The Shield tower over CM Punk at the end of Raw.
Thanks to their lengthy feud with CM Punk, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns have all been elevated to the top in WWE.
You want proof?
Look no further than the superb ending segment of Monday’s Raw. CM Punk put over Reigns credibly in a very strong match—surely aiding Reigns ascension to the main event scene.
The final moments, which saw WWF legend Jake “The Snake” Roberts storm out to the ring to attack Ambrose with the snake, were also tremendous (Ambrose was so thrilled he even seemed to forget to sell, and could be seen grinning like a little girl when the scary-looking reptile got dumped on him).
WWE appears to have struggled to come up with ideas for Punk during the last six months.
He’s clearly never going to overtake John Cena or even Randy Orton as a top guy. The more popular Daniel Bryan has easily surpassed him as the No. 2 babyface too.
It’s hard to imagine now that he was once seen as the man WWE was building its business around.
The upcoming return of Dave Batista, as well as Brock Lesnar’s recent re-emergence on Raw, likely guarantees he’s going to fall even further in terms of importance and status, as well.
Recent tweets from the star indicate he may be on the verge of retirement soon, which probably explains why the company doesn’t seem as keen to invest in him as it used to be.
The aging and injury-plagued Punk isn’t someone Vince McMahon can truly rely on in the long term. (It is hard to see Punk being a "lifer" like Cena or Kane, isn't it?)
However, WWE has stumbled on the exact right role for Punk in this program with The Shield.
The 35-year-old has assisted in helping the trio break through the glass ceiling and ultimately put them over the top.
Additionally, since he may very well be retiring in the next few years, it’s not like keeping him strong needs to be a priority; he can lose to Reigns, and there’s no real downside.
It’s more than time for WWE to build for its future. After all, they can’t keep relying on Cena and an assortment of veterans and part-timers forever. The Punk/Shield feud may be the first real on-screen acknowledgement of this.
Ideally, in the upcoming weeks, Punk will put over either Ambrose or Rollins in singles matches too, although it probably depends on where exactly this Shield break-up angle is going.
Credit to Punk, he’s made a point of putting over the three men “the right way” in this feud—never has any member of the group not come off like a million bucks when they’ve faced him. He clearly doesn't view them as threats to his position or see working with them as a chore.
Partly thanks to him, all three guys are solidified as the company’s next main eventers. He’s performed enthusiastically in this angle, and obviously relishes working with the trio. The mic interactions between him and Ambrose have also been wonderful to watch.
When it comes to putting over new talent, he’s certainly a great example to all the other older and established stars on the roster.