The Shield entered WWE and took the company by storm unlike any other faction. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were three young hungry performers that showed their desire by delivering outstanding matches on a weekly basis. The trio was pushed hard right away by entering a storyline involving CM Punk, John Cena and Ryback. Their debut match was a classic TLC Match against the team of Daniel Bryan, Kane and Ryback that set the tone of what we would come to expect from them. All three men worked perfectly together by uniting their strengths and making up for each other’s flaws.
WWE actually gave them the ball to run with. Most of the new stars entering the company will get a big push to start but see it end with a few losses after a couple of months. That usually kills the momentum and the wrestler becomes one of many by being looked at as similar to everyone else on the roster. The Shield went undefeated for months and after their first loss, they rebounded by continuing to win and get put in positions to become credible. The split of The Shield came when Rollins turned on his partners to unite with Triple H as a new top heel.
Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose have all become important parts of the company and are expected to main event many WrestleMania events in the next ten years. Aside from John Cena and the part-time attractions like Brock Lesnar or Undertaker, the three stars from The Shield are the hottest commodities in the WWE today. The rest of the roster are struggling to get to that next level but Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose did it by having a great run of success in the faction together. You may know everything about them on television but there is much more to learn about the trio. These are the top twenty things you didn’t know about The Shield.
20 CM Punk Wanted Someone Other Than Roman Reigns
CM Punk claimed the original concept of The Shield was his, with the pitch of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Kassius Ohno as the trio to work with him. WWE liked the idea but wanted perennial favorite Roman Reigns in the third spot rather than Ohno. Ohno's WWE career would fade into obscurity until he was released and went back to the independent wrestling scene as Chris Hero. The course of history would have changed if WWE went with Punk’s choice of Ohno over Reigns. Maybe Ohno would be a big star in WWE today or maybe the faction would have never worked without WWE’s belief in Reigns sparking the push. We’ll never know.
19 Dean Ambrose Had Different Plans For WrestleMania 32
WrestleMania 32 is approaching and the match of Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar is one of the marquee bouts set to sell the biggest show in WWE history. The original plan for Lesnar was clearly a feud with Bray Wyatt. The Wyatt Family attacked Brock on an episode of Raw and caused his elimination in the Royal Rumble. Fans reacted to the teases of the program with apathy, while Ambrose was developing huge momentum over the last month. The addition of Ambrose into the title picture saw fans want him to defeat Lesnar and Roman Reigns. Ambrose couldn’t win the match but his popularity elevated him into a new WrestleMania program with Lesnar in what should be a tremendous match.
18 TNA Turned Down Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose
TNA is currently in a poor state due to relying on past names and not investing in younger talent to build future around. Both Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were given tryouts in the early stages of their careers but the company didn’t see enough in either man to offer a contract. Ambrose worked a tryout match in 2008 but was never brought back despite showing great potential. Rollins was an enhancement talent on TNA Impact in 2006 losing in a non-competitive match to the tag team of LAX featuring Hernandez and Homicide. TNA tried to sign Rollins years later but it was too late as WWE’s deal was too enticing to pass on and he obviously made the right decision.
17 Seth Rollins is a Huge Chicago Bears fan
Wrestling and sports are a perfect mix. Most pro wrestlers are avid fans of sports and have their favorite teams like we all do. Seth Rollins is a big supporter of the Chicago Bears and does not make any apologies for his undying fandom of the unfortunate team. While Jay Cutler’s interceptions and pouting may be enough to turn fans to other teams, Rollins stays loyal to the Bears. The former WWE Champion has been spotted at various games in Chicago to root them on and the Bears returned the favor by tweeting out support to Rollins when he won the title at WrestleMania 31.
16 Rosey is Roman Reigns Brother
The Samoan legacy in pro wrestling is rich with many legends and talented performers having an impact on the industry. There are so many wrestlers with ties to the same family that it becomes hard to keep up with if WWE isn’t alerting us. As seen as the 2015 Royal Rumble, Roman Reigns and The Rock are cousins and WWE has gone out of their way to remind us of that fact. A lesser known relative of Reigns is his brother Rosey. The former WWE performer worked in the 3 Minute Warning tag team and was later most known for his work as the Super Hero in Training. Quite a drastic difference in the WWE careers between the brothers.
