Sierra - Hotel - India - Echo - Lima - Delta: SHIELDnote From left to right: Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.
"We're not renegades. We're not mercenaries. We're not The Nexus. If you're lookin' for the nWo, go buy the DVD. We're about principles. We're about honor. Where honor no longer exists, we're going to step in. We're a shield from injustice... we are The Shield."
The Shield (also known as The Hounds of Justice) is a professional wrestling stable in WWE, consisting of Dean Ambrose (real name Jonathan Good), Roman Reigns (real name Leati Joseph Anoa'i) and Seth Rollins (real name Colby Lopez). The black-clad group debuted in November 2012 at the Survivor Series pay-per-view during the CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Ryback Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship. The trio made an immediate impact as they attacked Ryback and put him through the announcer table, using their triple powerbomb maneuver to incapacitate him. Since then, The Shield has been running rampant in WWE, destroying anyone who gets in their way. As part of their gimmick, their goal is "bringing justice" to WWE, even if it means attacking fan-favorite wrestlers for seemingly no apparent reason.As of May 2013, Dean Ambrose is the reigning United States Champion; Reigns and Rollins are former WWE Tag Team Champions. Seth Rollins, during his time in NXT, was that league's inaugural champion. Ambrose and Rollins were additionally both well established in the indies prior to signing with WWE, the former having been World Heavyweight Champion of four territorial leagues under the name Jon Moxley, the latter having been Ring of Honor champion under the name Tyler Black. Reigns, prior to beginning his wrestling career, played college football for Georgia Tech (as Joe Anoa'i) and had a brief pro football career with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Edmonton Eskimos.As of the August 19, 2013 Raw, their new role is clearly the hired goons for The Authority, the new group of Vince and Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, Randy Orton, Kane and Brad Maddox.Not to be confused with the FX cop drama, the Marvel Comicsagency or the Archie Comicssuperhero.
Arch-Enemy: Primarily the "WWE Universe", as they do not believe the decisions of the company should be made based on popularity contest they got together to ensure the WWE universe would not always get what it wanted.
While they varied their targets during the first month or so of inception, they very obviously had a special dislike for Ryback, and screwed him out of WWE Title wins at least three times in as many months. They also built somewhat of a rivalry with Team Hell No. They developed a huge rivalry with Cody Rhodes and Goldust in late 2013. As of November 2013, the team of Cody Rhodes and Goldust is the only team to defeat Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins twice.
Attack Spam: If the Shield are involved in a match with multiple opponents, Roman Reigns will resort to this with his Spear.
Ax-Crazy/Cloudcuckoolander: Hoo boy, Dean Ambrose was this in the indies and FCW. It seems to have been reined in somewhat since hitting the main roster as part of the Shield, but even now he still shows signs of being off his rocker. Pay close attention to Dean's eccentric tendencies when The Shield is being interviewed (ask Michael Cole) or in match situations, and it is clear that he's by far the most violent, erratic member of the trio.
As time goes on, it has become clear that Ambrose has a thin veneer of sanity holding back a whole lotta crazy. He's licked his hand before slapping Sheamus; actually pettedRandy Orton in a backstage vignette, and on at least one occasion, foamed at the mouth during a match.
Badass: Established themselves as this after beating Ryback, Kane, and Daniel Bryan in a six-man TLC match at the TLC '12 PPV. Then they went over the team of Ryback, Sheamus and John Cena at Elimination Chamber '12. Think about that for a second. And at WrestleMania 29 they went over Sheamus, Orton, and The Big Show. Think about THAT. They also hold clean victories in 6-Man Tag matches against Team Hell No and The Undertaker, and Team Hell No and reigning WWE Champion John Cena (who was pinned by Roman Reigns after a Spear). Think. About. THAT.From their debut at Survivor Series 2012 in November of that year until Battleground in October 2013, The Shield was undefeated on PPV, whether in four- or six-man tag matches. ELEVEN MONTHS.
Slipknot Ponytail: Just Rollins. Reigns only ever seems to have his hair tied backstage nowadays.
Beat Them at Their Own Game: Ironically, the teams that are most effective against The Shield are the ones who turn their tactics against them. Their first defeat as a team comes when the numbers game (their favorite tactic) is turned against them.
The second defeat comes from the numbers game turning on them again, with one of their members being beaten down, and the distraction allowing for the pin on the partner. For added insult, the Finishing Move that scored the win was the Spear, the same move Reigns loves to ambush distracted people with.
Blatant Lies: Their claims about being for justice have become sketchier and sketchier since their debut, were belied by an incident where it was revealed that they assaulted Brad Maddox on Paul Heyman's orders, and finally became completely meaningless when they became Triple H's personal security and actively helped screw Daniel Bryan at every turn.
