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The Shield (professional wrestling)

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The Shield
WWE Raw IMG 5962 (13772996683).jpg
The Shield in April 2014 from left to right: Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns (back)
Stable
Members Dean Ambrose[1]
Roman Reigns[2]
Seth Rollins[3]
Name(s) The Shield[4]
Years active 2012–2014[5][6]
2017
2018–present

The Shield[7] is a professional wrestling stable in WWE which consists of Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins. The group currently performs on the Raw brand.[8]

The group debuted on November 18, 2012 at the Survivor Series pay-per-view.[5] The Shield was a dominant force in six-man tag team matches with an undefeated televised streak lasting from December 2012 to May 2013, during which they scored a victory at WrestleMania 29[9] and defeated teams containing the likes of Big Show, Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Kane, Randy Orton, Ryback, Sheamus, The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper), and The Undertaker.[7] In May 2013 at Extreme Rules, all three members of The Shield won a championship, with Ambrose winning the United States Championship while Rollins and Reigns captured the WWE Tag Team Championship.[10] Rollins and Reigns were WWE Tag Team Champions until October 2013 and Ambrose was United States Champion until May 2014, which was a record reign for the WWE version of the championship.[11][12] As a Shield member, Reigns gained prominence by setting and equaling elimination records at the 2013 Survivor Series and the 2014 Royal Rumble events.[13][14]

In 2014, The Shield gained victories over The Wyatt Family[15] and Evolution (Batista, Orton and Triple H) in six-man tag matches,[16][17] as well as a win at WrestleMania XXX against The Authority's Kane and The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg).[18] The Shield at different points in their history worked for CM Punk and The Authority while later going on to face their former employers in separate feuds.[19][20] They wrestled in the main event of numerous Raw and SmackDown television shows and headlined one pay-per-view, the 2014 Payback event, which was their final match as a trio until 2017.[17] Rollins left the group on June 2, when he attacked Ambrose and Reigns with a chair and sided with The Authority.[21] Ambrose and Reigns went on their own ways as singles wrestlers later that month, marking the end of The Shield.[6]

Following the group's dissolution, each member of The Shield went on to become a world champion. All three reigned as WWE World Heavyweight Champion within a three-minute span at the end of the 2016 Money in the Bank event: Rollins defeated Reigns for the championship and then Ambrose cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase (which he won earlier that night) on Rollins to win the title.[22] By April 2018, all three members of The Shield also completed the Triple Crown and Grand Slam.[23]

In the lead-up to the 2017 SummerSlam event, Ambrose and Rollins reunited and captured the Raw Tag Team Championship from Cesaro and Sheamus.[24] Then on the October 9 episode of Raw, Reigns along with Ambrose and Rollins confronted The Miz, officially reuniting The Shield and attacking The Miz, Cesaro and Sheamus.[25]

Following Ambrose's return from injury the previous week, The Shield reunited on August 20, 2018 episode of Raw to prevent Braun Strowman from cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on Reigns.

Characters

The Shield has from the beginning of their existence voiced their intentions to fight what they perceived as "injustice".[4] They were also known for their black ring attire (including protective vests) with each member having their own style,[26][27] their tendency to approach the ring through the live audience[28] and their trademark promos, which were recorded from a first-person perspective using a handheld camcorder.[29] They were a group which possessed excellent teamwork and a willingness to sacrifice themselves as an individual for the good of the team,[30][31] which achieved victories by overwhelming opponents with superior numbers after incapacitating their teammates.[32] The Shield referred to WWE as their "yard" during their speeches[33][34] and were nicknamed as "The Hounds of Justice".[26]

For their individual characters:

  • Dean Ambrose – played the "de facto leader" and "mouthpiece" of the group.[35][36] Ambrose's role was described as being "the more vocal leader of the group" and was then tweaked to become more verbally arrogant in mid-2013.[37] WWE also described Ambrose's character as "slightly off" and "wild".[8]
  • Roman Reigns – was established by WWE as the "powerhouse" and "heavy hitter" of The Shield, as well as an "exceptional athlete".[8] Reigns was noted as the least talkative of The Shield members.[38] In mid-2013, Reigns' character was described as being tweaked to become extremely confident and a source of leadership with "quiet strength".[37]
  • Seth Rollins – was described as having a "chaotic" in-ring style.[8] In mid-2013, he was described as "the out-spoken, hot-head who will do crazy things" to help The Shield.[37] In 2014, Rollins gained the labels of "The Aerialist" and "The Architect" of The Shield.[39][40] While out of character, Rollins explained "The Architect" moniker as that he had a "cerebral approach" in coming "up with the blueprints" for their wrestling matches or storylines.[41]

