shield

WWE – Destruction Of The Shield (Cert 15)

2 Discs Blu-ray / 3 Discs DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 68 minutes approx

For a group that was only in existence for roughly eighteen months The Shield made one hell of an impact, which not only gave a stale product a huge kick up the backside but also gave us three exciting new talent prospects to liven up the main event scene in the WWE. Putting three single talents into a renegade trio was such a simple idea yet it proved to be a stroke of genius and paid dividends for the company and the fans alike, and this new release from WWE Home Video takes a look at the story of this all too short lived but hugely successful group.

The title could have a double meaning – it could refer to the path of destruction the trio carved en route to the top of the WWE roster or it could be about the way the group imploded after Seth Rollins betrayed his brethren to forge a solo career. Either way this set delves into the history of The Shield as a collective and as individuals, complimented by a very comprehensive collection of their matches, which again is rather plentiful for a faction with such a relatively short life span. 

First up is the main documentary portion of this set, which is a slightly extended version of the Road To Summerslam feature which originally appeared on the WWE network last August. After the usual hyperbolic intro, in which they claim The Shield were one of the most popular factions of all time – not bad for a group that were officially babyfaces for just three months – we get to meet the three men that comprise this trio.

To make things as authentic as possible WWE have gone out of their way to acquire footage from external promotions to illustrate the story, meaning we see footage of Rollins from Ring Of Honour (ROH), where he wrestled as Tyler Black, and Ambrose working for both CZW (no violent stuff here) and Dragon Gate USA, as Jon Moxley, both shown going up against Brian “Daniel Bryan” Danielson no less! We also hear from ROH/DG USA booker Gabe Sapolsky who puts both over as promising wrestling talent for different reasons.

Roman Reigns doesn’t have such a deep or illustrious wrestling history so we get some college football footage instead, accompanied by comments from his coach who reckons Reigns was a hit with the female fans because of his long hair. The fact he was drafted to a football team then dropped suggests his hair was his success so, with a young daughter to provide for, Reigns got in touch with his father Sika of the Wild Samoans and got a WWE developmental contract.

This takes us to FCW where Rollins and Ambrose had a classic feud going (Rollins was the babyface), represented here by two great matches. reigns joined in later for a three-way match, working under the name Leakee (pronounced Le-ay-Kee). to say Reigns was green is an understatement, making this interesting viewing to see just how much he has improved over the past three years.

NXT gets a brief look in, mostly due to Rollins apparently having a huge chip on his shoulder about not being called up to the main roster. As the story goes everyone was high on Rollins except for Terry Taylor and their clashes brought Triple H in to give Rollins a “pull your head in or you’re out” ultimatum. Ambrose and reigns return to the story for the trio’s eventual debut at Survivor Series 2012. The story then rockets through their main roster run up to the Summerslam 2014 PPV.

Aside from the Rollins-Taylor issue, all three guys receive glowing appraisals from the various interviewees, which includes Paul Heyman, Michael Hayes, Les Thatcher, William Regal, Joey Mercury, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Triple H and John Laryngitis, who states with a straight face that one of Roman Reigns’s strengths was that he was a good talker! Reigns comes off best, as if the company line is “put him over as the second coming or lose your jobs” something which is corroborated by his current Wrestlemania main event-bound push on TV.

Reigns himself is actually quite humble and speaks softly and intelligently, seeming very thankful for where he is now, praising his teammates for their help. Rollins is also quite level headed and not like his TV character, although he admits he gets frustrated easily if his career trajectory stalls. Ambrose is the Ambrose we see on TV, just a bit more quietly spoken.

The match selection is very generous, with the bulk of their PPV matches and a selection of important TV matches, although the real treasure is in the FCW and NXT footage since these matches would have barely been seen outside of the local TV affiliates or pirated on the internet. As Reigns pointed out, it is odd seeing all three wearing trunks, especially Ambrose and Rollins in his multi-coloured ones, but the matches are top notch. You will see them pull of a number of moves they don’t do now which is a shame, but would seem out of place as per the current characters.

It bears repeating that The Shield’s run as a group was to short, especially as babyfaces where they probably could have gone another year at least, tearing it up against heel tag teams and The Authority, but the singles ranks needed some fresh blood and in hindsight, the break up for the moment feel justified.

The Destruction Of The Shield is a rare beast in that it doesn’t feel like a rushed cash in, and the fact the group already have an impressive body of work to their credit justifies this hefty retrospective set for relatively new talent. It many not be as historical as some collections but the quality is undeniable.

Another great WWE release and a must for Shield fans everywhere. Believe that!

 

Extras:

English SDH Subtitles

 

Blu-ray only:

Dean Ambrose on FCW 15 Matches

FCW 15 Championship 20 Minute Time limit Match – Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins – FCW August 28th 2011

 

Dean Ambrose On Facing The Undertaker

Undertaker vs. Dean Ambrose – Smackdown April 26th 2013

 

Seth Rollins on Facing Daniel Bryan & Randy Orton

WWE Tag Title Match – The Shield vs. Daniel Bryan & Randy Orton – WWE Payback June 16th 2013

 

Roman Reigns on the Royal Rumble

Royal Rumble Match – WWE Royal Rumble January 26th 2014

 

Rating – ****

Man In Black

 

Trailer:

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