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Why the Shield is a Success

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We have seen successful stables over the years such as the Freebirds, Von Erichs and Hart Foundation. We have also seen less than stellar stables such as the Filthy Animals, Latino World Order and my all time least favorite, WCW’s No Limit Soldiers. After quite a bit of thought, I have come up with a dozen reasons as to why I feel the Shield has gotten over and remained red hot.
Feel free to add additional reasons in the comment section as to why you like the Shield or why you feel they are so over. Likewise, if you feel the Shield is not over or disagree with my points, please share that feedback as well. Hope you enjoy:

These guys just seem different – They come in through the crowd opposed to having a traditional entrance. They all dress the same in swat team apparel opposed to wearing traditional wrestling trunks. Each guy is very unique looking. Rollins has the brown/blond hair that differs from everyone else on the WWE roster. Ambrose is just a weird looking guy. Don’t get me wrong, nobody is confusing Ambrose as having the look of HBK, John Morrison or Gorgeous George. But the fact of the matter is, the guy sticks out like a sore thumb for whatever reason. Reigns has more of a traditional WWE look but his size and slicked back hair help distinguish his identity. It also helps him stand out since he is a much larger man than both Rollins and Ambrose.

The mystery factor – Who are these guys? We have never seen them before? (Ok this is not true as most people on this site follow other promotions besides WWE. However, I doubt many of the quote unquote “WWE Universe” follow NXT so they likely were not familiar with Roman Reigns before his WWE debut. Likewise, I am betting that most of the WWE Universe does not follow ROH so Tyler Black was a new face to most. And despite a successful Indy career, the WWE Universe was probably not familiar with Dean Ambrose prior to his WWE arrival.) So anyways, for most of the viewers, these are 3 guys that we have never seen before that are coming out of the crowd and beating the hell out of everyone. At first they appear to have no motive. Then, they claim to be the hounds of justice and are making these attacks to bring justice to the WWE. To this day, it is still a mystery as to what they are trying to accomplish in regards to bringing justice. Hopefully WWE is going somewhere with this. Anybody have any theories?

They make the cynics happy – A lot of people, primarily the IWC, are very discouraged with the current WWE product. No matter what WWE is producing, some people just hate it. So when guys like Big Show, Kane, Mark Henry, Ryback or Cena are in the main event on Raw, this type of cynical fan has no interest in the match because he or she most likely cannot stand one of (or possibly both of) the competitors in the match. However, when the Shield come through the crowd and beat the hell out of their victim, the cynical fan is made happy because the guy he hates just got his ass kicked.

No leader – Flair was the top dog in the horsemen. Punk was in charge of the Straight Edge Society. Wade Barrett controlled the Nexus. In these stables, you had the leader and then everybody else. Your bigger stables actually have had informal pecking orders to some extent. For example, Bully Ray is the leader of Aces and Eights but Devon and Anderson are considered second tier guys. Meanwhile, other members such as Brisco, Bischoff and Knox could be categorized as third tier guys. Likewise, when Hogan was the leader of New World Order, Hall and Nash were second tier guys. Hall and Nash were on a higher level than other members such as Vincent and the N.W.O. Sting. Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose are 3 equals. There is no pecking order. The Shield is a different breed because there would be no reason for one of the members to rebel against the group (or just the leader assuming there was one) since they are all of equal status.

Membership is limited and everybody knows who’s who – You have Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins. That’s all, that’s it. It is important to know how many guys are in the stable and what their names are. The New World Order was a great stable for quite awhile but things got comical towards the end when 3 limos were arriving to Nitro and Bryan Adams and Horace Hogan were getting out. Likewise, when the Corporation merged with the Ministry of Darkness, a television viewer just tuning in may have confused a promo with a battle royal as there were 15+ guys in the ring. Too many guys in a stable ruins the prestige of the membership. The Shield do not have this problem. Another common mistake, is when the members are so similar, it is difficult to tell them apart. For example, 2 of my least favorite stables such as Los Baricuas and the DOA would have members you would easily confuse because they looked so similar. Let’s face it, it is hard to get over when the audience cannot even remember the name of the wrestler they are watching or thinks that he is a different wrestler. An even better example of this was when Aces and Eights were having unnamed, masked guys wrestling in PPV matches. To make matters worse, the TNA announcers were just making up a name for the unidentified wrestler. Lastly, the biggest abortion of a stable that I can recall would be the disorganization of the No Limit Soliders. There were rappers, wrestlers, bouncers, and other guest appearances being made. Apparently, all of these guys were part of the stable. Other than Konnan and Mysterio, the audience legitimately had no idea who any of the other guys were and if they were an official member of the stable.

