By Arda Ocal
7:00 AM EST, November 29, 2012
Highly touted prospects Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns have cracked the main roster in a faction now known as "The Shield." In Boondock Saints fashion, the group's mission statement is to rid WWE of injustice.
What I would consider an injustice is if the trio, particularly Ambrose and Rollins, weren't given a fair opportunity to shine in WWE. This faction is the perfect launching point.
One of the biggest early complaints among fans about The Shield is that this was not the situation they envisioned their two latest heroes -- formerly of the independents -- to debut. Many feel they are capable enough to stand on their own two feet and enjoy a successful career as singles competitors, even champions.
I agree, to an extent. Is the potential there? Absolutely. But the method of placing high-value potential talent in a faction is a good one.
For one, it hides flaws and negatives. I'm not saying that these superstars have flaws and negatives, I'm saying that some members of the WWE Universe may be quick to perceive negatives because they are fresh on the scene. And as the old saying goes, perception is reality. Being in a group environment is ideal not only to hide a debuting star and shield them (pardon the pun) from this type of criticism, but also afford them the opportunity to get accustomed to the bright lights of WWE and the customs and nuances that come with being a WWE superstar. No matter how great you are in front of 75 people -- or even 200 or 1,000 for several years -- nothing will fully prepare you for the WWE main roster environment.
Though Dean Ambrose said on Raw that The Shield is not the Nexus, there is a similarity when it comes to this topic. From the original Nexus faction, Ryback (Skip Sheffield) is a main event player. Daniel Bryan is a former world champion and one half of the most entertaining duo in WWE today. Wade Barrett never seems out of place in the "top guy" conversation. David Otunga, Darren Young, Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel still have positions on the main roster. Husky Harris is now Bray Wyatt in NXT, a soon-to-be great heel in WWE (think Cape Fear meets Waylon Mercy). Dolph Ziggler began his WWE career as Nicky, a member of the Spirit Squad. I would argue that a group situation was a benefit for many of these stars, because they were allowed to experience a high-profile scenario in a group, learn from it and take use education toward future high-pressure situations when they are on their own.
If I'm in developmental and have an opportunity to crack the main roster by being part of a group, I will of course jump at the chance. Not only that, but I will find a way to distinguish myself and get noticed when given this opportunity. That's the opportunity the members of The Shield have now. I will be watching their segments with interest to see who shines.
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