A Kink In The Shield Armor

Two WWE moments genuinely caught me by surprise in recent years – The Nexus leaving a trail of carnage to close out Raw on June 7, 2010, and The Shield’s debut at Survivor Series five years ago.

That moment on Raw seemingly was The Nexus’ peak. The faction would dissolve rather quickly. On the other hand, The Shield continued to get stronger. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns each brought a unique trait to the group. In the three years together, the faction never lost or gained members, relying on the intangibles each displayed on a nightly basis to run through anyone or group who tried to get in their way.

Before The Shield had the chance to gain more traction as a face trio, Rollins turned on his brothers causing one of the hottest acts to dissolve.

Two years later, The Shield is back together. Reportedly, The Shield 2.0 was reunited to try and get Reigns over. Good luck. Here’s the problem, The Shield has gained no traction since reuniting. Instead, this reunion tour has been a dramatic flop.

First, Reigns was sidelined with a viral illness delaying the reunion. Instead of holding off the reunion, Kurt Angle stepped in to fill the third spot at Survivor Series. Once Reigns came back, Rollins was taking loss after loss instead of dominating opponents. Yes, the three captured gold, but within weeks Rollins and Ambrose dropped their belts, lost more matches, and have spun in neutral. To top it all off, Ambrose will be out for an undisclosed time with a triceps injury. Last Monday’s Raw served as Ambrose’s write-off and in case you weren’t paying attention, Reigns was taking a vacation day.

The Shield 2.0 reminds me of the guy who goes back to his ex-girlfriend. The first time the two dated, it was great. It was love. It was romance. Then something happened, maybe a heel turn of sorts, and the two break up. Years pass, and they decide to get back together for some reason. Only this time something is off. Why? The lovebirds are trying to mimic the first go-around. It hardly works. And for The Shield it has not worked here. Most factions, when they break up and get back together down the road, just do not exhibit the energy or excitement the original group carried. Look at the WCW version of the NWO compared to the WWE version of the NWO. Going back to The Nexus, WWE creative tried to make The New Nexus into something, but it did not work.

Too many factors have killed The Shield’s reunion momentum, and I am not sure it can be fixed. Ambrose will be out a long period of time, so there goes the tag team portion of the faction.

If Vince McMahon really wants The Shield to succeed the second time around, he needs to do something fast. Unfortunately, chemistry cannot be created overnight. If you bring in another member, how will they gel? Will it come off as forced?

I think the only way to save The Shield is to potentially bring in one-to-two members for the first time in the factions’ history and try something new. Here are three potential wrestlers to look at:

Jason Jordan – I only suggest Jordan based on his interactions with The Shield up to this point. A few storylines could be written out of this.
A. Ambrose gets jealous The Shield brought in a new member, and upon his return we see cracks in the armor. This leads to Ambrose turning, or in another swerve, the long-awaited Jordan heel turn takes place. Jordan could say he was jealous that his “dad” was an honorary member, so Jordan weaseled his way in only to tear them apart. This opens the door to a Jordan/Angle showdown.

Finn Balor – Does WWE creative even know what to do with him? He is the man without a feud. Right now, he is locked in with the Miztourage, but before that all he really has to show is a feud with Bray Wyatt. Have Balor join to help out his Indie darling friend Rollins, only to turn on the group at Wrestlemania and form his WWE version of the Balor Club. Yes, I am going against my own thoughts of a faction reforming, but on the biggest stage, in the biggest promotion, we have yet to see it. This is the chance to rebuild Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. SummerSlam could feature Balor Club versus The Shield (if Reigns is not the champ).

Samoa Joe – This would be my pick. It seems random, but think about it. Joe has feuded with almost every face since he made the jump from NXT. He could slowly turn. People already love the guy. He is a great wrestler and teaming with Rollins would be incredible. When Ambrose comes back, bring in a variation of the first scenario with Jordan, and there is an instant feud.

Honorable mention: Drew Gulak. Imagine those PowerPoint presentations (OK, this one was not serious).

If the WWE sits on their hands with The Shield in its current state, I strongly believe the armor this faction once wore will forever have a kink in it. That is not how we want to remember one of the best groups in WWE history.

What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised.

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I am a journalist by day and a musician/actor by night. I've worked in radio, for ESPN 1300 in Lexington, as well as several other stations. My forte is print journalism, where I have spent most of my time covering collegiate sports. I've also written several feature stories on the WWE. I've worked for several daily newspapers covering breaking news, sports and entertainment. Currently I am a journalism professor. I have been doing this for three years. I have my bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism and electronic media. I am currently in the middle of obtaining my doctoral degree. Besides teaching, I serve as the media relations director for three national music venues. I work with the media, promote shows and help bring attention to each show. When I'm not writing or teaching college students to write, I am playing music. I have toured the Midwest several times and have been fortunate to play some great shows. I've opened for Tyler Hilton (Walk the Line, One Tree Hill) and Brett Scallions of Fuel. I played at Seacrest Studios, which was started by Ryan Seacrest, and have headlined shows at Hard Rock Chicago and Nashville. Writing, music and acting are my passions. I've grown up watching wrestling. I've always been a big Bret Hart fan. And maybe a little Barry Horowitz. So I'm excited to join the staff and dig in to the world of wrestling.