For the first time since debuting in November 2012, The Shield will be relegated to the pay-per-view pre-show at WWE Money in the Bank.
Well, at least Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins will. While Dean Ambrose will have a shot at winning a Money in the Bank briefcase, Rollins and Reigns will defend the WWE Tag Team Championship against The Usos on the “Kickoff to Money in the Bank.”
Because The Shield has been involved in many of the WWE’s top angles over the past seven or eight months, the tag title match against The Usos is clearly a step back for the trio.
Considering Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose have already faced and defeated the likes of John Cena, Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton and a number of other top stars, their match against brothers Jimmy and Jey is obviously the least star-studded tag team they’ve faced so far—one that won’t even be on the actual PPV.
Like it or not, Rollins and Reigns vs. The Usos is the first tag team rivalry The Shield has had that has relegated the group to the midcard. In turn, that’s curtailed the momentum The Shield picked up earlier this year when it was impressively defeating many of the WWE’s biggest babyfaces.
With Money in the Bank almost upon us, the WWE now finds itself in a pickle. It’s very apparent The Usos are being built up right now, but The Shield has had and will continue to have a bigger impact on the company going forward.
But in order for the latter to happen, The Shield must handily defeat the Usos in order to maintain its credibility.
Although Jimmy and Jey Uso combine to make a very talented tag team, they haven't really made a substantial impact in the WWE. In fact, they’ve spent most of the last couple of years either jobbing on TV or being left off of it altogether.
Now, we’re suddenly supposed to buy them as legitimate threats to one of the best-booked factions in history? Not happening.
No disrespect to the Usos. They could have been the premiere tag team in the company for a while now had things gone differently in the past. Heck, they may even become that at some point down the road.
But if you look at the booking of Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose since their debut last November, you can certainly see that the WWE obviously has a ton of confidence in the group and big plans for it in the future.
A loss to the Usos, however, would significantly set back not just Rollins and Reigns but also The Shield as a whole.
After great booking of the trio early on—which included a ton of victories over almost every single top babyface in the WWE—The Shield has suffered from some very, well, questionable booking by creative in recent months.
First, The Shield lost for the first time ever via DQ to a Cena-led team on Raw. Then, the trio lost in 100 percent clean fashion to Orton, Bryan and Kane on an episode of SmackDown. Then, they lost to Christian and the Usos on another episode of SmackDown.
At best, that is questionable booking. At worst, it’s terrible booking, especially when you consider that The Shield participated in a number of singles matches that ended with non-finishes during that span as well.
What will be the outcome of The Usos vs. Rollins and Reigns at Money in the Bank?
In other words, the creative team seems to be a) losing confidence in The Shield or b) unsure of what to do to keep the group looking strong. Either scenario is not a good one, though.
Luckily for The Shield, however, Rollins and Reigns find themselves facing a duo in the Usos who should make good opponents for them for two reasons: They will put on a good match together, and The Shield should, at least theoretically, wipe the floor with Jimmy and Jey.
The Shield is one of the most marketable and entertaining aspects of WWE programming right now, and though the Usos shouldn’t just be thrown into the dumpster, Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose are the ones who are going to mean more to the company in both the short and long terms.
Well, that is if the first two win at Money in the Bank.
If Rollins and Reigns do not handily defeat the Usos at the PPV, then the days of their victories over the likes of Cena, Sheamus and Jericho will be forgotten.
And they’ll be replaced by upcoming uncertainty for a group that used to be the most dominant performer or group of performers in all of the WWE.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!