As rebel outsider group The Shield tear through the WWE roster, one thing has become increasingly clear: the trio, consisting of developmental stars Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, needs a fourth member.
Oh, sure, they’ve performed well so far.
Indeed, The Shield’s reign of terror—and their still unknown motives—is currently one of the few highlights of a stale WWE product. As the group takes out one popular babyface after another—Randy Orton was the latest victim on last night’s edition of SmackDown—fans are being forced to sit up and take notice of them.
All three men look to be on their way to becoming stars in the company’s most intriguing and complex angle in quite some time.
However, as the storyline gathers pace, it might be time for leader Ambrose to call up some reserves from NXT.
Why, you may ask? Well, first of all, wrestling history has shown that three guys just simply aren’t enough for a dangerous heel stable out to take over the company.
For one example, look at Nexus in 2010: they started out with a whopping eight guys and, as a result, no one had any trouble buying them as a threat to the likes of John Cena or believing they could easily dismantle anyone they came across.
As a group, they emanated a sense of danger. It was easy to buy leader Wade Barrett’s frequent claims that they were going to take over the company—heck, there were just so many of them.
Would Nexus have had the same powerful impact if there had only been Barrett and two others? Unlikely.
In the ‘90s, WCW’s New World Order heel stable also added more and more members (originally it was Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall), which not only made them more of a threat but added to the intrigue surrounding them: who would join next? (Over time they added names like Miss Elizabeth, Ted DiBiase and Randy Savage to their ranks.)
There’s another reason to add new people to The Shield: the gaping flaws of Rollins and Reigns. Both lack the mic skills and charisma you would expect your top heels to have. To be frank, both come off as rather bland a great deal of the time. Reigns is also hindered by his decidedly average in-ring skills.
Clearly, the magnetic, quick-witted and ever-watchable Ambrose is carrying the entire thing. Per recent reports (F4Wonline.com via WrestlingInc) management recognize this too and see him as the real star in the trio.
But shouldn’t there be another wrestler in the group with a decent amount of charisma and presence?
It’s hard to make a heel stable when only one guy really stands out. Again, look at Nexus who had several potential stars (Barrett, Daniel Bryan and Skip Sheffield) or the NWO, who had too many big names to count.
So, who could be the fourth member?
Well, if we look at developmental show NXT there are quite a few possibilities.
Jake Carter (aka Jesse White, the son of wrestling legend, Vader) is one wrestler who has impressed people with in-ring skills and personality. Second-generation star Richie Steamboat also has renowned in-ring skills and could surely deliver great matches on television and pay-per-view.
Xavier Woods (Consequences Creed in TNA) has an appeal and a quirky sort of charisma that could come in handy as back up to Ambrose.
Kassius Ohno (Chris Hero in ROH) is also a possibility. Certainly his real-life history ROH gives him a crucial connection with Rollins (who wrestled there as Tyler Black) and, of course, CM Punk, who may or may not be the mastermind behind The Shield.
Being brought up as part of The Shield would also help any developmental prospect. Certainly, being part of a main event faction is a step up from being giving a ridiculous gimmick (see: Johnny Curtis and his current Fandango gimmick) and jobbing to the likes of Heath Slater on television.
Of course, that’s not to say adding more people is not an idea without any flaws.
Indeed, the NWO added too many people it became difficult to keep track and led to Nitro becoming an increasingly chaotic and muddled show. Nexus, and its various incarnations like the New Nexus and The Corre, also kept bringing in new members like Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty, to the point they fell into irrelevance.
But one more member—not three or four—should be OK. It would add some more depth to the group, as well as giving them even more of a numbers advantage—something they will surely need as they continue to work with dominant monster, babyface Ryback.