Will fans ever get to see this again? Probably. Do fans care? Definitely. But why? Because there is at least one ex-member of The Shield that fans are especially interested in, and his progress. He is Dean Ambrose. For that reason, his growth is especially important in bookings, and should not be brought to an end any time soon, especially in the absence of Seth Rollins.
Until recently, WWE had three ex-Shield members to juggle, but due to the absence of Rollins, there is a substantial problem. Roman Reigns, due to the constant portrayal of strength, is an obvious choice for WWE to have as their next World Heavyweight Champion. However, whatever one’s opinion is of Reigns and whether he deserves to be in the position that he is in, Reigns winning might lead writers a hit a brick wall, with nobody to feud with. He has no reason to hate anybody, and if he stays a face in the coming weeks and months, his reign could be extremely dull – comparable to Nikki Bella’s title being made vanishing aside from the walk to the ring, until there emerged a glimmer of relevance.
This of course means that the far more entertaining Dean Ambrose should be the centre of attention Ryan Dilbert of Bleacher Report discusses how Dean Ambrose winning the world title at WWE Survivor Series is ‘best for business’. I couldn’t agree more with this, at least in the short term. WWE’s current definition of energy and chaos is simply run-ins in matches to messily end every other episode of Raw. And almost every other match for that matter. However, with Ambrose at the front of the company, there is all sorts of fun to be had, and the key to organized madness. Over the last few weeks, WWE have booked a couple of well arranged tournaments, something that should be a mainstay, and with a lunatic figure as the frontrunner, Ambrose may have the energy to inject some much needed personality into its flagship programming.
However, I believe that in the long term, that Dean Ambrose should be the final ex-member of The Shield to be made World Heavyweight Champion. To begin with, this will force WWE to dig deep into the neglected card to give Reigns a feud, unless they are lazy and simply make it bickering with The Authority (with a lack of Rollins, Reigns vs HHH at Wrestlemania 32 is highly probable). As for Ambrose, a look back at his booking especially during his feud against Rollins, uncovers a recurring theme.
While Ambrose is hardly Daniel Bryan (in fact, in character and style, they could not be much more different), Ambrose’s booking has centered heavily on losses and a climb to greatness. Fans have been hugely behind Ambrose, forgiving his unsportsman-like ways of stealing the championship belt, and recognizing how he is portrayed as unimportant in comparison to Rollins (or at least that’s how Rollins feels), due to his position in the Authority. Ambrose and Rollins, were hoped for as the new central duo during Reigns’ absence – the new Austin/Rock, Hart/Michaels, etc.
Unfortunately, if a climb to greatness booking is planned in the long term, it is presumably going to be handed to Roman Reigns, although instead of a growth in strength, he has always been billed as strong. It would be a journey to justice, after all, he was a ‘Hound of Justice’ once upon a time. It wouldn’t be a surprise were Ambrose to help him either. It is all about Reigns, and in spite of Reigns being champion, the ongoing troubles and climb of Ambrose, originally billed as the underdog of The Shield (almost literally, functioning as the mad “lemme ‘ave ‘im” Scrappy-Doo character) should be just as noteworthy. To get this to work, the title needs to be kept away from him, at least until the return of Seth Rollins, and the hallowed three-way entanglement can truly begin.
There is plenty for Ambrose to do, after all. And all of this isn’t to say that Ambrose should constantly lose either. Kevin Owens, who he will be facing at Survivor Series would be a great feud target, especially for the Intercontinental Championship. There’s Sheamus if he wants to fight for that Money in the Bank contract, and if Sheamus is preoccupied with Roman Reigns, there is even Sheamus’ buddy King Barrett as the remainder of The Shield form a feud with those two.
Roman Reigns’ inevitable title win one day, whether he deserves it or not, for the sake of long-term booking should happen soon, if only to get the fuss over and done with, with that be the spark that sends Reigns and Ambrose apart, both just to go about their own businesses, and to form the tension required for the hallowed Triple Threat Shield match that might happen one day.
HOWEVER, why is there a token ‘(probably)’ in the title of this post? That is due to the existence of one Sami Zayn, who remains on hiatus due to injury. His and Owens’ relationship has been dwelt upon a lot, and in a similar vein to the ongoing connections between The Shield, Zayn’s journey is a fantastic one, especially considering the friendship between Owens and the Authority, and whether Owens follows up on his promise of chaos in the WWE.
There should always be at least one of these formats of bookings going on, as the standard three-PPV rivalry cycle is no longer much fun.
WHO IN THE MAIN ROSTER SHOULD BE THE ‘CLIMB TO THE TOP’ FIGURE? COMMENTS BELOW.