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Posted in: Doctor's Orders
Doctor's Orders: Five Good Reasons For The Shield's Reunion
By The Doc
Oct 5, 2017 - 12:05:15 PM

”The Doc” Chad Matthews has been a featured writer for LOP since 2004. Initially offering detailed recaps and reviews for WWE's top programs, he transitioned to writing columns in 2010. In addition to his discussion-provoking current event pieces, he has written many acclaimed series about WrestleMania, as well as a popular short story chronicle. The Doc has also penned a book, The WrestleMania Era: The Book of Sports Entertainment, published in 2013. It has been called “the best wrestling book I have ever read” and holds a worldwide 5-star rating on Amazon, where it peaked at #3 on the wrestling charts.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How do you feel about The Shield, after just three years separated and so much more singles career growth to achieve, reuniting to face foes that they could, conceivably, defeat handily by themselves?

Over the years, I have done my best to be authentic with you, ladies and gentlemen. It has been genuine when I have loved the product during times that you hated it, as have been the times when you may have loved the product and I was feeling disenchanted with it. In 2017, there have been too many instances for my liking when have I started a column or a podcast borderline apologizing for being overly negative, but here we are again; and, genuinely, I think WWE has more significant issues today than I can ever recall in 13 years of writing about its product for this website – a statement that many may find bold.

That is not what today’s column is about, though. I bring up where my headspace is at in an effort to better set the tone for the ensuing topic as more "fun" than the title or subject matter may suggest. In the interest of full disclosure, I am admittedly not at all enamored with The Shield Reunion; I think it frankly the latest example of WWE booking something that could have been epic in a short-sighted manner that minimizes its impact. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns are this generation's cornerstones like John Cena, Dave Batista, and Randy Orton were the cornerstones of their generation, and there are far more interesting things that creative could write-up for them right now than a cheap thrill that feels an awful lot like DX's last stand in 2009. It should mean a lot for the Hounds of Justice to reunite, but it instead means little.

Frankly, I had to mentally step back to avoid building any further apathy as a fan whose buttons have been pushed since Goldberg beat Brock Lesnar last November. Jinder Mahal winning the WWE Championship truly infuriated me for about two-to-three months, but somewhere en route to Greensboro from Brooklyn last month, the Modern Day Maharaja became like an injection of novocaine to my wrestling fandom, at least temporarily numbing me to any other booking decision that might have otherwise rubbed me the wrong way. I still care way more than I should about what happens in WWE, but I barely feel it right now. The good news is that I can enjoy things that I like as much as ever, but I do not currently feel the pain of moronic, nonsensical, short-sighted drivel, allowing me to be pretty dispassionate about that which I otherwise might abhor, like reuniting The Shield because, well…because?

So, please take the following suggestions in the spirit that they were intended, as I had a lot of fun brainstorming these ideas and truthfully was not thinking much about the present storyline.

Five Reasons For The Shield's Reunion

#1: The New Day Remains Together For Two More Years, Can Claim “Faction of the Decade” - Do you realize that The New Day's record-setting Tag Team Title reign lasted almost as long as The Shield was together on WWE TV? Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, and Big E have been together for a long time and their fantastic, best-championship-feud-since-the-TLC Era-caliber run this year with The Usos has breathed life back into their stagnating act to the point that you could now quite easily see them remaining a unit through 2019. If they add singles title runs to their stable's history and Woods continues his progression into a potential breakout star, their success as individuals within a group will put their trio in the conversation with The Shield's reputation as the cornerstones of their generation. The Shield set out from day one to “take over the business” and they have arguably done just that, no matter how you may feel about any of them; the mere mention of another faction being the decade's finest or most influential would logically spark a harsh and prompt response from The Hounds of Justice. New Day would have a very legitimate case with the above resume, not to mention the all-time merchandise records they likely would have set by then.

