Just three short months ago, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns burst onto the WWE scene with a memorable debut at the Survivor Series event, attacking Ryback and allowing CM Punk to retain the WWE Championship.
The trio quickly identified themselves as The Shield, on a mission to "right the injustices" in WWE. They come through the crowd, pouncing on whomever is in the ring at the time. So far, that list has included Ric Flair, Randy Orton, Ryback, John Cena and The Rock. They have been very impressive to this point, even winning a 6-man Tables, Ladders and Chairs match at the TLC pay-per-view in December.
So how could WWE destroy all of the momentum these three men have created for themselves? By having the team of Cena, Ryback and Sheamus defeat them when the two sides square off this Sunday at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
Having won the Royal Rumble, Cena has already challenged the WWE champion to a match in the main event of WrestleMania 29. Sheamus and Ryback will get high profile matches on the card as well. In other words, it won't hurt them at all to lose this match.
On the other hand, you have three men who are looking to assert themselves as one of the better groups the business has seen in years. While it is likely that these guys will all go on to bigger and better things if and when The Shield runs its course, that doesn't need to happen anytime soon.
Yes, Cena, Ryback and Sheamus are three of the biggest names in the company, which is all the more reason why they should come out victorious. Between them, Cena and Sheamus have held 15 WWE and World Heavyweight Championships combined and Ryback has still been defeated just once in singles competition. This would be a win that Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns could hang their hats on for years.
Cena, Ryback and Sheamus will all be focal points of the biggest pay-per-view event of the year on April 7th. The Shield can be a big part of it as well, in numerous roles. However, with a loss at Elimination Chamber the group will be deflated of everything it has done up to this point and in turn, no one will care going forward.
Suppose that CM Punk were to face Undertaker at WrestleMania, with the legendary streak on the line. If Undertaker had to deal with the fact that Punk had The Shield in his pocket, that streak would be in serious jeopardy, at least to some viewers. If The Shield loses at Elimination Chamber, it becomes a lot less intimidating and a lot less of a force. That is something WWE can't afford to do considering all the work that they put into making the group look so strong and dominant in the first place.
It doesn't have to be clean and it doesn't have to be fair. Quite honestly, if The Shield is to win, it wouldn't be either. Yet, one way or another, Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns need to leave with their hands raised.