WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Shield Suffer Their First WWE Loss On SmackDown

It wasn’t a matter of if as it was a matter of when The Shield would suffer their first straight loss in six-man competition. That answer was question answered tonight when Daniel Bryan made Seth Rollins tap on WWE Friday Night SmackDown.

If you aren’t watching WWE television lately you are missing arguably the best series of television matches in years between The Shield vs. Team Hell No and Randy Orton. These matches have all been fantastic but the crowd reaction has really made them something special. Don’t tell me that wins or losses don’t matter in pro wrestling until you watched the latest SmackDown main-event.

The Shield have been on a tear since entering the WWE at last year’s TLC. The three have received what some have called the best push of new talent in years on WWE television. The three-man unit has not lost by pin or submission in any six-man tag matches since their debut. That never happens anymore in the WWE. I recently blogged about this wondering what the end game was here and who would benefit from scoring that first win over them. That answer is Daniel Bryan.

I don’t know if there is anyone hotter in the WWE right now than Daniel Bryan. He has connected with the crowd like no other babyface has in years. Does John Cena or CM Punk sell more merchandise? I am sure they do. But I can’t recall any babyface getting this over in a long time which tells you how incredibly hard it is for a babyface to get over in the WWE in 2013 and how great Bryan truly is.

Team Hell No and Bryan wrestled The Shield in the SmackDown headliner. The finish came when Orton gave Rollins an RKO as Rollins came off the top rope. Bryan than applied the No Lock and got Rollins to tap. The fans went absolutely crazy making this one of the most memorable moments in SmackDown history. Lillian Garcia announced that The Shield had suffered their first loss, the announcers put it over, it was just a really great job of getting a win over as special by the WWE.

What makes this win so good is that it meant something. Bryan is rumored to be wrestling John Cena at Money in the Bank. The WWE are obviously aware of the Bryan freight train that has taken off and now appear all in on their bearded superstar. Bryan will likely ride this momentum all the way to Money in the Bank. While I doubt that there was much consideration to giving Bryan the win when it was originally planned, I don’t see how you can’t put Bryan over and capitalize on this incredible wave of success that Bryan is experiencing right now.

There has been talk recently that the WWE would change up plans and instead put Bryan in the Money in the Bank match with Bryan winning and cashing in at SummerSlam. I don’t see any problem with that. The only drawback is you miss out on seeing Bryan challenge for the title in Philadelphia which could provide a similar atmosphere to that of Money in the Bank 2011. Either way barring an unfortunate injury we are going to be getting a lot more of Daniel Bryan than any of us could have hoped for going into 2013 and to that I say…Yes, yes, yes!

As for The Shield I think the timing was perfect for the loss. It won’t hurt any of them unless they start losing regularly and to everyone in the company. I don’t see it as the WWE also appear fully committed to pushing the three. I’d expect The Shield to continue another run of wins in six-man tags until the fall.

Again if you have given up on WWE television lately you are really missing out. Television matches and talent haven’t been this good in years. 2013 could be quite the banner year for the WWE in the ring before all is said and done.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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