WWE Stables have been bad recently – It has been about 3 years since Wade Barrett was leading the Nexus. That was the last enjoyable stable WWE produced. The New Nexus led by CM Punk lasted what, all of 2 minutes. The Corre was a complete failure. 3MB is what it is. I will not hate on 3MB but it is not like anybody actually looks forward to seeing these guys come out and get beat up. The Shield is a breath of fresh air.

WWE has not given up on the Shield yet – Creative loves to push a new idea and then bury it immediately. For example, Lord Tensai from Japan managed by Sakomoto, the emerging young star Bo Dallas, the emergence of Alex Riley from the Miz’s shadow, CM Punk being the leader of the New Nexus, the “new” bodyguard of Tyson Kidd, etc. WWE is actually letting the Shield storyline play out very slowly. In the long run, this angle should really help establish Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose with the WWE fans.

They are the only stable in WWE – It helps to be the top stable in the company when you are the only stable in the company. (No I am not counting 3MB as a stable since they are a group of jobbers) The Attitude Era was filled with stables such as the Brood, the Corporation, DOA, J.O.B. Squad, Right to Censor, Kai En Tai, Los Boricuas, Mean Street Posse, DX, the Nation and the Radicalz. Unlike that era, the Shield is not feuding with other stables. They are just doing whatever they want and causing havoc, somewhat similar to the New World Order.

These boys can work – There is no denying that Ambrose and Rollins are spectacular in-ring workers. These guys can flat out wrestle. Not so sure about Roman Reigns as the sample size is too small for me to judge. However, from what I have seen, Reigns does not look bad. While the IWC is aware that the Shield is great in the ring, I am not sure if the majority of the WWE Universe realizes this yet as the Shield have had very few televised matches. However, as we see more actual matches and fewer through the crowd attacks, the WWE Universe will take notice. Just like the WWE Universe finally came around for Ziggler, I think they will come around and start to enjoy these guys for their wrestling over the next year.

You either love ‘em or hate ‘em – The IWC likes them b/c they are fresh blood, all in their 20’s and are good in-ring wrestlers. The WWE Universe enjoys them (as in loves to hate them) b/c they are the epitome of bad guys being bullies beating up the heroes every week. Similar to Cena, everybody seems to have an opinion in regards to loving them or hating them. And in the wrestling world, this is a pretty good formula for success.

Actions speak louder than words – The New World Order used to love to start Nitro with a 25 minute promo where they passed the mic around to all 12 guys. DX had countless backstage comedy skits and other non-wrestling shenanigans that took place outside of the ring. We don’t see this with the Shield. They make their very short entrance right out of the crowd, beat the hell out of somebody and that’s all she wrote folks. The segments are short & sweet and straight to the point.

What’s next – I am not really sure what is next for the Shield. My guess is we start seeing them wrestle more often opposed to just making 3 on 1 attacks from the crowd. Instead of 6 man tags involving all 3 guys, perhaps we will start seeing more individual matches. Since these guys are so over right now, I guess I don’t see any reason for a major change anytime soon.

Perhaps eventually there will be a new member, an established star will join the group, a leader will emerge or be brought into the group or something will implode ultimately leading to their breakup. What do you boys and girls think?

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  1. JohnnyV123's Avatar
    Great blog but I would warn you about comparing The Shield to DX and NWO. Those were two of the most successful stables ever so deviating from what they did does not give a good reason why The Shield is successful. I agree with your point that it's cool they are men of action but the DX and NWO way worked too

    I'd also add in that they are mysterious. Even though they keep saying that they are here for justice.....what the hell does that mean? They haven't explained themselves yet seem to have this driving purpose. That's pretty cool makes me want to know more.
  2. Marx's Avatar
    Good read. I do think a comparison between DX, NWO and The Shield is legit. These three will - barring injuries and drug problems - all be WHC-champs at least, probably WWE-champs. They are main event, as were DX and NWO. A lot of the other stables mentioned never had the impact The Shield has.

