Release the hounds
Three WWE Magazine editors were given three seemingly random cell phone numbers and told to place a call at a specific time on a particular day. In this exclusive interview, each member of The Shield—Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns—allowed 15 minutes to ask any questions pertaining to their mission to reshape and wreak havoc in WWE,and what their ultimate end game may be.
Individually, which skills do you think that you bring to The Shield?
Seth Rollins: I bring an element of speed, and a kind of kamikaze nature about myself. I’m willing to sacrifice my personal being in ways that maybe the other two aren’t capable of because of their size or their backgrounds. I’m a tactician—and not in the way of technicality, but in the sense that I’m the planner. I can see things developing from far away or maybe from a distance that other people can’t. I’m able to put the pieces in places they need to be to be the most successful.
Roman Reigns: People identify me as the powerhouse, or the strength of the group. That’s right-on. I pride myself on being a powerful athlete, but at the same time, I’m still an athlete. I’m not just some big powerlifter who can just only lift weight. I’m pretty nimble; I can adjust against any opponent. If I’m bigger and stronger than a guy, I can really put my weight on him and work him how I want and tire him down. If he’s bigger than me, then I can move. I can be agile.
Dean Ambrose: I think I’m one of the better technical wrestlers in WWE, and also one of its better brawlers. I have a strict attitude, the type of attitude that takes every match and turns it into a fight. That’s where we can take advantage. The most important thing is that we all bring the same thing—the attitude. The attitude is we expect to win when we go out there between the ropes. We expect to out-work and out-brawl and out-fight and out-wrestle everybody we are in the ring with. It’s that “take no prisoners” mind-set we all bring—that’s what makes it really gel.
How long did it take to adjust to wrestling in tactical gear? Are there advantages or disadvantages to that unique style?
Seth Rollins: It took some time to get acclimated to our gear, but I’m used to training in weighted vests, so extra weight and mobility weren’t an issue. The problem is that they act almost as a sauna suit because they capture and keep the heat in. They capture the sweat, and so they become heavier as the length of the match increases.
Roman Reigns: We all just wore trunks previously, so there was a huge, huge adjustment. When we debuted, we wore turtlenecks, and it just felt weird. And then, the next week, we put our own spin on the outfits and went out and got some vests. We started to look at little things that could highlight our personalities and what we’d be more comfortable in. When it comes down to it, especially with me, I sweat a good bit when I’m wrestling, but my vest and my pants—they’re made of thick material. They’re legit tactical gear. It’s not easy, but it just goes great with what we do. It works. I wouldn’t change it for the world at this point.
Dean Ambrose: The big disadvantage is that they’re really hard to keep clean. It’s nearly impossible. I’ve run through about 10 different kinds of vests trying to find the best one to wrestle in. They’re not easy to move in. They have so many different tiny buckles and straps and things that prod at you and get loose and twist. Sometimes I get really annoyed with them, and I rip them out. On the plus side, though, it looks really cool.
What is one misconception about The Shield that keeps the WWE Universe from jumping on board and believing what you’re saying?
Seth Rollins: We’re sort of off-putting because we don’t really involve the WWE Universe in too much of what we do. We’re not so colorful, we’re not so outgoing, and our agenda doesn’t really have a lot to do with what the WWE Universe thinks or cares about. Often our agenda is simply to take care of what we need to take care of to help us succeed. So I think one misconception is that we’re doing it just for ourselves. The reality is, we’re doing what we do to make this place better for everybody.
Roman Reigns: I would say the people who don’t believe—they’ve made a choice. It’s not that they can’t. They’re used to how things are. They’ve been conditioned to like a certain thing or a certain style. But eventually that changes. It’s like anything else. People get swayed by a mass of people, and slowly but surely, the believers are adding up. The Shield army is growing. And it’s going to get to a point where you’re either on board, or you’re irrelevant.
Dean Ambrose: A major misconception would be that we have to rely on cheat tactics. There’s not a numbers advantage in three-on-three contests, and we were undefeated in three-on-three contests for months. Pretty much what we say we do, we do. I don’t think we’re as sneaky or as backhanded—we tell you what we’re going to do, and we do it.
The Shield’s accomplishments in a very short period of time have been quite impressive. What would you say you’re most proud of doing during your first year in WWE?
Seth Rollins: I never compromised who I am. In this business, there are many people who give up their personal beliefs or morals to please the masters that be, and I have never done that. I’ve done it my way, the way I wanted from day one. There’s some sort of compromise being made, but I don’t think I’m one of those guys you can look at and call a sellout or a kiss-ass or anything else like that. I’m one of those guys who did it my way the whole way, true and true.
Roman Reigns: It feels like we’ve been shot out of a rocket since we started. Sometimes it’s hard to live in the moment and just breathe it in. I’d say that, after taking down Undertaker in London, there was an opportunity once it really settled down, and we beat him down. You could just let it soak in and feel the energy and concern of the crowd. But you can’t look outside of WrestleMania. I mean, 80,000-plus people. It was unbelievable to kick off that show and tear the house down. I thought we started out ’Mania better than anyone could.
Dean Ambrose: The thing I’m probably the most proud of was just being able to deliver and being depended on to be in main events, to be in live events and to be put in there with the likes of Undertaker. Being able to come through, and rising up to the occasion pretty much says it all.
Learn what it’s like when The Shield enters arenas through the crowds, and more about their plans to tear WWE apart “from the inside-out,” by picking up the October issue of WWE Magazine, or SUBSCRIBE HERE and save 70 percent off the newsstand sale price.