The Shield may have splintered, but the three men behind the group are still at the top of the WWE. In recent weeks, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns have dominated programming.
Each of them has experienced time in the spotlight since the shocking split on the June 2 episode of Raw. This momentum looks set to continue into the Money in the Bank pay-per-view as the three men will all take part in one of the two Ladder matches.
The continued animosity between the turncoat Rollins and his unhinged former ally Ambrose is the centerpiece of the traditional contract match. It is the first time that the two men will not be separated and will finally be able to get their hands on each other.
Seth Rollins is the clear favourite in the match, announced ahead of the participants and firmly in the kayfabe pocket of corporate bad guy Triple H. In the eyes of The Authority, Rollins carrying the Money in the Bank briefcase is best for business.
However, in terms of career progression, the victorious member of The Shield on Sunday night must be Dean Ambrose.
Roman Reigns will not have any problems ascending the WWE mountain. He is pencilled in for a match with Triple H at SummerSlam and is already challenging for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Whether he wins or loses at Money in the Bank, he is now a firmly established part of the new main event scene.
Seth Rollins also has his destiny in place. He’s one of the three or four biggest heels in the company, aligned with the evil juggernaut of The Authority. His new brutality meshes nicely with his high-flying skills to create a genuinely engaging bad guy presence that will serve him well as he keeps his heel run going.
Ambrose is a more unknown commodity. His feud with Rollins has money written all over it and could well be one of the biggest rivalries of the summer.
However, his fate afterwards is uncertain. He doesn’t have the immediate star power of Roman Reigns or the incredible heat of Seth Rollins. Without due care and attention, he could be left languishing in the upper midcard by the time the year ends.
The solution to this problem is very simple, and it will be dangling above the ring on Sunday night.
Dean Ambrose would be an excellent choice to hold the Money in the Bank briefcase. It would add yet another layer of heat to his rivalry with Rollins and would give him a prime place in the company when that feud comes to a close.
The WWE Universe loves Ambrose when he’s at his unpredictable best. Every time Seth Rollins appears, it feels as if Ambrose is only moments away from administering a chaotic and wildly entertaining beating. He’s not a man who thrives under the constraints of organized matches and rule-abiding environments.
Ambrose lives to shock and surprise.
Handing him a guaranteed world title shot would be the equivalent of offering him a grenade. The entire WWE would just be waiting for him to pull out the pin.