At Survivor Series, 2012, Seth Rollins alongside Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns made their WWE main roster debuts. The trio interjected themselves in the WWE Championship Triple Threat match and attacked Ryback before triple-powerbombing him through the announce table, allowing current champion CM Punk to retain the championship via pinfall over John Cena.
The group would call themselves The Shield and said they were in the WWE to fight injustice. They denied working for CM Punk, but they often appeared through the crowd to attack his foes. These attacks were delivered to Ryback, The Miz and Team Hell No, amongst others. They also attacked Randy Orton after he defeated Brad Maddox, who was the referee that helped Punk defeat Ryback at Hell in a Cell.
These attacks led to a TLC match at the TLC PPV that saw The Shield take on Team Hell No and Ryback. This was The Shield’s debut match and a match that they won. After TLC, The Shield expanded their attacks to the likes of Ric Flair, Sheamus, Brodus Clay, Ricardo Rodriguez, Tommy Dreamer and Mick Foley, as they continued to help CM Punk.
Due to the constant attacks, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced that any interference from The Shield during CM Punk’s title defence at the Royal Rumble would result in Punk being stripped of the championship. This led Punk to publicly call out The Shield and tell them that he didn’t want their help.
Despite this, during CM Punks match with The Rock at the Royal Rumble, the lights went out. When they returned, The Rock had been attacked and was laying on the now broken announce table, which allowed Punk to retain his title. The match was however, immediately restarted by Vince McMahon, and The Rock eventually won the championship.
The following night, on the January 28th edition of RAW it was revealed that CM Punk’s manager, Paul Heyman had in fact hired The Shield along with Brad Maddox to work for him all along.
The Shield’s Display Of Dominance
It was later revealed that the footage that showed the collusion between Heyman and The Shield was given to McMahon by Brad Maddox. This led to The Shield attacking Maddox. They were eventually forced to retreat by John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus.
This allowed The Shield to quietly drift away from their association with Punk and head into a feud with John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus. At Elimination Chamber, The Shield would defeat Cena, Sheamus and Ryback in a six-man tag match. They backed this victory up the following night by defeating Ryback, Sheamus and Chris Jericho.
The following night on RAW, The Shield attempted to attack The Undertaker but were halted by Team Hell No. This led to a six-man tag match between Shield and Team Hell No with The Undertaker. The match was won by The Shield.
The Shield Hold The Gold
Dean Ambrose then began a feud with WWE United States Champion, Kofi Kingston. This led to a match between the two at Extreme Rules for the championship, which Ambrose won to earn his first championship in WWE. Ambrose would then retain his championship against Kofi Kingston and Kane in the coming weeks.
Also at Extreme Rules Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns defeated Team Hell No to become the WWE Tag Team Champions, ensuring that each member of The Shield held a championship. They would go on to successfully defend their championships against Team Hell No at Payback against Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. More defences followed against The Usos at Money In The Bank and The Prime Time Players at Night of Champions.
Alignment With The Authority
On the August 19 episode of RAW, The Shield aligned themselves with COO Triple H and The Authority. In this role, they would protect WWE champion Randy Orton during his feud with Daniel Bryan, as well as attacking anyone who spoke out against Triple H.
At Night of Champions, Dean Ambrose retained his United States Championship against Dolph Ziggler, whilst Rollins and Reigns retained the Tag Tiles against The Prime Time Players.
At Battleground, Rollins and Reigns lost a tag match to the previously fired team of Cody Rhodes and Goldust. By losing this match on behalf of The Authority, they granted both Goldust and Cody their jobs back.
On October 14th Reigns and Rollins lost the Tag Team Titles in a no-disqualification match to Cody Rhodes and Goldust on RAW after the Big Show interfered. They would receive a rematch at Hell In A Cell but would fail to regain the championships. Also at Hell in a Cell, Dean Ambrose retained the Unites States Championship against Big E Langston.
The Only Champion Left; The Cracks Begin To Show
With Rollins and Reigns losing the Tag Titles, The Shield were left with only one title. Ambrose’s boasting about being the only champion in the group began to irk Roman Reigns. This was the first sign of disharmony amongst the group since their arrival.
Due to CM Punk’s anti Triple H stance, he was attacked by The Shield, which led to a 3-on-1 handicap match, pitting The Shield against CM Punk at TLC. CM Punk would go on to win the match after Roman Reigns accidently hit the spear on Dean Ambrose.
At the Royal Rumble, Dean Ambrose tried to eliminate Roman Reigns; instead Reigns eliminated both Ambrose and Rollins. Reigns would go on to finish runner-up in the Royal Rumble match.
The following night on RAW, The Shield faced Bryan, Sheamus and John Cena in a six-man tag match with the winners if the match winning entrance into the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The Shield lost the match via disqualification after The Wyatt Family interfered and attacked Cena, Bryan and Sheamus. This led to a six-man tag match between The Shield and The Wyatt Family.
The match took place at Elimination Chamber and was won by The Wyatt Family. On March 3rd, The Shield got their re-match with The Wyatt Family. The Shield again lost the match and Seth Rollins walked out on Ambrose and Reigns during the bout. He would later claim that he was tired of being the glue that held the group together.
Reconciliation; The Shield Rebel Against The Authority
On March 7th, The Shield met in the ring to clear the air. Rollins announced that his actions had served their purpose and brought Reigns and Ambrose back together. Ambrose and Rollins then hit each other, The Shield reconciled their differences.
Following the reconciliation, The Shield would enter a feud with Kane, which would turn the group face once again. Kane, who was now the acting Director of Operations of The Authority, ordered The Shield to attack Jerry Lawler. Instead, The Shield attacked Kane, setting up a match at Wrestlemania XXX that saw The Shield take on Kane and The New Age Outlaws. The Shield won the match taking them to 2-0 at Wrestlemania.
The following night on RAW, Kane accidentally revealed that Triple H was behind the attack on The Shield a month earlier. This caused The Shield to attack Triple H during his match against Daniel Bryan. This led The Shield into a feud with Triple H and The Authority, which, in turn led to Triple H reforming Evolution to take on The Shield. The Shield would defeat Evolution at Extreme Rules.
The following night on RAW, Triple H forced Dean Ambrose to defend his United States Championship in a 20-man Battle Royal. Ambrose made it to the last two, but was eliminated by Sheamus, thus ending his title reign. Ambrose’s United States Championship reign lasted a record 351 days.
At Payback, The Shield took on Evolution in a rematch of the previous month. Once again, The Shield defeated Evolution in dominant fashion.
The End Of The Shield; Rollins’ Betrayal
On the June 2nd edition of RAW, the day after The Shield had defeated Evolution for the second time, Batista left Evolution, leading to Triple H proclaiming that he had a ‘Plan B’ for destroying The Shield. Later that night, Triple H’s plan B came to fruition when Seth Rollins turned his back on Reigns and Ambrose, attacking them both with a steel chair and leaving The Shield.
Although Ambrose and Reigns didn’t fall out with each other, they did begin to take separate paths. Ambrose immediately began feuding with Rollins, whilst Roman Reigns began setting his sights on the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.