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The Shield's 10 best Six-Man Tag Team Matches
After taking WWE by force at Survivor Series 2012, the black-clad rebels known collectively as The Shield quickly cemented themselves as the most formidable trio in WWE history.
Combining the might of Roman Reigns, the unhinged mind of Dean Ambrose and the devil-may-care offense of Seth Rollins, The Hounds of Justice 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.
But which of the group’s all-in battles were the most thrilling? As Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns hurtle towards the Fatal 4-Way main event of WWE Payback, 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 sons of WWE Legend Rikishi joined forces with two-time World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler to collide with The Shield on Raw — a high-octane encounter that showcased The Hounds of Justice’s divide-and-conquer tactics. After The Shield halted the momentum of Jimmy & Jey Uso in the early goings, Dean Ambrose traded punches and near-pinfalls with The Showoff — a Superstar who was in relentless pursuit of The Lunatic Fringe’s United States Championship.
After some rapid-fire tagging and spectacular high-flying strikes, this 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
Before Randy Orton colluded with Triple H to rob Daniel Bryan of the WWE World Heavyweight Title he had just won from John Cena at SummerSlam 2013 and before Kane was The Authority's Director of Operations, WWE's “Yes!” Man teamed with The Viper and The Demon to face The Hounds of Justice on SmackDown.
In a match that will forever live in WWE history, the eclectic trio handed The Shield their first decisive loss in a Six-Man Tag Team Match. Still, even in defeat, The Hounds of Justice amazed spectators, and the conclusion to the match is a sequence that is worth watching over and over and over. — @JOEYSTYLES
The Shield vs. Sheamus, Ryback & Chris Jericho — Raw, Feb. 18, 2013
Only three months after their debut, The Shield was riding a wave of momentum by consistently toppling the biggest Superstars on the WWE roster. They slayed the team of John Cena, Ryback & Sheamus at Elimination Chamber, and The Hounds of Justice continued to prove their dominance one night later on Raw. With Chris Jericho taking Cena’s spot in an effort to shake up the chemistry, a slightly different triangle of fan favorites attempted to halt the rookies' drive. And, for a moment, it seemed as though they might actually do it.
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 Ambrose stunningly kicked out of the Lionsault while Ryback and Reigns brawled on the ringside floor. With the bout descending into chaos, Y2J locked Ambrose in The Walls of Jericho, but Rollins recovered, and came off the top rope with a thunderous knee to Jericho’s skull. Ambrose slid on top of his fallen opponent for the pinfall victory as The Shield gained even more momentum as they rolled to WrestleMania 29. — 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 the efforts of Kofi & Team Hell No still rank among the stiffest competition The Hounds of Justice ever faced. Battling for pride one night after losing — respectively — their U.S. & WWE Tag Team Championships, Kofi, Kane & Daniel Bryan gave the Hounds hell and received it in kind.
The match descended into organized madness so fast that it took The Shield three tries at their notorious numbers game (and some very well-timed dirty play) to finally claim the win. The highlights stand out clear as day: Kofi (never more aggressive) and Ambrose trading stinging slaps to the face; Daniel “I am not the weak link” Bryan going ballistic and clotheslining Seth Rollins (never more conniving) clean off his feet; and the big man showdown between Reigns and Kane (competing like he's 10 years younger) that finishes things off? Come on now. This was awesome and you know it. — ANTHONY BENIGNO
The Shield vs. John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback — Elimination Chamber, Feb. 17, 2013
Still relative novices within the world of WWE, The Hounds of Justice were rapidly rising up WWE’s food chain in early 2013, taking out Superstars left and right. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose were determined to solve WWE’s “John Cena problem” while continuing their fight for justice as they clashed with the Cenation leader, Sheamus & Ryback in a Six-Man Tag Team Match at Elimination Chamber.
Their epic encounter with three of WWE’s top Superstars showcased The Shield’s ability to work as a unit within the confines of the squared circle. However, it was the bout’s feverish finish along with a couple 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 made this match one of the black-clad trio’s most memorable conflicts. — 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 up the contest like a shaken can of Jolt Cola, bursting onto Luke Harper & Erick Rowan with disregard. 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 tried mightily to overcome the odds, and they very nearly put down The Wyatts 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 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. — 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. 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 Daniel Bryan — presented their greatest threat yet. It was a make or break moment, and The Shield does not break easily.
An attack on Team Hell No earlier in the evening left The Phenom at a 3-on-1 disadvantage at the gate, but Kane and Bryan soon came to The Undertaker’s aid and a full-scale war erupted. Proving their resilience and cohesiveness as a unit, 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 Bryan’s flying headbutt and secured the pinfall. The victory gave The Hounds of Justice their most impressive success yet. — KEVIN POWERS
The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family — Elimination Chamber, Feb. 23, 2014
After dominating WWE for more than a year, The Shield seemingly met their match in another trio of WWE newcomers, The Wyatt Family. When the backwoods clan cost The Hounds of Justice a WWE World Heavyweight Championship opportunity on the Jan. 27 Raw, Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose were out for vengeance, leading to the squad's very first encounter.
The squared circle could not contain the war between the two trios at Elimination Chamber 2014. Ambrose and Bray Wyatt brawled out into the crowd, with The Lunatic Fringe unable to return. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper overpowered Rollins and recklessly hurled him through a table.
Left by himself to face the entire Wyatt clan, Roman Reigns fought valiantly and even looked poised to win the bout singlehandedly. However, the numbers game proved too much for the juggernaut. Harper absorbed a spear from Reigns for his leader, giving Bray Wyatt an opening to floor The Hound of Justice with a devastating Sister Abigail for the win. Although The Shield suffered defeat that night, the bout was further proof that The Hounds of Justice are warriors until the end. — BOBBY MELOK
The Shield vs. Ryback & Team Hell No (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match) — WWE TLC 2012
What a first impression!
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.
Sure enough, the wild, instant-classic battle that unfolded at WWE TLC 2012 at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center remains one of the soaring faction’s finest moments. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns have gone 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.
The bout featured more than 20 breathless minutes of back-and-forth action, including a Reigns Spear that drove Kane through the barricade and, of course, Rollins’ incredible plunge off a towering ladder. In the end, as most of the combatants lay incapacitated, Ambrose and Reigns hurled Bryan through a table in the ring with a vicious powerbomb, allowing Reigns to roll him up for The Shield’s first and perhaps most stirring victory. — 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 ago. But this whole ugly 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 keeps Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose going as the most captivating set in sports-entertainment. — RYAN MURPHY