Six-Man Tag Match
THE SHIELD vs. EVOLUTION
Much in the same way that Mel Kiper and Todd McShay can’t incorporate trades into their mock drafts, I’ll refrain from making assumptions with/regards/to possible turns in this match and say while I think the Shield will be made to look very good, they lose this match with Evolution getting some help from Ric Flair
There are any number of reasons why this match worked as well as it did. Such is the case with almost every Shield match, but this one in particular had the feeling of quality and stakes that is so often missing from modern marquee professional wrestling matches. If not for their new t-shirts, a loss this emphatic would seem to hint towards the dissolution of Evolution and not the Shield. Of course, given the way merchandising and marketing works the elder group will, at the very least, be continuing with Randy and HHH working together. Whether or not Batista spends the next few months sulking/shilling his new movie or putting over young new stars at the expense of his own money making abilities seems entirely up to him.
But what was especially great about this match was that even if it were to somehow lead to the end of the Shield, it was irrelevant to the enjoyable-ness of this in this match. This despite performances like the one they had on Sunday managing to simultaneously make their break-up feel both tragic and inevitable. From Seth Rollins living up to his “Jeff Hardy done right” comps — okay, your correspondent was the one that made it, but it feels correct — to Dean Ambrose playing the best possible version of Edge and Rowdy Piper to Roman Reigns looking like the true Eater of Worlds, all three workers continue to look like the consummate team and major league superstars on an individual level.
These are the type of feuds that build mega stars not just because the matches are great, but because they allow fans to build up expectations about performers they are not as familiar with. While the match order was the WWE making it clear that they don’t think they are big enough stars to end shows with just yet, the fact they put them in such a high-profile match against a group of men that they’ve told us repeatedly are big enough stars to end shows with means that they think they will eventually.
And even if none of this were true, if this were simply a match devoid of stakes or with less famous performers on the other side of the ring, the Shield’s virtuoso performance would have made this one of the truly must-see matches of what’s becoming an increasingly exciting new era.
Match 1.0 | Overall 2.45