The Shield remains one of the most acclaimed factions in WWE. The group, consisting of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns, debuted at Survivor Series 2012, where they promptly began working for CM Punk as mercenaries, attacking wrestlers who they decreed had committed "injustices."
The former NXT Superstars took WWE by storm, competing in numerous high-profile matches against The Wyatt Family, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Evolution. The Shield imploded in June 2014, when Rollins betrayed his teammates with an equally iconic heel turn. Here are five in-ring highlights of The Shield...and five low points.
10 Best: The Shield Vs. The Wyatt Family (Elimination Chamber 2014)
Two of the biggest wrestling factions of WWE's modern era clashed in this behemoth of a match, which saw fans chanting for both teams before the bell had even rung. The Lunatic Fringe was at his peak here as the unstable, erratic wild card of The Shield.
Bray Wyatt was menacing as the eerie leader of the Wyatt Family, clashing with Ambrose beforehand in a war of words. This proved to be The Shield's downfall, however, as Ambrose disappeared during the match after a brawl with The Eater of Worlds, leaving his teammates to take the loss.
9 Worst: Dean Ambrose Vs. Seth Rollins Vs. Roman Reigns (Battleground 2016)
This is a match that should have happened in the main event of WrestleMania, WWE's flagship pay-per-view show, with far more build-up beforehand. The collision of Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose was destined to happen from the moment The Architect attacked his brothers with a steel chair.
Fans were eager for a Roman Reigns heel turn, having grown bored of his singles push as a Cena-like babyface. Unsurprisingly, WWE refused to do this - though Ambrose retained the WWE Championship, a needed highlight for his WWE career.
8 Best: The Shield Vs. 11-Man Handicap Match (Raw 2014)
The Shield debuted as despicable, diabolical heels and suited that role well. However, when they finally turned against The Authority - and Triple H in particular - fans were ecstatic. This match set them on the course for Extreme Rules, where they clashed with Evolution to a thunderous crowd.
The resilience of Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose was displayed here, making the trio look like a force to be reckoned with that needed an army to take them down.
7 Worst: The Shield Vs. Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley And Drew McIntyre (Fastlane 2019)
The reunion of The Shield hit many bumps in the road, most notably Roman Reigns' leukemia diagnosis which the Big Dog, fortunately, beat to return to the ring as a hero. Despite this triumphant return, what was heralded as the last match in WWE for The Shield was not the marquee event it should have been.
With Ambrose confirmed to be leaving the company, WWE seemed to lack any real inspiration for their last match as a stable, placing them in a match and feud that was, at its best, average.
6 Best: The Shield Vs. Evolution (Payback 2014)
This was the match that began a new chapter for Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose as it was their last match together before The Architect turned on his brothers and aligned with The Authority. The No Holds Barred match was a perfect stipulation that allowed all six competitors to put on a fast-paced, brutal showdown.
Each member of The Shield brought something valuable to this match: Reigns his foreboding strength, Ambrose his chaotic energy and Rollins his dazzling, high-flying arsenal.
5 Worst: The Shield Vs. The Miz, Sheamus, And Cesaro (Raw 2017)
Another underwhelming match-up for a faction that should have been red-hot, this was, arguably, evidence that The Shield had reunited prematurely with a lack of viable opponents.
This match lacked the same spark that electrified fans throughout The Shield's previous matches against Team Hell No and Evolution. The former WWE Champions were re-finding their footing as a stable and would have benefitted with more build-up and a stipulation match.
4 Best: The Shield Vs. Team Hell No And Ryback (TLC 2012)
This was the first proper match for The Shield after their much-hyped Survivor Series debut, and it did not disappoint. Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose displayed their unparalleled in-ring finesse to the crowd, wowing fans with brutal spots and excellent wrestling psychology.
All six Superstars began brawling before the bell had even rung. Rollins' crash from the top of the ladder through the table at Ryback's hands was a particular highlight.
3 Worst: The Shield Vs. CM Punk (TLC 2013)
This was a great match for CM Punk, who triumphed over the most dominant faction in WWE in a 3-on-1 handicap match. It was less than great for The Shield.
Whilst it furthered the narrative in Punk's feud with The Hounds of Justice - and highlighted the cracks in The Shield - it did little to portray Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose as unstoppable heels.
2 Best: The Shield Vs. Team Hell No And Randy Orton (SmackDown 2013)
This was the first loss The Shield endured and put an almighty end to their impressive undefeated streak that helped establish them as three of the company's top Superstars. Both teams looked incredible during this match-up, particularly the crowd favorite Daniel Bryan.
Although the loss may have, at first, appeared to have damaged the credibility of The Shield, ultimately it progressed the narrative of their story and pushed them further towards the main event.
1 Worst: The Shield Vs. Kane And New Age Outlaws (WrestleMania 30)
This match had an old vs. new school vibe that unfortunately didn't live up to expectations. The Shield made quick work of Kane and New Age Outlaws, defeating them quickly to establish themselves as capable, dominant babyfaces.
The Shield did the bulk of the work and wisely so. This was a good stepping stone to the Evolution feud, as The Shield had now turned on Kane and began attacking heels rather than fan favorites.