From a Certain Point of View: It is consistent with disdain for the fans though since Daniel Bryan was the most over wrestler on the roster.
The Brute: Reigns shows shades of this. He's by far the largest and most muscular. He also talks the least (but when he does, it's usually REALLY LOUD), and he does the most heavy lifting on the trio
When their crusade against CM Punk and Daniel Bryan was rudely interrupted by The Wyatt Family, none of the three Shield members showed the slightest hesitation to get up in the Wyatt's faces and challenge them. Keep in mind that the Wyatt Family is a Creepy Cult of backwoods hillbillies with an Ax-Crazy leader, and the mere sight of them is enough to give most badasses pause. Say what you will about them, but Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns aren't afraid to stand up to anyone.
Butt Monkey: If something bad is going to happen to a member of the Shield, more often than not it's going to happen to Seth Rollins.
Fragile Speedster /Glass Cannon: Seth Rollins is the most agile member of The Shield, but he's also the smallest, most likely to take a really hard bump, and seems to get pinned more than the other two.
Early-Bird Cameo: Ambrose makes a quick cameo in CM Punk's DVD Best In The World, backstage and talking with Punk. Rollins and Reigns (then called Leakee) appeared in a promo about John Cena at Elimination Chamber 2012.
Enemy Mine: Inverted, then played straight on the November 11, 2013 episode of Monday Night Raw. After interfering in the main event, the Wyatt Family finds itself in the ring with the teams of Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins and CM Punk/Daniel Bryan. CM Punk shoves Rollins into Luke Harper, who in turn pushes Rollins away, damn near out of the ring. Rollins takes exception, and boom. Two heel teams going at it, despite a common enemy. ... until they realize that they should go after Punk and Bryan instead of fighting one another.
Expy: Ambrose has quite a bit of Heath Ledger's Joker in his mannerisms and voice. He's drawn more than a few comparisons (especially with his promo style) to Brian Pillman or even a young Roddy Piper.
Speaking of The Joker, the group's "holding a hand-cam on themselves at arm's length" promos are almost identical in appearance to scenes of his taken from The Dark Knight.
Rollins has often been compared by fans (and even Jim Ross) to CM Punk during his NXT run. It's quite apt that when CM Punk guest-starred on the show, he would confront and eventually congratulate Rollins.
He's also drawn a number of comparisons to Jeff Hardy for his looks and willingness to take huge bumps.
And then there's the stable itself, which has drawn some very obvious comparisons to The Nexus (who, coincidentally, also made their debut in a match involving John Cena and CM Punk)
That's only the tip of the iceberg. Both debuts involved Ryan Reeves in some way. As Skip Sheffield, he was one of the eight members of the Nexus involved in the attack on the WWE Raw set, while as Ryback, he was the main target of the Shield's first attack.) Even more ironic is the fact that both stables had a former ROHWorld Heavyweight Champion as a member. In the Nexus's case, Daniel Bryan (although he was gone in a week), while in the Shield's case, Seth Rollins, known in ROH as Tyler Black.
This, of course, wasn't lost on Ambrose, who promptly rebuked those comparisons.
Close examination of the group, however, seems to bring their makeup more in line with the Nexus splinter group, The Corre. Both stables focus(ed) on unity over solidarity, the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, and teamwork above all else.
In a wider perspective, The Shield strongly resembles the old times of the Japanese stable Crazy MAX. A triad of guys in black military outfit who come through the crowd to wreak havoc with an undefined but styled aura of invencibility, composed by a cocky leader, an energic eccentric and a silent brute.
Face-Heel Turn: Rollins, who served as a good guy on NXT prior to appearing with The Shield, promptly turned heel on the show when his affiliation with the group became prominent.
Fan Nickname: The Big Boss Men (due to their similar appearance to the Attitude Era Boss Man) and Nexus 2 (due to being former NXT wrestlers interfering with matches and causing mass beatdowns.)
Fallacy Of Division: Averted. The Shield is one of the best examples of a pro wrestling team's whole being greater than the sum of its parts. They've defeated two teams consisting of (1) Ryback, Kane, and Daniel Bryan, and (2) Randy Orton, Big Show, and Sheamus. However, when one of their members faces a main-eventer one-on-one, it tends not to be a competitive affair. JBL, on commentary, strongly supports the claim that no three superstars put together, no matter how good individually, can defeat The Shield if The Shield's opponents don't have experience teaming with one another.
Genre Savvy: There are quite a few similarities between The Shield and someotherPower Stables that have appeared on RAW over the years. Ambrose quickly goes out of his way to rebuff the comparisons.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: You'd think these guys sat around reading Sun Tzu's Art of War in their spare time or something. They've established a pattern of focusing all of their attention on one target and never stopping their assault until they know he can't get up. And if they must separate, they leave their biggest and most powerful guy (Reigns) to make sure no one reaches their feet while Ambrose and Rollins knock around whoever's still standing. As a result, they almost always have a numerical advantage against whoever they're fighting.
