The Shield: Why WWE's Rising Stars Should Chase the Tag Team Championships

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2013

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

After beating the all-star team of John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus at Elimination Chamber, The Shield's stock is now higher than ever. The only issue, though, is that it's tough for the group to go up from here. In the effort of remaining purposeful and relevant, however, the destructive trio should go after the Tag Team Championships.

The Shield hasn't been particularly interested in titles or winning matches over its first few months in the WWE, but the time has come for them to get involved with something more substantial. As much as I enjoy their constant attacks on the WWE's top stars and their quest to provide justice within the WWE, they have to move on to something else at some point.

I was shocked when The Shield scored a clean victory over Cena, Ryback and Sheamus because you simply don't see those guys lose very often, particularly as a unit. I figured The Shield would lose via disqualification in order to protect everyone and the only scenario I envisioned them winning with involved somebody like Brock Lesnar or Brad Maddox interfering on their behalf.

Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns were made to look equal to three of the WWE's biggest stars, though, and that says a lot about the WWE's future plans for them. Since Cena is set to face The Rock at WrestleMania, The Shield will have a hard time building upon what they accomplished at Elimination Chamber. I suppose they could face Ryback, Sheamus and a new partner like Randy Orton, but it would be repetitive and wouldn't resonate much after The Shield already beat a team with Cena on it.

The best course of action is to get some gold around the waists of Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns. As promising as each of them are, they obviously won't be in the world title hunt for the foreseeable future. In a perfect world, however, The Shield will vie for the Tag Team Championships that are currently held by Team Hell No. Kane and Daniel Bryan have been at odds lately and it's only a matter of time before they drop the titles.

I always thought that Team Rhodes Scholars would benefit from a Team Hell No breakup, but Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow are no longer a team either. In fact, there really aren't any legitimate heel tag teams in the division currently. Only The Prime Time Players come to mind, but Titus O'Neil and Darren Young have been missing in action for the past few weeks.

Team Hell No could drop the belts to a face team like Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara or Brodus Clay and Tensai; however, I'm not sure either squad can ensure that tag-team wrestling remains relevant. Kane and Bryan did a lot to make the tag-team division mean something again, but if they drop the titles without a strong contingency plan in place, then there is a good chance that the tag scene will go on the back burner moving forward.

The only way to ensure that doesn't happen is by putting the belts on The Shield. Obviously some creative booking would have to be utilized since The Shield is a trio, but two of them can beat Team Hell No at WrestleMania with the third getting involved on the outside. Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns could then defend the titles with the Freebird rule, just as The Fabulous Freebirds did for so many years and The Spirit Squad did in the WWE more recently.

It makes sense that The Shield would want to obtain the one title in the WWE that is predicated on team work. The synergy between Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns has allowed them to beat some of the best superstars the WWE has to offer. They have won three six-man tags thus far even though they are nowhere near as established as their opponents have been. They work as one cohesive unit, though, and that should be the focus.

Although it can be argued that the Tag Team Championships are below them and will bring them down from the high that they experienced from beating Cena, Ryback and Sheamus, I prefer to look at it from a different angle. Team Hell No made the Tag Team Championships matter again and The Shield can potentially take the titles to a totally different level. They have already run roughshod over many of the WWE's best, so why not do the same to the tag division?

The Shield can still be involved with the likes of Cena, Sheamus, Ryback, Orton and others while holding the Tag Team Championships, but at least holding the belts will give them some credibility with the fans who don't enjoy their random attacks. Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns are all fantastic wrestlers, so giving them the titles also gives them a reason to compete on a regular basis.

As much as most fans want the WWE to capitalize on The Shield's win by doing something huge, there is only so much that can done right now. Unless the WWE goes totally off the board and gives one of them the world title, the best thing that can possibly happen is The Shield winning the Tag Team Championships. Holding those titles for a significant period of time and continuing to look like a dominant force will do a ton for them and the tag division as well.

The important part is to continue to utilize The Shield in an effective way. Having the group beat Cena, Ryback and Sheamus was a huge step in the right direction, but it won't mean anything if the angle is botched moving forward. Giving The Shield the tag titles will further their purpose, though, and allow them to continue to evolve.


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