#2: The Balor Club Becomes an Established Thing in WWE and Grows To Include AJ Styles, Et Al - Balor Club has a better ring to it than simply “The Club,” perhaps because the original name extracted of its Bullet-origins is most closely associated with the general failure of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to replicate their badassery from New Japan in WWE. It was, after all, Finn's “Club” to begin with. To the diehard fanbase, this would be like another CM Punk vs. John Cena, in spite of the irony that both Ambrose and Rollins made their names on the independent scene too. NXT as we know it is separate from the Ambrose and Rollins-led NXT and they are, thus, considered separate from its legacy in the minds of many. Faction-wise, the only thing bigger than a properly built Balor Club vs. The Hounds would be the next suggestion, as it is essentially WWE vs. The World. Styles would have to be involved in order for it to work best, with perhaps a built-in storyline over who should be the leader between him and Balor branching off into its own massive showdown, post-fight with The Shield.

#3: John Cena Turns Heel, Lures Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton To His Side to Form “The OVW Class of 2002” - Call it what you will, but the trio of Cena, Lesnar, and Orton would be to WWE today what the New World Order was to WCW in the 1990s, the depth of its resonance as an evil unit with our sect of the audience palpable. Give it a couple more years for Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns to even further entrench their names in the annals of WWE and it would be one of the biggest matches of all-time if handled well; it could be six of the ten most successful stars of the post-Attitude Era by decade's end and, though I’m a hyperbolist by nature, that is not a statement intended to be taken as hyperbole. Of any scenario, this is the best possible reason to reunite The Shield because there would be no greater threat. Take the additional dynamic of the part-timer problem that does not appear to be ending anytime soon and sprinkle that on top of this one; whew, this would be absolute magic.

#4: The Wyatt Family Re-Unites First - With all due respect to The Shield's outstanding matches with Evolution in 2014, the greatest match that Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns ever wrestled as a unit was against The Wyatt Family a few months prior. Should Bray ever reconnect with Braun Strowman as an equal, the combination that they could form with Luke Harper would be extremely formidable. Hold your jokes about the Wyatts having already reformed what feels like eight hundred times already, the x-factor in this scenario is The Monster Among Men and how he continues to grow both in skill and hierarchical stature. You get the sense that Bray himself has reached his peaked already and poor Harper is struggling to remain relevant in the here and now, but Strowman still has the potential to become one of the cornerstone stars of this generation as the giant playing a role comparable to Big Show or Undertaker. Of any realistic combination that could face The Shield this year, Harper, Wyatt, and Strowman would be the one trio that might earn Vegas-favorite odds.

#5: Sanity Comes to WWE Proper, Makes It Their Specific Goal to Annihilate The Shield - To be clear, there is not a scenario in 2017 that makes me want to see a full-on Shield reunion. I am of the general opinion that, the longer they hold off, the more meaningful it will be. You're talking about “The Guy,” his closest competitor to being “The Man” these past few years, and WWE's ironman workhorse and top utility headliner. Ideally, there would be a huge reason for them to get back together. If there is not a huge reason, then script a really good one using a faction like Sanity from NXT whose gimmick is being off the hinges; they would hypothetically, in character, be crazy enough to go after The Hounds straight-away. I do not personally feel that Sanity has a substantial main roster future, so why not maximize what you can get out of them by offering a massive initial push, a big feud with The Shield for a few months, and then let them settle into their probable destiny as useful, show-enhancing mid-carders. From NXT, The Authors of Pain plus one – say if they were recruited as the heavies for someone like Bobby Roode – would work really well too, but Sanity brings a special, built-in chemistry already honed with an x-factor in Nikki Cross that would be fascinating to watch antagonize such massive, established stars.

Fantasy booking is a double-edged sword. I had a blast with this column, but simultaneously I would much rather see any of the above scenarios in place of the current one and feel a little disheartened that WWE does not think highly enough of The Shield to give them a more substantial reason for their reunion. I digress. Come bell time at TLC, I’m sure they’ll strike a nostalgic chord…

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