After The Shield’s recent brawl with a returning Ric Flair on Raw, could it soon be feuding with a new and reformed Four Horsemen?
With like-minded similarities between them, a feud between the two stables would be epic.
When The Four Horsemen first formed in 1986, they consisted of Flair, Tully Blanchard, and Ole and Arn Anderson. Their manager was the infamous J.J. Dillon.
Like The Shield, which causes as much pain as it rights injustice, the original Horsemen were brutes and bullies too.
They broke the ankle and hand of Dusty Rhodes, broke Ricky Morton’s nose and injured Nikita Koloff’s neck. They came together as a group, fought as a group, defended their titles as a group.
By 1988, with Barry Windham having replaced Ole, they held every title in the NWA. (WWE.com)
They were as feared as they were unpredictable.
"The only time this much havoc had been wreaked by this few a number of people, you need to go all the way back to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!"
—Arn Anderson, circa 1986 (Flair, Ric (2005). Ric Flair: To Be the Man. World Wrestling Entertainment. p. 142)
There’s the connection between the two.
The Shield talks about dishing out justice, but in reality it is dishing out havoc like the Horsemen did in all of their incarnations.
This taste for havoc is also what interests the fans.
With the Horsemen, they lived the dream. They rode in limousines and flew in fancy jets. They had women on each arm. They had prestige. They had titles. They had respect.
They were the best thing going in the wrestling world.
Anderson is quoted on WWE.com as saying this about being a Horseman:
Being a Horseman isn’t something you put on in the morning and take off at night. It’s a state of mind. It’s excelling to the best of your ability. It’s four individuals thinking singularly, acting collectively.
This is The Shield. The three men from NXT have said that they don’t just know injustice...they’ve lived it. They attack together, never leaving either of the other two alone for more than a few moments.
The fans respond to The Shield in the same manner they did to the Horsemen. Excitement. Anticipation. A sense of history in the making.
One person in the WWE doesn’t quite see the Horsemen comparison yet. In his blog on Jrsbarbq.com, Jim Ross had this to say:
Sorry to be the old, proverbial wet blanket to some Twitter followers @JRsBBQ but it might be just a 'little early' to anoint @theshieldwwe as being the 2nd coming of the Horsemen… I do think that @TheDeanAmbrose @WWERollins @WWERomanReigns are the freshest, most impactful newcomers to appear in WWE in recent memory. They are far from refined or where they need to be BUT they have the potential, each of them of varying degrees, to be outstanding.
So what would happen if both like-minded groups squared off in the ring?
One word: havoc.
Should Ric Flair reform The Four Horsemen?
The Shield was quick to jump Flair when he took CM Punk to the ring on Raw. The reaction from the stands was very telling. The crowd was raucous and wild, on its feet and responding to everything that was happening.
Flair is way past his prime as a wrestler, but his mere presence can still be a huge draw. If the WWE wants to give The Shield an even bigger push, putting it in an angle with a legend like Flair makes sense.
The WWE wouldn’t bring back Flair just to trot him out occasionally. Even if he can’t wrestle anymore he could still be a major part of any feud, particularly one with The Shield.
No matter whom Flair would, hypothetically speaking, recruit into a new Horseman stable, the result would be the same.