The WWE tends to come up with a lot of horribly booked storylines and feuds these days.
Just look at the Intercontinental Championship feud between Wade Barrett and The Miz that stems largely from a debate over which star is the better actor. This is a prime example of a rivalry that virtually no one will be interested in and is certainly deserving of all the complaints it’s been getting.
One angle that doesn’t deserve all the criticism it gets, however, is that of The Shield.
While it wouldn’t be fitting to label the booking of The Shield as exceptional or incredible, the trio has certainly given us angles that have more pros than cons. Of course, the group hasn’t been booked perfectly, but it’s done a lot of good for the WWE’s storylines.
Perhaps most importantly, The Shield’s involvement on WWE TV has proven to be a great way to push new superstars strongly and quickly, which the WWE often fails to do.
All you have to do is look at a guy like Bo Dallas, who is widely viewed as one of NXT’s top prospects, and just consider what’s happened to him. After a nice debut at the Royal Rumble and what seemed like the makings of an Intercontinental title feud with Barrett, Dallas disappeared from TV out of nowhere and hasn’t been seen in well over a month.
There’s also a guy like Fandango, who first appeared on TV a few weeks ago, but has delayed his debut several times, likely because the WWE didn’t know what to do with him. Although he looks like he’s headed for a big feud with Chris Jericho, his initial debut didn’t have an impact that remotely rivaled that of The Shield.
The Shield, of course, made a major statement with its debut at Survivor Series last November and has played a huge role in many of the WWE’s biggest storylines since then. This has worked wonders for The Shield’s three members, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins.
Instead of each guy debuting individually and potentially getting lost in the shuffle rather quickly, the WWE instantly thrust all three guys into main event-caliber angles. In turn, this has done more for The Shield’s three members than any other type of debut likely ever would have.
Instantly, Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose come across like big deals because of how strongly they are booked and whom they are feuding with, which results in another positive of The Shield’s involvement in major storylines: creating new stars.
Everyone knows that the WWE, though it has a great roster, is always trying to create new stars—that’s how it survives, after all. When some stars struggle or leave the company altogether, the creative team looks to create new ones to take their places.
That’s exactly what the WWE is doing right now with The Shield.
Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins are being positioned as big-time stars of the future, and in all likelihood, this wouldn’t have happened if they weren’t collectively known as “The Shield” or if they weren’t a major force in some of the WWE’s biggest storylines. The struggles of guys like Dallas or even Brodus Clay show that it’s much harder for a debuting star to succeed when he debuts in a lackluster way.
Thankfully for The Shield, its debut has had a huge impact, an impact that is still being felt today thanks to the group’s ongoing rivalry with Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show. That’s another plus of The Shield: It gives major superstars who are lost in the shuffle something to do.
Think about it—what would Sheamus, Orton and Show be doing if they weren’t involved with The Shield? What would have kept Ryback, John Cena and Team Hell No busy had they not feuded with The Shield, either?
While the somewhat predictable booking of The Shield may be getting tiresome and boring for some, the group still manages to keep many of the WWE’s top stars busy, and down the road it will result in additional bonus: an entertaining storyline whenever the group breaks up.
Oftentimes, the end of a stable can be more entertaining or more important in terms of storylines than the stable’s run itself. That may ultimately prove to be true with The Shield, too.
After all, there’s still so much that we don’t know about The Shield—everything from who its leader might be to when/how the group will break up, to which of it stars might turn face first, etc.
There are plenty of “what ifs” when it comes to The Shield, and that’s precisely what makes the group so interesting. The potential for the creative team to do so many great things with this trio (insert jokes here) is definitely there, and as long as the group sticks around, there’s going to be a lot of uncertainty surrounding it.
Uncertainty, as opposed to predictability, is one of the greatest things about pro wrestling, and we’ll certainly get some of it with any storyline that The Shield is involved in.
That’s one of the many benefits that, despite what the critics say, The Shield brings to the WWE. It may not be perfect, but in a WWE that does so many things wrong, the Shield is one of the few things it’s done right.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!