Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are all on Raw right now.
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are also all babyfaces right now. (OK, Reigns is one in theory — maybe.)
So are we due for a reunion of their terrorizing trio, The Shield?
I hope so, because Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns could all benefit from it right now.
Since the three superstars went their separate ways in June 2014, they've more than justified WWE's decision to break up what was its hottest act in brilliant, gut-punching fashion. Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns have each won world titles, sold copious merchandise and anchored the company on the live event circuit. No other faction in wrestling history has not only been so successful in its own right, but then spun off solo stars who've all reached such a high level of success, too. In that sense, The Shield is like if there were three Rockers and they were all Shawn Michaels.
Since WWE re-split its roster into Raw and Smackdown brands last summer, perhaps no image has summed up the change more than Jinder Mahal — ye…
Lately, though, it feels like Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns have each hit their own wall. Though he's a reliably fun talker, Ambrose has looked more listless and unimaginative than ever in the ring lately, and his resume is the weakest of the Shield alums in terms of great singles matches. Rollins is still bouncing back from his portrayal as an unsympathetic whiner during his feud with Triple H, but he doesn't have much traction outside of a lazy PG intensifier nickname. And the only thing it seems to say about Rollins is that he hits a lot of moves and sells scarcely.
Reigns, meanwhile, is Reigns. He's somehow emerged as the best wrestler of The Shield, a dynamic big man with smash-mouth execution, nuanced selling and freakily good timing. His body of work backs it up: Name a guy who's wrestled all three Shield alums — from Brock Lesnar to Braun Strowman — and Reigns is almost always the one who had the best match with him. His character is less consistent, though. Another collection of silly nicknames, Reigns careens between likable badass and saccharine pretty boy on what feels like a weekly basis.
Reigns also continues clinging to The Shield's glory days by using its music and SWAT gear, which is another problem dogging all three members of the group: presentation. Monogram logos, stock hard rock instrumental themes, generic shirt-pants getups — if anything suggests The Shield's split was premature, it's that WWE apparently had no idea how to distinctly package Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns as singles stars. Meanwhile, wrestlers like The Ascension, TJ Perkins and others spring fully formed into WWE arenas, only to be forgotten by the next match.
A Shield reunion could be the soft reboot all three of its former members need. It could be the way Ambrose redefines his shallow "Lunatic Fringe" character and even shallower wrestling style. It could be the way Rollins deepens his character beyond "Freakin'" and maybe reins in his tendencies toward dangerous excess in the ring. It could be the way WWE figures out exactly what the hell it's trying to accomplish with Reigns. It could be what WWE fans have wanted since June 2014 — and what Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns have needed for some time now.