They finally did it. Against all odds, WWE accomplished what many people thought was impossible on this week’s Monday Night Raw.
They made people excited for a Roman Reigns title reign.
Just as it seemed like Braun Strowman was about to save us all from an impending mundane Roman Reigns title run, The Shield theme hit.
When Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose emerged in full vintage shield regalia, you could hear the collective wrestling universe come unglued. It didn’t matter that they were there to ruin the Money In The Bank cash-in of one of the most popular superstars on the roster. All that mattered when the audience heard the iconic “Sierra, Hotel, Echo, Lima, Delta...The Shield” was that the hounds of justice were back to reclaim their yard.
After the initial shock of seeing the return of one of the most dominant factions in wrestling history, it became easy to see why they were there.
With The Shield reunited, the Roman Reigns criticism would drop to an all-time low.
First of all, it’s much harder to boo the big dog when he’s beating down unsuspecting victims with a ripped Dean Ambrose and match of the night machine Seth Rollins by his side. In addition, you’ll likely have a return of the menacing, no nonsense Roman Reigns. When Reigns debuted with The Shield, it was that very attitude which made a lasting impression on fans.
If that’s not enough to convince you of the effect The Shield’s return will have on Reigns though, take a look at the reactions after Raw’s main event.
Instead of fan’s focusing on Finn Balor suffering a clean loss to Roman Reigns after an epic appearance as The Demon at SummerSlam, the wrestling world is fantasy booking angles for the reunited hounds of justice. If the buzz of The Shield reunion wasn’t there, I can practically guarantee the main takeaway from the night would be a collective groan. The old “everyone has to make Roman look strong” complaints would be the only takeaway from a strong night of WWE action.
That effect on fan response is exactly why it’s so easy to see the logic behind a Shield reunion. In one night, WWE immediately solidified Roman Reigns as a Universal Champion everyone will be eager to see. It also creates an instantaneous way for fans to cheer a potential Reigns single run in the future as well.
I’m sure everyone remembers the infamous night Seth Rollins turned on The Shield. It was the chair shot heard ‘round the world. After that night, Rollins was the most hated man in WWE. Everyone wanted to see someone, anyone put a fist right in the architect’s face.
It’s easy to see a similar outcome bring an end to the latest Shield reunion.
Whether it be Dean Ambrose or Seth Rollins, the person who ruins The Shield will once again be the most hated heel in wrestling. In other words, that dastardly villain will be the perfect heel for Roman Reigns to beat up in his first singles rivalry as Universal Champion.
The Ambrose vs Rollins storyline that played out for months and months after The Shield initially broke up could easily be translated to Reigns vs whichever Shield member turned to the dark side this time. Fans won’t be able to resist seeing a cold-blooded, take-no-prisoners Reigns crushing one of his former Shield brothers for turning on the team.
All of that makes this Shield reunion, from beginning to end, the perfect way to push Roman Reigns as Universal Champion. It kicks off his run without any of the hang ups that have plagued his title endeavors in the past. After fans are solidly on Reigns’s side, then WWE can break up The Shield to propel Reigns into practical universal singles competition support with some simple storytelling.
At the end of the day, reuniting with The Shield is the best thing that could have happened to Roman Reigns after SummerSlam.