The Shield was a professional wrestling stable in WWE consisting of Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. The group debuted in November 2012 at the Survivor Series pay-per-view, and later declared their intention to fight what they perceive as "injustice" in WWE. Ambrose held the WWE United States Championship, being the longest reign under the current WWE banner at 351 days, while Reigns and Rollins previously held the WWE Tag Team Championship.
The Shield are known for their black ring attire (most notably their protective vests), their tendency to approach the ring through the live audience, and their trademark promos, which are recorded from a first-person perspective using a handheld camcorder. Their gimmick is that of a stable that possesses excellent teamwork and a willingness to sacrifice themselves for the good of the stable, and which achieves victories by overwhelming opponents with superior numbers after incapacitating their teammates.
Mercenaries for CM Punk (2012–2013)
The group debuted on November 18, 2012 at the Survivor Series pay-per-view, when the debuting Ambrose, Reigns, and Rollins interfered in the main event, a triple threat match between CM Punk, John Cena, and Ryback for the WWE Championship. They powerbombed Ryback through the announcers' table, allowing Punk to pin Cena to win the match and retain his title.
The group identified themselves as the "The Shield", and vowed to rally against injustice. The Shield make their entrance by walking down through the crowd. Despite claiming that they were not working for CM Punk or Paul Heyman, over the next few weeks, on both Raw and SmackDown, they would routinely emerge from the crowd to attack Punk's adversaries such as Ryback, The Miz, Kane, and Daniel Bryan. They also attacked Randy Orton after he defeated Brad Maddox; Maddox was the referee who helped Punk defeat Ryback during their Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Championship. This led to their debut match at the TLC pay-per-view, where they faced Ryback and Team Hell No (Kane and Bryan) in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match and emerged victorious.
After TLC, despite continuing to attack Punk's and Maddox's adversaries such as Ric Flair, Brodus Clay, and Sheamus, the Shield soon expanded their ambushes to other faces, such as Mick Foley and Ricardo Rodriguez. The Shield's attacks were also used to write off wrestlers from television via injury angles, such as Randy Orton and Sin Cara, who were already suffering from legitimate injuries.
During the January 2nd episode of NXT, which was taped on December 6, 2012, the Shield made their first appearance in NXT, though Reigns and Rollins had already wrestled there before and Rollins was the inaugural NXT Champion. Rollins defended his title against Corey Graves; as Graves was about to win the match, Ambrose and Reigns attacked him to cause a disqualification, but Rollins retained his title. On the January 9th episode of NXT, taped on the same date, Rollins faced Big E Langston in a no disqualification title match. The other NXT wrestlers neutralized the other Shield members, and Langston defeated Rollins to win the title.
On the January 7 episode of Raw, the Shield once again aided CM Punk by attacking Ryback during their Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the WWE Championship, which resulted in Punk retaining his title. On the January 21, during the last episode of Raw before the 2013 Royal Rumble, the Shield triple-powerbombed The Rock, Punk's WWE Championship contender at the event, resulting in Vince McMahon declaring that their interference in the title match would result in Punk being stripped of the title. Four days later on SmackDown, Punk denied an alliance with the Shield before calling them out and informing them that he did not want them to interfere in his upcoming title match. However, during Punk's title match at the Royal Rumble, a blackout occurred and The Rock was attacked by the Shield in the darkness, leading to Punk pinning The Rock and retaining his title. The match was later restarted by McMahon with The Rock winning the WWE Championship.
The following night on Raw, the Shield attacked John Cena; Sheamus and Ryback suffered the same fate when they attempted to save Cena. Later in the show, it was revealed through footage played by Vince McMahon that Punk's manager Paul Heyman had been paying the Shield and Brad Maddox to work for him all along.
Undefeated Streak (2013)
The next week on Raw, while calling out the Shield, Maddox revealed that he was the one who gave McMahon the footage. The Shield then attacked Maddox, but were forced to battle due to an attack by Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus. The Shield justified their feud with the trio due to a "decade of injustice" caused by Cena creating an environment where any wrestler would not face consequences for his actions, and whose mentality they felt had spread to other wrestlers like Ryback and Sheamus. This set up a six-man tag team match on February 17 at Elimination Chamber, which the Shield won. The Shield had their first Raw match the following night, where they defeated Ryback, Sheamus, and Chris Jericho.
