The Shield was arguably the most dominant faction in WWE history. For nearly two years, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns ran through WWE like they had something to prove, and they impressed a world of fans along the way.
And now that each man is firmly on the path to individual success in the company, The Hounds of Justice are about to make an impact in WWE once again. 2015 will belong to Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns.
From the moment that The Shield debuted in WWE, fans knew that it was the beginning of something big. The former NXT trio came to the main roster with celebrated independent careers behind them and bright futures ahead.
The same was possible for any talent that was called up, of course, but there was something different about these three Superstars. The Shield had the look, the style and the intensity to quickly become a very entertaining and profitable act in WWE.
And each man brought something very unique to the table.
Ambrose was the mentally unhinged Shield member, the wild card who marched to his own beat and refused to conform to expectations. He operated within The Shield, but his unpredictability brought the spotlight on him every time he was on the mic and in the ring.
Of the three men, Ambrose was the most dangerous because it was impossible to know when or why he would explode. The only thing for certain was that he would sooner or later.
Rollins was the architect, the man given credit for organizing The Shield. He was seen as the planner, the man with the cool head who methodically dissected his opponents in the ring with a balanced ground and aerial attack.
Rollins was the most cunning Superstar of the group and the one who should likely have been feared the most. Without his blueprint, The Shield would never have been constructed.
Reigns was the powerhouse of The Shield, the man who let his fists do the talking for him. The Samoan Superman had supreme confidence and a wicked swagger that made him a threat in any match he was in.
Reigns believed he would win every time he stepped through the ropes, and that was exactly how he carried himself. There were very few who could convince him otherwise.
Together, they were a very intriguing combination with a world of potential. But separately, they were main event stars in the making. And the time for creating those stars is now. In fact, there could not be a better time.
WWE is a company in the midst of transition. CM Punk is long gone, Chris Jericho works on a part-time basis now, and the current WWE World Heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar, may be leaving the company in 2015. Add to that the fact that John Cena is over 10 years deep into his run and will eventually move out of the top spot, and the time is perfect for WWE to begin moving ahead.
That move begins with the former Shield members.
Each man is so different and perhaps so valuable to the company in terms of long-term potential that there could be no better trio of stars to spotlight right now. Ambrose has already made a splash this year in Punk's absence, while Rollins has risen to prominence at Triple H's side, and Reigns is believed by many fans to be the heir apparent to Cena.
It's very hard to top what each man has accomplished and could accomplish in the future. And that future is now.
Based on the work that Ambrose did in 2014, there is every reason to believe that he can build on it in 2015. The Lunatic Fringe consistently gets a great reaction from the crowd and has been featured in more than one main event on Monday Night Raw.
He is loved by many fans because of his personality and rebellious attitude. Ambrose is the new anti-authority figure, the modern era's Stone Cold Steve Austin because of his willingness to buck the system. Ambrose fears no man, and that means he will take on anyone at any time.
His popularity is growing more and more with each passing week, and there is no reason why that should not continue into next year. With the right booking and storylines, Ambrose could become a major player in the company, perhaps even a top guy.
Rollins' time in The Authority may be over, but he is still Mister Money in the Bank. That means he has a guaranteed title shot at Lesnar or whoever the WWE World Heavyweight champion may be. That title shot may not be in 2014, so 2015 could be the year fans see him possibly become the new champion.
Whether he does or not, the fact is that Rollins is a true technician in the ring. He is the most cerebral of the three men, a cold and calculating presence, and his personality has drawn comparisons to Triple H himself.
Rollins has made great strides since turning heel this year, and he is becoming more hated every time he opens his mouth. WWE needs a top heel, someone to draw heat and be that presence on the main event level. Rollins is quite possibly the best man for the job.
Reigns' 2015 could be the biggest of all three. If fans' notions of him are right and he does indeed ascend the ladder to the championship, then he would undoubtedly be considered the most successful Shield alumni to date.
If he does, then he could be flanked by Ambrose and Rollins. It would be poetic justice, thanks to their complete domination as The Shield. It could also be the most successful culmination of Superstar career building that fans have seen in quite some time.
The Shield once conquered WWE together, and now they could do it all again. While they may be working independently of each other now, the fact is they will forever be linked, and fans will forever remember their run together that brought them to this point.