The three wrestlers known as The Shield—Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns—left WrestleMania 29 with their winning streak intact. Now that the fearsome trio is wrestling more matches, where do they go after the biggest show of the year?
It should come as no surprise that The Shield and Team Hell No are on another collision. Over the past two weeks, Kane and Daniel Bryan came to the aid of both The Undertaker and Triple H, who were each about to be the victims of another Shield beating.
This upcoming Monday on Raw, the tag team champions will team with the Deadman to take on The Shield. It's doubtful the match will end clean. The WWE won't allow Undertaker to lose, nor can the trio from NXT be beaten if they are to stay a threat.
Chaos will reign on Raw and the match will be declared a no-contest.
But this won't be the end of the Team Hell No and Shield storyline. Given that their history dates back to the violent 2012 TLC match, the WWE will jump at the chance to have these men fight again. The two teams will clash at Extreme Rules over the tag team titles.
With the nature of the event, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a two-on-three clash. Kane and Bryan have enough pride and ego to think they can conquer The Shield by themselves. Realistically though, who is there to team with the champions?
Randy Orton is preoccupied with Big Show. Sheamus has his hands full with The World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry. Ryback is too busy turning heel and chasing John Cena for the WWE title. Undertaker is unlikely to appear on a smaller pay-per-view event.
Expect to see The Shield dethrone Team Hell No at Extreme Rules.
But once they have the titles, which of the three men will defend them? Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns can utilize the unofficial "Freebird Rule."
The Fabulous Freebirds were a dominate tag team of the late '70s, '80s and mid '90s. They consisted of Michael "Purely Sexy" Hayes, Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy and Buddy "Jack" Roberts. Jimmy Garvin later replaced Roberts in WCW. While part of the NWA, when the Freebirds held tag team titles, promoters would allow any two members of the team to defend the belts.
The rule has been used many times over the years. Teams like The Midnight Express, Demolition and even The Spirit Squad have utilized the loophole to keep their titles.
The Shield will do the same.
Their first order of business will be defending the belts against Team Hell No in their contractual rematch. The teams will fight anew at the WWE pay-per-view Payback in June. This will be the bout where Kane and Bryan split up and feud. It'll be their in-ring fighting which will enable The Shield to score the victory and keep the belts.
The "Freebird Rule" won't stay in effect for long. By the time Money in the Bank rolls around, only Rollins and Reigns will be carrying the gold. Ambrose will be fighting for a mid-card title, most likely the United States championship.
Which member of The Shield will hold a singles championship first?
This leaves Rollins and Reigns to fight against a normal team. Look for The Shield to continue their dominance throughout the summer, dropping the titles at Night of Champions. Their opponents at the pay-per-view could be a reunited Team Hell No or a newly-face Team Rhodes Scholars.
There simply aren't any other teams on the roster right now who have the star power and talent combined to run with the belts.
The Shield has been remarkably successful in their tenure so far with the WWE. As long as the formula continues to work, why change it? Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns will continue to run roughshod, with WWE gold, through most of the year.
Even when they do suffer that first lost, it won't do anything but force the group to evolve and get better. Nothing is a more serious crime in professional wrestling than getting stale.