Out of all the debuting stars at WrestleMania 29, none were as impressive as The Shield.
The first match of the night ended up being one of the best, thanks to Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Though their WrestleMania effort was not as good as their TLC 2012 or Elimination Chamber 2013 matches, this team's continuing streak of great performances has been awe-inspiring.
WrestleMania left many memories in fans' heads. Few were as vivid as The Shield swarming their opponents and the black blur left by their frantic attack.
Pitting The Shield against established stars, namely Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show, gave WWE's wolf pack a grand stage on which to begin their WrestleMania careers. Big Show looked dominant momentarily as he hammered Ambrose's chest with thunderous chops. The Shield then showed us once again the power of their cohesion.
The three men worked to keep Big Show off his feet.
Rollins dove at him, crashing his knee into Big Show's head. Reigns pounded the big man. They tagged in and out often.
Even when The Shield’s members found themselves on the receiving end of punishment, they managed to shine. Their exaggerated reaction to pain made for compelling theater. Ambrose especially made his suffering convincing.
Fans had been waiting to see The Shield get retribution for their constant double and triple teaming. The MetLife Stadium crowd saw some of that when Sheamus took turns bashing his forearms across his foes' chests.
Still, The Shield would not lose.
It wasn't just their victory that made them the event's biggest breakout stars, but their path to that victory. Like they have done in their previous matches, Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose sucked in the audience and elevated our collective heart rates.
Their in-ring action has been an engrossing blend of brawling, high-flying viciousness and teamwork.
The fluidity and chemistry they showcased at WrestleMania has been their calling card. A WWE writer had the great idea of these three newcomers being a tight-knit, destructive unit, but who could have known it would have worked out this well? Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose have embraced their roles and extracted the maximum in-ring entertainment value out of them.
WWE made the right move in allowing the group's momentum to continue, to have them look increasingly stronger until someone can eventually take them down.
Orton, Sheamus and Big Show won't be damaged by this loss. Their inability to work together made them vulnerable to WWE's most dangerous trio. The Shield, by way of defeating yet another super team, are made to look like the jungle's newest alpha males.
The Shield's performance was one of the high points of an up-and-down night.
When WrestleMania comes to New Orleans next year, The Shield will be looking to compose another tour de force.