One of the biggest speculative stories in the WWE right now is the supposed split of the hottest stable in the company: The Shield.
Since Survivor Series last year, they have dominated the WWE in a remarkable manner and have all lifted gold in just a one-year stretch. There is much discussion and debate online as to when it will happen, with many predicting that their first anniversary as a group would provide a tumultuous enough setting for them to go their own ways.
That did not happen, though, and many are now wondering whether the split will occur—and whether it would be a good thing for it to happen.
It still looks as though it is on the cards, though, with creative supposedly hot on Roman Reigns going forward as a face character, per SESScoops.com.
So when could the split happen? With some big pay-per-views coming up, there are plenty of opportunities and storylines available for WWE to make it happen.
Tables, Ladders & Chairs
Yep, it could happen as soon as the TLC pay-per-view in a couple of weeks' time. The Shield are booked to compete in a three-on-one handicap match against CM Punk at the event—the same kind of match that The Wyatt Family are booked in to.
It seems highly unlikely that they would both get the upper hand on two of the hottest guys in the company at the moment, and it could be The Shield who are the fall guys at the hands of Punk.
The split could happen in a number of ways. It could merely be as simple as Reigns spearing one of his own guys accidentally to gift Punk the victory. Or, with Reigns in line for a turn somewhere down the line, perhaps he turns on Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins at the event. There are few guys who teaming with would get you over more than CM Punk.
However, it does seem a little premature should the split happen before Christmas. After all, it has only been just over a week since Reigns laid Punk out with a demonic spear on Raw.
Ah, the Royal Rumble. The location for many a turn in character, and plenty of groups splitting up due to fractions caused in the Rumble itself. So why not The Shield?
Believe it or not, this does seem like a more plausible location for the group to go their own ways. Given how dominant Reigns was at Survivor Series, it could well be that the monster rips through the field at the Royal Rumble, too. And if Ambrose or Rollins would get in his way on his quest to main event WrestleMania, they may well find themselves on the end of a spear.
The fractions have been teased for a while now between Ambrose and Reigns, and Ambrose's ambition and ego could well tip Reigns over the edge at one of the biggest pay-per-view shows of the year.
Of course, it does not have to be Reigns who is the instigator of the split. Ambrose could well be the guy who takes matters into his own hands at the Royal Rumble. Big things are expected from the U.S. Champion, and he certainly has the potential to move forward as a top heel on his own.
In all fairness, The Shield have been so good for the WWE that their fractions are deserving enough to come to a head at the biggest show of them all.
If the split hasn't happened before WrestleMania, Ambrose will still likely be holding the United States Championship. He is too immersed in other rivalries and storylines to defend the belt but will no doubt have to do so at Mania.
It would make for pretty compelling viewing should either Reigns or Rollins screw Ambrose out of his championship at the biggest pay-per-view of 2014, or even better, if he was forced to defend it against his fellow members of The Shield.
With tensions slowly bubbling up already, a few months down the line—if creative play it smartly enough—you could have an absolutely huge and explosive rivalry ready to meet its summit at WrestleMania 30.