15 Dean Ambrose was a "Death Match" Wrestler
Each wrestler had a different journey on their path to the WWE and some are more interesting than others. Dean Ambrose certainly had one of the more colorful roads as he spent a great majority of his early career wrestling for CZW. Combat Zone Wrestling is known for a very violent product featuring brutal matches with dangerous weapons and lots of blood being shed in their matches. Ambrose would compete in matches that saw him get attacked with light tubes, broken glass and barbed wire. WWE still produces hardcore matches that he competes in, but nothing will be as brutal as Ambrose’s early work.
14 Seth Rollins Won a WWE MaddenTournament
We’ve already discussed Seth Rollins love of the Chicago Bears but he's also an avid video game enthusiast. Xavier Woods has a popular video game YouTube channel called UpUpDownDown and a Madden tournament was created for it to see which WWE star was the best at the football video game. Rollins defeated Jack Swagger in the finals to win the trophy and did it with his Bears team. Many believe Rollins is the best wrestler in the WWE locker room when healthy but we know for sure he’s the best at Madden football. Rollins expressed great pride and talked quite a bit of trash during the gameplay, showing just how important it was to him.
13 Dean Ambrose was the first product of EVOLVE
Gabe Sapolsky was the original booker of Ring of Honor and is known for being one of the best wrestling minds to find young talent and showcase them as stars. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins and many others were spotlighted by Sapolsky’s booking before anyone knew who they were. ROH would fire Sapolsky and he tried a new wrestling project with the introduction of independent wrestling promotion EVOLVE. The company has grown credible enough to recently enter a working relationship with WWE and NXT. The first big star to emerge from EVOLVE was Dean Ambrose. The young standout was making a name for himself but his stock truly grew when becoming one of the top stars in EVOLVE.
12 Roman Reigns Signed with the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars
Unlike Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns did not spend the early years of his adult life working the independent wrestling scene. Reigns was a college football standout and hoped to work towards a career in the NFL rather than WWE. As a defensive tackle at Georgia Tech, Reigns achieved success on the college level but went undrafted by the NFL. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings each signed Reigns to short deals but he was cut rather quickly from both rosters. Reigns tried to continue his football career in the Canadian Football League until he was eventually cut and retired from the sport to enter the wrestling world.
11 Seth Rollins Believes in Crossfit
Everyone in wrestling works out since it’s basically part of the job but Seth Rollins doesn’t follow the typical gym guidelines. Rollins opts for the intense Crossfit workouts and strongly believes in the results that come from it. Crossfit is more grueling than the average weightlifting or cardio fitness program. The belief is the resistance and aerobic exercises involved in Crossfit will help one’s conditioning and muscles. Rollins’ social media posts on Twitter and Instagram are mostly all about his training with Crossfit. Following his knee injury keeping him sidelined, Rollins must be quite bored without having the ability to wrestle or participate in Crossfit training. Rollins has great endurance in the ring and can wrestle all night when healthy, so you can’t argue with the results.
10 Dean Ambrose Once Wrestled in WWE with Pink Hair
It is not uncommon for an independent wrestler to work a match in WWE with the hopes of getting hired but we can safely say Dean Ambrose is the only one to do it with pink hair. The Lunatic Fringe had bold hair choices in 2007 and sported long pink hair during his Sunday Night Heat matchup against Val Venis. The show was a webcast for WWE’s website and Ambrose obviously didn’t get hired based off that, but it does provide a humorous moment to look back at today given how far he’s come. Everyone has a skeleton from their past that provides a good laugh. Ambrose’s odd hair just happens to live on the internet forever.
9 Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose Dislike Social Media
The power of social media has become important in wrestling and WWE typically wants all of their stars to have a voice on the internet. Dean Ambrose tried Twitter for a very short time but did not like it and decided to delete it forever. Despite WWE’s importance of it, Ambrose has said in interviews he has no desire to ever get back online. Roman Reigns has over one-million Twitter followers but rarely tweets. The posts from Reigns page are usually standard comments in character following a big WWE show and the account is likely run by someone else. Seth Rollins has been active on Twitter and Instagram for years but has not posted much since his injury in November.
8 Seth Rollins Was Involved in Ugly, Real Life Love Triangle
WWE wrestlers usually are involved in juicy stories on television but Seth Rollins’ actual love life sparked a controversial moment on the internet. Rollins’ former fiancé logged into his Twitter and posted nude photos of both Rollins and his new love interest, then-NXT wrestler, Zahra Schreiber. The assumption is the fiancé found out Rollins was cheating on her and posted the photos on his very public Twitter page as a sweet form of revenge. Rollins issued an apology and expressed embarrassment but it didn’t sidetrack his elevation into the main event scene of WWE. The relationship between Rollins and Schreiber allegedly ended recently but in less dramatic fashion.
