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Old 05-02-2020, 11:51 PM   #1
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Sit by Mr. Pierre’s Pool: Is the investment of the Shield a flop?

So...looking at this long-term project in 2020, is the Shield a flop?

The WWE put tons of time, money, merchandise, and promotion into Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose.

Debuting in 2012, the three wrestlers had a huge, immediate impact on the company’s weekly presentation.

8 years later, do you think this investment has lived up to its potential?

Roman unfortunately has had serious health issues and there’s an argument that he took much longer than expected to become a true, main event star.

Seth has recently hit the “reset” button and developed a new character.

Dean was settled as a staple of this generation’s mid-card which is still a void to this day. Ambrose’s WWE fate has been sealed for the moment.

With that being said, did the Shield deliver?
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Old 05-02-2020, 11:59 PM   #2
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For a time, yes.... but in the end, only so much can be done with 3 guys without building up more guys to be credible and interesting opponents for them.
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Old 05-03-2020, 12:05 AM   #3
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Fair point.

But did the Shield individually create the amount of moments and new stars that was expected?

I’m not looking to shit on the Shield because I loved their faction, but I think it’s a fair argument.

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Old 05-03-2020, 07:22 AM   #4
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Well...….yes and no.

They were really popular and when they were all...…….equal, I guess that's a way to put it, it was the best times.

But, Vince bet on the wrong horse with Roman. And that didn't go well. Seth had a nice run as the corporate stooge with The Authority angle. Dean Ambrose SHOULD have been the guy they pushed to the moon. And he was the smart one and got out of the company first.

If you're looking for more evidence, jump in the Shield Superfan thread.
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Old 05-04-2020, 01:03 AM   #5
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100% yes, considering its the last stars WWE has created.

And no, Daniel Bryan does not count. They didn't want that to happen.

Becky either, that was a heel turn that failed so miserably because everybody was so dumb sick of Charlotte.
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Old 05-11-2020, 12:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ClockShot View Post
Well...….yes and no.

They were really popular and when they were all...…….equal, I guess that's a way to put it, it was the best times.

But, Vince bet on the wrong horse with Roman. And that didn't go well.
Well, it went well enough, considering they were looking to push him from day one. They were already looking to groom him at the expense of absolutely everyone else, look no further than that shit-tastic NXT promo he cut right before the Shield was even a thing. And that was back when Leo Kreuger was looking to be a surefire licence to print money, until he got transformed into a one-note joke that Vince got bored with quickly.

Roman needed the most carrying, and carried he got. Even with the supposed care and time they were putting into the guy, though, they absolutely wanted to make an artificial homegrown star. Not as overnight as they expected with projects like rehiring Jinder, but still way too fucking fast and blatant and again, at the expense of absolutely everyone else they could have been building.

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100% yes, considering its the last stars WWE has created.

And no, Daniel Bryan does not count. They didn't want that to happen.

Becky either, that was a heel turn that failed so miserably because everybody was so dumb sick of Charlotte.
Don't forget the original Bayley "heel turn" that backfired spectacularly. The one where everyone fucking cheered her because she "finally had enough of Sasha's shit". It was pretty much exactly the circumstances that happened between Lynch/Flair, but sooner. She was basicaly Becky 1.0 for about a week. Instead of rolling with that, they had them make up a few weeks later just to become smiley female tag champs. Is that even still a thing anymore, or is it a prop to get the double I conics tits over?
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Old 05-11-2020, 12:21 AM   #7
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I guess my answer is that it wasn't really a flop, but it wasn't as great as WWE could have handled it, either. Back to a point I've made repeatedly over the years, WWE is content on bypassing all the Rick Rudes and Roddy Pipers to attempt to laser focus on creating the next Hulk Hogan. And instead of even using the Four Horsemen method of the other two protecting Roman as he gets built to be world champ, they are super eager to break up stables and tag teams for no good goddamn reason and make absolutely everyone a singles star unless it's temporarily en vogue to have teams again for a few months... because it's always only temporary.

The Shield could have been a perpetual wrestling memory maker and money machine, and instead, they were merely honed to be a means to an end for Roman, even before he was ready in any capacity; be it too green, unhealthy, or not quite over enough on his own to carry the entire company. Hell, even with "The Last Ride of The Shield", it was all just a cheap ploy to get people to cheer Roman. This kind of nonsense is and has been a larger issue within that company.
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Old 05-11-2020, 02:49 AM   #8
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I guess my answer is that it wasn't really a flop, but it wasn't as great as WWE could have handled it, either. Back to a point I've made repeatedly over the years, WWE is content on bypassing all the Rick Rudes and Roddy Pipers to attempt to laser focus on creating the next Hulk Hogan. And instead of even using the Four Horsemen method of the other two protecting Roman as he gets built to be world champ, they are super eager to break up stables and tag teams for no good goddamn reason and make absolutely everyone a singles star unless it's temporarily en vogue to have teams again for a few months... because it's always only temporary.

