Last week saw the return of The Shield, one of WWE’s greatest factions of all-time. It was a surprise to most, as Dean Ambrose had just returned from injury a week prior and helped Seth Rollins win the Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam. Roman Reigns also became the Universal Champion at SummerSlam, with a lot of people thinking he would continue his run as a singles star with the top prize on Raw.
So, now the question is this: what is the long-term play here? Was it amazing to see The Shield return? Absolutely. What they do from here now, though, will be interesting to follow.
We had a mini-Shield reunion last year, but injuries and sickness derailed it from ever having a chance to go long-term. The original Shield trio only competed in two matches together, including a match against The New Day at Survivor Series which pitted the two best factions of the past decade.
Now, with all three healthy, the sky’s the limit for what they can do in this run. They’ve already got a feud with Braun Strowman going after the trio took out the “Monster in the Bank,” preventing him from cashing in on the new Universal Champion.
A question that may determine the direction of this new Shield run is whether they’re faces or heels. They took out Strowman, a man beloved by the fans and is in the midst of a babyface run. That would seem like a heel move to do, but at this stage in the game, it’s really hard to “boo” The Shield. While they were better heels than faces, it’s going to be hard to not cheer three of the most popular guys on WWE TV today.
The end game in all of this, for me at least, has to be Ambrose vs. Rollins vs. Reigns for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 35. The three have faced off against each other once, a match Ambrose won to retain the WWE Championship in 2016. It was a good match, but it didn’t live up to the hype of what it could’ve been in most people’s eyes. They would have a chance to amend that if it happened again at next year’s WrestleMania.
How do we get to that point? Well, Rollins will have to lose the IC title along the way. Maybe Ambrose inadvertently costs him the title? I think either Rollins or Ambrose, let’s say Ambrose in this situation, wins the Royal Rumble then, setting up Ambrose to take on Reigns for the title at ‘Mania.
A jealous Rollins challenges Ambrose to a 1v1 match where if Rollins wins, he gets added to the title match at ‘Mania. Rollins wins, and we have our Shield triple threat match set for the main event of WrestleMania 35.
A lot of things will have to happen along the way to get to this point. I’m excited about the matches The Shield may have as a trio in 2018, so I don’t want to see the split happen until 2019 at the earliest. WWE threw everyone a curveball last week, and I’m excited to see where it takes us.