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Last month, I wrote about how all three members of The Shield would potentially work when it came time for the group to split up. Two weeks ago, Seth Rollins set off the powder keg by making a surprise heel turn, nailing his two partners in the back and joining Triple H. With Rollins now in Triple H's pocket, and for the first time in his WWE career, a full-fledged heel, what is next for The Shield?
Seth Rollins being the member to turn heel was a surprising move by WWE. Dean Amrbose, the most accomplished talker of the group, was the odds on favorite to be the one to turn on his friends. Not only is Ambrose a great talker, he is an extremely convincing scumbag, one person who is perfectly believable in the role of a traitor, the jerk that sold out his friends using some twisted logic. To top it all off, Ambrose just looks like a heel; he has a face that I once described as "extremely punchable." If you were going to pick a member of The Shield that would make the best heel, it would definitely be Ambrose.
The biggest fear after Rollins turned would be that WWE picked the wrong guy to turn. Sure, Rollins was the biggest surprise, and an Ambrose heel turn would have been much more predictable, so for the short term, having Rollins and not Amrbose be the one to turn heel was the right move. But over the long term, was it the right decision to have Rollins be the one playing the bad guy? Rollins certainly has skills, but he just didn't have the natural heel tendencies that Ambrose had. Those fears were put to rest on Monday, when Rollins came out and cut a perfect heel promo on his former brothers. Rollins displayed his logic that everyone talked about The Shield as equals, when in reality Reigns was a stiff and Ambrose was a psychopath. Rollins, the technical genius of the group, really was the glue keeping everyone together.
Something else that promo put to rest was the fear that Rollins' turn was going to end up being less about Seth and more about Triple H. After last Monday's Raw, I was fearful that the feud would end up with Triple H doing all of the talking, while Rollins sat on the side, reduced to being a bit player as opposed to the star. Thankfully, the promo on Raw showcased that this feud really is going to be all about Seth Rollins vs The Shield. Triple H didn't convince Seth Rollins to turn on his brothers, it was more like Triple H set an example for Rollins, and Rollins, in his twisted mind, decided that Triple H's way was the correct way to do things. It was one of the better displays of psychology within WWE over the last few years. Yes, Triple H is partially responsible for turning Rollins against his friends, but a majority of the heat is still on Rollins.
For their part, Ambrose and even Reigns came out on Raw and gave pretty convincing promos against Rollins. Amrbose in particular gave one of the best promos of 2014.
"History is full of people like you, Seth. Everybody in this building knows somebody like you, Seth. Kind of guy that would stab his brother in the back. Suckup, who sell out to The Authority. Now when I get the opportunity to rearrange your face, which I will, your nose isn't gonna be here anymore, it's gonna be over here, by your ear. I say ear 'cause you only gonna have one left. I'm gonna rip your dirty stinking hair out by the roots. I'm gonna stuff it in your mouth, there will be a room where your teeth used to be. Seth Rollins, my brother— your scum! We all are looking forward to what that scum has to say tonight. We want you to stand out here in this ring in front of the whole world and lie through your teeth. We want you to stand in the middle of this ring in front of the whole world and we want them to hear Triple H's words coming out of your mouth. We're gonna listen every word of it. And then we're gonna beat the living hell out of you!"
Whoa. That was what you call a vengeful promo. Ambrose might be pretty awesome as a heel, but there is also little doubt that he can he be a very good face. Roman Reigns, while not on the level of Ambrose or Rollins, probably cut the best promo of his career. Reigns is going to need to get better on the mic if he wants to be a main eventer as a singles wrestler, but he has made some positive steps in the right direction since his debut.
In my article last month, I said that when the breakup takes place, one member of The Shield is going to get a really big push out of the gate, right into the main event scene. With Rollins getting the support from Triple H, it is likely that he is going to be the one to become a big time star right now. However, just because Rollins was the one to turn heel and the one to fly solo, that doesn't mean that he is the member of the group that is going to be the first one to crack the world title picture. Ambrose's ability on the microphone has become engaging enough that pretty much anything is possible for him. If 4 years from now he is the top face or heel in WWE, I don't think anyone would be surprised. Reigns is someone that WWE has clearly pegged to be a major player sooner rather than later, and recent events have only increased that indication.
Lastly, I would like to commend WWE for doing something interesting and putting together a storyline that fans are excited to tune in every week and see how it unfolds. After a rather dreary PPV in Payback, that did very little as far as storyline progression, it was nice to see WWE come out on Raw with guns blazing, willing to try something big and so far, has been succeeding at every level. Not everything on a wrestling program can be outstanding, but if WWE can develop a few more story archs that are as good as the current one with The Shield, they are going to be in some serious business.