It has been over two years since The Shield imploded live on Monday Night Raw. And since then, fans salivated more and more for the match they knew had to someday happen; at some point, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose had to face off in a triple threat match.
That day arrived. And for awhile there, WWE was completely fumbling the hugely anticipated event. WWE wasted almost the whole month between Money in the Bank and Battleground. To the pleasure of fans though, at the eleventh hour, WWE pulled it together and the three men went out there and put on a great main event match.
The Shield is one of the best things WWE has done within recent memory, bar none. For a year-and-a-half, The Shield ran as one of the best factions WWE has ever put together. And then they broke up when Rollins turned on the group, selling out to pursue success on his own.
Jump two years later, and the scene was officially set for the triple threat we always wanted. At Money in the Bank, Rollins defeated Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and Ambrose then cashed-in his Money in the Bank briefcase and he defeated Rollins to become the second new champion of the evening.
Come to find out, Reigns screwed up and got himself suspended by failing a drug test, leaving him out of action all the way until the night of the highly desired match. The general public might still be trudging in their hatred of Reigns after all this time, but his presence, objectively, would have been greatly beneficial to build to the big match which he was just as pivotal to as Ambrose and Rollins.
Not completely at a loss of hope though, because WWE still had the two remaining men, both of whom can serve as great hype-men when on their A-game. Rollins could pick his fun at Reigns over the month and he and Ambrose could still build-up the match between the two of them in Reigns’ absence.
A whole month WWE had to utilize an official build-up for the big match, and aside from one shining moment, WWE did exactly squat with the time. On the July 11 Raw, Ambrose and Rollins did a segment in the ring where Ambrose delivered arguably the promo of his career — it was excellent and filled with intensity, and Rollins played off it nicely. But WWE failed to capitalize on any of it, and if it were not for the matchup itself being something built by the fans for two years, Battleground’s main event would have had little-to-no heat going in.
Not to mention, it certainly did not help given the context of the situation occurring right in the script-flip of the draft and brand split. Ambrose was drafted to SmackDown, while Rollins and Reigns were sent to Raw. This match had to be it because the three would not be on the same brand for the foreseeable future. The split gave it a rushed feel and you knew the result of the match would be somewhat final given that the three men could not continue the feud while on separate brands.
What that also meant was the options for the match finish were wide-spanning. For all WWE fans knew, the match finish was going to be some convoluted mess to make two guys champion or no one at all, or anything else in that range of utter vagueness to appease with the product change, in turn ruining the match everyone had been waiting for.
As noted though, in the eleventh hour WWE came to. The promo package for the match was put together excellently and gave every fan a stern reminder why this triple threat match was so anticipated for so long. It told the story from the dominance of The Shield, through the breakup, and to the present time where the three paths had crossed so narrowly that it could only be settled in a match with the ex-partners all competing at once.
In the wrestling business, triple threat matches are notoriously difficult to map out. There is something about having just three wrestlers competing that makes a good, cohesive match hard to structure, as opposed to any other match from a one-on-one to a fatal 4-way to a 12-man tag team match.
After almost 20 minutes of action though, the three men put on a match that if not the best of the night, it was a close second with all the drama and action it produced. The match was full of storytelling between the three men, and it all flowed the way you hope a good match will.
And the one other element that left many in worry came out as enjoyable as one could hope. Ambrose won, and did so clean without any controversy. The title was staying on the SmackDown brand where it was needed, and Ambrose was finally being treated seriously by the WWE after fumbling around with his character for so long following The Shield break-up.
No nonsense; Ambrose won when nearly everyone doubted WWE would keep the title on Ambrose over two of its golden stars. It was so unlike WWE as we have come to know it in recent years, which made it that much sweeter.
Now, after two years of waiting, when it seemed WWE was going to completely flop-out on the big match, the PPV delivered against all the odds. WWE fans can rest easy knowing the long-awaited Shield triple threat turned out to be an excellent match and one with a finish no one could be upset about.