Sheamus then formed an alliance with Randy Orton to feud with the Shield. On the March 1 episode of SmackDown, while attacking Orton during his match with Big Show, the Shield inadvertently provoked Show into attacking them; the Shield thus started a feud with Show as well. On the March 11 episode of Raw, the Shield's first singles match occurred when Rollins faced Show; Show won via disqualification as the Shield interfered and beat him down. Despite twice helping Orton and Sheamus to fend off the Shield, Show would turn on the duo immediately after. The Shield then challenged Orton and Sheamus to find a partner and have a match with them at WrestleMania 29. Show volunteered, but Orton and Sheamus chose Ryback as their partner. Meanwhile, Mark Henry's distraction of Ryback resulted in the Shield conducting a successful assault on Ryback, resulting in Ryback being inserted into a WrestleMania match against Henry. Without a partner, Orton and Sheamus eventually accepted Show's offer to take on a common enemy despite their mistrust of him. On April 7 at WrestleMania 29, the Shield took advantage of their opponents' inability to work together to win in their WrestleMania debut.
Championship reigns, Triple H's enforcers (2013)
The following night on Raw, the group attempted to attack The Undertaker, but were ultimately forced to retreat by Team Hell No. On the April 22 episode of Raw, the Shield faced and defeated the combination of The Brothers of Destruction and Team Hell No (Undertaker, Kane and Bryan). Four days later on SmackDown, Ambrose made his singles debut against Undertaker but lost via submission, after which the Shield attacked Undertaker and triple-powerbombed him through the announcer's table. Three days later on Raw, they defeated Team Hell No and WWE Champion John Cena in a six-man tag team match with Reigns pinning Cena for the win. Ambrose then started a feud with WWE United States Champion Kofi Kingston after pinning him in a six-man tag team match also involving The Usos.
On May 19 at Extreme Rules, Ambrose defeated Kofi Kingston to become the new United States Champion. Later that night, Rollins and Reigns defeated Team Hell No to become the WWE Tag Team Champions. Ambrose faced Kingston on the May 24 episode of SmackDown in a rematch for the title, and retained when Reigns and Rollins interfered causing a disqualification; Ambrose also pinned Kingston in yet another rematch for the title three days later on Raw. That same night, Rollins and Reigns retained their tag titles in a rematch for the titles against Team Hell No. On the June 14 episode of SmackDown, the Shield's unpinned/unsubmitted streak in televised six-man tag team matches came to an end at the hands of Team Hell No and Randy Orton, when Daniel Bryan submitted Seth Rollins. At WWE Payback, Ambrose defeated Kane via countout to retain the US title while Rollins and Reigns defeated Orton and Bryan to retain the tag team titles. The next night on Raw, Ambrose had a title rematch against Kane and retained after being disqualified.
On the June 21 episode of Raw, The Shield attacked Christian and started a feud with him. It was also revealed that Ambrose would compete in the Money in the Bank ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank. On the same Raw, it was announced that The Usos will face Rollins and Reigns for the Tag Team Championship at Money in the Bank kickoff. Later on in the pay-per-view, they interfered in Ambrose's World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, but the Usos in turn attacked Reigns and Rollins and Ambrose failed to win the match. The Shield then began a feud with Mark Henry, defeating Henry and the Usos in two six-man tag team matches, but losing to the team of Henry, Big Show and Rob Van Dam. Ambrose retained his championship via disqualification against Van Dam at the SummerSlam kickoff show. The Shield then began a feud with Mark Henry, defeating Henry and the Usos in two six-man tag team matches, but losing to the team of Henry, Big Show and Rob Van Dam. Ambrose retained his championship via disqualification against Rob Van Dam at the SumerSlam kickoff show.