The Shield could have been a perpetual wrestling memory maker and money machine, and instead, they were merely honed to be a means to an end for Roman, even before he was ready in any capacity; be it too green, unhealthy, or not quite over enough on his own to carry the entire company. Hell, even with "The Last Ride of The Shield", it was all just a cheap ploy to get people to cheer Roman. This kind of nonsense is and has been a larger issue within that company.
It's a good argument. I look back to the 2014 Rumble. Roman was incredibly over. Instead of pulling the trigger and launching him there, when they should have, they balked, let Batista win because Vince can't just go with the guy getting over naturally, and by the time next year came around, it was after the Shield break up, after Roman was injured for a few months but somehow was "Superstar" of the year, and was at that point so obvious that he was Vince's choice right down to the horrible promos Vince wrote for him.
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Old 05-11-2020, 10:17 AM   #9
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I don't think Roman was THAT over going into the Rumble. He got a nice rub because he was dominating and I think the only reason he got the reaction he did was because, at that point, whenit was clear Daniel Bryan wasn't in it, the fans went with an "anybody but Batista" approach.
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:15 PM   #10
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Nah, they got enough out of it. And at some point they'll bring them all back and the nostalgia will power it. They are all better off together than separately.

They wanted Roman Reigns to be a star, and he kinda is. He didn't work in front of their audiences, but he's now getting Hollywood work and the shows feel empty without him. Seth is "just another guy," but he's a top "just enough guy." He's in the Edge role, where they will just randomly push him when they want and tell you he's a star and you just have to cop it.

Ambrose is gone, but oh well.

I don't think The Shield was ever supposed to give them three tippy-top prospects. It gave them a faction they can pimp as the best for specials, merchandise and the like (well, Ambrose isn't there, so some of that is on hold), and they have two guys they can say "here's a WWE Main Eventer" about.
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Old 05-13-2020, 02:07 AM   #11
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I don't think The Shield was ever supposed to give them three tippy-top prospects.
And there is the issue in summation.

The Shield could have given them three "tippy-top prospects". Instead, there was a lot of squandered momentum and ill concieved focus. When Cesaro had fans with "Cesaro Section" signs and getting pops for a goddamn giant swing, they just rode right past that gift horse. They pushed Samoa Joe as far as building up this credible threat to Brock Lesnar only to have him job clean in the middle of the ring and drop his ass down the card. I already mentioned the Bayley thing. Nakamura should have been *the man* by now. Et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum.

WWE gives no hope. In fact, it actively crushes hope in fans who may be following even NXT. I remember feeling dread when, at the one Takeover, Velveteen Dream had "CALL ME UP, VINCE" on his tights, because that would have been a total monkey's paw for him (I have no comment about -ahem- current situations, not only because it has nothing to do with my point, but the roster has, among others, Seth and Drew, who also have been in trouble over their junk). In NXT, Undisputed Era, in spite of the dumbass stable name, have accidentally become the new Four Horsemen. And I say accidentally because when they were formed, WWE was still on the whole three person stable kick, and Roddy joined out of neccessity for an injured Bobby Fish. If Fish didn't get hurt, I'm pretty sure they would have just kept him as a singles babyface. Instead, he became the missing piece of a serendipitous puzzle. But the minute Adam Cole showed up on a main roster show for a match, all I could think of was a Paul Heyman impression of Vince McMahon: "But he's just so tinnnyyyy!!!"... not as a knock on Cole, but the fact that it is how Vince would see it. It's how he would see all four. They'd come in similarly to how they presented Asuka at her call up - with all this big deal and hype, but barely making it past anyone they've already established as jobbers.

For the longest time, it has been presented in WWE that getting behind anyone is a losing fucking prospect, because the company will ignore it. And they aren't doing jack shit to buck that trend.
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Old 05-13-2020, 09:03 PM   #12
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And there is the issue in summation.

The Shield could have given them three "tippy-top prospects". Instead, there was a lot of squandered momentum and ill concieved focus. When Cesaro had fans with "Cesaro Section" signs and getting pops for a goddamn giant swing, they just rode right past that gift horse. They pushed Samoa Joe as far as building up this credible threat to Brock Lesnar only to have him job clean in the middle of the ring and drop his ass down the card. I already mentioned the Bayley thing. Nakamura should have been *the man* by now. Et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum.