While out of character, the group has credited trainer/producer Joey Mercury as a mentor.[42] The group were originally supposed to wear turtlenecks and carry riot shields, but changed their attire before their debut.[43] CM Punk later claimed to have come up with the idea of The Shield, which he proposed were to be his storyline protectors and consisting of Ambrose, Rollins and Kassius Ohno—Punk described "their guy", Reigns, replacing Ohno, who had been rejected by Triple H.[44] WWE Spanish announcer Marcelo Rodríguez had named the group for Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins "The Shield" on November 19, 2012, one day after the Survivor Series event.[45]

History

First run (2012–2014)

Mercenaries for CM Punk

The Shield made their entrance by the arena steps

The group debuted at Survivor Series on November 18 as a villainous group when the debuting Ambrose, Reigns, and the then-reigning NXT Champion Seth Rollins interfered in the triple threat main event between CM Punk, John Cena and Ryback for the WWE Championship, where they performed a powerbomb on Ryback through a broadcast table, allowing Punk to pin Cena to retain the title.[46] On the November 26 episode of Raw, the group identified themselves as "The Shield" and vowed to rally against "injustices".[4] Despite claiming that they were not working for either Punk or his manager Paul Heyman, over the next few weeks on both Raw and SmackDown they would routinely emerge from the crowd to attack Punk's adversaries such as Ryback, The Miz and then WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane).[4][47] They also attacked Randy Orton after he defeated Brad Maddox, who was the referee who helped Punk defeat Ryback during their Hell in a Cell match at the previous Hell in a Cell event for the WWE Championship.[48] This led to The Shield's debut match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 16, where they defeated Ryback and Team Hell No in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match.[49][50]

After TLC, despite continuing to attack Punk's and Maddox's adversaries such as Ric Flair,[51] Brodus Clay[52] and Sheamus,[53] The Shield soon expanded their ambushes to other wrestlers, such as Mick Foley,[29] Tommy Dreamer and Ricardo Rodriguez.[54] The Shield's attacks were also used to write off wrestlers from television via injury angles, such as Randy Orton and Sin Cara, who were already suffering from legitimate injuries.[55][56]

On the January 2, 2013 episode of NXT (which was taped on December 6, 2012),[57] The Shield made their first appearance in NXT, though Rollins and Reigns had already wrestled there before and Rollins was the inaugural NXT Champion.[58][59][60] Rollins defended his title against Corey Graves, but Ambrose and Reigns attacked Graves to cause a disqualification so that Rollins retained his title. After the match, The Shield then fended off the entire NXT locker room, but retreated from Big E Langston.[61] On the January 9 episode of NXT (which was taped on the same date as the previous episode), Rollins lost the NXT Championship to Langston in a No Disqualification match after the NXT locker room neutralized the interference of the other Shield members.[62]

On the January 7 episode of Raw, The Shield once again aided CM Punk by attacking Ryback during their Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the WWE Championship, which resulted in Punk retaining the title.[63] On the January 21 episode of Raw, The Shield attacked The Rock, Punk's WWE Championship contender at the Royal Rumble, resulting in Mr. McMahon declaring that their interference in the title match would result in Punk being stripped of the championship.[64] Four days later on SmackDown, Punk denied an alliance with The Shield before calling them out and informing them that he did not want them to interfere in his upcoming title match.[65] However, during Punk's title match at the Royal Rumble on January 27, a blackout occurred, The Rock was attacked by The Shield in the darkness and when the lights came back on, he had been put through the announce table, leading to Punk pinning The Rock and retaining the championship, only for the match to be immediately restarted by McMahon with The Rock winning the WWE Championship.[66] The following night on Raw, it was revealed through footage played by McMahon that Punk's manager Paul Heyman had been paying The Shield and Brad Maddox to work for him all along.[67]

