastures new with AEW and once again becoming John Moxley.

All three men are big names in the wrestling industry

The group’s success can be seen at every stage of their run as a unit and as individuals. All three men have held numerous world titles, tag titles, title pay-per-views and major events in both WWE and AEW. From relative unknowns to megastar main events in just a few years.

The three are pillars of the industry – Reigns is the No.1 star in WWE and the longest reigning champion in a generation, Rollins is probably the most reliable performer in WWE, the current US Champion and once again the definitive World Champion. Moxley is AEW’s “Ace”, the heart and soul of the company and a three-time AEW World Champion.

It’s unlikely that we’ll ever see The Shield reunite outside of a Hall of Fame induction in a decade or two, but their legacy is solidified as one of the greatest groups of all time and WWE’s best formation in recent times. Believe that.

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