WWE TLC Features the Future with The Shield and Ryback

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2012

photo by wwe.com
photo by wwe.com

WWE TLC will bring us the main event of Ryback and Team Hell No vs. The Shield, in a match that we as fans did not expect and could not have predicted.  It’s the meeting of the veterans vs. the rising stars and for me, this one is all about the future.

Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose are the three young men who represent that future, and right now they have the hot glare of the WWE spotlight firmly on their heads.  TLC holds an opportunity like none other has since they entered the company’s developmental territory in Florida.  

This is “the show.”  The big time.   Just being on Monday Night Raw, WWE’s flagship program, is evidence that Vince McMahon has faith in the three Shield members.  He understands that the only true way to know if Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns are ready for the main stage is to just provide the opportunity, and see how they respond.

So far so good.

While many of the fans may not be very familiar with the Shield as individual performers, they are growing accustomed to seeing the three men together on TV.  And by this point it has become less about “who are the Shield,” and more about “what will happen next?”

The answer thus far lies with another young talent, the monster known as Ryback.

Ryback seems to be wearing a target, as the Shield have him set firmly in their sights.  Their quest to fight injustice in WWE has led them to Ryback on more than one occasion and now they are gunning for him once again, this time at TLC.

Think about this for a moment.  Three guys, who were not even on the majority of WWE fans’ radar several months ago, are now going to be involved in the main event of a pay-per-view.

Is it safe to say that Vince McMahon is indeed looking toward the future?

We spend so much time talking about the next phase, the next generation of WWE Superstars, that when it finally begins to happen, we seem to miss it at times.  We perhaps get so caught up in what appears to be right or wrong with the booking that we may not see the direction that the company is trying to go.

On the surface, it may appear that Kane and Daniel Bryan, two veterans, tagging with the newcomer Ryback, against the untested, unproven Shield, is an example of WWE rushing to fill a main-event spot.  

As we know, CM Punk’s knee surgery kept him from participating in the original TLC main event, in which he was to defend the WWE Championship against Ryback.  So, to justify a new bout, the Shield was used to attack Kane and Daniel Bryan, prompting McMahon to make the six-man tag match for this Sunday.

The move worked, because when the change in main event was announced, the decision made perfect sense.  Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins would not be able to conduct any sneak attacks at TLC, they would actually have to compete in their first match against the three men they had assaulted since arriving to the main roster.

Now, there would be a level playing field.  

This may not have been what the company had intended for the Shield, however.  To imagine that WWE would want them physically tested this early in their run on Raw seems highly unlikely.  

After all, to maintain their momentum, WWE would probably have wanted to take a hands-off approach for as long as possible.  WWE likely would have rather kept the attacks going until the Shield showed some weakness, then they would be exploited.

But plans change and as far as the future is concerned for WWE, the fact is that the future is now.

At TLC, fans all over the world will get the opportunity to see Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins get in the ring and prove they belong there.  These three men could conceivably be future headliners in the company, and on that night, the spotlight will be theirs to own.  

For fans who have been clamoring for something fresh and new in WWE, now is the chance for them to watch it all unfold.

Ryback and the Shield.  Who would have thought it?