Disintegration turns into Unity in the face of Despotic Demon Authority!
The Shield vs. Kane & The New Age Outlaws
Fans of The Shield will have been relieved by storyline developments over the last month. It looked like they were a powder keg set to explode with WrestleMania 30 the expected site of those fireworks, as the psychological toll of being defeated twice by The Wyatt Family and no longer being WWE's most feared triumvirate got to them. However, the trio showed great maturity by talking it out and putting aside their differences on their own.
When Director of Operations Kane started meddling in The Shield's affairs, deflecting attention away from his own shortcomings, they stuck up for themselves and have grown in confidence and trust ever since. Indeed, Kane and his new henchmen, Billy Gunn and Road Dogg, will have their hands very full at WrestleMania 30, as The Shield have looked unstoppable since they got their shit back together.
It really seems that the only people who can beat The Shield are themselves. If their internal issues rear their ugly head again, then they will be in for a difficult night, but there's no sign that will happen, given how smoothly they've been working together of late, united in their hatred of the despotic demon Kane.
The Road to WrestleMania 30
At Elimination Chamber 2014, The Hounds of Justice finally met their match in the psychotic trio of Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. Using their own successful strategy against them, The Wyatt Family took out The Shield one by one, first Dean Ambrose in the back away from public view, then Seth Rollins, before the numbers advantage allowed Bray to pick off Roman Reigns with the Sister Abigail for a stunning victory. Sure The Shield had lost on rare occasions before, but never had they been slaughtered in such a decisive fashion!
Ambrose's strange vanishing act led to the first signs of doubt in the usually united Shield. Both Rollins and Reigns confronted Ambrose on the Feb 24th Monday Night Raw, but he blew them off, causing their mistrust of him to grow greater, which amused the eavesdropping Bray Wyatt to no end.
The subsequent challenge Roman Reigns made to Wyatt for a singles match where they promised to leave their brethren behind didn't help matters. Of course the twisted Bray couldn't be trusted! His brothers showed up as soon as he was in serious danger. Rollins was there in a flash to help Reigns, but Ambrose was tardy and then cost his buddy Roman the match by going straight after Bray, instead of just taking care of Harper and Rowan.
Their problems with the Wyatt Family wasn't just causing dissension in their own ranks, but also led to grievances with The Authority when The Shield defied Triple H's orders on Smackdown to stand down and leave the Wyatts alone until next Monday's rematch between the two factions by attacking them in front of his face and trying to goad them into a fight.
More chinks in The Shield armour were evident when they lost to the Wyatt Family again on the Mar. 3rd Raw. Late in the match, Rollins hopped off the apron when Ambrose tried to hot tag him in, telling Reigns that he refused to be the glue that kept them together any longer, leaving the two of them to figure it out themselves. Despite gallantly fighting together without any issues, the man disadvantage was too much for Ambrose & Reigns to overcome. Indeed, Wyatt finished Ambrose off by posting him into the steel ring post and hitting Sister Abigail when they were the only two left standing.
Seth Rollins called a summit of The Shield on Smackdown to explain his treasonous actions, which was to get Ambrose & Reigns back on the same page with him again. After a few shoves, slaps and punches were exchanged, the trio got their tempers out of their system and they all bumped fists, regaining the solidarity that had been slowly ebbing away.
On the Mar. 10th Raw, Kane stuck his big nose in, lecturing The Shield about their recent behaviour and telling them he was taking it upon himself to help them seal up their cracks by booking Rollins & Reigns in a match with the Rhodes Brothers, who they lost the WWE Tag Team titles to in mid October. They accepted, but wondered aloud whether Kane was deflecting attention away from his recent losses to Daniel Bryan and threatened him not to get in their way.
Proving that their issues were already long behind them, Rollins & Reigns decisively beat Cody Rhodes & Goldust and Ambrose joined in the celebrations afterwards:
On Smackdown, Seth Rollins squashed Damien Sandow. Showing off their cohesion, The Shield then Triple Power Bombed Sandow for good measure.
Afterwards, Kane congratulated them backstage on their success, but the trio didn't graciously receive his praise, making fun of him for not preparing for his match later with The Big Show. Kane then ordered The Shield to be at ringside for that bout. Initially it seemed like they would disobey his request, but they reluctantly followed Kane to the ring when he forced the issue again seconds before the main event entrances were to begin.
Their presence didn't help Kane much as he lost via pinfall after a chokeslam by Show. The Shield then went to walk out, after all their work was done, but Kane grabbed Rollins by the hair and went to drag him back to the ring, only to be stopped in his tracks by a big spear from Roman Reigns.
On the Mar. 17th Raw, it looked like The Shield had reached an uneasy truce with Kane when he confronted them over their actions on Smackdown. However, they turned on Kane and Triple Power Bombed him into oblivion when he tried to coerce them into physically punishing Jerry "The King" Lawler for using his hometown connections on last week's Raw in Memphis to allow Daniel Bryan and his YES Movement to occupy the show.
Kane got his revenge on Smackdown during a Fatal Four Way tag team match for the number one contendership to the WWE Tag Team titles, which saw The Shield's Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins face Rybaxel, The Real Americans and 3MB. Kane caused the match to get thrown out when he attacked the ringside Roman Reigns and beat him down on the ramp-way with his new henchman The New Age Outlaws, while the three heel teams ganged up on Ambrose & Rollins and laid them out with their finishers. Quite the set up, eh?
The Mar. 24th Raw was a busy night for The Shield. Firstly, they distracted Rybaxel causing them to lose to Los Matadores and took out Ryback after the match with the Triple Power Bomb:
Secondly, they asked Triple H and Stephanie McMahon about their status with them. Hunter claimed that their problem was with Kane and The Outlaws, not him. Finally, Ambrose & Rollins gained vengeance on The Real Americans too by cleanly defeating them in a tag match when Seth pinned Jack Swagger with the Curb Stomp. When Cesaro attacked Rollins after the match, Reigns destroyed him with a superman punch and a spear, which set him up for a Triple Power Bomb through the announcer's table. Kane, in his role as Director of Operations, then announced that he had booked The Shield to face The New Age Outlaws and himself at WrestleMania 30, and vowed that they would annihilate The Hounds of Justice there.
The Shield's winning streak and path of destruction continued on the Mar. 28th, Smackdown. First, Ambrose & Rollins squashed 3MB's Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre, then they soundly beat Rybaxel when Kane forced them to wrestle again. A stern message was sent to the ramp-way viewing Kane and The Outlaws by Triple Power Bombing Ryback for the second time in the week after the match.
On the WrestleMania 30 go home edition of Monday Night Raw, the fans voted for Roman Reigns by a mammoth margin to be The Shield member to face Kane on the show. As Reigns was setting up for the spear on Kane, The New Age Outlaws came down the aisle to attack him, but they were cut off by his comrades Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins, who then helped Reigns to lay the boots to Kane, causing his disqualification loss. The Shield would have Triple Power Bombed Kane straight to hell for the second time, if The Outlaws hadn't recovered and saved his bacon.
What's at Stake?
The future of both The Authority and The Shield is at stake in this match up.
Another big loss would be tough for The Hounds Of Justice to take. Their newly found unity would be ruined by being humbled by their hated enemy Kane and they may drift back down the road of their own annihilation.
Triple H is likely to be keenly watching this match and could strip Kane of his Director of Operations duties if he messes up again, whilst favouring to retain The Shield's services as his hitmen, kicking The Old Age Outlaws to the kerb.
Stick with CagesideSeats.com for all your WrestleMania 30 coverage including the outcome, fallout and analysis of this match!