Wrestlemania 31

Wrestlemania 31 – The three paths of The Shield

What a show. After the missteps of the Royal Rumble and Fastlane, the WWE show of shows was a spectacular four-hour show, that was book-ended by the former members of the Shield.

I wont go into the other matches as every other site will be analysing them in detail instead I will look at just the three involving Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns as they were the game-changers on the night. Where now for the former stablemates?

First up Dean Ambrose was involved in an entertaining seven way ladder match for the WWE Intercontinental title. As you might expect, with so many superstars involved it would have been easy to get lost in the mess. Ambrose performed well especially early on, delivering an elbow drop onto the rest of the bunch from the top of the ladder while they were all standing. This act of Jeff Hardy like insanity was a foretelling if things to come. Late on Luke Harper powerbombed Ambrose from inside the ring onto a horizontal ladder outside. The ladder split in half and as JR would have put it so did Ambrose. This set up left Ambrose looking legitimately injured and we saw no more of him in the match. While no-one really knows if he was due to win, the ending with Bryan and Ziggler, headbutting each other on top of the ladder seemed a bit out-of-place, as I’ve never seen Ziggler use his head. It was probably due to be Ambrose up there.

The way Ambrose is being used is a worry, he has the crowd backing and gimmick to go far in WWE but if they keep booking him to do insane stunts or take unsafe falls, then his over eagerness could cost him dearly. When you look at the other Shield members, you wouldn’t believe any of them would sign up to such a dangerous set piece. Hopefully on Raw we will see him healthy and with a direction moving forward that isn’t PG Mick Foley.

Next up the top performer in the Shield, Seth Rollins. Following straight after the ladder match Rollins took on Randy Orton in a match that oozed class. Both are consummate performers and the story they told in the ring far surpassed the luke-warm build up to the match. Rollins played the heel well, taking the easy options throughout, even after Orton had taken his security detail out early. The match ended with the exclamation point of the whole event. Rollins went for a curb-stomp on Orton but as he put his foot on his neck Orton stood up, propelling Rollins at least six feet in the air before spinning it into the best RKO we are likely to see. Sold perfectly and set up out of nowhere, it gave Orton the win the crowd wanted while keeping Rollins in the public eye. No such thing as bad publicity, when you are involved in a move that gifed all over twitter in seconds.

Lastly Roman Reigns. I said before that WWE should let Reigns win in this event, if only because I couldn’t see any other way around it. How wrong I was. The main event lived up to all expectations and then some. Lesnar was his imperious best against Reigns from start to finish. Taking a right hand,which split his cheek in the first seconds before delivering a F-5 that had some people thinking the match would be over in seconds. Lesnar continued to hit Reigns with everything he had for fifteen minutes before the match hit its final act. Reigns, who was being jeered unfairly by the crowd, shoved Lesnar into the ring post. Blood went everywhere and for one brief moment you thought Reigns was going to do it. He hit Lesnar with three superman punches and two spears, that left the big man folded on the floor. Finally Reigns had started to show some of the hard-work and ring ability needed at this level. The crowd was still hostile as they couldn’t bear it for the WWE’s chosen one to win such an unlikely victory when Lesnar kicked out and hit another F-5. Then Rollins music kicked in.

In a stroke of genius foretold by many Rollins ran down to the ring to cash in his Money in the bank shot at the title. While predicted, many people thought it would be cheap and end in failure to either Reigns or Lesnar. With the match now a triple-threat the next sixty seconds of action was adrenaline shot the event needed to be considered one of the best Wrestlemanias since the attitude era. Rollins stomped Lesnar, then went for a second, Lesnar caught him in the F-5 before Reigns speared Lesnar. Taking his chance Rollins stomped Reigns and walked out with the belt sending the crowd wild for the heel. That’s right the WWE allowed the heel to steal the show at Wrestlemania. They realised a Reigns win would have been flat. Lesnar winning would have been fine but predictable after his matches in the last year. Instead we have this unwritten path laid out before us.

Who will Rollins’ biggest foe be now, Orton? Reigns? Lesnar? This unpredictability is all we ask for as wrestling fans. With the ex-shield members carrying the show we look to be in safe hands moving forward. Hopefully they can bring Ambrose into the mix and have a truly competitive battle at the top after a year of dominance by Lesnar.


Start/join the discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: