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The Shield's 10 best Six-Man Tag Team Matches
Combining the might of Roman Reigns, the unhinged mind of Dean Ambrose and the devil-may-care offense of Seth Rollins, The Shield waged the kind of wars that you might expect from three guys in tactical vests and combat boots. “Believe in The Shield” might have begun as a cryptic threat as these ruthless upstarts cut a swath through the WWE locker room, but it soon became an all-too-appropriate rallying cry. As Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns hurtle toward their first match back in black at WWE TLC, WWE.com counts down The Shield’s 10 best Six-Man Tag Team Matches.
The Shield vs. Dolph Ziggler & The Usos — Raw, Sept. 30, 2013
Ferocity met flash when The Usos joined forces with two-time World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler to collide with The Shield on Raw in a high-octane encounter that showcased The Hounds of Justice’s divide-and-conquer tactics. After The Shield halted the momentum of Jimmy & Jey in the early goings, Dean Ambrose traded punches and near-falls with The Showoff in a particularly tense exchange, given that Ziggler was in relentless pursuit of The Lunatic Fringe’s United States Championship.
After some rapid-fire tagging and spectacular high-flying strikes, the bout came down to Ziggler and Reigns, who nearly Speared the blond out of The Showoff’s hair to score the victory. As difficult as it was to watch that cringe-inducing collision, it was impossible to look away. — JAMES WORTMAN
The Shield vs. Randy Orton & Team Hell No — SmackDown, June, 14, 2013
Everyone knew it would take a Superstar of particular skill and stubbornness to finally hand The Shield its first pinfall defeat. Someone who couldn’t be held down by anything short of a betrayal by his own body. Someone who — oh, come on, you all know we’re talking about Daniel Bryan.
Of course, The Beard received top-tier assists before finally administering the “Yes!” Lock that sent Seth Rollins screaming into submission. His tag team partner Kane was the muscle, and Randy Orton was the wild card in this SmackDown contest that looked, at first, to be just another win on The Shield’s march to immortality. And then, The Big Red Machine shoved Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose over the barricade and sent Rollins plummeting into an RKO, and Bryan polished things off with his torturous submission.
Within a year, the winning team would be at odds with each other in one of the most epic sagas in WWE history. But for one night, they were world-beaters together. — ANTHONY BENIGNO
The Shield vs. Sheamus, Ryback & Chris Jericho — Raw, Feb. 18, 2013
Only three months after their debut, The Shield were riding a wave of momentum by consistently toppling the biggest Superstars on the WWE roster — most recently, at this point, the trio of John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback. In an effort to shake up the chemistry, Chris Jericho subbed in for Cena.
It seemed the switch might be enough to stop The Shield in its tracks. After Ryback dodged Roman Reigns’ Superman Punch, each competitor tagged out and Jericho took control of Dean Ambrose, even sending Seth Rollins sailing off the apron in the process. But Rollins recovered and came off the top rope with a thunderous knee to Jericho’s skull while he had Ambrose locked in the Walls of Jericho, and suddenly, the gold-chip substitute was just another target. It would clearly take more than one change to defeat The Hounds of Justice; indeed, none of the Superstars in this match were part of the squad that achieved the enviable feat. — ZACH LINDER
The Shield vs. Kofi Kingston & Team Hell No — Raw, May 20, 2013
People tend to sleep on this one, and they really, really shouldn’t. Not only was it one of the best displays of The Shield’s dominance as a team, but Kofi Kingston & Team Hell No still rank among the stiffest competition The Hounds of Justice ever faced. Battling for pride one night after losing — respectively — their United States & WWE Tag Team Championships, Kofi, Kane & Daniel Bryan gave the Hounds hell and received it in kind.
The highlights stand out clear as day: Kofi (never more aggressive) and Dean Ambrose trading stinging slaps to the face; Bryan going ballistic and clotheslining Seth Rollins clean off his feet; and the big-man showdown between Reigns and Kane (competing like he's 10 years younger) that brought the bout to its thrilling conclusion. Come on now. This was awesome and you know it. — ANTHONY BENIGNO
The Shield vs. John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback — Elimination Chamber 2013
At some point, every young Superstar with buzz decides they want to take a crack at John Cena. This was The Shield’s opportunity to do so. The Hounds of Justice were determined to solve WWE’s “John Cena problem” at Elimination Chamber 2013, and The Cenation Leader brought the appropriate muscle to deter them, recruiting Ryback and Sheamus to his side against the three rising stars.
