Why Roman Reigns Is Holding Back the Shield

Bryan HaasFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2013

courtesy of wwe.com
courtesy of wwe.com

Given their recent championship victories, the Shield has seemingly made believers of many people, not the least of which being the WWE Universe, which may now realize that the three men could be a long-lasting threat going forward.

With Dean Ambrose's hard-hitting and calculating style alongside Seth Rollins' high-flying, fast-paced offense, the group has two members with the potential to be legitimate world-title contenders in the future.

However, Roman Reigns, the third member of the group, while an impressive physical specimen, is sorely lacking in several areas that may not allow him to attain success at the next level, making him the weak link of the team.

While Reigns is not entirely clueless inside of a wrestling ring, simply being a physical force is sometimes not enough to make it to the next level.

For every Dave Batista, who was also incredibly limited in the ring but still managed to win a world title six times, there is a Ryback. Despite limitless hype and an impressive physical persona, he has yet to make a lasting impact on the wrestling world.

Reigns is tough, and there is little doubt of that. But one need only look at any match in which he competes to see that he is riding the coattails of his partners. In any given encounter, Ambrose or Rollins takes a vast majority of the offense from their opponents, and Reigns is rarely involved in any spot that involves being dominated.

Even when the group is flourishing, his spear is normally the only thing that he contributes to the match other than a few basic punches and kicks.

Granted Reigns could be seen noticeably limping throughout the match, likely a lasting result of an injury he suffered during a six-man tag team match he participated in against Sheamus, Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston on SmackDown last week.

But even after his big spot on Raw, where he speared Daniel Bryan on the floor, Reigns appeared to drive his own head into the floor. In his favor, though, is that there appeared to be no lasting effects present during his post-match celebration.

Unfortunately for Reigns, part of his job involves taking a beating at times. If he ever hopes to make it to the next level, he will need to improve his ability to sell his opponents' offense while also working on his own offensive moves.

Bill Goldberg and Edge were able to make their bones off of the spear. But with both Reigns and Divas champ Kaitlyn using the move as their finisher, something may soon need to give, with one of them giving up their claim to the move.

A member of the legendary Anoa'i family—which boasts such superstars as Rikishi, Umaga, the Usos, Yokozuna and the Rock—Reigns has a pedigree that automatically gives him some credibility.

And at 28, Reigns has plenty of time to fix his issues.

The group dynamic will be a great help to him, as he will be able to hide behind his partners' abilities until he is truly ready to break out and possibly become the main-event star that he has the potential to be.