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Thread: The Shield Forever - why ALWAYS split groups?

  1. #1
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    The Shield Forever - why ALWAYS split groups?

    As an introduction I am a wrestling fan from way back as this is my sixty third year on this earth. I grew in in an era when many fans thought it was real. My youth found me lucky enough to rub shoulders with some of the biggest stars of the time as I lived north of the Dallas / Fort Worth area where several wrestlers would spend their time in Texas while wrestling for the von Erich promotion. They found it convenient to travel especially after DFW Airport opened. I was star struck and enjoyed the matches they would put on.

    So I come to this with a view that may be from a different era but I come with this question: Why should a faction have to break up?

    Factions were a force in wrestling during my early fandom. Here in North Texas with the NWA version and then the WCCW version of wrestling we had Skandor Akbar and his Devastation Inc. Nationally the Four Horsemen dominated.

    The Four Horsemen are the main basis of why The Shield should be forever. The stable always featured a main event player in Ric Flair. But the members were all good if not great singles wrestlers and would also often include the tag team champions. The faction was always great for Flair and kept Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson in the spotlight by being associated with Flair. A faction that lasted two decades and always had members who could main event and stood out from each other while still being members of a group. Factions can give life to members in a way that being singles wrestlers may not.

    Imagine Damon Mizdow and the Miz still together. Look at Miz and the Miztourage. The Miz can help other wrestlers.

    Which leads me to The Shield. Three great individual wrestlers. Three wrestlers who can headline any card. And three wrestlers who should keep their alliance together. Why should one of them have to turn on the other two? Why is it predetermined that they must split? Think of three brothers who have each others back. They could rule the WWE for the foreseeable future. Just look at the reactions to Roman Reigns and how they have changed since the group reformed. All three wrestlers can take turns being the man for WWE while in the group. Roman Reigns may be the chosen one so to speak. But his presence in the group helps keep him face while allowing the other two to shine as well. As with all champions Roman will have to loose the belt at times. During those times he can be the support for his Shield Brothers winning some form of gold. All three members should support each other at all times. But no championship lasts forever. So being there for support would be one motivation to keep the faction together.

    Why should tag teams always break up. I not only want The Shield to be forever but would like to see tag teams be a constant and not just a vehicle to see which one will turn on the other or which one will be the bigger star when they break up. To me there is something special about the long term teams. Think of the Rock N' Roll Express or the Road Warriors. Fans could invest in them as a team. And fans can invest in The Shield. Why break them up?

  2. #2
    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    Very thought provoking post.

    I think with Ambrose injury the chances of them just kind of going off and doing their own thing has risen significantly. It felt like they were building to something with Dean & Seth at Mania which I would have loved to see because frankly everything those two touch together seems to turn to gold. Now Dean is out I can see them all going their own way a little and maybe just showing up in support of each together every now and again. There is no reason they can't even fight each other and still respect each other and remain together as a unit afterwards too, Dean & Roman already did it back in 2015 and actually put together something quite nice.

    However story is built on conflict and while I would like to see what you have outlined I just wana see them fight each other again. Dean especially needs some sort of headline feud when he returns and I cannot think of a better way for him to come back and say that Seth and Roman turned their back on him the minute he was injured. We haven't seen a heel Dean as a singles wrestler in the WWE yet and he obviously has it in him to be a complete scumbag.

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  3. #3
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    First off, welcome to LOP man!! Amazing to have a man of your experience pop into our community. If you ever have an urge to share some memories from past decades in more detail, I would LOVE to hear them!

    As for stables and teams staying together, I am 100% in support of that. I don't think people should split up in wrestling unless there is a VERY good reason for it. Unfortunately, we're still living under the crash TV style of the late 90s, and the desire to "shock" the audience is often still stronger than the desire to establish compelling characters that people want to come and see over and over again. I guess it goes back even farther than that, did Hulk Hogan ever have one single friend that didn't turn on him? Splitting him from Orndorff, Andre, and Savage in succession did huge business for them. Betrayal storylines can be a huge draw, but now it's so expected that it's lost a lot of meaning. I don't know if WWE has it in them to keep a group together for any decent length of time, but I'd love to see it happen, even just for a change of pace.

    Awesome first post! I hope you stick around, be it to simply shoot the shit in the regular forums or share your experiences in the columns forum.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    The problem with a group though is if you aren't progressing them by putting them against increasingly more dangerous opponents and you don't explore tension within then they can become stale. Look at the New Day. Untill they had The Usos and The Shield to go against they were getting more and more boring. The Shield is already made up of three of the biggest names in the company so finding them increasingly more difficult competition is nearly impossible, to me that means the only way forward is to create conflict from within the group.

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  5. #5
    The Brain
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    That's more a problem with WWE booking in general than it is with the idea of keeping teams together. If WWE took more time to create stars and less time overexposing people and handing them 50/50 losses, there would be a lot more for groups to do.

    I also am a fan of the idea of the Shield members pursuing individual activities while still remaining part of the group. It's not like Flair was doing six man tags with the Andersons every night, but he didn't have to get betrayed by Arn either in order to generate interest.

  6. #6
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    You're preaching to the choir with me on this. I've felt the same thing about so many groups and teams over the years that it's not even funny. I'm not sure The Shield are necessarily my first choice for it, but sure, why not? Plenty of evidence that with the possible exception of Seth, they're better together than they are apart.

    I actually don't see why stables constantly have to be 'doing' something nowadays. It wasn't like that in the past. Sometimes the group is the story, and sometimes the group plays a role in someone else's story. And then sometimes it's more of a loose alliance, and then others they are more closely bonded. It doesn't actually tie your hands as much as you might think. Still plenty of booking options. As Miz said, Ric could be champion and do all that stuff, and so could Tully, while The Andersons did their thing, but you could still have them come back together when there was a group that wanted revenge on them, or with the later incarnations when there was a legitimate threat to their supremacy as the top group.

    I've tweaked the title of the thread a bit here - both to make it stand out from The Shield general thread a bit more but also to show off the topic a bit more.

  7. #7
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    A couple problems arise when you consider that Vince has always been a different kind of booker.. Like I don't think he would have rode the Horsemen into the ground and kept them together..which is why it was better off that they stayed in NWA. Vince always believes that if he can make someone a singles star, on their own, it will be better for his brand than a bunch of teams..

    Another issue is the amount of tv now, you have two brands that need to desperately try to stay fresh and frankly, writing staffs that are so overworked that they draw in some of the weakest storytelling.. Like you're not gonna keep everyone interested in all these groups when the most creative juice tends to go to the main event. This is the same company that thinks flip flopping a title back and forth is interesting TV. So splitting up groups is the easiest way to get heat on someone.

  8. #8
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    I don't think anyone disagrees with any of that. But it doesn't make it any less frustrating!

  9. #9
    The Brain
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    Even WWF used to do more stable style booking. Look at the Heenan Family, they were an entity in WWF for close to a decade and the members always pursued their own interests, and only came together when it made sense for the story.

  10. #10
    Senior Member SirSam's Avatar
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    I think the New Day would be the best group to start this with, they have just about done everything that can be done within the tag division but none of them would benefit from a breakup storyline like The Shield did. They are better as a group than they ever were as individuals. I guess with Dean now injured they could potentially have him come back and all three pursue singles goals just have the loose affiliation.

    I wonder if the problem simply is that the WWE creative teams have fallen into the habit of thinking that 'teams' can't act independently of one another and be kind of a loose affiliation of like minded wrestlers.

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  11. #11
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    SirSam makes a great point on The New Day. Great to see Xavier Woods get the chance to shine in the United States Championship Tournament.

    Ahh... the Freebird Rule. I remember in the "good ole' days" the real Freebirds battling the von Erich family. Saw them at my local high school gym. After the matches were over saw a Thunderbird pulled to the side of the road with the dome light on. Inside was Michael Hayes who I am guessing was trying to figure out directions. Stopped to try and help but he turned me away. I've always thought he was trying to stay in character. Lucky to have seen TNA in the Bell County Expo Center a few years back. Loved the way that TNA was fan friendly and allowed the wrestlers to mingle with the crowd after the show. Got to meet Apollo Creed, Team 3D, Bobby Lashley and other members of the roster at that time. After about a half hour of mingling there was a charge to the ring and Team 3D had a brawl with other members of the roster. All after many of the crowd had left.

    I am rooting for Xavier and would love to see how the other members would react and help him. The other members could grow as well in their support roles. Imagine The New Day with the tag titles and Woods as the United States Championship. A tag title match comes up and one of the two others is injured and cannot participate so by Freebird Rule Xavier would have to participate in the tag defense then defend his individual title afterward. Would Xavier tag out more often to protect his later match or go all out and get injured putting his individual title in jeopardy? If so would the other member help him out in his match to protect the title? So many stories for a group holding a lot of gold.

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