The epic encounter came as advertised, showcasing The Shield’s ability to work as a unit within the confines of the squared circle. However, it was a pair of earth-shattering spears from Reigns — one that sent The Celtic Warrior through the barricade and one to Ryback that allowed Rollins to pin The Human Wrecking Ball — that sealed the deal and made this match one for the ages. — SCOTT TAYLOR
The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family — Raw, March 3, 2014
The greatest quality of Six-Man Tag Team Matches is that they lend themselves to constant action, and there’s no better example than the March 3, 2014, rematch between The Wyatts and The Hounds of Justice, an insanely packed bout that never let up. Seth Rollins opened the contest like a shaken can of Jolt Cola, bursting onto Luke Harper & Erick Rowan with blatant disregard for the well-being of everyone involved. The flurry of offense was so much fun to watch that even Roman Reigns cracked a smile in the heat of battle.
The match took an odd turn when a frustrated Rollins — to that point, The Shield’s peacekeeper — abandoned his warring teammates after they inadvertently left The Architect high and dry during an early tag attempt. Reigns and Ambrose put forth a mighty effort to overcome the odds, and they very nearly put The Wyatts down during the crazy bang-bang play toward the end, which saw Reigns spearing Rowan onto the commentator’s table, Harper diving out of the ring and Bray Wyatt wrapping Ambrose’s head around the steel post. Sister Abigail polished off The Lunatic Fringe, and though The Shield would see better days as a unit, this match stands out as a breathtaking battle all the same. — JOHN CLAPP
The Shield vs. The Undertaker & Team Hell No — Raw, April 22, 2013
In what was his first match on Raw in years, The Undertaker teamed up with then-WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No to battle The Shield. Proving their resilience and cohesiveness, The Shield clashed with The Deadman and Team Hell No for nearly half an hour. Although The Undertaker successfully took down Dean Ambrose with a chokeslam, The Shield’s resident madman rolled away from Daniel Bryan’s flying headbutt and secured the pinfall.
The Hounds had faced serious competition in the past, but the unified front of The Brothers of Destruction — along with a just-about-to-burst Bryan — presented their greatest threat yet. It was a make or break moment, and The Shield do not break easily. — KEVIN POWERS
The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family — Elimination Chamber 2014
The very idea of this match caused “This is Awesome” overload among the WWE Universe. So, you can imagine what happened when the bell finally rang on this dream match, which was so heated that the squared circle couldn’t even contain it.
Literally. As the match reached its fever pitch, Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt brawled into the crowd, where The Lunatic Fringe was removed from the equation, and Erick Rowan and Luke Harper overpowered Seth Rollins and ruthlessly hurled him through a table. Left by his lonesome, Roman Reigns fought valiantly and even looked poised to win the bout singlehandedly until the numbers game proved too much for him. Although The Shield suffered defeat that night, the bout was further proof that The Hounds of Justice were warriors until the end. And it was, indeed, awesome. — BOBBY MELOK
The Shield vs. Ryback & Team Hell No (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match) — WWE TLC 2012
Facing an all-star team of then-WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No & the musclebound Ryback in WWE’s first-ever Six-Man Tag Team Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match, The Hounds of Justice made no bones about the fact that they would make the WWE Universe believe in The Shield. And sure enough, the bout featured more than 20 breathless minutes of back-and-forth action, including a Roman Reigns Spear that drove Kane through the barricade and, of course, Seth Rollins’ incredible plunge off a towering ladder.
As most of the combatants were incapacitated, Dean Ambrose and Reigns hurled Bryan through a table in the ring with a vicious powerbomb, allowing Reigns to roll him up for the win. The Shield went on to employ superior tactics and more seamless teamwork on grander stages, but for pure physicality, mayhem and blatant disregard for personal safety, this spectacular slobberknocker is hard to top. — JAKE GRATE
The Shield vs. Evolution — Extreme Rules, May 4, 2014
The moment everyone will remember from The Shield’s gonzo brawl with Evolution from Extreme Rules 2014 is Seth Rollins flinging himself from a balcony onto Randy Orton, Triple H and even his own teammate Dean Ambrose like some mad daredevil who was never told that ECW closed 13 years earlier. But this whole brutal affair is worth revisiting.
Unexpectedly chaotic — despite it being Extreme Rules, it wasn’t exactly advertised that the laws of this one were going to be lax — the bout found four of the six competitors fist-fighting through the IZOD Center’s masses like barroom gladiators. The Hounds of Justice took the win after Roman Reigns speared Batista out of his limited-edition Air Jordans, but the message here was more important than the mayhem. This wasn’t just a scrap; it was proof that The Shield could be lovable antiheroes — like three Han Solos in combat boots. They would soon crumble, but reinvention like that is what kept Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns going as the most captivating set in sports-entertainment. — RYAN MURPHY