The Shield debuted at Survivor Series 2012, and has undoubtedly been the WWE’s top faction ever since then.
Yeah, that’s not saying a whole lot in a WWE that has maybe only a handful of other teams or factions in the company. But what has been really impressive is just how quickly The Shield has gotten so darn good.
Forget being the top faction in the WWE. The Shield is the top anything—wrestler, tag team, trio, faction, etc.—in the WWE.
Maybe not for long, though.
Given how The Shield has dominated and decimated the WWE in only about seven months on the main roster, it’s hard to imagine anyone supplanting the trio as the top stable in the WWE. Well, that was until a few shorts weeks ago.
That’s when the WWE started airing a series of vignettes that—to say the least—have everyone buzzing.
Those vignettes, of course, have been promoting the main roster debut of what has become the most must-see act in the WWE’s developmental territory, NXT: The Wyatt Family.
Those who have followed Bray Wyatt and his followers (Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) have an idea of what to expect out of this oddball trio. A little Cape Fear. A little Waylon Mercy. A whole lot of weird.
Those who haven’t followed the Wyatt Family down in NXT aren’t quite sure what to think of the creepy vignettes that have aired over the last month or so. All they can be certain of is that the Wyatt Family looks, sounds and acts bizarre, and seems poised to make a huge splash in the WWE because of it.
The beginning of the rise of Bray Wyatt and his faction may seem like something totally unrelated to The Shield and everything that Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are trying to accomplish.
On the contrary.
The Shield has had and continues to have an amazing run as a phenomenal group of main roster rookies, but there will come a day when the seemingly unstoppable trio is finally stopped.
That day very well could come—whether directly or indirectly—at the hands of the Wyatt Family.
It’s not very likely that we’ll see the Wyatt Family directly result in the demise of The Shield. Wyatt and his followers will enter the WWE as heels, so chances are that we won’t ever see them feud with The Shield.
But the Wyatt Family indirectly ending The Shield’s run as the WWE’s top faction? That’s certainly possible.
When Wyatt, Harper and Rowan make their way onto the main roster, they are going to be pushed. The creepy vignettes are setting the trio up for a major push already, and if the group gets over like it's expected to, then big things are definitely in store for it.
Will The Wyatt Family replace The Shield as the WWE's top faction?
That’s when The Shield should get worried.
There’s no doubt whatsoever about The Shield’s talent. Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose are all tremendous up-and-comers who should be around for years to come.
But knowing how the WWE has operated in the past, it’s highly unlikely that the company is going to be willing and/or able to push two monster heel factions at the same time.
There are only so many top babyfaces out there for a heel faction to feud with, and The Shield has already feuded with most of them. Whenever the Wyatt family debuts, it’s going to be awfully hard for The Shield to continue feuding with top faces when Wyatt and company likely will do the same.
Wyatt is going to come into the WWE and get a chance to make a major splash right away, and already under pressure, the creative team is going to have to choose just how far it wants to push him and his followers.
Not every singles star can be pushed at the same time—just like not every faction can.
The Shield is obviously being pushed right now. But it has been for the better part of a year now.
When the Wyatt Family finally makes its presence felt, however, that may change.
The Shield may not end directly at the hands of John Cena, CM Punk or Randy Orton. It may end indirectly at the hands of the Wyatt family.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!