A Dulling Shield Submitted by LoneLee on 01/01/2019 at 04:34 PM
A Dulling Shield
Needless to say, The Shield and its 3 members have been a major focal point of WWE since their emergence onto the main roster 6 years ago. Separately and as a force they've dominated the ranks, toppled every big name who stood in their way, and captured all of the championships throughout both brands. Even on opposite sides of the ring they've clashed mutiple times even cashing in MITB against one another on more than one occasion. Once resulting in each member being WWE World champion in the same night. They've disbanded, reunited, disbanded, reunited, and disbanded again all within a 6-year period. There lies the problem.
How long can one story of "brothers" be pushed on and off again until fans grow disinterested and remiss? That question may have been answered at last month's TLC PPV. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose have had countless memorable encounters over their tenure as WWE Superstars (not really countless, as I'll get to in a minute.) But for the first time ever a match of theirs was met with resounding "This is boring" chants from the capacity crowd in San Jose. Perhaps it was a combination of the 3+ surprisingly satisfying event they'd already experienced. Maybe the fans were just anxious to see Becky Lynch. The truth is, what more could these two do that we haven't already seen?
It's not enough that their newest feud was met with brutal beating of Seth every week, but that it climaxed with a 20-minute scientific wrestling match at a PPV with a no holds barred theme. Granted, not every match on the card can be a TLC match but this is one that could've benefited greatly from the element and the inclusion was almost a no-brainer. We've seen these two in street fights, ladder matches, hell in a cell, and elimination chambers. Know what else? Since their inclusion in the main roster they've been involved in 372 matches together total! That's counting PPV, TV tapings, dark matches, and live events. With an astounding 112 on opposite sides of the ring, 31 of which were televised or on PPV and 13 being one-on-one contests (Thank you very much Internet Wrestling Database). Again, what more can they do? Aside from changing the championship of the feud, it may take thumbtacks or flaming tables to reignite this storyline.
The much anticipated heel turn of Dean Ambrose was met with much controversy given circumstances surrounding the night it occured. To further the unsettling nature of the execution, the storyline was furthered with the exploitation of the real-life illness of fellow Shield brethren Roman Reigns. Also, I'd be doing a great disservice to my comic book fandom if i didn't point out that Ambrose trading in his Heath Ledger's Joker hair for a Tom Hardy Bane jacket has gone over like a fart in church. Rather than the unstable Jon Moxley-like lunatic heel, we're treated to a generic, whiny Dean who berates hosting towns for cheap heat. It's not only a feud we've seen before, but with the roles reversed. Seth's coming out party as a smarmy, entitled heel who "didn't sell out but bought in" to management was the catalyst needed to propel him past his two more popular Shield brethren. In any case, the bases of both feuds are that being part of The Shield held them back. Then why the hell do they keep reuniting over time??
Sadly, it is in my opinion that this version of The Shield's cracks had to be changed due to the sudden indefinite hiatus of Roman Reigns. It became apparent that this reformation of The Shield was to protect Reigns as the top guy and use the latter two members as his lackeys. Roman was the true reason Dean should've felt held back and perhaps that would've been the feud in the long run. It would've felt fresh and kept Dean as a tweener against the always polarizing figure of Reigns. Unfortunately, real-life forced an audible. I say this with much confidence: WHEN Roman comes back, a feud with Dean will provide new and exciting matchups that were teased since the early days of friction with The Shield but never came to fruition. But as far as Seth and Dean go, at no fault of their own, they need to go separate paths once and for all.