Watching last night's Raw, I got the feeling that my hopes for the future of WWE were coming true. While the show featured several fantastic wrestling matches from stars young and old that all deserved praise, the segment of the night for me involved the new guys.
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, now known collectively as The Shield, sat down with Michael Cole and had a civilized conversation about why they were now on the active WWE roster after spending a good chunk of time in the developmental system of NXT. In a brilliant move, they told us that they are not renegades or mercenaries, dismissing specific comparisons to The Nexus and the NWO. What they are is protection from injustice.
While this works out perfectly for the current war being waged between WWE Champion CM Punk and Ryback, I am just as excited and eager to find out where The Shield will be a year from now. In one three-minute interview, a trio of newcomers became the newest topic for wrestling fans to dissect and fantasy book.
We can sit here for hours and talk about the love the Internet has for the two men formerly known as Tyler Black and Jon Moxley, but we no longer have to thanks to Monday. Seth Rollins has never been known all that well for his verbal ability, but he more than made up for it with his skills in the ring. His time spent talking to Michael Cole showed that he has jumped quite a distance since he was putting on eye liner in Ring of Honor.
Roman Reigns, the newest WWE star to come out of the legendary Anoa'i family, does not need to talk. At 6'3" and weighing almost 270 pounds, he can be the muscle of the group and never pick up a microphone again. He won't need to. He has the talent of professional wrestling in his blood and enough muscle to run through the entire WWE locker room, Ryback included. He brought the big man down with a spear last night in a feat of strength incomparable to any offense produced on Ryback since his debut.
I honestly mean no disrespect to anyone else on the WWE roster, but with the exception of CM Punk, Dean Ambrose simply embarrassed every other heel trying to get a spot on Raw. His facial ticks and mannerisms go beyond professional wrestling and make me wonder how many Marlon Brando books he has studied. For those of you wondering what all the fuss is about for Ambrose, and why his name has appeared on random signs scattered throughout arenas for months, his first words to Michael Cole should answer your question. I don't know what their immediate future holds, but if they establish a pecking order, I can see Ambrose molding himself into their leader.
Another thing to be excited for is the fact that we finally have a group of people together with a common purpose in WWE again. Not since the ill-fated New Nexus and The Corre have we seen a legitimate stable, faction or other collective entity running freely and destroying things...in this case, in the name of justice. The best heels always believe they are doing the right thing, and this will serve The Shield well in 2013.
Are they aligned with CM Punk and Paul Heyman? We might be led to believe it at this point, but once Punk has moved on from Ryback and set his sights on The Rock for the Royal Rumble, the motives of The Shield may shift. Of course, there is every possibility that the very act of a title defense against The Rock could be construed as an act of disrespect and injustice, something for which The Shield certainly would not stand.
Whatever happens from now, through the Royal Rumble and on to WrestleMania, I cannot wait to see what Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns have in store. If they take off and become big time players in the eyes of the WWE fans, established veterans like John Cena and CM Punk should have no trouble handing off control of the ship years from now. There is always going to be questionable decisions on the part of WWE, but they opted to wait until they were absolutely certain that the time was right to debut this new group.
So far, so good.