Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Who is The Shield?

by Alex Archer
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns, collectively known as The Shield, made their WWE debut on November 18th at Survivor Series.  Their interference in the main event led to CM Punk retaining his WWE Championship in a triple threat match against John Cena and Ryback.  Since Survivor Series, this group of NXT standouts has taken out the likes of Kane, Daniel Bryan, The Miz, and Randy Orton.  Before their first sanctioned match coming up at the TLC pay-per-view, let's get to know these protectors of justice a little better.

Dean Ambrose, formerly Jon Moxley
Dean Ambrose debuted for the Heartland Wrestling Association in June of 2004 as Jon Moxley.  He won his first title, the HWA Tag Team Championship, in May of 2005.  Ambrose won his first singles title one year later in May of 2006, when he defeated Pepper Parks for the HWA Heavyweight Championship.  Throughout his time with HWA (2004-2010), Ambrose was a 3-time Heavyweight Champion and a 5-time Tag Team Champion.

Ambrose (still using the Jon Moxley moniker) would then work with Insanity Pro Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling, Evolve, and Dragon Gate USA from mid-2009 to mid-2011.  During this time he would have memorable matches with Jimmy Jacobs for the IPW World Heavyweight Championship, as well as B-Boy and Drake Younger for the CZW World Heavyweight Championship.

In April of 2011, it was announced that he had signed a developmental deal with the WWE.  A month later, in May of 2011, he would make is FCW debut under the name Dean Ambrose.  While in FCW, Ambrose continued to show off his incredible promo skills during an internet feud with Mick Foley.  Ambrose verbally attacked Foley for leading a whole generation of wrestling down the wrong path, essentially shortening and ruining many promising careers.

Seth Rollins AKA Tyler Black, former ROH Champ
Seth Rollins made his professional wrestling debut in 2005 with Scott County Wrestling under the ring name Gixx, and eventually won the SCW Heavyweight Championship.  Shortly after his debut with SCW, he joined NWA Midwest and won the Tag Team Championship with his partner, Marek Brave.  Around the same time, he also won the IWA Mid-South Light Heavyweight Championship.  Rollins then went on to have a short stint with TNA, teaming with Jeff Luxon, before making his way to Ring of Honor.

He made his debut for Ring of Honor, using the name Tyler Black, at the Man Up pay-per-view in September of 2007, when he teamed up with Jimmy Jacobs and Necro Butcher to attack the Briscoe Brothers.  The threesome would become known as Age of the Fall.  At Final Battle 2007, Rollins would capture the ROH World Tag Team Championship alongside Jimmy Jacobs by defeating the Briscoes.

Rollins' singles career really kicked off in October of 2009 when he won the ROH Survival of the Fittest Tournament, earning him a World Title match.  His title shot came at Final Battle 2009 where he wrestled Austin Aries to a 60 minute time limit draw.  Rollins would get a rematch two months later and defeated Austin Aries to become the Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Champion on February 13, 2010.

Glory By Honor IX, on September 11, 2011 would mark the last day of Rollins' title reign, and would also be the last ROH event of his career, signing a developmental deal with WWE the month prior.  In his short time in FCW, Rollins would capture the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship, the FCW 15 Championship, and the Florida Tag Team Championship.  He then made his NXT debut as Seth Rollins in June of 2012.  He would go on to win the Gold Rush Tournament and become the very first NXT Champion on August 29.

Roman Reigns - Member of the Anoa'i Family
Unlike his two stablemates, Roman Reigns doesn't have a distinguished indie background.  Instead, Reigns, whose real name is Joe Anoa'i, is a former All-ACC football star from Georgia Tech.  After playing for the Yellow Jackets in college, Anoa'i was signed by the Minnesota Vikings, and later by the Jacksonville Jaguars.  After his brief stint with the NFL, he was signed by the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League in 2008.

Anoa'i would then go on to sign a developmental deal with the WWE in July of 2010. He then took on the name Roman Leakee and debuted for FCW on September 9.  While he never won the FCW Championship, he was the number one contender after defeating none other than Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in a triple threat number one contenders match.  Anoa'i would make his NXT debut under the name Roman Reigns on Halloween night, 2012.

Reigns comes from a great lineage of professional wrestlers.  The Anoa'i family is well known as one of the great wrestling families.  Reigns is the son of Sika of the Wild Samoans and is also related to The Rock, Rikishi, Yokozuna, and Umaga.

With impressive indie careers and professional football careers under their belts, it's time for them to shine in the spotlight on the WWE's main roster.  All three of these wrestlers have future WWE and future World Heavyweight Champion written all over them.  It's only a matter of time.

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@TheAlexArcher | #FTLOW