Undefeated streak

The Shield addresses the crowd during Raw in February 2013

On the January 28 episode of Raw, The Shield attacked John Cena, as well as Sheamus and Ryback when they attempted to save Cena.[67] The next week on Raw, Maddox called out The Shield and revealed that he was the one who had given McMahon the footage showing that they were working for Heyman, thus prompting The Shield to attack Maddox until they were forced to retreat due to an attack by Cena, Ryback and Sheamus.[68] The Shield justified their attacks due to a "decade of injustice" caused by Cena.[69] This set up a six-man tag team match on February 17 at Elimination Chamber,[70] which The Shield won.[71][72] They contunued their feud against Sheamus, having several matches against him, including a six-man tag team at WrestleMania 29 where The Shield defeated Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show.[73][74]

On the April 8 episode of Raw, The Shield attempted to attack The Undertaker, but were ultimately forced to retreat by Team Hell No.[75] This led The Shield to face the combination of The Brothers of Destruction and Team Hell No (Undertaker, Kane and Bryan), which The Shield defeated on the April 22 episode of Raw.[76] On the April 26 episode of SmackDown, Ambrose made his singles debut against The Undertaker and lost via submission, but after the match The Shield attacked Undertaker and performed a triple-powerbomb on him through the announce table.[77] Ambrose then started a feud with United States Champion Kofi Kingston, winning the title from him at Extreme Rules. At the same event, Rollins and Reigns defeated Team Hell No to also win the WWE Tag Team Championship.[78]

All champions and Triple H's enforcers

Rollins and Reigns lost their WWE Tag Team Championship to Cody Rhodes (far right) and Goldust (right)

From May to August, The Shield denfended their championship against several opponents. Ambrose faced Kingston,[79] Kane, and Rob Van Dam[80] while Rollins and Reigns faced Team Hell No,[81] Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton,[82][83] The Usos,[84]

On the August 19 episode of Raw, The Shield began working for chief operating officer Triple H and they would aid WWE Champion and "the face of WWE" Randy Orton against his rival Daniel Bryan, while also attacking wrestlers like Big Show and Dolph Ziggler for speaking out against Triple H's regime.[85][86] At Night of Champions on September 15, The Shield enjoyed successful title defenses when Ambrose defeated Ziggler while Rollins and Reigns defeated The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil).[87] At Battleground on October 6, after being kayfabe fired, Cody Rhodes and Goldust earned their jobs back by beating Rollins and Reigns in a non-title match.[88] On the September 23 episode of Raw, The Shield lost an eleven-on-three handicap elimination match during which every member was pinned, this being Reigns' first, as The Usos, Ziggler and Bryan contributed to the pins.[89] On the October 14 episode of Raw, Reigns and Rollins lost the WWE Tag Team Championship to the Rhodes brothers in a No Disqualification match after interference from Big Show.[90] On the October 16 episode of Main Event, Ambrose again successfully retained the United States Championship against Ziggler.[91] At Hell in a Cell on October 27, Rollins and Reigns lost a triple threat tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship against the Rhodes Brothers and The Usos, while Ambrose retained the championship after a countout loss to Big E Langston.[92]

Cracks in The Shield

Dean Ambrose became the longest reigning United States Champion under the WWE banner at 351 days

The first seeds of dissension were sown in The Shield (especially between Ambrose and Reigns) with Ambrose's boasting of being the only member left with a championship,[93] but from then on Ambrose was frequently pinned during The Shield's matches.[94][95] At Survivor Series on November 24, The Shield teamed with The Real Americans (Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger ) to defeat the team of Rey Mysterio, the Rhodes Brothers and The Usos in a Survivor Series elimination tag team match, with Ambrose being the first man eliminated, Rollins (with one elimination) the fourth man eliminated for his team and Reigns the sole survivor after eliminating four opponents.[96]

In late November, CM Punk's criticism of Triple H earned him an attack by The Shield,[97] but Punk tasted revenge at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 15 when he overcame The Shield in a handicap match, capitalizing on The Shield's lack of co-ordination after Ambrose was accidentally speared by Reigns, thus making Punk the only person to beat The Shield in a handicap match.[98] Punk documented in an out-of-character interview a year later on how he was constantly reminded to make Reigns look "really, really strong" in the match at TLC to the point that Punk requested to lose the match, which was rejected.[99]

Going into 2014, Punk's taunts increased tension between The Shield members[100] and Reigns emerged as the only Shield member to defeat Punk in a singles match on the January 6 episode of Raw, albeit with a distraction from Ambrose.[101] All three members of The Shield competed in the 2014 Royal Rumble match, during which Ambrose tried to eliminate Reigns, who retaliated by eliminating both Ambrose and Rollins.[102] Reigns eventually finished as runner-up in the match while setting a new record for most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble match with 12, with Ambrose and Rollins scoring three eliminations each and Rollins spending the second longest amount of time in the match after CM Punk.[103]

On the January 27 episode of Raw, The Shield faced the team of Daniel Bryan, John Cena and Sheamus in a six-man tag team qualifying match for the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but lost by disqualification after The Wyatt Family interfered.[104] The Shield vowed revenge, therefore a match was set up between The Shield and The Wyatt Family.[105] With both The Shield and The Wyatt Family being villainous teams, WWE positioned The Shield as the team the audience should root for on the February 10 episode of Raw, when The Shield was willing to engage in a confrontation while The Wyatt Family backed down.[106][107] Meanwhile, on the February 10 episode of Raw, Ambrose's open challenge for the United States Championship was answered by Mark Henry, with Ambrose retaining by disqualification due to The Shield's interference[108] and Reigns continued his tension with Ambrose by defeating Henry without interference.[109] At Elimination Chamber on February 23, The Shield lost to The Wyatt Family as Ambrose and Bray Wyatt brawled into the crowd, but Wyatt later returned to the ring with no sign of Ambrose, which caused Rollins and Reigns to be outnumbered and overwhelmed.[110] On the March 3 episode of Raw, The Shield lost a rematch against The Wyatt Family when The Shield's poor teamwork led to Rollins walking out during the match, with Rollins claiming that he had enough of being the glue holding the group together.[111]

Rebellion against The Authority

The Shield wore half-masks during an entrance in April 2014

On the March 7 episode of SmackDown, the members of The Shield met in the ring to clear the air on their disharmony and Rollins explained that his actions achieved his purpose of getting Ambrose and Reigns to finally see eye-to-eye, which lead tobAmbrose and Rollins hitting each other and the trio ultimately reconciling.[112]

The Shield's next feud was against Kane, leading The Shield to turn into fan favorites (heroic characters).[113][114] During the storyline, Kane was helped by his Authority teammates The New Age Outlaws, culminating ina match at WrestleMania XXX, which The Shield won quickly and decisively.[115] Then, The Shield started a storyline against The Authority leader Triple H, who reunited his previous stable Evolution with Orton and Batista.[116] During the storyline, Ambrose lost the United States title in a 20-man battle royal, thus ending Ambrose's record reign (under the WWE banner) with the United States Championship at 351 days.,[117][118] but The Shield defeated Evolution at Extreme Rules[119] and Payback, with a stipulation of being No Holds Barred elimination match, in which The Shield prevailed again over Evolution with no Shield member being eliminated.[120]

Rollins' betrayal and separation

Following his split from The Shield, Rollins (left) is confronted by his former teammates

The following night on Raw, Triple H announced his intention to continue Evolution's feud with The Shield, but Batista quit WWE for a second time, officially ending Evolution's feud with The Shield.[121] Later that night with The Shield in the ring, Triple H's "plan B" for destroying The Shield turned out to be Rollins suddenly attacking Ambrose and Reigns with a steel chair, signalling Rollins' official departure from the group and re-alignment with The Authority while also turning back into a villain in the process.[21] On the June 9 episode of Raw, Rollins described his betrayal as severing a business relationship and that he had destroyed "his own creation" to further his own interests, while Ambrose and Reigns (still labelled as The Shield)[122] addressed Rollins' betrayal with Ambrose describing Rollins as a "cancer" in The Shield, while Reigns claimed that Rollins "committed the most unforgivable sin".[123] Later that night, Ambrose and Reigns had what would be their final match as The Shield, teaming up with John Cena to defeat The Wyatt Family.[124]

While Ambrose and Reigns did not fall out with each other, they did begin to take separate paths as Ambrose declared his intention to take revenge on Rollins, while Reigns set his sights on the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[124] While the duo were still referred to as The Shield on the June 13 episode of SmackDown,[125] Ambrose debuted new theme music while no longer wearing The Shield's attire and entering the ring through the traditional entrance on the June 16 episode of Raw,[6][126] while Reigns largely retained The Shield's ring attire and theme music as well as continuing to enter the ring through the live audience, which indicated that Ambrose and Reigns were now working on their own and that The Shield had quietly disbanded.[127][128][129] On the June 24 episode of Main Event, Reigns confirmed that he was on his own and no longer with The Shield, thus confirming that The Shield had dissolved.[130]

Subsequent reunions

2017

Throughout July 2017, Ambrose, who was drafted to the Raw brand via the Superstar Shake-up,[131] and Rollins teased a potential reunion between the two, but Ambrose continuously declined Rollins' offer to reunite, primarily due to trust issues from Rollins' betrayal three years prior.[132][133][134]

On the July 31 episode of Raw, Rollins was confronted by Raw Tag Team Champions Cesaro and Sheamus and later won a match against Sheamus after which Cesaro and Sheamus attacked Rollins before Ambrose came down to make the save, though backstage Ambrose told Rollins that he would not help him if Rollins got outnumbered again.[135] The following week on Raw, after Rollins lost a rematch against Sheamus and was once again attacked after the match, Ambrose did not help him. Later that night, Ambrose defeated Cesaro, only to be subsequently attacked by the duo before being saved by Rollins, leading Ambrose to displayed signs of trust by offering a fist bump, but Rollins ultimately declined.[136][137] This lead the two to argue in the ring on the August 14 episode of Raw, which culminated in Ambrose and Rollins brawling with each other only to fight off Cesaro and Sheamus and performing a fist bump to a loud ovation.[138] Raw General Manager Kurt Angle scheduled a match between Cesaro and Sheamus and Ambrose and Rollins for the Raw Tag Team Championship at SummerSlam on August 20,[139] which Ambrose and Rollins won.[24][140] This also made Ambrose the first member of the group to complete the Triple Crown and Grand Slam.[23]

At No Mercy on September 24, Ambrose and Rollins made their first successful title defense in a rematch against Cesaro and Sheamus.[141] On the September 25 episode of Raw, Reigns was a guest on Miz TV following his victory over John Cena at No Mercy.[142] The Miz took jabs at The Shield and claimed that if he and The Miztourage (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) were together back when The Shield were together, they would have beaten them and after some more arguing, a match between the two was scheduled which Reigns won, only to be attacked by The Miz and The Miztourage after the match.[143] The following week on Raw, Reigns was given an Intercontinental Championship match against Miz, but Cesaro and Sheamus interfered in the match and the three mocked Reigns by performing The Shield's triple powerbomb on him, with the show ending with Reigns being approached backstage by Ambrose and Rollins.[144] On the October 9 episode of Raw, Miz opened the show with Cesaro and Sheamus, but they were interrupted by the officially reunited Shield, who attacked Cesaro and Sheamus and then performed the triple powerbomb on The Miz, leding to a six-man tag team Tables, Ladders and Chairs match between The Shield and the team of Cesaro, The Miz and Sheamus for TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs.[145] Later that same night, The Shield attacked Braun Strowman after Strowman's match against Matt Hardy and they performed a triple powerbomb on Strowman through the announce table, leading The Miz to request that Strowman should be added to the match, which Angle reluctantly agreed.[25] On the October 16 episode of Raw, all three members of the newly-reformed Shield brought back their original attire, theme song and entrance and during the night, Ambrose and Rollins retained the Raw Tag Team Championship against Cesaro and Sheamus while Reigns lost a steel cage match to Strowman, allowing a fifth member to be added to The Miz's team after Kane made his return by tearing through the ring and attacking Reigns.[146] The Miz then announced Kane as the fifth member for their team while Reigns was pulled out of the match on October 20 over an illness concern and Angle himself would take his place.[147]

At the event on October 22, Ambrose, Rollins and Angle (who also wore The Shield's ring attire) would go on to win the match after performing a triple powerbomb on The Miz.[148] Due to Reigns' illness, he was also replaced by Triple H (who also wore the full Shield outfit) during the United Kingdom tour early in November as Reigns was still not medically cleared.[149] Ambrose and Rollins were due to face SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos in a non-title interbrand match at Survivor Series,[150] but they lost the titles back to Cesaro and Sheamus after SmackDown's The New Day appeared and caused a distraction on the November 6 episode of Raw,[151] thus ending their reign at 78 days.[152] Reigns returned the following week on Raw and The Shield challenged The New Day to a match at Survivor Series on November 19,[153] which they won.[154] Later that same night on Raw, The Shield defeated Cesaro, The Miz and Sheamus in their first official match as a trio since their break up in 2014.[155] On the November 20 episode of Raw, Reigns won the Intercontinental Championship by defeating The Miz following a distraction by the other Shield members,[156] making him the second member of The Shield (after Ambrose) to become a Triple Crown and Grand Slam champion.[23] On the December 4 episode of Raw, Ambrose and Rollins received their rematch for the Raw Tag Team Championship against Cesaro and Sheamus, where they won by disqualification, but did not win the titles. After the match, Raw General Manager Kurt Angle restarted the match under No Disqualification rules and they lost the match after interference from Samoa Joe.[157] In December 2017, Ambrose suffered a triceps injury and thus was written off TV with a backstage brawl with Cesaro, Sheamus and Joe, thus putting The Shield on a hiatus.[158]

