Last month’s Survivor Series PPV was perhaps the worst since the inaugural event back in 1987. A number of factors played a part in this: the booking was so lax that it took to the go home Raw six days before the event for there to be a semblance of a card and it followed on the back of a series of PPVs having screwy endings.
One thing was obvious, however, from the show and that is that it will be Roman Reigns who will be the breakout star of The Shield. When the group debuted on our screens at Survivor Series 2012 the consensus was split pretty much 50/50 between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose as to who would be the one to fly highest upon the inevitable break-up of the stable.
By Craig Wilson
After all, in Rollins there was the guy that had been a darling of the indy scene and based on the success of both Punk and Bryan – who had similar backgrounds – there was the belief he’d flourish when thrust into singles action. Then again, in Ambrose there was the guy that had drawn comparisons to ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper due to his skills on the mic.
This left Reigns very much in the shadow of his two comrades. Sure, he had the size and look that the WWE traditionally likes but with him in the enforcer role within the group it was surely the other two whose stars would shine the brightest.
Whilst it was Reigns’ spear that was causing the most damage to those that stood in their way, it was Ambrose that the WWE trusted with a singles title run and it was Rollins that grabbed the headlines with his bump at TLC 2012.
The tide has begun to shift in recent months as the company teased dissension in the ranks of The Shield as they became more and more associated with Triple H and Randy Orton. At Survivor Series last month – in the traditional 5 v 5 tag match pitting The Shield, Antonio Cesaro & Jack Swagger against Cody Rhodes, Goldust, The Usos and Rey Mysteroi – it was Reigns who, ahem, reigned supreme eliminating four of his opponents en route to being his team’s sole survivor.
What can we expect next from the latest member of the Anoa’I family to become an integral part of WWE programming – after Yokozuna, Umaga, The Usos and The Rock? It’s not outwith the realm of possibility to see him as a contender to win January’s Royal Rumble and earn a title shot for Wrestlemania.
It’s probably more likely though, that he’ll have a Rumble performance akin to Kane or Diesel in previous years – not the victor but eliminating the most superstars during the match and continuing his ascension to the upper echelons of the card.
The Rumble would also provide him the perfect opportunity to continue to separate himself from his colleagues in The Shield. Perhaps by eliminating them from the proceedings, a booking decision not too dissimilar from how Randy Orton broke away from his Legacy cohorts Ted DiBiase jr. and Cody Rhodes back in 2010.
One thing is for sure, the powers at be are clearly behind Reigns. He’s been the one that has been booked the strongest – rarely being on the receiving end of a pinfall loss – and has been a focal point of the group’s Triple Powerbomb manoeuvre.
At TLC this Sunday it will be interesting to see how The Shield’s 3 on 1 handicap match against CM Punk plays out. Don’t be too surprised if it is Reigns that pins Punk. One thing is for sure, the only way is up for Roman Reigns. It’s only a matter of time before he gets a run with a singles title.