Ever since the six-man tag match featuring The Shield vs. John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus was announced for Elimination Chamber, there have been a lot of comments made about the makeup of the match as well as the two teams involved. Honestly, most of those comments are pretty run-of-the-mill these days, and while some of them are warranted, allow me to take the time to bring to your attention exactly why The Shield doesn't need a victory at Elimination Chamber.
Since their debut at Survivor Series last year, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have had one match, which was at the TLC pay-per-view. This match saw Roman Reigns pick up the win for his team by powerbombing Daniel Bryan through a table.
One would think a big win like this would lead to something, but the match seemed of little consequence, as The Shield would quickly return to ambushing people with little rhyme or reason.
Some people have confused this with momentum, but I find it's more a matter of the WWE not knowing what it wants to do with The Shield. I assumed The Shield would set its sights on the WWE Tag Team titles, but the trio hasn't had a match since December.
Having these three men come out and beat up people in three-on-one situations does only one job and that's get them heat. But there needs to be more than that in the long run. They need momentum, and that's done by facing challenges, overcoming them (in a heel case, by any means) and, of course, winning matches.
The Shield picked up some momentum after it beat the WWE Tag Team champions and Ryback, but that momentum has long since been wasted. Granted, the WWE has made some headway by getting The Shield involved with The Rock, CM Punk and Paul Heyman, but I think most people assumed the group was working for Heyman anyway, and in the end, it didn't really do much, except turn Brad Maddox face (?).
So now The Shield comes to its second challenge to overcome, in the form of WWE's resident eating machine Ryback, "The Great White" Sheamus and 2013 Royal Rumble winner John Cena. And for the first time in many moons, The Shield is in a position to create some actual momentum.
Of course, the point of this topic wouldn't be true if The Shield was actually in need of momentum at the moment. At the moment, it is not.
Who needs to look stronger going forward?
You see, The Shield has been given the unfortunate job of "holdover opponents." The trio is to hold over John Cena mainly because Cena is scheduled to face The Rock and perhaps CM Punk at WrestleMania for the WWE Championship, a match he's expected to win by those of us who read into what goes on deeper than the casual fan does.
Of course, what many people forget is that the WWE isn't generally written and booked for those of us who read deeper; it's for those in the audience who only watch RAW and SmackDown but don't take the time to read dirtsheet reports or look up rumors or heel turns. The ones who watch more for the "entertainment" aspect of the show. That's the target audience. They see in black and white.
A loss to us for Cena means nothing, but he's putting over someone. A loss for Cena to them draws doubt out on whether or not Cena can beat The Rock/CM Punk at 'Mania, which already has doubt laced in it, considering Cena has yet to beat either of them the past couple of years.
One thing I've been seeing a lot of lately is Cena being called out for stalling peoples' pushes, and burying young talent for the future. While I'm not going to comment on that claim as a whole, (as I'm not going to look back at all of Cena's foes over the last eight years,) I will speak on the two I see most often brought to point. Those being Dolph Ziggler and The Nexus.
First off, as it pertains to Ziggler, this may not be a popular viewpoint, but it certainly is the one the WWE has been telling me (though I've been thinking it for a really long time.) Dolph Ziggler is a midcard act. He's got the midcard look, (Jeff Jarrett, Billy Gunn, etc.) midcard gimmick, (Jeff Jarratt plus exercise does not a main eventer make), basic moveset, hasn't picked up a clean win since November and while Ziggler is a great wrestler, he's also an overall forgettable part of the WWE experience.
As for The Nexus, I don't deny WWE dropped the ball at SummerSlam, but Cena only brought the group to its knees. It was a combination of Randy Orton's successive punts combined with CM Punk's failed leadership of the "new" Nexus that ultimately beheaded the stable.
A lot of times, people will demand that WWE needs to start building the future. That's true to an extent; however, I don't think the present should be jeopardized for that to happen. Roman and company have many years left in the tank, as do other potential main event types like Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger and Brodus Clay. There's no huge rush for these guys, and there's no huge rush for The Shield. Don't get so caught up looking to the future that you miss what's right in the present.
I know a lot of people don't care about the logic and would rather have Cena not win anything ever again. Heck, I've even seen an unsurprising amount of comments hoping for Cena to get injured, and I'm sure I've made no friends writing this article.
You wanna call me a Cena mark, feel free. I take it as a compliment. Still, before you down the guy and the logic used to support him, really think about what's going on in the WWE right now, and who it benefits most to win at Elimination Chamber.
Where would The Shield go after beating John Cena, Sheamus and Ryback? Who would be a threat to these guys? Who would believably stop them? How would they tie into 'Mania?
These are all questions that will fall by the wayside and be forgotten by the general public as the global phenomenon that is WrestleMania approaches and The Shield vs. The All-Star Squadron (I thought I'd go a little old school, since I've seen a few superhero group names used for their team) is forgotten, just like the majority of Elimination Chamber will be.