WWE gives no hope. In fact, it actively crushes hope in fans who may be following even NXT. I remember feeling dread when, at the one Takeover, Velveteen Dream had "CALL ME UP, VINCE" on his tights, because that would have been a total monkey's paw for him (I have no comment about -ahem- current situations, not only because it has nothing to do with my point, but the roster has, among others, Seth and Drew, who also have been in trouble over their junk). In NXT, Undisputed Era, in spite of the dumbass stable name, have accidentally become the new Four Horsemen. And I say accidentally because when they were formed, WWE was still on the whole three person stable kick, and Roddy joined out of neccessity for an injured Bobby Fish. If Fish didn't get hurt, I'm pretty sure they would have just kept him as a singles babyface. Instead, he became the missing piece of a serendipitous puzzle. But the minute Adam Cole showed up on a main roster show for a match, all I could think of was a Paul Heyman impression of Vince McMahon: "But he's just so tinnnyyyy!!!"... not as a knock on Cole, but the fact that it is how Vince would see it. It's how he would see all four. They'd come in similarly to how they presented Asuka at her call up - with all this big deal and hype, but barely making it past anyone they've already established as jobbers.

For the longest time, it has been presented in WWE that getting behind anyone is a losing fucking prospect, because the company will ignore it. And they aren't doing jack shit to buck that trend.
Don't completely disagree on all counts, but when it comes to The Shield -- they kind of proved Vince right. Yeah, I was all on-board the Ambrose bandwagon and felt he was the best overall performer until about 2016. Then he started shitting the bed. The Brock program stuff exposed him big time. No, Brock didn't want to do much with him, but that's kind of the issue, yeah? He also showed up drunk to the Hall of Fame, dropped the ball on the Austin podcast, was a cold fish with Jericho and got completely outclassed by AJ Styles.

People love to blame the WWE solely for this, but Ambrose is doing pretty much the exact same shit in AEW. He traded in a pot-plant for car keys and an eye-patch. His ring work isn't exactly stellar. People love to compare him to Terry Funk, but that's only in concept. He's got nowhere near the psychology to be anywhere near the greatest of all-time, let alone the greatest of all-time.

Seth has turned out really well by WWE standards. He's put his foot in his mouth and sabotaged his babyface run. The booking of him has never been great, but that's also him not going to bat for himself enough. You can tell the dude is a boot-licker of the lowest order. But he's one of those WWE projects that they tell you is a big deal and to that "WWE Universe," he is. He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer...by their standards. He's worked out way better than Sheamus or Alberto Del Rio or Jinder Mahal or The Miz or Jack Swagger or a bunch of other dudes they have randomly tried in that role. He's stuck as a guy that they are going to put the belt on sometimes and sometimes they won't.

Samoa Joe is frustrating to me, because in my opinion he's someone they could have genuinely banked on. Not as THE guy, mind you, but as someone. He should have been the guy to beat Cena for the US Title in 2015. He eventually got the same belt in 2019. Four years later. WWE is too often four years behind on guys. I won't let this go -- when they announced the draft, American Alpha, The Revival and Gargano/Ciampa should have all been featured on Raw. It was a three-hour show and could have used a stellar tag team division to pad time each week. You first see Gargano & Ciampa on WWE TV in 2019. Again, way too late.

I should have called this at the time, but Nakamura was never going to win the WWE Title when he got the Rumble. His contract was one year away from expiring and he had relocated his wife and kids away from Japan, and his mother who he was never too far away from was still over there. Nakamura's time in NXT was as much about helping him and his family acclimate to American life to avoid a kind of Paris syndrome as it was him "learning WWE style." When he gets to the main roster and wins the Royal Rumble, he's got less than a year left. The New Japan/ROH MSG show had not been announced at this point, but no way was Nakamura going to win the Royal Rumble, WWE Title and then possibly end up a free agent because of personal issues, just to be free to work the MSG show opposite WrestleMania the next year.

Sure, they could have renegotiated and signed him up longer term and all that, and there is definitely something to their reluctance to make major stars, but Nakamura's popularity with hardcores has never quite been there with casuals, so you can kind of understand why WWE may not have blown up their system for a guy who wasn't even the A1 guy in New Japan (although he was perhaps the coolest).

Right now, WWE are trying with Drew McIntyre. It's unfortunate timing with the lack of live crowds, but they're really going for it with him. They really buckled down with Becky Lynch. They gave Kofi Kingston a shot last year. I'm not saying the booking for any of these people has been stupendous or anything -- but they are trying now. Too little too late? I'll hear that. Wrong people? I'll hear that too. You've also got a lot of younger, fresher acts coming through the pipeline. They do need to clear out the older acts to let them through, but I wouldn't say they're not putting any effort in right now.

They really do need to make some stars, and that means actually booking some pro-wrestling, which might be a challenge to them with so much time to fill and such a large roster. But it's also got to come down to the talent too. It's not just all WWE's fault. Seth has hurt Seth, Ambrose hurt Ambrose -- circumstances hurt Nakamura and the window has probably closed on Joe. Kofi has never been main event tier, Becky is now pregnant and Drew is not the most dynamic dude and is reigning during a coronavirus.
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