Can WWE shield The Shield from failure?
Suspense and intrigue is attempting to be built around the motivations of WWE's newest vigilante group called The Shield.
This is the formula for weekly episodic television―answer one question and create two more questions. The fear I have is WWE giving the wrong answers.
Who is The Shield working for?
A good, logical question. Obvious clues and conspiracy point to CM Punk. It isn't being hidden or avoided that The Shield's actions are helping the WWE Champion. Is the finger pointing toward CM Punk too obvious of a conclusion?
There is no problem with choosing the obvious or logical in wrestling booking. Not everything has to be a left field surprise despite what Vince Russo might think. Giving the people what they want is often the way to go. CM Punk would be a logical answer based on recent events. However, what life does the story have after the reveal of CM Punk admitting to being in business with The Shield?
CM Punk makes a great leader. His preaching of how he's the best in wrestling and lifestyle makes him a prime candidate to lead flunkies into battle. This worked with those in the Nexus or straight edge followers Luke Gallows and Serena. They were role players. They are the bad guys who get killed with one bullet by the good guy who can take 10 shots to the chest. They were the henchman who have the j-o-b of getting beat up.
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns have all been talked about as being major players for the future of WWE. Not role players or henchmen. Bottom line, if they join with CM Punk, how many times do they help him cheat and get beat up by The Rock/Ryback/John Cena until we don't care anymore?
Perhaps this is a sequence to look the bullpen out in left field for a surprise.
WWE continues to ask questions of a CM Punk relationship with The Shield but eventually a different conclusion is given. Personally, I like the explanation The Shield has provided that WWE is presenting as the fake front excuse to cover their alliance with CM Punk.
I like it particularly because of who the group consists of. To some, the three men are totally new faces to the WWE crowd so the crowd easily can boo these “nobodies” in their minds complaining about injustices. To others, the three men are indy sensations, stars of the future, anti-WWE traditional guys that are getting their chance―and they want to right the wrongs from their perspective.
A concept of a group out to attend to the injustices in WWE. WWE's version of "The Boondock Saints". I like it.
The group saying that holding the WWE title in this day and age is something that should be celebrated. An acknowledgment that they aren't a sequel to the Nexus or a the NWO. By the way, the acknowledgment of what critics will and are saying in regards to the group being another version of groups from the past is good.
All of this outspoken, to the point truth helps the stable stand out from being just another ensemble of names who want to win titles.
It puts it out there that they hear the critics and by prominently mentioning it in their opening promo, its as good as them saying to the smart fans, “ if you think you know how we'll be booked, guess again”.
It's this kind of “guess again” attitude they have brought to the table for all of us that makes me hope they follow through with a true swerve. We're meant to see the left-hand eventually reveal for sure that they're with CM Punk―I hope the right-hand knocks us out with a surprise.
Maybe Michael Cole is the leader?
I know that sounds ridiculous but stop and think for a minute. Cole conducted the interview with these renegades who sneak into the building. Cole continued to say “stop and listen to their explanation”. He continued to defend their explanation of injustices without going full blown heel on commentary. Every other storyline, he's remained his good guy self along side Jerry Lawler. It's not like his heel commentary persona is being brought back for the whole show.
I don't know what explanation WWE gives us if Michael Cole was an Eric Bischoff (who went from on-screen announcer to on-screen heel) like leader for The Shield―but it's worth mentioning.
Perhaps there is a fourth who isn't CM Punk. Another roster member who WWE wants to give the prestige of “leader” to who can claim they have been a poster boy for injustices in WWE.
Any way you look at it, after two weeks, I still care. Enough about the groups identity has been given while still leaving many questions and options for future booking.
They've said enough without saying too much. Episodic television thrives off of this. They're trying to right the wrongs and injustices―hopefully they help make the three hours more entertaining and shield us from boredom.