    I hope they let the Shield go on for a while, let them win the tag titles and a world title, and then break them up after the whc-holder goes on an ego-trip. I'd rather not see them beat as a team.

    And for the love of God: please, WWE, don't go NWO on us and add guys. They are terrific as they are.
  3. CM Sizi's Avatar
    How can you guys say these guys are all going to be world or wwe champs? Look at the framework they are working in? There is nothing that says any of these guys are going to do anything. Not one of them has completed a singles match in their time here with out some sort of interference. Its been 6 months with these guys. Ambrose can go, I will not argue that fact, but slow down man.

    I also don't agree with the comparisons to DX and the NWO, but The Freebirds comparison is fair. DX and the NWO took established guys with long track records and put them into a group that could impact storylines at all levels. The Freebirds were a team and worked with a team concept. If the Shield is kept on this path, they will be in a great position down the road but right now they are, at best, ready for a run in the tag team division as the top team. None of those guys are ready for anything more at the present time. Their impact will not be felt at the top level because none of then could legitimately wear the title right now and carry the company. If you disagree with that, honestly, you don't know anything about wrestling. These guys are years away from being main eventers.
  4. Marx's Avatar
    @ CM Sizi

    Let's agree to disagree. I don't care if you agree or not, you're second to last comment is completeley unnecessary. Because you choose to express yourself that way, I conclude you're an asshole and I'm not very inclined to reason with you - but still, I live to help the ignorant masses, so I'll reply.

    To me, in the current setup, the WHC is what the Intercontinental Championship was when WWE/WWF had one heavyweight championship belt. Do you claim that Del Rio, Swagger and Ziggler are carrying the company at the moment?

    The workers they are, the age they are - Ambrose & Reigns 27, Rollins 26 - I can't see them not get to that point.

    A Freebird-reference is a honour, so they should be glad you give it. If you don't see a DX/NWO-parallel in the mentality and attitude, you should go see an optician. You're 'established workers' argument is valid, I'll give you that.
  5. CM Sizi's Avatar
    yeah that was a poor comment, referencing the second to last comment. I can't believe I even said that. Please disregard. You clearly know wrestling and that was unwarranted.

    I agree with you the current set up is as you say it is, but they have now set a precedence for gaining elevation to the world title with Ziggler. He was buried, worked alone, and waited and waited. There was a time where they pushed guys way too fast. Orton being the prime example. Not that I don't think Orton's climb to the top was justified because it was. I think they are wary of pushing too high too fast because then you get stuck with a star that is boxed in. Orton can't have the wwe title because of the position Cena and Punk have been thrust into. The world title is being used to position younger guys, but unlike WCW, historically, world champions aren't going to be in such a large stable without a leader. The title needs to be on a figure head of a stable for it to work. I would think they would need to either designate a leader of the Shield or split them up before they put a title on one of them. Given the path these guys are on, personally, I don't see any of them being in position for another 2 years. So in essence, I am more questioning the hurry to get them to the top levels more so than their deserving to be major singles competitors.

    And for the record, I won't write comments when I'm hung over anymore. I am a dick when I'm hung over. Thanks for keeping that in check.
    Updated 05-13-2013 at 12:40 PM by CM Sizi (typo)
  6. weems's Avatar
    I couldn't find a way to incorporate this into my blog so I will post it here: I was unfortunately in attendance to see the abortion of Sin 2001 (that was the WCW PPV where Sid broke his leg) and witnessed perhaps the worst gimmick match EVER between two stables. It was a penalty box match between Team Canada (Mike Awesome, Lance Storm and Elix Skipper) vs. The Filthy Animals (Mysterio, Kidman, Eddie) with Jim Duggan as the Special Guest Referee.
    Hopefully nobody remembers this as it was beyond abysmal. Either way, please share if you can recall a worse match between two stables as I would be shocked if such a match ever took place.

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