The Shield splits: Good move for WWE?

shieldSeth Rollins turned on his partners in The Shield on WWE Monday Night Raw this week, ostensibly joining forces with Evolution in a split that was long-expected, but still somewhat surprising, given the push given The Shield the past several weeks.

A night earlier, at WWE Payback, The Shield scored a second consecutive victory over Evolution, and earlier in Raw, Evolution member Batista “quit” in storyline fashion that provided cover for the sabbatical that he will be taking to promote his new movie.

So the balance of power was very much in favor of The Shield, and all we all know how that goes in wrestling: just when it looks like one side has the upper hand, something has to change to keep the story fresh.

Batista’s departure, also of a long-expected nature, seemed to open the door for a new program for The Shield, which has been rumored to be on the way to splitsville since the beginning of the year. But the momentum toward the split seemed to be waning in recent weeks with The Shield having taken up residence among the company’s hottest acts, along with fellow upstarts The Wyatt Family.

The one rule about factions in wrestling is that they are formed with the idea that they will eventually break apart, and the bigger the faction, the more spectacular the break. The only questions, really, are who and how? Roman Reigns is destined to be a top babyface in WWE for the foreseeable future, so it wasn’t going to be him. Dean Ambrose seemed the logical candidate to be the catalyst for the split, with his superior mic work. Rollins, by far the best in-ring talent of the three, seemed to be the third member of the power troika nonetheless because his look and mic work are still second-rate.

Which of course makes him, in retrospect, the truly logical guy to turn first. Rollins will now benefit from the heat that he will get from breaking up the most popular tag team in recent years in WWE, and the chance to grow in the spotlight that will come from the rub of teaming now with Triple-H and Randy Orton.

Good move by WWE creative that will only get better by having Ambrose turn next on Reigns to elevate him to his main-event status that is his due.

– Column by Chris Graham

 

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