The Shield are currently undergoing somewhat of an alteration and a change of direction that has possibly caught many WWE fans off guard.
The reputation that Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose have is that of a faction which follows its own path, answering to no one. But now those days are apparently over as they are acting as the henchmen of WWE's chief operating officer Triple H. And it's a role that I believe they will thrive in.
For The Shield's supporters, this move could likely have not been more surprising. From the day that the NXT trio arrived on WWE's main roster they have been seemingly anti-authority from top to bottom. They did business and carried out their version of "justice" as they saw fit. Many Superstars stood up to oppose them; John Cena, Sheamus and Chris Jericho are just three examples.
But nowhere among them was Triple H. Stephanie McMahon was silent. And Vince McMahon? He happened to approve of their ruthless aggression. Truth be told, perhaps that should have been the first indication of where this unit would eventually be heading.
When Vince and The Shield crossed paths on TV, it truly felt like a very odd moment to me. I'm not really sure what I was expecting, but when McMahon smiled and shook their hands, it turned out to be a very surreal experience.
Again, this is The Shield we're talking about here. The only time you ever saw them on camera was when they were either cutting a promo or cutting someone down in the ring. There never seemed to be anything in between, and it never appeared as though they had any allies to speak of.
But little did we know that receiving Vince's stamp of approval was a bit of foreshadowing that would lead us to this moment. And despite how many fans may not be that happy about The Shield's new direction, they have virtually guaranteed that their run in WWE's main storylines will continue.
Because now they are directly involved in the top storyline in WWE.
The best that any newcomer to WWE's main programming can hope for is to receive enough of an opportunity to succeed, an opportunity they can seize and make the most of. Getting over is the most important part for the rookies, and The Shield have basically been doing just that from day one.
Some may even say that their gimmick was custom made to succeed, mostly due to the fact that they have been so dominant in the ring. Their booking has been unprecedented, especially for three new faces, as they spent a huge amount of time with no losses on their records.
But for me the truth is that Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose stepped up and more than did their part to make The Shield concept work. They are always in character, they impress whenever they're in the ring and they show crazy intensity during their matches.
For fans who can't get enough of The Shield, their current spot next to The Game should be a reason to celebrate. Now The Shield have potentially more air time than they had before in a role that they fit into just as well as their gimmick.
The Shield are three tough, hard-edged Superstars. It's who they are, and serving under Triple H will only magnify their personas and make them even more feared among their opponents than ever before.
And the truth is that this new angle just makes sense. The Shield already look like paramilitary mercenaries for hire; providing personal security for the man in charge just seems like the best place for them.
An obvious point for The Shield however is the fact that being connected to the McMahon-endorsed WWE champion puts none of them any closer to winning the WWE title themselves. After all, many of the WWE faithful believe that The Shield's members are three great choices to one day each main event as the top champion.
But there is plenty of time for The Shield to break out as individuals. They're still learning, they're still clicking on all cylinders, there's no reason to interrupt any of that progress now. Running with Triple H puts them in a prime spot in the largest pro wrestling company in the world, and that can only be good for them.
The Shield will continue to perform under the heavy spotlight; the truth is they're used to it.
WWE needed intensity for this storyline, some realistically dangerous heels who had no fear and could not be stopped. They needed a faction that could step right in and make an immediate impact without distracting fans from Orton, who is the main focus of the angle.
The Shield are all of this and much more. They not only fit into this current role, they will thrive in it.