Additionally, if a guy starts fighting back, Ambrose or Rollins almost always gets the opponent in a position where their hands are away from their body. Once the torso is left open, CUE SPEAR.
Limit Break: As a team, they tend to use a triple powerbomb as theirs. Individually, Ambrose has his Headlock Driver, Rollins has his head stomp known as "The Blackout," and Reigns has a spear, arguably the most dangerous one out of all three.
Taken to new heights at Survivor Series 2013: after Dean Ambrose, Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro were eliminated in short order, it was Reigns and Rollins against the Uso brothers, the Rhodes brothers, and the returning Rey Mysterio. Cue Reigns taking out Cody Rhodes and Jimmy Uso with spears, Rollins pinning Jey Uso after a Blackout before himself being pinned, Reigns quickly avenging him by spearing Goldust (up until which it was technically Reigns alone against Goldust and Mysterio), then finally spearing Mysterio to be the sole survivor. Everyone, Roman Reigns took out four men out of a five-man Survivor Series face team with spears.
Honor Before Reason/Idiot Ball: Everyone who's just stood there while The Shield enters. It takes them a good minute or so to get to the ring going through the crowd. No one thinks of grabbing a weapon, or, you know, RUNNING? They're not coming down the aisle, hit the locker room! Where all your damn friends are!
Ryback defied this at one point, leaving the ring during The Shield's entrance, only to re-enter with a chair when they got there. Granted, he was also a heel and would eventually break in the chair on Cena's back, which would make this something of a double subversion.
Averted by Randy Orton on the August 5, 2013 episode of Monday Night Raw. After the team of Orton, Daniel Bryan, and John Cena defeated The Shield by disqualification, Orton struck with an RKO to Bryan first, and then Cena (each unprovoked). He procured his Money in the Bank briefcase, and a referee, from ringside, and appeared ready to cash in his contract on then-WWE Champion John Cena... until The Shield made their way back towards the ring. Orton, who was on the apron, decided that discretion is the better part of valor, and left Bryan and Cena to the hounds (he retained his Money in the Bank contract since his cash-in match had not officially started).
Insane Troll Logic: JBL's explanations for the Shield's targets of "injustice", such as Randy Orton, tend to be rather skewed. For example, Orton was targeted for "destroying" Brad Maddox's hopes of a WWE contract, even though Maddox asked for the match and knew the level of opposition he'd face would be a crap-shoot at best.
Actually, the logic that the Shield runs on in general is pretty dubious at best. When they debuted and appeared to be hired stooges for CM Punk and Paul Heyman, their attacks on whoever Punk was feuding with at the time made sense. Since that connection was Jossed and they've gone off on their own, what they consider "injustices" would seem to be what most reasonable people would call "people living their lives and going about their business."
The Juggernaut: They are this as a collective. They've been forced into retreat once or twice when the numbers were even, but they've never been laid out in the middle of a ring and they STILL (and this is going on six months now) haven't lost a match as a team on PPV, having taken on and defeated pretty much all of WWE's main event faces at some point or another during that timespan.
Kiai: Any time Roman Reigns rears his head back and roars to the heavens, you can bet your ass that somebody is gonna receive a powerbomb, whether from himself only, or their favored "three-man powerbomb" version.
Knight Templar: Their crusade against injustice, which apparently means mostly going after fan favorite wrestlers, who clearly haven't committed any outright injustices. However, they have assaulted fellow heels at least twice— dismantling 3MB on one occasion (saving Triple H, a babyface at the time, from a 3-on-1 against 3MB; in hindsight, this seems to be an oddly prophetic occurrence), and giving Brad Maddox the beat-down of his life after he called The Shield out to the ring, with no backup of his own.
The Leader: Although The Shield do not have a clear-cut leader, Dean Ambrose appears to be the Big Bad of the group— Type II/III.
Legacy Character: Reigns is one of The Rock, at least in physical profile. Both are third-generation wrestlers with Samoan origins. They have similar body build and athleticism, also both played College Football (same position, in fact). Reigns' earlier finisher also bears a passing resemblance to the Rock Bottom in execution.
Messy Hair: Ambrose's hair matches his personality.
Military Alphabet: Their entrance theme begins with radio chatter spelling out "Shield" in the NATO Military Alphabet.
And thanks to the Shield continuing to attack Daniel Bryan and Kane, Daniel Bryan took amassive level in badass - enough to get the attention of John Cena, who named him #1 contender for the WWE Championship…and then to beat John Cena for the WWE Championship!
