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Is The Shield the greatest stable in WWE history?

J. Carpenter
4.53K   //    26 Oct 2016, 12:59 IST
Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins shook the foundation of an entire industry

The word "stable," when used in a wrestling context, is described or defined as a group of three or more people who unite under one cause, for one purpose, to complete a selection of organised goals.

In layman's terms, this essentially just means three or more bad guys who come along to shake things up, not caring about any other feelings or the impact that it may cause. 

A wrestling stable is usually all heels and they're usually all guys who have a collective issue with the way something is going. For example, the nWo is arguably the greatest WCW stable of all-time.

Also read: Roman Reigns and his cousins – an incredible family of wrestlers

This was a group that started with three top-tier men in Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and thanks to the infamous "heel turn heard 'round the world," Hulk Hogan. This stable grew in numbers to become something much bigger than anyone could've predicted.

nWo shook things around in the WCW

All the while, they kept the one common goal in mind and that goal was to overcome and overtake WCW as a whole. When it was all said and done, that mission was certainly accomplished. 

Another one of the all-time great stables was The Four Horsemen. While the soldiers of this army would change over the years, the general small so to speak would stay the same in Ric Flair and Arn Anderson. The Horsemen were a well-organised group of men who were not only better than everyone else, but they knew they were better.

The Horsemen worked together in a more structured fashion, with Flair at the helm, serving as not only the leader but the mouthpiece as well. Arn Anderson began as the workhorse, or the muscle of the stable, always willing to do what was needed to get the job handled.

As for the others who came and went, Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham, Ole Anderson, Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit and so on, these guys were the soldiers on the front line for the stable. The Horsemen were not just great, they were legendary. 

The four horsemen getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame

As time went on and the sport of professional wrestling evolved, we started seeing fewer and fewer stables throughout the industry. Sure, there would be one or two that popped from time to time, but nothing close to resembling the way things once were.

Wrestling eventually became more of a self-centered type of business, with mega stars and larger than life characters. Fans were now sold on the idea of individual prominence, instead of organised chaos which was basically what a faction had to offer. 

Also read:  The amazing love story of Dean Ambrose and Renee Young

As we approached the more modern era, to get us where we are now, we would see the occasional stable pop-up here and there, only to soon fade into obscurity, making room for what fans really wanted, which was singles action.

Factions such as Nexus, Straight Edge Society and even Evolution would make an impact, stick around for a while, but in the end, they took their respective places at the end of the bench as well.

A stable that springboarded Randy Orton and Batista’s careers

In order for professional wrestling to have a stable come along and create a permanent mark in the WWE, they would have to offer something different, something out of the normal realm of would indeed have to be something special, just to get the common fan to give them any amount of attention.

Well, that something special would arrive in 2012.

At the 2012 WWE Survivor Series, three young faces would emerge from the audience, all dressed in black. During the main event, these three unknown men power bombed Ryback through an announcers table, which would ultimately lead to CM Punk getting the win after pinning John Cena, thus retaining his championship. 

The Shield debuted with an exclamation point

In the days and weeks following their shocking debut, The Shield continued to wreak havoc all over any and everything not bolted to the ground. As fans tried to understand their motives, it became increasingly obvious to everyone that these guys stood against all of the cookie-cutter, repetitive cycles in professional wrestling.

Their backstage segments and interviews told a unique, yet mysterious story of three men who vowed to rally against the injustices throughout pro wrestling. It was compelling and totally different from anything we had grown accustomed to and that in itself was good enough to captivate the masses.

Shield became a constant force that would not and could not be toppled.

Not only were they collectively dominating the scene, but these guys were succeeding on an individual basis as well. For a big portion of their tenure as a stable, each member held a title belt as Dean Ambrose was the United States Champion while Reigns and Rollins would carry the tag titles simultaneously.

All three wore titles simultaneously, for much of their faction’s run

Success became not only a mission but an expectation for The Shield. These three young stars were flawless in operation and it showed in everything they did. From their entrance to the final bell and everything in between, The Shield worked together like a well-oiled machine.

Each member had a role and they each executed it with precise perfection.

Dean Ambrose served as the vocal leader, or the mouthpiece of the stable. Roman Reigns was the muscle of the group and of course, Seth Rollins was the architect of the faction. Together, these three men worked in unison, under one common goal and as a cohesive unit, in a way that no one has since been able to replicate.

We all know how things ended with The Shield, the day Seth Rollins decided to take the bite from The Authority. However, even though Rollins turned out his brothers that day, it's probably safe to assume that we haven't seen the last of The Shield, as an active, united faction.

To be honest, there's simply too much money on the table to just close the door on the possibility of a reunion. However, even if the group were to never get back together, these guys did enough in their short history to constitute a mention among the best stables of all-time, if not THE best of all-time.

I'm sure that some of my readers rolled their eyes at that statement, but if you take an honest inventory and evaluation of all these guys did together and how those actions resulted in making them all individual powerhouses in the business, it's impossible to not at least mention them as a possibility, when it comes to being the greatest stable in WWE history.

Unlike most of the other great stables, The Shield was assembled while these guys were still babies in the business, all three being in their mid-20's at the time of their formation.

This would allow all three to grow together, in more of organic fashion, while continuing to hone their craft individually. Once they split apart, they had each worked together to prepare one another for individual superstardom.

Also read: What is the net worth of Seth Rollins? 

In the time they've had apart, Roman, Dean and Seth have all remained near or at the top of the WWE main roster. They've all won singles titles, including the top prize of all, the WWE Championship. With the current sight of the WWE landscape, it would appear that each Shield member still has plenty of greatness ahead of themselves. 

When it comes to considering whether or not The Shield is or is not the greatest stable of all-time, it's not just their past accomplishments that you need to keep in mind, it's the future and what each member still has to offer. 

When you do that, you’ll definitely find them to be up there.

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J. Carpenter
Little Rock, Arkansas "My belly's a lil' big, my heiny's a lil' big...but brother, I am BAD!" -Dusty Rhodes
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