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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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EOTR Tag Team Tuesdays: Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns

By @MeenHendrix

Everyone remembers The Shield as this unstoppable force who wrecked havoc on the entire company. I mean these guys wiped out every single star set in front of them. They were so unstoppable as a unit, that their undoing came from within as opposed to being buried by a single star (like John Cena vs The Nexus). However, one of their most underrated aspects in my opinion was that these guys could wrestle any kind of match without any limitations. One on One, Tag Team, 6 Man Tag, Handicap. They thrived in all of them. Which brings me to the tag team run of Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.

Often the forgotten man at the peak of the Shield's run, Seth Rollins really broke from his shell on the main roster when 2013 rolled around. I always believed him to be the best and although the trio was showcased as equals, at times Dean and Roman shined brighter than their fellow Hound of Justice. Nightly he delivered some pretty good performances including a match with Daniel Bryan from the June 10th episode of Raw. However, let's start this journey at Extreme Rules 2013. The Shield get their "Evolution" moment. All three leave with gold, Ambrose with the United States Championship and Rollins/Reigns as the WWE Tag Team Champions. As Tag Team Champions, Rollins and Reigns seemingly single handedly revived Tag Team Wrestling in the WWE.

They started off their reign beating Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan at Payback. Next, a great match with The Usos at Money in the Bank took place, but it was put on the Preshow. It should have made the main card, but they wanted Ryback vs Chris Jericho more than actual quality wrestling. Then they had another solid match, this time with The Prime Time Players at Night of Champions. Next, they faced The Brotherhood (Cody Rhodes and Goldust) in what turned out to be the first in a trilogy of outstanding tag team matches. With their careers on the line at Battleground, Cody and Goldust were able to defeat Roman and Seth. A week later the two teams one upped themselves in a Tag Team Title match won by the Brotherhood after the Big Show interfered. They failed to regain the belts in a Triple Threat with the Usos and The Brotherhood at Hell in a Cell.

As Tag Team Champions, Reigns and Rollins held the gold for nearly 5 months. In each Tag Team Title match, they excelled and they only posted a star rating under 3.5 stars just once and that was against The Prime Time Players, in which I felt a 2.5 star rating was too low for that match. Another underrated aspect in their run as champions is that they elevated other teams, The Usos in particular. The Usos were the perfect babyfaces the crowd could get behind against The Shield. They were young, exciting and when these two teams stepped into the ring, it was like instant magic. If you haven't seen it, just watch their match at Money in the Bank. They put on a great match on the preshow. The Prime Time Players didn't receive as big a boost, but I did notice their Millions of Dollars dance did catch on with the crowd at this time and I honestly believed them to be ready to be champions then.

Last but not least, The Brotherhood received a tremendous boost from their matches with Roman and Seth. They were already nailing a great storyline against the Authority, but stepping into the ring with Roman and Seth and delivering 3 straight great matches together only confirmed that these guys were as good as advertised. Not to mention their styles complimented each other perfectly. It didn't matter who started the match because when the hot tag came, Roman would flat out crush opponents and Seth would fly across the ring with grace, delivering the perfect knee to the side of an opponent's head. I hoped they had regained the titles again because they looked great with that gold and their gear, but alas it was not to be. This team helped to establish these guys as big stars, because not only could they deliver on the big stages, but they could also bring the guys they fought against up with them and that's an impressive feat in itself.



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