Oh Crap: You've just finished a match, your music is playing, you're feeling pretty good about yourse.....SIERRA. HOTEL. INDIA. ECHO. LIMA. DELTA. SHIELD. Cue 3 guys in combat vests handing you your ass.
Pseudo Crisis: Vince and Stephanie McMahon are in the ring and the Shield interrupts them as the show goes to commercial! What will The Shield do to the McMahons? What awesome storyline will start? And...nothing happens. The McMahons "leave the ring without incident."
Fridge Brilliance: And several months later, right after Summerslam, we find out why The Shield didn't attack...
The Psycho Rangers: Any group that goes against them turns into this. They portray their opponents as being potentially the three strongest guys they could find (three former world champions in Randy Orton, Sheamus, and The Big Show, for example,) but they don't have the Shield's united front and usually fall due to their own infighting. It's an interesting example of the good guys being the Psycho Rangers instead of the bad guys.
This might explain why Christian and the Usos were able to defeat them in their first match with them; the Usos are twin brothers and Christian is one of the tag team greats, giving them the united front most of their opponents lack.
He even established his status as such during the interview with The Shield conducted by Michael Cole. Rollins and Ambrose did quite literally all of the talking, until:
Cole: Roman... I'd love to get your take on all this.
Reigns: (in an eerily calm voice for someone of his stature) When I wanna say something... I'll say it.
Quirky Miniboss Squad: The group was often accused of being this for CM Punk, thanks to their penchant of coming to his aid during title matches or lie detector tests.
Then that was Jossed, and, as noted under Insane Troll Logic above and elsewhere in this article, their "motivation" remains clear as mud.
As of the Sept. 23, 2013 episode of Monday Night Raw, The Hounds serve as such for Triple H (and, by extension, Randy Orton) after Hunter and Randy turned heel.
Rage Quit: A team-wide version - if a member (or members) of the team is getting knocked around and looks to be losing the match, the others who aren't participating will attack, resulting in a DQ win for the opponent, rather than letting their teammate(s) get pinned clean. And then it's usually at that point that the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown starts.
Red Baron: Michael Cole has dubbed the group "The Hounds of Justice."
Remember the New Guy: They were all introduced as ''NXT' invaders despite Ambrose never actually appearing on the show.note He did however wrestle on NXT house shows and dark matches.His WWE.com biojustifies this by saying his closing match of NXT's developmental predecessor FCW against William Regal was so brutal he wasn't allowed to compete on NXT as a result.
Another one is a Shiranuinote A backflip inverted DDT, called the Skywalker.
Rollins yet again, to his past. His initial finisher on NXT was a running Curb Stomp called the Blackout, a mention to his days as Tyler Black.
Additionally, the Blackout's main roster debut came at Survivor Series. At the expense of Bryan Danielson.
Signature Move: They seem to have settled on the triple-assist powerbomb. And if there happens to be a table around, rest assured the victim's going straight through it.
In addition, it's pretty much a given that Roman Reigns will hit a Spear on someone during one of their beatdowns.
Correction: if given the chance, Roman Reigns will hit the Spear on everyone during one of their matches.
Dean Ambrose has started using what's being called a "Headlock Driver" as his singles finisher. (He gets his opponent in a side headlock, then he drops to his face, putting his opponent headfirst into the mat. Imagine a DDT, but with the guy doing it facing the other way.)
Smug Snake: Reigns on NXT. Seth Rollins on the main roster, who is petty and smug in promos.
Sore Loser: As shown on April 26, 2013 on Smackdown, if one of the group lost, the rest attack the winner together. See also Rage Quit above.
Subverted at times, as the same thing happens when one of the group wins.
Suicide Attack: Downplayed. If Roman Reigns sees the chance, he will not hesitate to Spear an opponent through the barricade at ringside, which sometimes keeps Reigns himself down as long as the victim.
Unstoppable Rage/Villainous Valour: Roman Reigns at the 2013 Survivor Series. In a traditional five-on-five Survivor Series tag-team elimination match, Reigns and Rollins found themselves at a 5-on-2 disadvantage (much different than what The Hounds are used to) towards the end of the bout. Two Spears from Roman Reigns take out Jimmy Uso and Cody Rhodes. Rollins' curb stomp ("The Blackout") eliminates Jey Uso. After Rey Mysterio pins Rollins, Reigns is alone against Rey and Goldust. Two Spears later, Roman Reigns has pinned both men, giving him four of the five eliminations for his team.
There was very minimal cheating (and none from Reigns— Rollins attacked Mysterio after being eliminated), no fluke pins in their favor, and no ref bumps. Just two teammates who, together, combined to be greater than the sum of their talents.
Weak, but Skilled: Seth Rollins, in contrast, has less physical power to back his moves up but compensates by being very dexterous in the ring, making use of combat rolls and other assorted acrobatics to stay out of reach of his opponent as he whittles them down.