The Shield was presented with the opportunity to cut a taped promo this past week on SmackDown. In their first at-bat cutting this style of promo, the group collectively went yard.
The three members reintroduced themselves to kick off the eerie speech. This let fans know they were not some faceless militia, but rather three distinctive mercenaries working together. The promo also furthered the logical flow of a storyline that has involved random attacks.
The group once again defended their protection of WWE champion CM Punk. Roman Reigns—The team muscle—coyly stated that the Shield had "lived it" when it pertains to injustice. Following last week's attack on The Miz, de facto leader Dean Ambrose explained:
Last Monday, CM Punk—Champion for over a year—was disrespected with a lie detector test. By The Miz? Welcome to consequences, Miz!
On the December 3 episode of RAW, the Shield attacked Randy Orton. The move seemed inexplicable at first but it was simply explained by Seth Rollins:
Randy Orton took advantage of a young, defenseless Brad Maddox! Well welcome to payback, Randy!
Many up-and-coming superstars express their (in-character) frustrations with the old guard hogging all the spotlight. In fact, this past Monday on Raw, Dolph Ziggler expressed this very sentiment about John Cena while serving as a guest commentator.
But instead of sticking with this painfully familiar template, the Shield has acted upon it. Injustice has become their identity.
The attacks on Ryback were addressed as well. This time by the aforementioned Dean Ambrose, whose glazed stare and constant fidgeting with his hair channeled Brian Pillman. His perceived instability played in to the unpredictable nature of this trio of loose cannons:
Ryback? You've been handed success on a silver platter. You've been handed fame and fortune. You've been put on a pedestal, well we knocked you off that pedestal. We stopped you cold. Welcome back to reality Ryback!
An upstart group attacking a star who rose to the top of the WWE in a matter of months makes sense. The transparent jealousy and bitterness in their reasoning establishes the Shield as the villains.
The artistic flow of the promo itself was also a gem. The off-site interview opened with a discarded camera that had been left on. The camera was filming an undisclosed location while on its side, only to be picked up by Dean Ambrose.
All dressed in black, the Shield members introduced themselves twice throughout the promo. Each introduction came in a different order so as not to be too blunt about who was running this show.
And while Dean Ambrose—the man who was self-filming the group—appears as the leader, the dynamic of three relative equals with a common goal will go far.
Few talking segments have included the combination of originality, delivery and effectiveness. The WWE's next pay-per-view, TLC, is around the corner. And this stable may have provided further reason to tune in by putting heat on themselves with a unique heel declaration.