With a single explosive spear from Roman Reigns the night after Survivor Series, two of the most critically acclaimed acts in WWE were brought together in a rivalry that has the potential to produce some outstanding in-ring action.
On the November 29 episode of SmackDown, Punk insinuated that The Authority was behind The Shield's attack on him, laying the groundwork for a feud with WWE's resident power couple.
In the shows that have followed, Punk has taken on The Shield in tag team matches and has defeated Dean Ambrose in two consecutive matches. The celebration following the second win was short-lived, however, as Reigns delivered another jarring spear to the Best in the World, leaving him lying.
The more interesting element of the build to the three-on-one handicap match Sunday night at TLC is the dissension that has reared its ugly head between Ambrose and Reigns.
Ambrose's arrogance over the last month has rubbed the breakout Samoan star the wrong way on more than one occasion, though Reigns has not been verbal about his dissatisfaction with his teammate to this point. Instead, reminiscent of Batista in 2005, Reigns has used body language and facial expressions to indicate his feelings about the situation.
Whether or not that dissension plays into Sunday's match and, perhaps, creates a situation where Punk can capitalize on it and score a big upset win remains to be seen.
The multiple stories at play in the Punk-Shield storyline are poised to have major implications on the road to WrestleMania XXX.
However, those stories have overshadowed the actual conflict between Punk and his three TLC opponents.
Outside of two spears from Reigns and a few matches between Punk and Ambrose, there really is no reason for the two sides to dislike each other.
The creative team has done a great job of setting up major angles for further down the road, but they could have done a slightly better job of doing more to establish conflict between Punk and The Shield outside of the cookie cutter, "he hit him so now he's really mad" formula.