The Shield will face its toughest test to date on February 17th when it faces the trio of Sheamus, Ryback and John Cena at WWE’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. This will be the second time we have actually seen the team of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns compete in a real bout and I for one say that this match has to happen.
The Shield has been on a roll since the night it debuted at Survivor Series, as it has been dispensing its vigilante justice against anyone it felt deserved it.
Like The Punisher blasting his way through the Marvel Universe, The Shield has been merciless with its attacks. But instead of bloodthirsty mafia types, the men targeted in WWE have been the company’s top protagonists.
Sheamus has been a victim on more than one occasion. The Great White has always been portrayed as one of the company’s toughest guys, yet he has not been able to withstand the three-on-one assault that occurs whenever The Shield opens fire.
Of course we all know that Ryback has been the man who has endured the most from Ambrose and company thus far. Every time he has come close to the WWE Championship, The Shield has been there to stop him.
But the key to this this six-man tag team is the top dog himself, John Cena.
Though John has not been laid out as much as Ryback has, the fact is that in the world of WWE, once is all it takes. Now, John has decided that enough is enough. Now, it’s time for The Shield to stand trial.
And some fans absolutely hate the idea. Why?
Because it’s John Cena. Because the last time he faced off against a gang like this was The Nexus, a group that had fans in an uproar from the moment it debuted in WWE. And, because John is credited for destroying that group from the top down.
For many fans, Nexus was a gimmick that ended much too soon. Featuring the talent from NXT, Nexus represented the new wave of Superstars, men who would rule WWE for a new generation. Until it decided to pursue John Cena, of course, and then it was game over.
Undoubtedly, some fans are drawing the parallels between Nexus and The Shield and are predicting the demise of the current faction, thanks to Cena. Elimination Chamber is the beginning of the end, right?
Here’s the thing. For anyone who is complaining that Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns are simply going to be fed to John Cena, thus squashing their momentum, there is one fact that cannot be denied. John’s character did not target these men. They touched him. They picked a fight with him. He is just responding in kind.
Cena, despite all the hate and criticism that is leveled at him everyday, is still presented as WWE’s top babyface. Period. He is the standard bearer for WWE, the guy who blocks the path of any heel who tries to dominate unjustly. If you want to reach the top of Vince McMahon’s company, you have to go through Cena.
It’s just that simple.
For Sheamus, who is arguably the number three man in WWE behind Cena and CM Punk, this Elimination Chamber spot makes just as much sense. He is also presented as a top baby face, a guy who is just as much beyond reproach as John is. He has to be here.
This is Ryback’s opportunity for retribution. He is a modern day superhero, a monster baby face in every sense of the word. To be featured in this environment, side by side with Cena and Sheamus, is a role that he not only fits, but one in which he should more than thrive.
Truth be told, with these three avengers staring down such a villainous threat in The Shield, what better way to handle this storyline?
So, if fans insist on being upset at someone over this upcoming match, then perhaps they should take it up with WWE creative. Creative is to blame here, not John Cena.
The Shield’s run has brought it to this point. Its booking as a maverick unit that attacks any face at anytime is where the real blame lies. The Shield is not attacking the midcard guys every time they show up. They don’t stay away from the big names and destroy the Superstars who quite frankly, no one cares about.
If you want to make a big impact in WWE, then you go after the biggest names. This is how The Shield has been booked. And, now it’s caught up to it.
Of course John Cena is the man to rally the troops. It’s what he does. And obviously, The Shield has to answer for its actions. It's a heel, and heels only get away with mayhem for so long on that level. Eventually the top guys will fight back.
It happened, of course, with Cena and The Nexus. It happened in WCW with Sting and the nWo. And in the NWA it was Dusty Rhodes taking on The Four Horsemen. This is what pro wrestling promotions do.
Love it or hate it, the business will always revolve around the basic concept of right versus wrong, good versus evil. There can be many different interpretations and variations on that idea, but at its core, pro wrestling will always be the hero against the villain. That’s just how it is.
Does this mean though that Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins have seen their final moments as a unit? And if they do separate after Elimination Chamber, does that mean that they will be sent back, defeated, to NXT? Of course not.
Though anything can happen from the outcome of this match, I believe that The Shield still has a lot left in the tank. But to expect it to continue to roll through WWE at the expense of the company’s top babyfaces without having to be held responsible for it is just ridiculous.
This match has to happen. The only question is, what will happen afterward?