Against Big Show, Randy Orton and Sheamus, The Shield will add its name to the list of WrestleMania's greatest performers.
Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose have produced instant classics every time out. The increasing anger and frustration they have stirred up with the fans, the star power of their opponents and the grandeur of WrestleMania will help create their best work to date.
Bringing in those three men from NXT as The Shield to thwart Ryback's WWE title at Survivor Series 2012 has proven to be one of WWE's best decisions in recent years.
The move has let three little-known guys get the benefit of rumbling momentum right away. WWE gave them distinct ring gear, an interesting visual style to their promos and a compelling narrative.
Now, it's time for The Shield to show what it can do in the hot spotlight that is WrestleMania. It's time for The Shield's WrestleMania moment.
A Record of Excellence
It's not the fact that The Shield is undefeated on TV and pay-per-views that has made the group so impressive; it's the way it has acquired those wins.
Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose have made the most of every one of their matches.
They thrilled at TLC 2012, Elimination Chamber 2013 and the Feb. 18 episode of Raw. Each time they have been given a match, they have made it one of the best moments of the night. Each of their longer matches has flirted with five-star quality. Even their squash match against Zack Ryder, Great Khali and Justin Gabriel on Monday's Raw was mighty entertaining.
The Shield's hypnotizing energy and swarm-like chemistry was on full display against Chris Jericho, Ryback and Sheamus on Raw.
The unit's cohesion was especially compelling here. Reigns' power, Rollins' athleticism and Ambrose's theatrical antics have made for a classics-creating machine.
Right now, Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose are batting 1.000. They have shined at every turn, and they should only improve at WrestleMania 29 with the benefit of added experience and hype.
The Grandest Stage of Them All
Everything feels bigger at WrestleMania. Every moment and every match is magnified by the grandness of the event.
The wrestlers clearly go into the event powered by extra motivation to impress.
Expect The Shield to take their game a notch higher. Expect their passion and energy to explode between the ropes.
This is the first WrestleMania for each member. This is each man's chance to show WWE that he is the future.
More eyes will be on WWE and The Shield than at any other time of the year. With as well as the group has done thus far, that should only provide inspiration, not pressure. The group should head into The Show of Shows brimming with confidence, ready to take their destructive act to the biggest stage yet.
In addition to a bigger audience and brighter lights, WrestleMania 29 showcases The Shield at a point where seeing them get their comeuppance will be incredibly satisfying.
Though WWE shouldn't book them to lose just yet, the hunger to see The Shield suffer should make this match special.
Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose have done nothing but ambush and outnumber everyone in their way. Their misguided morals play with the audience's sense of justice. They have been designed to be cloying insects and self-righteous thugs.
This fan's tweet is like many on the web. It shows just how effective they have been at being heels and sucking people into their storyline.
Hate The Shield they're 3 cowards who either cheat or run away if its 3 on 3— ♡CelticViper Love♡ (@BarlowsGirl_TT) March 23, 2013
The extent to which fans want to see them get their teeth kicked in will make every one of Sheamus' power moves and Orton's clotheslines that much more electrifying. Every punch will earn a pop. Orton and Sheamus' popularity contrasted with general despising of The Shield will equal several cathartic moments regardless of the outcome.
Daniel Bryan's first WrestleMania saw him take a boot to the jaw after just 18 seconds. Brock Lesnar won the WWE title and established himself as WWE's apex predator in his WrestleMania debut.
The Shield will be far more Lesnar than Bryan. WrestleMania 29 will be its greatest hit yet.