The Shield is on a collision course with the newly reunited Evolution at WWE Extreme Rules. The match is a result of heat that began between the two teams several weeks ago on Monday Night Raw, and it all comes to a head on Sunday, May 4.
And while The Shield has conquered nearly every combination placed before them, the fact is that Evolution is not the typical six-man tag team. Facing Triple H and company will cement The Shield's legacy in WWE.
From the moment that The Hounds of Justice debuted on the main roster back in 2012, fans knew they were something special. The talents and abilities of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns became apparent very quickly, as they blazed an impressive path of destruction through the company.
The Shield was the real deal, and everyone knew it.
The spotlight The Shield was given was unprecedented. Not since The Nexus had a unit been given as much freedom to perform and as much opportunity to shine. But unlike its predecessors, The Shield was not concerned with running the show.
They merely wanted to be the best in the ring.
And for many fans, that is exactly what they became. Their initial gang warfare tactics morphed into a very cohesive, very fluid routine that saw The Shield elevate in WWE. They were respected for their work in the ring and for the way they fully embraced their gimmick.
The Shield was young and hungry, and at times it seemed as though they just wanted it more than anyone else did. Together, they had the makings of what could very well be the most dominant faction pro wrestling fans have ever seen.
It was that dominance and the dedication to their craft that guaranteed The Shield's place in WWE history. But it's their upcoming match with Evolution that will do more for their legacy than anything they have done so far.
Triple H is one of the most legendary Superstars in WWE history. He is a 13-time WWE and world champion, a man who has worked main event matches all over the world. He is the co-founder of the wildly successful Degeneration-X, and he is a household name in the professional wrestling industry.
He is one of the biggest stars Vince McMahon's company has ever known, and he will go down as one of the most iconic figures in WWE history.
Anyone who steps into the ring against him now, especially considering The Game no longer needs to wrestle for a living, should not take the moment lightly. Triple H does not get into the ring to further his career anymore; he only does it if it's good for business.
And giving The Shield time to shine at Extreme Rules is definitely good for business.
Triple H is, of course, not alone on May 4. Joining him are Randy Orton and Batista, and between them, they have a total of 31 World and WWE Championships. They also happen to be three-fourths of Evolution, WWE's version of The Four Horsemen.
Evolution was everything The Horsemen would have been had they been born in WWE. They were slick, stylish and very capable in the ring, much like the original group.
But they also had Vince McMahon's marketing machine behind them to instantly propel them to the top of the company.
Having Ric Flair as the fourth member only helped their cause.
And now that Triple H, Orton and Batista are once again running together, the past is meeting the future. The match at Extreme Rules represents the evolution from Triple H's group to The Hounds of Justice.
Again, Triple H does not need to wrestle. And considering the history Evolution has in the company as a unit and as individual Superstars, the fact that they will be facing The Shield is likely a huge statement by WWE.
This match is less about Evolution's reunion and more about The Shield's legacy.
When The Shield worked other teams, it was different. Mismatched Superstars were usually thrown together to combat The Shield in an effort to get revenge for previous attacks.
John Cena, Ryback, Sheamus and Big Show each stepped up in various six-man combinations to face The Hounds of Justice.
And when The Shield emerged victorious in those matches, it represented some nice wins for them.
But facing three of WWE's biggest stars and one of its biggest factions of all time is on a whole new level. For perhaps the first time since its inception, The Shield is facing its one true test of main event superstardom.
Evolution may not be in its prime, but it could be the toughest and most important challenge WWE could ever put in front of Seth, Roman and Dean.
And win or lose, The Shield's legacy will be cemented. If they win, it's a moment that will never be forgotten. And if they lose, they will almost certainly come back better than ever for a rematch. Either way, The Shield is in the right place at the right time.
And its legacy will be better because of it.