7 Dean Ambrose is Dating Renee Young
The love lives of wrestlers tend to come out because of how small the bubble of the wrestling business is. Fans and reporters find just about every facet of a wrestler’s life fascinating more than they do with athletes in team sports. Dean Ambrose and Renee Young have been dating for a few years and Young revealed it during an interview. Young also admitted how frustrating it has been dealing with many of Ambrose’s younger female fans sending her rude comments about the relationship on social media. Regardless of his wacky fans, Ambrose seems to have lucked out as Young shows great intelligence and humor in her WWE role as a broadcaster.
6 Roman Reigns is a Family Man
The WWE roster is varied with the talent all being in different places in life. Some wrestlers are youngsters just starting their life and some already have families to take care of. Roman Reigns is one of the latter with a wife and young daughter. WWE featured Reigns in a PSA ad showcasing the importance of fathers spending time with their children. Reigns is often criticized as a performer by wrestling fans but no one can argue with the dedication he shows for his family. At the end of the day, Reigns is looking to provide for his loved ones and that’s the reason he looks to achieve as much success as possible in WWE.
5 Seth Rollins is the Only Man to Win the WWE, NXT and ROH World Titles
Very few wrestlers have achieved as much success in their entire careers as Seth Rollins already has before turning 30. Rollins has gone the most famed route for today’s wrestling stars. With great hype on the independent wrestling scene, Rollins won the ROH World Championship and was viewed as the hottest prospect in wrestling. The WWE would snag him up and eventually make him the first ever NXT Champion. Rollins would continue the streak of winning title belts by becoming WWE World Champion at WrestleMania 31. Arguably the three biggest world championships in North American wrestling were all held by Rollins at some point. The only other wrestler currently with the chance at pulling off the hat trick would be Kevin Owens if he ever wins the WWE World Title.
4 Dean Ambrose was Supposed to Debut in a Feud with Mick Foley
Dean Ambrose was highly touted in WWE developmental and many fans thought he'd become a huge star on the main roster. The first teases at Ambrose debuting before The Shield was formed featured him calling out Hall of Famer Mick Foley in videos and internet posts. The premise was Ambrose blaming Foley’s storied hardcore moments for creating a youth of wrestlers injuring themselves in violent matches due to the precedence set by Foley. Nothing would ever come from this as Foley failed an impact test by WWE doctors and was told he should never wrestle again thus blocking the hopeful match. Things obviously still worked out for Ambrose with The Shield.
3 Roman Reigns has Always Been the Chosen One
CM Punk’s legendary interview on Colt Cabana’s podcast featured him dropping many personal stories but the biggest reference in regards to the current product was WWE’s feelings about Roman Reigns. During the days of The Shield still working six-man tag matches, Punk informed us that the company demanded Reigns was the member of the trio to be protected and the booking was done with the intention of making him look strong. Reigns was given the rocket push following the breakup of The Shield and WWE would have made him World Champion at WrestleMania 31 if fans didn’t reject it. Much of the resentment still shown by fans towards Reigns is due to WWE obviously viewing him as the most important star in the company.
2 Seth Rollins Didn't Know About His MITB Cash-in
The incredible moment of Seth Rollins cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase during the Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar main event of WrestleMania 31 will live on forever. Rollins won his first WWE World Championship in the most glorious of fashions but he wasn’t aware of this until earlier in the show. According to Rollins, he was informed that he would be winning the title in the main event about an hour and a half before the match. Rollins wrestled Randy Orton earlier in the show and shocked the world by coming back out to steal the title. A wrestler winning the most important championship is always a great story but Rollins will always have the best tale of his first time.
1 The Shield is the Most successful Faction in WWE History
The Shield is definitely celebrated for their impact in WWE but most fans laugh it off when they are referred to as the best faction in the company’s history. A great historical faction will usually lead to one or two stars being born. Ric Flair and Arn Anderson were the stars of The Four Horsemen. Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash were the top stars out of the New World Order to achieve singles success. The Shield made all three men superstars. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns have dominated the world title picture over the past year, less than five years into their career, and Dean Ambrose is becoming a main event player now with his Brock Lesnar feud. Three young prospects debuted together, delivered outstanding matches and made each man a main event star.