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WWE 2014 Year in Review (June): The Shield breakup, Batista quits, Black Thursday, Money in the Bank

We continue our look back on the year that was in WWE with June, which saw the break up of The Shield, Batista quitting the company, and two big pay-per-view shows in the same month.

The big story

The Shield break up

Just one night after a clean sweep of Evolution in an elimination tag in the main event of Payback, Triple H revealed he had a "Plan B." That plan turned out to be Seth Rollins selling out and turning on Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose.


WWE delivered a Game of Thrones style gut punch to the fan base with this angle. Reigns had his trust destroyed (and delivered an incredible performance). The video was sickening. His explanation the night after was even harder to take.

Thankfully, Ambrose and Reigns displayed a united front and promised redemption, with Ambrose delivering one of the best promos of the year.

It's interesting to note, looking back, that the decision to break up the group was made at the last minute.

The break up was complete when they all got new ring gear and entrance music.

Other notables


- Payback

The month kicked off with a pay-per-view in Chicago (yes, they addressed the CM Punk situation) that featured Hornswoggle getting his head shaved by El Torito, Brie Bella quitting and slapping Stephanie McMahon, John Cena ending his feud with Bray Wyatt by winning an incredible Last Man Standing match, and the aforementioned killer Shield vs. Evolution match.

- Batista quits

After losing to The Shield at Payback, Batista demanded the WWE world heavyweight title shot Triple H told him he would receive. He was denied, so he quit.

- Daniel Bryan forfeits the WWE title

After the injury and surgery the month before, WWE was hopeful enough that Bryan could return by Money in the Bank to announce that he would defend the title against Kane in a Stretcher match if healthy. If not, he would be stripped. Finally, the decision was made to strip Bryan of the WWE world heavyweight title when it became clear he wouldn't be ready in time. While he's made sporadic appearances since then, his future remains up in the air to this day.

- Tamina Snuka injured

She blew out her knee, had surgery, and hasn't been seen since.

- Black Thursday

Seemingly out of nowhere, WWE announced the release of six superstars (Brodus Clay, Curt Hawkins, Teddy Long, Camacho, Evan Bourne, Yoshi Tatsu). Then, we found out 3MB was no more because Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal were cut (along with Aksana). There was some hope that JTG had survived the firing squad but alas, he was canned too.

In an interesting side note, I wrote a post at the time entitled "CM Punk noticeably absent from WWE roster cuts." As it turns out, he wasn't. Black Thursday was June 12 and we later learned his termination papers were sent out and made it to him on June 13, his wedding day. They just didn't announce as much.

Although it wasn't a part of Black Thursday, Josh Mathews was released later in the month.

- Cody Rhodes became Stardust

That happened.

- Vickie Guerrero left

She was written off by getting thrown in "mud". Still, there was an emotional farewell backstage.

- Bad News Barrett injured

During a SmackDown taping, Jack Swagger got overzealous when tossing Barrett into a barricade and blew out his shoulder.

- Money in the Bank

The month closed with yet another pay-per-view, one of the bigger shows of the year. Thanks to Bryan getting injured and forfeiting the WWE world heavyweight title, a ladder match was booked with the title on the line and a separate ladder match was booked to determine the next briefcase contract holder. John Cena won the title while Seth Rollins won the briefcase.

- Raw the night after

The episode of Raw following Money in the Bank was unusually newsworthy. Chris Jericho made a surprise return in the midst of The Miz making his return as a new Hollywood character. AJ Lee also returned from her hiatus and immediately won the Divas title back from Paige. A Fatal 4-Way main event for Battleground in July was booked. Bad News Barrett was stripped of the Intercontinental title and a battle royal was scheduled for Battleground to determine a new champion.

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