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Roman ‘beat the hell out of’ Seth in training, and The Shield was born

WWE’s celebrated a lot of anniversary’s this year. D-Generation X and the Montreal Screwjob turned 25, and most of the famed OVW class that gave birth the so-called Ruthless Aggression Era debuted 20 years ago.

It wasn’t as long ago, and commemorating it is a bit awkward for WWE since one person involved is now a fixture of their biggest competitor in a long while. But that’s just another reason the tenth anniversary of The Shield is worth celebrating — each member of the trio remains an influential star. In fact, it almost feels like best is yet to come from Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Jon “Dean Ambrose” Moxley.

None of that wouldn’t happened if Roman & Seth didn’t click during a grueling FCW training drill, however.

That’s what the company’s two remaining Hounds of Justice told Sports Illustrated recently. Rollins tells the story from 2011, a year or so before The Shield would debut at Survivor Series 2012. Ex-wrestler and long-time WWE developmental coach Terry Taylor had a group of trainees demonstrating what it was like to “go from 0 to 100 in mere seconds”:

“I remember it very specifically. Terry was working with the talent that day, working with a few of us on basically picking up the intensity for short sprints of time. A lot of what we were doing at that time in the training facility in Tampa was mindless work. It’s summer in Florida; it’s roasting inside. We’d been toiling away in developmental, and it was all very frustrating.

“You had five or ten seconds to blow yourself sky high. Roman and I, we were paired together, and whatever we did, it wasn’t to Terry’s liking. We both looked at each other from across the ring, and there was this clarity and communication between the two of us. We were like, ‘We need to get out of this ring as soon as possible.’ We knew what had to be done.

“Roman was on the offense, and I was on the defense, so I knew what was going to happen. Roman knew how to bring it, and he got us out of this drill.”

The Tribal Chief’s recollection is shorter and to the point:

“I remember it well, and I know Seth remembers it. I beat the hell out of him.”

Veterans of the independent scene, Rollins and Moxley were already on the same page. This told them Reigns was right there with them. According to Seth:

“Mox and I were already on the same wavelength. We knew what we wanted to do to change the business and the way it was perceived. We knew Roman had the work ethic to be in that group. But from this moment on, there was a different level of respect between the two of us and a different understanding... that was the moment that showed the three of us were of one mind and one goal.

“That allowed us to be The Shield. Without that mindset, there is no Shield, and the last ten years look a lot different.”

No Sierra, Hotel, India, Echo, Lima, Delta. No Visionary. No Tribal Chief. Probably no Death Rider, and maybe no AEW.

Aren’t you glad Roman beat the hell out of Seth that day?

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