Roman Reigns is synonymous with The Shield, an entity in the WWE realm known for their revolutionary tactics and impeccable teamwork. As one-third of this iconic trio, Reigns showcased unparalleled prowess and determination, earning the title of the WWE locker room's unwavering enforcer.
But the landscape of WWE could have been vastly different, with Big E nearly stepping into Reigns' monumental shoes. Big E, a decorated WWE Champion, recently sat down with Cincy360 and shared intriguing insights, one of which took fans down memory lane.
He candidly spoke about the fleeting moment when WWE considered positioning him as The Shield's cornerstone. Reflecting on the possibility, Big E stated, "It's almost surreal thinking about it now. While the journey might have been exhilarating with The Shield, I believe the dynamic was perfect with Roman being the linchpin."
Shield's Impactful 2012 Debut
The inception of The Shield at Survivor Series 2012 left an indelible mark.
Reigns, flanked by Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, emerged as disruptors, notably influencing the triple threat WWE Championship duel involving John Cena, Ryback, and CM Punk. Their calculated interference enabled Punk to retain his WWE Championship title, marking a milestone in his championship journey.
However, was Roman Reigns the original blueprint for The Shield? While Reigns - the real-life Leati Joseph Anoa’I - became an emblem of The Shield, he wasn't the first choice. As revealed by CM Punk on Colt Caban's Art of Wrestling podcast, the primary vision for The Shield was slightly different.
Punk had initially envisioned a trio comprising Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Kassius Ohno (popularly recognized as Chris Hero). This version was reshaped when Vince McMahon and Triple H put their weight behind Reigns over Hero.
Recollecting this pivotal juncture, Punk mentioned, "It was evident they desired Reigns. They proposed 'What about Leakee?' It wasn't a dealbreaker for me. Recognizing their intent, I thought it was beneficial for Reigns to grow under my guidance." Today, as fans and experts reflect, The Shield's legacy is irrevocably intertwined with Roman Reigns. This revelation, however, adds another layer to the rich tapestry of WWE's history.