Since bursting onto the scene at Survivor Series 2012, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have caused considerable chaos within the WWE.
Turning the company on its ear, the three former NXT stars collectively known as The Shield have turned back some of the stiffest competition to date. Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, John Cena and even The Undertaker have tasted defeat at the hands of The Shield.
Surely, one has to think a bright future is on the horizon for all three men. However, one figure stands above the others, clearly a trump card to the group's success. I'm of course speaking about Roman Reigns.
I suppose it's only fitting that Roman would be the standout of the group. Fans and critics had been waiting with bated breath for the main-roster arrival of both Dean Ambrose and then-NXT champion Seth Rollins.
Comparisons from everyone to The Joker to Roddy Piper to Brian Pillman have been made regarding Dean Ambrose, and the man formerly known as Tyler Black has a strong, cult following from his time in ROH. I think it's safe to say that nobody knew or even cared much for Roman Reigns—at least not compared to his teammates.
Still, Roman has impressed a lot of people in recent months. At one point, there were rumblings among fans of Roman about him being the actual leader of the trio as opposed to Dean Ambrose (funny how nobody seems to have faith that Seth could have been the leader).
More recent rumblings seem to indicate that many believe Roman could be the breakout star of the group. Personally, that wouldn't surprise me one bit. Roman Reigns is the impact player for The Shield.
His time in the ring can generally be game-changing. Just when things look grim for The Shield, the Spear helps to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, as we saw Monday when said Spear pinned John Cena in a six-man tag match. Arguably the cleanest win anyone's gotten over Cena in sometime.
No doubt, Roman has been a big part of the success of The Shield, even pinning Daniel Bryan at TLC last year to give the group their first victory.
With so much stock going into this group and with no end in sight, it's fun to think about where exactly WWE is going with this group.
As the article's title states, though, Roman Reigns is the one who has my attention the most. The Spear of Justice has helped to put away some tough competition.
I don't think it's a question of "can" or "will" Roman be a star in the WWE. It's more a question of "how." How will Roman's time in The Shield (and The Shield in general, possibly) come to an end and force him on his own?
So where do we go from there? A lot of people have thrown out scenarios for The Shield and their future, as well as the solo careers of the members, and there's a lot of branching ways to go with this. One personal favorite of mine is the Evolution route featuring Triple H.
This scenario sees Ambrose downplaying Reigns at several points, both in public and in private, leading to dissension in the group. Noticing this (as assuming The Shield could feud with an incarnation of DX), Triple H looks to further instigate drama, informing Roman of Dean's thoughts on him (basing them off his thoughts on Batista during the dying days of Evolution), and encouraging Roman to forge his own path, much like The Animal did upon leaving Evolution.
This leads to Roman walking out on The Shield (turning face in the process) and allying with Triple H as a sort of mentor to him in the short run.
Another scenario for Roman Reigns involves Roman beginning to realize just how good he can be with his own ability.
A lot of you may (or may not) remember Mason Ryan's time on the main roster as a member of The New Nexus. WWE at one point wanted to emphasize his power, having him destroy both Kane and The Big Show almost single-handedly, before leaving without celebrating with the other members of The Nexus.
Though that resulted in nothing, perhaps WWE could go that route with Reigns as a way of ending The Shield (or at least giving Roman an out).
After deeming Roman to be getting a big head, having Dean or Seth confront him about his attitude (to be subsequently attacked by the other member, or perhaps a replacement for him), Roman could easily make a face turn, perhaps allying for a short time (or longer) with The Usos in a Samoan stable of sorts (with him at the head) or even someone else who may have a grudge against The Shield.
Of course these are just ideas to be kicked around, and there are probably better ways to go about such a difficult and risky task. Also, I'd like to point out I'm not saying I want all this to happen Friday on SmackDown or anything like that. The Shield still has shelf life. I could easily see them coexisting peacefully until at least September, if not longer.
All good things must come to an end, though. The Shield is no different, and when said end does come, I'll be curious to see where exactly Roman fits in the grand scheme of the WWE.
Could he be the next face of the company? The next Batista? Who's to say? What about you? Where do you think The Spear of Justice will be years from now?