The following night on Raw, the Shield began working for chief operating officer Triple H. They would aid WWE Champion and "the face of the WWE" Randy Orton against his number one contender, Daniel Bryan, while also attacking wrestlers like Big Show and Dolph Ziggler for speaking out against Triple H's regime. At Night of Champions, the Shield enjoyed successful title defenses when Ambrose defeated Ziggler while Reigns and Rollins defeated the Prime Time Players. At Battleground, a fired Cody Rhodes and Goldust earned their jobs back by beating Rollins and Reigns in a non-title match. On the 14 October Raw, Rollins and Reigns faced the Rhodes brothers again with the tag titles on the line in a no disqualification match; the Shield lost the tag titles after an attack by Big Show. Two days later on Main Event, Ambrose successfully retained his title against Ziggler.
Cracks in the Shield (2013-2014)
The first seeds of dissension were sown in the Shield with Ambrose's boasting of being the only member left with a championship, but from then on Ambrose was frequently pinned during the Shield's matches. At Survivor Series, the Shield teamed with the Real Americans (Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro) to beat the team of Rey Mysterio, the Rhodes brothers and the Usos; Ambrose was the first man eliminated, Rollins (with one elimination) was the fourth man eliminated for his team and Reigns was the Sole Survivor after eliminating four opponents. Next, CM Punk's criticism of Triple H earned him an attack by the Shield, but Punk tasted revenge at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs when he overcame the Shield in a handicap match after Ambrose received a Reigns spear aimed for Punk. Punk's taunts increased tension between the Shield members, and Reigns emerged as the only Shield member to defeat Punk in a singles match, albeit with Ambrose's interference on the 6 January 2014 edition of Old School Raw. All three members of the Shield competed in the 2014 Royal Rumble match. Late in the match, Ambrose tried to eliminate Reigns, who retaliated by eliminating both Ambrose and Rollins. Reigns eventually finished as runner-up in the match while setting a new record for most eliminations in a single Rumble with 12; Ambrose and Rollins scored three eliminations each, and Rollins spent the second longest amount of time in the match.
On the next Raw on 27 January 2014, the Shield faced Daniel Bryan, Sheamus and John Cena for the chance to enter the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and were denied that opportunity when the Wyatt Family attacked their opponents, causing the Shield to lose via disqualification. The Shield vowed revenge, so a match was set up between them and the Wyatt Family at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. On the 10 February episode of Raw, Ambrose's open challenge for his title was answered by Mark Henry, in which Ambrose only retained his title upon disqualification due to the Shield's interference; Reigns continued his tension with Ambrose by defeating Henry without interference on the next Raw. At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, the Shield lost to the Wyatt Family; during the match, Ambrose and Bray Wyatt brawled into the crowd, but Wyatt returned to the ring with no sign of Ambrose, which caused Rollins and Reigns to be outnumbered and overwhelmed. On the March 3 Raw, the Shield lost a rematch with the Wyatt Family when the Shield's poor teamwork led to Rollins walking out during the match; Rollins claimed that he had enough of being the glue holding the group together.
Rebellion against the Authority (2014)
On the March 7 SmackDown, the members of the Shield met in the ring to clear the air on their disharmony. Rollins said that his actions achieved his purpose of getting Ambrose and Reigns to finally see eye-to-eye. After Ambrose and Rollins hit each other, the trio reconciled.
The Shield's next feud was against Kane, who was now acting as 'Director of Operations' for the Authority. Kane had ordered the Shield to attack commentator Jerry Lawler on the March 17 episode of Raw, however the Shield attacked Kane instead, thus turning face and assuming heroic characters for the first time. In retaliation, Kane and the New Age Outlaws attacked the Shield on the March 21 episode of SmackDown while the group was already being double-teamed by RybAxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel) and the Real Americans after an inconclusive fatal-four-way match meant to determine the contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championship. This set up a match pitting the Shield against Kane and the Outlaws at WrestleMania XXX, which the Shield won quickly and decisively.
The next night on the post-WrestleMania Raw, Kane inadvertently revealed that Triple H masterminded the attack on the Shield on the previous month's SmackDown. As a result, when Triple H faced WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan in a title match after Bryan was attacked by Kane, Randy Orton and Batista, the Shield interrupted the match to turn on Triple H, chasing the other wrestlers away to protect Bryan. On the April 8 episode of Main Event, The Shield finally defeated The Wyatt Family in a six man tag team match. Three days later, The Shield would again save Bryan from Kane, Randy Orton, and Batista, by giving a triple powerbomb to Kane.
