It’s the Final Day of #TheShieldWeek. In celebration of this month’s Survivor Series, we’re taking a look at famous stables from the wonderful world of wrestling. This is the tenth installment in our patent-pending Juice Make Sugar Wrestler of the Week series, and as always we started by making The Shield a Stable You (Should) Probably Know Better. On Tuesday, we gave you the finer points of their oeuvre with some Essential Viewing. But then we changed everything up. We gave Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose their own days. Today, along with giving Dean the spotlight with Watch & Learn and his own GIF Parade, we have a Difference of Opinion (where JMS HQ erupts in a Triple Powerbomb-fueled civil war) and everyone’s favorite, a 10 Best list of the Top Military Gimmicks.
Andy: Ready when you are. Just forgive any slow responses.
Nick: I’m used to them from you. #Boom Sorry. #AirBoom. God, I miss Evan Bourne. If Seth Rollins ever leaves the Shield, I want them to replace him with Evan Bourne
Andy: You’ve had worse ideas. And he’s definitely capable of being the pretty-boy heel with super flashy moves. It worked out nicely in ROH.
Nick: Could he fit into the group dynamic? I think that — and how handsome Wrestling Tumblr thinks they are — may be the main reason for their ridiculous success. Everything seems to fit with them.
Andy: I think the bigger part of it is their appeal to the wrestling audience en masse. You’ve got Roman Reigns as their unbelievabe bruiser, Seth Rollins as the flyer (and bump-taker) and Ambrose as the charismatic work horse.
Nick: So, are you saying others could have been this over with this gimmick? Are you saying that could have been a The Shield’s “Mark Jindrak”?
Andy: Could it have gotten over? Sure. As over as it is now? Probably not. And forget Evolution – Mexico is the best thing that ever happened to Mark Jindrak.
Nick: Is that where Rollins is heading after this whole thing finishes or do you think he can be worth something in the E? Other than as the Rich Man’s Dolph Ziggler, I mean.
Andy: It really depends on his character. If they let him develop one, and a motivation for his actions, I think he can get over beyond “the jumpy Shield guy.” We’ve talked about how Ambrose has “it,” and how Reigns is destined for a title shot… but Rollins is going to have to fight for it. Otherwise, Tyler Black will be making his Impact Wrestling debut in 2014.
Nick: Who out of the other two has the bigger career, do you think? It’s obviously hard to project into the future, but is this an Orton-Batista situation where Ambrose and Reigns have equally successful careers following this run?
Andy: I feel like they WANT it to be Reigns, but I think it’s Ambrose. I think Reigns pulls a Batista and disappears after a few years, but Ambrose is Orton. He’s the guy that (pardon the pun) evolves with time, and stays at or near the top of the card.
Nick: Yeah, they love Reigns. For obvious reasons. He’s Vince McMahon’s wet Samoan dream, I hope he can handle the pressure. And stay healthy, of course.
Andy: He seems to be doing well so far. Hopefully, he stays injury-free, and avoids short-sighted Tweets.
Nick: What’s been strangest to me through this entire thing is that they’ve only briefly teased Reigns turning face, but you just know it’s coming.
Andy: The more subtle it is, the better. They don’t need to rush this, at all.
Nick: Oh, agreed. But they have such a tendency to hot-shot this stuff. It’s probably their greatest flaw, even if it’s so clearly a function of the business.
Andy: They should learn from Ryback. And Orton’s initial face turn out of Evolution. If you hot shot it, you can do serious damage to these guys’ characters and careers. And most importantly, their connection with the crowd.
Nick: Yeah, the crowd already likes these guys, there’s no need to turn them into Shiny Happy People out of the gate. They can still be dicks for a little while.
Andy: I like the bit of ambiguity they’ve been playing with. Telling Orton to screw off, brawling with the Wyatts… but still annihilating babyfaces.
Nick: Yeah, I wrote about this at the beginning of the week, they have been mercenaries the entire time. Them lying about being mercenaries was the only thing that made them “bad” guys. Lying isn’t cool, the WWE Universe hates lying. Defiling corpses, alcoholism, misogyny? That’s fine. But be honest about it, for crissakes.
Andy: You’ve got a point there. Which is terrifying.
Nick: Speaking of being afraid, very afraid, how long of a run do you think they have left as presently constituted? I give them WrestleMania AT BEST. Which, mind you, is six months or so away, but still. I can’t imagine a world without the Shield.
Andy: Mania would actually be best, probably. All the part-timers disappear, and these guys can step up and fill some of those positions. That can be Reigns’ or Ambrose’s frst chance to battle for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Nick: The Prestigious World Heavyweight Championship??
Andy: If it’s in Cena’s hands, it matters. Reigns vs Cena or Ambrose vs Cena could be really, really good.
Nick: Are you saying that Ambrose needs to eventually move past being US champion? But, Andy, RIC FLAIR WAS US CHAMPION.
Andy: US title only matters as often as he defends it.
Nick: In other words, you believe that Ambrose — and Reigns/Rollins — have actually added prestige back to the US and Tag Team titles?
Andy: I think so. It felt like a really big deal when Cody and Goldy won the tag belts. Depending who takes it, the same should happen when Ambrose loses the US title. And hopefully, he looks good in defeat.
Nick: Handsome, anyways. Is that their ultimate legacy? Bringing prestige back to the mid-card? Or is it the Six-man tag revolution? Or something else entirely?
Andy: If nothing else, they revitalized the idea of a powerful midcard stable. They came in, shook things up, KILLED main eventers credibly and still managed to build the mid-card around them. And they’re far from done.
Nick: And if there’s anything that you’d want to be your legacy, it’s bringing back the glory days of the Varsity Club and the Dangerous Alliance. It’s enough to make you believe that anything is possible…
Andy: BELIEVE IN DA SHIELD
Nick: Got you to say it. You now owe me 50 dollars.