Daily Seth Shot 15th September, 2014
Gleed’s Blog: Evaluating The Shield breakup three months in
By Haydn Gleed
Considering everything that has happened in the wacky world of wrestling over the last three months, it’s incredible to think it has only been that amount of time since Seth Rollins turned on the Shield, live on June, 2 2014 Raw. At the time, the online community were talking about it being too soon, my non-“smark” friends were disappointed but buzzing about what possibilities lay ahead for the former hounds of justice, but ultimately it got people talking.
People, both online and in the real world were asking the question, was it too soon? Could each member make it as singles acts? Would Jerry Springer be able to get them back together? Okay, that last one is a lie, but people were not sure this was the right move. So three months on how has each member faired?
The first member of the former team to have success in terms of the WWE Universe, after winning the Money In The Bank briefcase in the June PPV of the same name. Seth has surprised a lot of people with his ability to turn the crowd against him on the mic. The main fear amongst wrestling fans, myself included, was with his high flying offence flashy moves, he has babyface written all over him.
We needn’t have worried.
He oozes an arrogance and cockiness that just makes you want to hate him. He has managed to carry that into his matches, meaning people just want to see him get beaten up, the true definition of a good heel.
In recent weeks I haven’t been too impressed with the way he seems to be an afterthought in comparison to Randy Orton and even Kane. He needs to be someone who is spotlighted and when the going gets tough hide behind his fellow heels, not one who feels the need to have them with him at all times. This simply makes him look and feel less commanding as the heel he is hiding behind.
That nitpick aside, Seth has truly been a surprise coming out of the breakup, and I can see his stock rising and rising over the next couple of months.
Through the breakup of the Shield, he has been able to showcase what he is capable of behind the mic without being overshadowed, and been able to develop his character which he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do as part of the Shield, so it has definitely worked out well for him.
Do you remember when people went crazy saying Dean Ambrose should have been the one to turn on the Shield? Seth Rollins can’t be a heel, Ambrose will be a terrible babyface they said. For the people who thought that, how does your crow taste? Mine’s delicious.
Ambrose has, quite simply, been fantastic. His promos are compelling, his mannerisms outside and inside the ring are spot on and his matches have been good to great consistently. Hell, he even managed to be half of a good lumberjack match!
One of the main concerns post breakup was be his selling and his ability to generate sympathy once the bell rang. Again we needn’t have worried as his facials have been magnificent without being cartoonish, and the consistently injured shoulder has provided a smart shortcut to put heat on the heels and sympathy on Dean during a match.
Currently filming a WWE Film by the name of “Lockdown”, he is advertised to return on the Raw after Night Of Champions, but the chances are we will see him involved in the Reigns and Rollins match at the PPV. I guarantee you the roof will come off the building. He has filled the role of a rebel who lives by his own rules babyface that was vacated by CM Punk earlier this year, and someone the fans want to see reach the top. I firmly believe if WWE are smart, and they realise what they have here, they have a compelling character that will bring viewers, new and old, to WWE.
The reason I bring this up in this evaluation is, would Dean Ambrose have been able to show his ability as strongly as he has over the last three months if he was still part of the Sheild? I would argue strongly that he wouldn’t have, so for Dean Ambrose the breakup has been a success.
What can you say about the golden boy, the chosen one, the next face of the company, whatever you want to call him. Since the breakup from the Shield, he has started on a fascinating journey that seems to end with him being the knight to slay the beast at WrestleMania. So in that sense, the breakup of the Shield has been the best thing that could have happened to his career. However, that is only half the story.
Fans have grasped the fact that he is the chosen one by management, but haven’t rebelled against him too much which was a fear at one point. I put this down to two things, one he’s not John Cena and that’s a big plus to the vocal majority, and the fact that you can see his obvious raw potential. I mean this guy is huge, with a great look and when he says he is going to kick your ass, you believe it. He’s got the good looks and the cool personality which means men want to hang out with him and women want to…..uh….be with him.
But he hasn’t developed as much as you would expect at this point. In ring he is good, not great. People have already picked up on the 5 moves of Reigns or whatever fancy name you can come up with, so he can certainly add a couple of transitional moves into his offence. On the mic he is noticeably better than he was three months ago, but you still don’t feel what he is saying is what he truly feels. It’s too scripted and you want to say what he’s thinking as opposed to what he has been told what to say.
I’m at the point where I believe all is required is a bit of spit and polish and Reigns will be the monster babyface that management and fans alike want to get behind, but I can’t help feel that he’s not there yet, and that leads me to the point I want to make.
On the surface, Reigns has been the big winner out of the Shield breaking up as he’s having the rocket tied to his back, but is he ready? Time will tell on that. Go back and watch early Shield matches and Reigns, although not awful, wasn’t particularly good either. He developed so much in such a short time while having two top class wrestlers with him to carry him if he got lost, and he hasn’t got that now. He has no safety net.
I personally feel that another 6 months to a year with the Shield and you would have had Roman Reigns to the point where he was ready to lead the company like WWE want him too. I’m not saying that he can’t get there in the time that management have seemingly given him leading up to WrestleMania, but they sure have put the pressure on. What happens if the fans reject him? What happens if he is standing in the ring with his music playing at the end of the Royal Rumble and the crowd are boo’ing? It will cause serious long term damage to him, which will take a lot to recover from.
So with Roman Reigns, I’m not saying it’s been a negative, but it’s yet to play out whether they pushed the trigger too quickly.
I remember the reaction of the Internet the day after the breakup, and you would have thought the four men on their horses had rode down from the sky, and I’ll be honest, I had my doubts that it was the right thing to do. But three months on, you have 2 stars shooting straight for the main event where they will stay for many many years, and one potential mega star being forced to work as hard as he can to get to that level with no safety net.
What WWE created that night with the turn was the start of a journey that we as fans will follow for many years, and that is the creation of three stars, completely different from each other, but tied together throughout their careers. We will for many years be able to debate who is having the best career, who has maximised the platform that the Shield give them and that is part of the fun of being a wrestling fan.
As with everything with WWE these days, there have been positives and negatives with the decision to break up the team, and the way they have been used since, but overall it has definitely made the product stronger.
Agree or disagree with my assessment of how the former Shield members have gotten on since their breakup? Feel free to hit me up on twitter @haydngleed or via email at email@example.com
9/14 WWE in Boston, Mass: Seth Rollins vs Chris Jericho Report
(5) Seth Rollins beat Chris Jericho with a diving knee. Great heat on Rollins and the crowd was really into Jericho. For the finish, Rollins went to attack Jericho with the MITB briefcase, but Jericho ducked it and delivered a Codebreaker to Rollins.
Raw Preview: Sept. 15, 2014 - Curb (Stomp) your enthusiasm
As Raw went off the air last week, Seth Rollins, Kane and Randy Orton celebrated over the fallen form of Roman Reigns, proving to the WWE Universe that no one on the roster could challenge the might of The Authority.
After laying waste to Reigns on Monday night, Rollins vowed on SmackDown to finish off his former “brother” once and for all — a plan that didn’t exactly go as planned when Reigns & Chris Jericho defeated Rollins & Orton in Friday night’s main event. Will Rollins look to stomp out Reigns’ momentum before their bout at Night of Champions?
Don’t miss Raw this Monday at 8/7 CT on USA Network, and be sure to tune in to WWE Network for Raw Pre-Show at 7:30 ET!
Smackdown 12th September, 2014 Seth Rollins & Randy Orton vs Roman Reigns & Chris Jericho HQ
Smackdown 12th September, 2014 Seth, Kane and Orton Backstage HQ