The Shield have arguably been the most dominant force in WWE since debuting at Survivor Series 2012. The Hounds of Justice proved why once again on Sunday by defeating the team of Kane and the New Age Outlaws at WrestleMania XXX.
WrestleZone has the result:
WrestlingINC sums up the match well:
ESPN's Dan Rafael made a good point on why this match was doomed from the start:
The WWE creative team parody account poked fun at the match:
The WWE Twitter account provided a quick Vine of the scene in New Orleans after the match:
It wasn't long ago that a Shield breakup seemed inevitable as Dean Ambrose grew jealous of Roman Reigns. After Reigns' record-breaking performance in the Royal Rumble, The Shield were essentially hanging by a thread.
Things reached a fever pitch when Seth Rollins walked out on his teammates in a match against The Wyatt Family after weeks of trying to be the glue that held The Shield together.
Rather than going their separate ways, however, they held a summit and eventually decided to change their ways to some extent.
The terrifying trio continues to dish out justice, but Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins have started to target heels rather than faces. It all started when The Shield ignored the demands of Kane, director of operations, and ultimately gave him a triple powerbomb for his troubles.
In an effort to teach The Shield a lesson, Kane called upon the New Age Outlaws. Along with Road Dogg and Billy Gunn, Kane gained a measure of revenge against The Shield. That led to the formation of an Authority-driven alliance, as seen in this WWE Instagram photo:
While many fans were seemingly disappointed that The Shield had to face the old guard rather than having a rematch with The Wyatt Family or even a Triple Threat match among each other, the feud with Kane and the Outlaws definitely had a new school vs. old school theme.
Road Dogg furthered that perception by suggesting that he and his veteran teammates would school The Shield at WrestleMania XXX:
Rollins countered and promised that The Shield would be the ones to steal the show on the grandest stage of them all in New Orleans:
The Shield's architect was ultimately proved correct as they reigned supreme at WrestleMania for the second consecutive year. Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins beat Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show in impressive fashion at WrestleMania XXIX, and they once again put on a great show on Sunday night.
There was definitely some pessimism regarding how good the match might be due to the fact that Kane, Road Dogg and Gunn are all near the end of their respective careers. Knowing that this could have been the final WrestleMania bout for all three of them, though, they gave it their all and certainly didn't embarrass themselves.
At the same time, they realized who they were in the ring with and allowed The Shield to do the bulk of the work. It's difficult to remember any poor matches involving The Shield since their debut, and they once again were able to get the most out of their opponents at WrestleMania.
Now that The Shield have dispatched of Kane and the New Age Outlaws, it's likely that the latter team will disband. It never seemed like a long-term partnership, and there isn't much reason for them to stay together moving forward.
As for The Shield, there is plenty of intrigue surrounding how they'll be handled in the coming weeks and months. The possibilities are endless for them now that they are faces, but they should be moved higher up the card.
At the same time, a potential breakup is always looming. Since WWE changed their direction so abruptly, though, it seems likely that The Shield will remain together for the foreseeable future.
All three members of the group figure to be successful no matter what, but hopefully, there is a meaningful and concrete angle on the horizon for them.
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