The Shield has successfully defeated the trio of John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus, proving for a second time that the WWE is fully committed to their success.
The Shield could have easily been the second coming of The Nexus, who lost all momentum after losing to Team WWE. But with their win on Sunday, there is no reason to think these men aren’t being groomed as future stars.
Going into the match, the odds seemed stacked against Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Despite running roughshod over much of the WWE, the trio from NXT had only been in one sanctioned match, a TLC tag team bout with Ryback and Team Hell No.
The TLC match favored the mob-style fighting of The Shield, who attacks like a pack of wolves. But the match at Elimination Chamber was a different affair.
This time they were going to be confined to the rules of a standard tag team match against three of the WWE’s biggest stars. With Cena poised for a WWE championship match at WrestleMania 29, how could his team lose?
It could have been a case of history repeating itself. In 2010, The Nexus, a group of talent from NXT rose up and, as a collective, attacked different superstars. But the match with Team WWE destroyed their momentum.
The Shield is also a group made of men from NXT. A loss would have done the same to them. As a group who thrives on fear and being unstoppable, being beaten would have destroyed all of it.
In the match at Elimination Chamber, The Shield worked fluidly as a tag team, utilizing triple-teams to keep the match in their favor. Interestingly, it was the collective mentality of The Shield that put them over in this bout.
As Ryback hoisted Rollins for the Shell Shocked, Reigns hit him with a spear. Rollins then got the win.
What this win means is the WWE is fully invested in The Shield. They are the WWE’s nWo.
There’s no reason to believe these men are being set up for something greater. At the pay-per-view, the WWE chose to put these three men on top over three established superstars, including two former world champions.
Why would it do that if there weren’t something bigger planned? These three men are distinct characters and elicit a response from the crowd every time they appear.
In a business where connecting with the crowd is the key to success, The Shield have already got it.
The Shield always say, “Believe in The Shield.” At Sunday’s pay-per-view, the WWE showed it is ready to do just that.