During the group's inactivity, Reigns lost the Intercontinental Championship to The Miz in January 2018. At WrestleMania 34, Rollins became the final member from The Shield to complete the Triple Crown and Grand Slam[23] after beating The Miz and Finn Bálor in a triple threat match to win the Intercontinental Championship.[159][160] Rollins and Reigns also continued to acknowledge their on-screen friendship afterwards, working together infrequently, although no longer operating under the Shield banner.

2018

On the August 13, 2018 episode of Raw, Ambrose returned from his injury and reunited with Rollins during his feud with Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre. Rollins would later win the Intercontinental Championship from Ziggler, while Reigns would also go on to win the Universal Championship from Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. On the August 20 episode of Raw, Reigns retained the Universal Championship against Finn Bálor in the main event, while Braun Strowman watched from the entrance ramp. After the match, Strowman attempted to cash-in his Money in the Bank briefcase, however, Rollins and Ambrose made the save, preventing him from cashing in and they put him through the announce table with a triple powerbomb. While on the stage, The Shield performed their traditional fist bump, officially reuniting the group. The following week, while teaming with Braun Strowman in a tag team match against Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre, Roman Reigns was ambushed in a set up attack by the trio.[161] Rollins and Ambrose came to his rescue but were over powered. The next week The Shield confronted the newly formed stable of Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre, and after a brawl, were arrested.[162] The Shield would break out of prison and return to the arena only to be assaulted by the entire Raw roster.

Legacy

For the remainder of 2014, Ambrose and Rollins feuded with each other due to Rollins' betrayal and alliance with the Authority, whereas Reigns was quickly inserted into world title contention.[163][164] Ambrose and Rollins' prolonged feud won Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Feud of the Year award for 2014.[165] At the end of the year, Pro Wrestling Torch writer Shawn Valentino labelled The Shield as a "three-headed dragon" and the seventh top WWE story of the year and he wrote that The Shield "was one of the coolest acts in wrestling in recent years, and most fans believed they were broken up prematurely", adding that "each member of The Shield has made their mark, and they all look like they will be big stars in the future".[166] All three former Shield members main evented a WWE pay-per-view event as a singles competitor within four months of the group's dissolution.[167][168] In addition, Rollins won the 2014 Money in the Bank ladder match[169] and subsequently cashed in his contract to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion during the main event of WrestleMania 31,[170] while Reigns won the 2015 Royal Rumble match[171] and competed for the world title in the same main event of Rollins' cash in.[172]

Rollins was the first member of the group to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship—all three members would go on to win the title

Despite no longer formally operating as a team, Ambrose and Reigns continued to infrequently work together and maintained an on-screen friendship following The Shield's split.[173][174] On the January 9, 2015 episode of SmackDown, Reigns was about to be put into a handicap match against Rollins and Big Show until Ambrose came to the aid of Reigns and helped defeat them, with the two continuously helping each other against The Authority thereafter.[175] On the May 4 episode of Raw, Ambrose defeated Rollins in a non-title match and (as per a pre-match stipulation by the Director of Operations Kane) gained his first opportunity for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, being added to the title match at Payback on May 17 and making it a fatal four-way match, also including Reigns and Randy Orton,[176] who was pinned by Rollins.[177] During the match, Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins briefly worked together to perform their signature triple powerbomb on Orton through the announce table.[178] On May 31, Ambrose faced Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Elimination Chamber, where he won by disqualification after Rollins pushed the referee in Ambrose's way as he tried to catch the standing Rollins with his signature diving elbow drop. After the match, Reigns emerged to help Ambrose fend off an attack by The Authority.[179] Despite the win, Ambrose did not gain the championship, but he still took the championship belt with him and challenged Rollins in a ladder match at Money in the Bank on June 14, which he would go on to lose.[180]

The second member of the Shield to win the title, Reigns holds the most world championship reigns amongst the other members at four reigns (three as WWE World Heavyweight and one as Universal Champion)

After Rollins legitimately suffered multiple injuries to his right knee (he tore the ACL, MCL and medial meniscus while attempting to execute a sunset flip powerbomb) at a live event in Dublin, Ireland on November 4 against Kane, a tournament was set up to crown a new champion.[181] The tournament began on the November 9 episode of Raw, involving 16 wrestlers and with the final match scheduled for Survivor Series to determine the new champion, while Reigns became the number one contender after winning a fatal four-way match on the October 26 episode of Raw,[182] which led Triple H trying to persuade Reigns into joining The Authority (by doing so, Reigns would have automatically been placed in the championship match), but he refused, thus requiring him to compete in the tournament.[183] On the November 16 episode of Raw, Ambrose, Reigns, Alberto Del Rio and Kevin Owens advanced to the semifinals, setting up Reigns–Del Rio and Owens–Ambrose in the semifinals at the event.[184] At Survivor Series on November 22, Ambrose and Reigns won their respective matches and went on to face each other in the main event, in which Reigns defeated Ambrose to win the vacant title, only to lose it 5:15 later to Sheamus, who cashed in his Money in the Bank contract.[185]

Despite being the last member to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Ambrose was the first member to become both a Triple Crown and Grand Slam champion

Nearing the end of 2015, Ambrose won the Intercontinental Championship for the first time after defeating Kevin Owens at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 13,[186] while Reigns regained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after defeating Sheamus on Raw the night after.[187] Reigns lost the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to the returning Triple H after being eliminated at the 2016 Royal Rumble event on January 24 while Ambrose also competed in the Royal Rumble match and was the runner-up, being eliminated last by Triple H.[188] At Fastlane on February 21, Ambrose and Reigns wrestled in a triple threat match also involving Brock Lesnar for the right to face Triple H at WrestleMania 32 for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which Ambrose lost after Reigns pinned him.[189] On April 3, Reigns defeated Triple H to win the title for a third time.[190]

After Reigns successfully defended the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against AJ Styles at Extreme Rules on May 22, Rollins returned from injury and attacked Reigns to immediately set his sights on the title he never lost.[191] All three members of The Shield briefly reunited on the June 13 episode of Raw, when Ambrose hosted his Ambrose Asylum segment with Rollins and Reigns as guests in a lead up to their respective matches at Money in the Bank: Ambrose in the Money in the Bank ladder match, Reigns and Rollins in the main event for the championship.[192] At the event on June 19, Ambrose won the Money in the Bank ladder match and Rollins would go on to regain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event, only to lose the title to Ambrose immediately afterwards when he successfully cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase, thus all of the former Shield members were world champion on the same night.[193] As a result of the 2016 WWE draft on July 19, Ambrose was drafted to SmackDown while Rollins and Reigns were drafted to Raw, thus ending any possibility of a reunion.[194] All three members of The Shield competed in a triple threat match for the renamed WWE Championship at Battleground on July 24,[195][196] where Ambrose was victorious after pinning Reigns.[197]

The Shield members briefly reunited once again (this time with all three men as fan favorites) at Survivor Series on November 20 during its traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match, with Rollins and Reigns on Team Raw and Ambrose on Team SmackDown, when all three members executed their signature triple powerbomb on Ambrose's rival AJ Styles after Ambrose turned on his team to attack Styles.[198] In December 2016, they appeared together at Tribute to the Troops during a backstage segment with The Club (AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows) and The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods).[199]

Championships and accomplishments

Rollins and Reigns held the WWE Tag Team Championship from May to October 2013

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Rollins won the NXT Championship before the Shield formed, but continued to defend the title as a member of the group.
  2. ^ When Reigns and Rollins held the championship, it was called the WWE Tag Team Championship, but after the 2016 WWE draft in which the title became exclusive to the Raw brand, it was renamed the Raw Tag Team Championship.
  3. ^ Ambrose and Rollins won the Raw Tag Team Championship before The Shield fully reunited and as such they are not recognized as The Shield in the official title history.

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