On the April 14 episode of Raw, after they had ambushed Batista and Randy Orton earlier in the night, the Shield were forced to face 11 other wrestlers in a 11-on-3 handicap match, which ended in a no-contest after descending into a brawl in which the Shield members were outnumbered and beaten down by their opponents. They were then further attacked by Triple H, Orton and Batista, who reformed the group Evolution. Four days later on SmackDown, Triple H would announce that The Shield would be competing in a six-man tag team match against Evolution at Extreme Rules. In retaliation, The Shield would assault Jack Swagger, 3MB, Fandango, Curtis Axel, and even Raw General Manager Brad Maddox before winning a 5-on-3 handicap match against Ryback, Bad News Barrett, Titus O'Neil, Damien Sandow and Alberto Del Rio a week later on SmackDown. It was initially supposed to be another 11 on 3 match, but the Shield had attacked their opponents throughout the show to whittle down the opposition. The Shield would go on to defeat Evolution at Extreme Rules.
The next night on Raw, Triple H would force Ambrose to defend his United States Championship against 19 other wrestlers in a 20-man battle royal, which Ambrose was eliminated last by Sheamus, ending Ambrose's WWE record reign at 351 days. Triple H would then book The Shield to compete in a six-man tag team match against The Wyatt Family, which the group lost with a distraction by Evolution, who proceeded to assault the Shield. A rematch between the Shield and Evolution was arranged for Payback, in which The Shield won yet again.
Rollins' betrayal and disbandment (2014)
On the post-Payback Raw on June 2, Triple H intended to continue Evolution's feud with the Shield, but Batista quit. Later that night, with the Shield in the ring, Triple H declared that he was resorting to "Plan B" in destroying the Shield. This prompted Rollins to attack Ambrose and Reigns with a chair, joining Evolution and turning heel in the process. The following week on Raw, Rollins took sole credit for the Shield's successes and claimed that he had destroyed the group to further his own interests. Meanwhile, Ambrose and Reigns vowed to exact revenge on Rollins as well as Orton and Triple H. Ambrose and Reigns went on to team with John Cena to defeat the Wyatt Family in the night's main-event.] Later in the week on SmackDown, Reigns fought WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett to a no-contest due to interference from 3MB, and Ambrose fought Bray Wyatt for a spot in the 2014 Money in the Bank ladder match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but lost after being distracted by Rollins. From then on, Ambrose would begin to feud with Rollins. Meanwhile Reigns goad Vickie Guerrero, who left in charge by The Authority, to put him in the battle royal for a spot for the Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship; he won by eliminating Rusev. On the June 20 SmackDown, Ambrose debuted new theme music while no longer wearing the Shield's attire. There is not going to be a formal split between Reigns and Ambrose but they have now begun going their separate ways.
- The Shield both debut, Survivor Series 2012 and broke up, June 2, 2014 Monday Night RAW results at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana
- All three Shield members won their first Main Roster championships at Extreme Rules 2013, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns winning the Tag Team Championships, and Dean Ambrose winning the US Championship
- Seth Rollins' finishing moves
- Dean Ambrose's finishing moves
- Roman Reigns' finishing moves
- Superman Punch
- Team' finishing moves
- Triple Powerbomb (Sometimes through a table)
- "The Hounds of Justice"
- "You can believe that! and you can BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD!!"
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked Ambrose #26 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2013
- PWI ranked Rollins #35 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2013
- PWI ranked Reigns #39 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2013
- PWI Tag Team of the Year (2013) – Rollins and Reigns
- WWE Tag Team Championship (1 time) – Rollins and Reigns
- WWE United States Championship (1 time) – Ambrose
- Slammy Award for "What a Maneuver" of the Year (2013): Reigns - for the Spear
- Slammy Award for Faction of the Year (2013, 2014)
- Slammy Award for Trending Now Hashtag of the Year (2013) - #BelieveInTheShield
- Slammy Award for Breakout Star of the Year (2013)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter