One of the most successful and popular factions in WWE history is back, as The Shield returned on tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw, with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose running in to help newly crowned WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns prevent Braun Strowman from cashing in his Money in the Bank contract.
As noted by Cageside Seats in its Monday Night Raw live recap, the reunion took place after Reigns successfully defended his Universal Championship against Finn Balor, as Strowman laid a post-match beatdown on Reigns, grabbed his Money in the Bank briefcase, then gave it to the referee to cash in his contract for an automatic championship opportunity. Strowman’s cash-in attempt, however, was interrupted by The Shield’s ring music, which hit before the bell rung and ushered in Ambrose and Rollins, who were both decked out in the all-black gear synonymous with the iconic stable.
With Reigns getting up on his feet, The Shield made their return official by attacking Strowman three-on-one, finishing him off with their signature triple powerbomb and successfully foiling his cash-in attempt.
According to Wrestling Inc., the reunion was met with overwhelmingly positive crowd responses from the live audience at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, who let loose with “holy s**t” chants upon seeing Reigns, Rollins, and Ambrose together as a faction for the first time since late last year. This was a stark contrast to the boos and “You still suck!” chants Reigns received while cutting his introductory promo at the start of Monday Night Raw.
The Shield originally formed in late 2012 as WWE introduced main roster fans to Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns for the first time as a faction of riot gear-wearing mercenaries often referred to by announcers as the “Hounds of Justice.” Originally a villainous stable who carried out attacks for the likes of CM Punk, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon, the group’s popularity with audiences made WWE turn them into heroic characters in 2014, only for Rollins to betray The Shield and disband the faction in June of that year. They then reunited in 2017, only to go on hiatus in December when Ambrose suffered a triceps injury.
The Shield’s unexpected reunion on Monday Night Raw came just one week after Ambrose’s return from his injury and multiple rumors that he might turn heel on Rollins at SummerSlam. Prior to the event, Forbes‘ Blake Oestriecher also referred to a possible Shield reunion as something that might be construed as a “desperate attempt” to elicit cheers for Reigns, opining that turning Ambrose heel could give Raw a much-needed top-tier villain to work with. But with the reunion seemingly going over very well with WWE fans, it remains to be seen if this will merely be a short-term return for the faction or the start of a longer-term creative plan for all three members of The Shield.