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Will the Shield Tie Evolution's Two Year Stint as WWE's Top Heel Faction?

By Tom Clark
December 2, 2013

(image from wweafari.blogspot.com)

The Shield is continuing on their path of dominance in WWE. Every time they're on TV, they make a statement. Whether it's bringing fans to their feet during a huge multi-Superstar tag match or taking out top guys like CM Punk, The Shield are still taking care of business. They show no signs of slowing down and they look stronger than they ever have before.

But can they make it one more year and tie Evolution's stint as WWE's top heel faction?

In many ways, The Shield's first year just flew by. It seemed like just yesterday that Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose jumped the security wall and took out Ryback during his match with CM Punk. That assault was the first of many and over the course of the next 12 months, The Shield's hit list read like a who's who of WWE talent.

Sheamus, The Big Show, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Mick Foley, John Cena, The Rock and The Undertaker, they have all stepped up and they have all fallen to the Hounds of Justice. With each attack, The Shield carved another notch in their belts and that trend continues to this day.

But their gang warfare is not the only thing that has kept The Shield relevant for so long now. The truth is that all three guys can get it done in the ring on a very high level and have impressed fans in one big time match after another.

The Shield represents the future of the company and it is entirely possible that we're witnessing the growth of three potential WWE champions right before our eyes. And that growth is still happening, as The Shield is just over a year as a unit.

But will they make it to two years and tie Evolution?

Triple H's group was very similar to The Shield when it was formed back in 2003. That's because two of the four members were considered to be future top tier talents; Randy Orton and Dave Batista. Indeed, the whole point of the group was to show the evolution of WWE from the past of Ric Flair, to the current of Triple H, to the future of Orton and Batista.

It was a great gimmick and it worked extremely well. Both Batista and Orton became stars and each man has Evolution to thank for their success in the industry. In fact, they perhaps would not have achieved the level that they each enjoyed had it not been for their first real break alongside The Game.

And now we could be seeing Triple H opening doors once again for three red hot prospects in The Shield.

Of course, the key differences between the two factions are obvious. Apart from the fact that The Shield does not have two veterans in the mix, they also do not have a World champion to protect. At the end of the day, Triple H's character used Evolution to keep the championship around his waist. And along with that responsibility came a huge amount of ego as well.

This was the kind of heel that Triple H was. He was cocky yet confident. He was determined to be the top guy at the expense of everyone else. He kept Orton and Batista in check by promising them bright futures yet he was merely using them to get what he wanted.

And thus far, The Shield has not dealt with any kind of ego. There is no figurehead, no Triple H to keep happy. Titles are irrelevant to The Shield; they do not have to be in the equation for them to be dominant. With that being the case, the only thing that really comes into play for them is their attitudes.

This will be the true test of just how committed The Shield is to their supposed quest for justice. Because eventually, all heel factions break down due to a clash of attitudes. Heels are self-serving and will do whatever is necessary to survive. That means turning on each other if the situation calls for it. So the question that Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose must ask themselves is what's more important?

Dominance or survival?

We saw just a glimpse of ego in the Shield recently when Dean ever so subtly began to figuratively step out in front of the group as its only titleholder. The reaction from Roman was priceless and for a moment it did seem as if we saw the seeds of discontent being sewn in The Shield.

But thus far, that tension seems to have passed. Since that time, The Shield have continued doing what they always do and they are clicking on all cylinders as always. Of course, Roman was the last man standing in the traditional Survivor Series elimination match on November 24; could that be perhaps a prelude to The Shield going their separate ways?

The truth is that these three guys have survived every test put in front of them and when they go down, it will likely be from the inside out. The Shield will eventually implode and until that time, they will surely keep doing what they do best on a very high level.

And they only have one year left to go to catch Evolution. Will they do it? Can The Shield continue for 12 more months at this pace to surpass Triple H's top heel faction?

Does WWE believe in The Shield? 

Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report, a Contributor for Whatculture.com and a Contributor for the Camel Clutch Blog

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