The Shield’s trio of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns have always had individual personalities, but those personalities previously blended together to form one, solid unit.
Now, WWE is beginning to spread out and reinforce individual characteristics as part of changes to the group.
With The Shield having lost two six-man tag matches in two weeks, it’s clear that changes are coming to the group. This was evident in athree-minute video promo released on WWE’s website following The Shield’s loss to Christian & The Usos in a six-man tag on Friday’s Smackdown. (The promo can be viewed HERE on WWE.com.)
- U.S. champion Dean Ambrose: Ambrose is taking on the characteristics of an arrogant heel who over-states his importance. Ambrose has always been the more vocal leader of the group, but now he is beginning to look and feel like the typical undersized WWE heel whose bark is stronger than his bite.
In the post-loss promo, Ambrose called himself the most-important singles champion in WWE, an obvious boast when he’s holding a second-tier title. Ambrose then tore into Christian, asking if he’s washed up or “just a veteran,” which will set up Christian and his fanbase looking for Ambrose to get comeuppance.
What separates Ambrose from other “undersized WWE heels” is how convincing he is as a diabolical vilain, which will eventually make him and WWE a lot of money down the road when he’s a singles wrestler.
- Tag champion Roman Reigns: Reigns’s change is most-intriguing. Throughout the post-loss promo, Reigns sat quietly next to Ambrose holding a serious, confident tone for the camera.
In the beginning, Reigns was the quiet muscle who was given one or two lines, then did his talking in the ring via The Spear. But, it seemed like Reigns was only given a few lines because he wasn’t ready to do more talking.
Now, it feels like Reigns is only given a few lines because his character is ultra-confident and doesn’t need more than a few words to make his point. He’s almost become the “quiet strength” leader of the group, not “quiet muscle” whose only function is to beat people up and take orders.
In the post-loss promo, Reigns exuded a certain charisma, poise, and posture that made him look like a future top star. He has the pedigree because he’s The Rock’s cousin, and now he’s developing the poise and right facial expressions that come with being a top star.
- Tag champion Seth Rollins: Rollins’s character has probably changed the least of the three, playing the role of the out-spoken, hot-head who will do crazy things for “the cause” of The Shield.
In this post-loss promo, Rollins simply walked around in the background for three minutes selling frustration, anger, and inner-turmoil over The Shield’s six-man tag loss on Smackdown. Rollins disappeared for a few seconds, returned to the camera shot in the background, and made his presence known only when appropriate without distracting from Ambrose’s speech.
Rollins was spot-on in his portrayal of inner-turmoil ready to explode outwardly, making him stand out without over-shadowing.
Caldwell’s Analysis: Overall, the group still has the presence and feel of a big deal, even though WWE curiously booked them to lose to the weakest three-man unit formed against them during their WWE run. It doesn’t appear that the group is doomed; it feels more like WWE wants to accentuate some individual characteristics going forward to being Stage 2 of The Shield’s run. It would be a good idea to return Shield to their winning ways - and over legit opposition - to make sure the audience still takes them seriously. And, fortunately for Shield, not too many people are watching Smackdown right now, so WWE can still keep the group strong on Raw and PPVs. It remains to be seen, though, with WWE’s booking changing from week-to-week.