Following their sterling victory over Evolution at Sunday's Extreme Rules pay-per-view, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins have almost certainly cemented their status as WWE's newest top baby faces.
Not only did the trio gain a credible and career-making win—Reigns pinned Batista after an epic-looking Superman punch—they also stole the show.
Indeed, without the electrifying six-man tag, Extreme Rules would have been a rather unremarkable and dull show.
The Bray Wyatt-John Cena cage match was an interference-filled Vince Russo-style mess and Daniel Bryan and Kane's garbage brawl was far too absurd to take seriously. (Clearly, as one of the best technical wrestlers in the world, Bryan and his matches need more forklifts, glass and weapons.)
Rollins, in particular, entered a fantastic performance, with his Jeff Hardy-style high-cross dive from the stand towards the end of the bout creating a moment that will likely be talked about by wrestling fans for years to come.
(Honestly, though, for the sake of his long-term career, the former Ring of Honor performer really does need to calm down with the wacky bumps. At some point, it simply stops being worth it.)
Evolution vs. The Shield was easily one of the best WWE matches of the year so far. The reaction also illustrated how popular the three have become—people in the Izod Center were going crazy for everything these guys did. Only WWE champion Bryan was more over with the crowd.
Following their victory, many fans took to Twitter to voice their appreciation of The Shield's performance in that match:
The Shield vs Evolution last night was easily one of the best matches I've ever seen. Loved it.— Rampaiger ✮ (@PaigexBellas) May 5, 2014
That was some excellent action. The Shield should never split. #ExtremeRules— [chux] (@chux4w) May 5, 2014
Beating Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton is a huge feather in the cap of the “Hounds of Justice” A loss—even via a screwjob or outside interference—would have been a significant blow to their credibility.
With their win, however, the three proved they could thrive on top as baby face stars. It's amazing to think that just a few months ago, WWE was on the verge of splitting these guys up and sending them their separate ways.
In hindsight, what a colossal mistake that would have been. The potential of The Shield as baby faces—especially in terms of marketing and merchandise—is huge. It's not hyperbole to say that, with the right booking, they could be the next DX.
Of course, there is the question of just what The Shield will do now.
The ending of the bout seemed rather definite. Is The Shield vs. Evolution program over? And if so, what is next for Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns? Will they continue to clash with The Authority? Or is something boldly new planned?
We'll have to wait for Raw to find out.