michael dworkis looks at stables…
This week Michael Dworkis looks at two of the more popular stables in the WWE right now, 3MB (3-Man Band) and The Shield. Are they the new hotness or merely a flash in the pan?
3-Man Band (3MB)
Heath Slater is known for being on the first season of NXT. However his previous involvement in WWE was being part of FCW, and was even their champion for a time, before being called up to the majors. As part of NXT, Slater was one of the standouts, having defeated Carlito and Chris Jericho in singles matches, and for a while seemed head towards the finale, however got cut a few weeks before. Regardless of the loss, he was an original member of The Nexus, a stable formed by Wade Barrett upon his migration into WWE after winning the competition. After CM Punk took The Nexus from Barrett, he recruited Slater among others to form his new cabal, The Corre, which did not last long. Slater, an average wrestler with average skills with average air-time never really saw much of the spotlight while in the Nexus. A short stint as a singles star saw little success, with the only highlight was losing weekly to a WWE Legend. Most notable, was Psycho Sid. Now he is the ringleader of 3MB.
In 2010, Yurav Dhesi originally came into WWE through their developmental territory, FCW. Mahal had no previous experience. It might have been his luck that his Indian heritage might have been the gimmick they were looking for at the time. Who knows for sure. After a short time in FCW, he was brought up to WWE in a program with The Great Khali and his brother Ranjin Singh. I remember when he started showing up, the commentators were in shock and made a big deal that Jinder Mahal appeared on their show. I remember saying… “who?” After a long and bad gimmick with Khali, he broke out on his own, and was quickly forgotten after a short demotion to dark-matches and television programs which no one watched. He came back as an antagonist calling for underappreciated wrestlers to rise up and interfere in matches. This ultimately resulted in numerous jobs to top-tier stars, but at least that got him air-time. After the failure of that gimmick, he was paired with Slater and McIntyre to form 3MB.
Drew McIntyre was brought in way back in 2009 as “The Chosen One” by none other than Vince McMahon. The Scottish-born wrestler had been training since the age of 15, and competed in a number of England-based territories beginning in 2003. Before he made the move to the United States, this guy earned a degree in Criminology. Guess you need a backup plan in case being a pro-wrestler does not work out. Once on the SmackDown brand he quickly won the Intercontinental Title, and shortly thereafter won the Tag Team Titles with Cody Rhodes. McIntyre was a top mid-carder, until his character grew stale after a bad gimmick with Kelly Kelly. In his defense, anyone associated with Kelly Kelly is doomed. For the past few years, McIntyre could be found on NXT, dark matches, or on Superstars, mostly losing. Now he is paired with Mahal and Slater, with the common bond of being underappreciated and “banding together” to get attention.
Current Status: The New J.O.B. Squad
They have a terrible gimmick by being a so-called band. Yes, an actual band who can sing, dance, and play some fictional instruments. So far, their only feud has been up against the Tyson Kidd/Justin Gabriel team, which most people never even realized was a feud. Myself included. They lost at TLC to Miz, Alberto del Rio, and The Brooklyn Brawler, then again the next night to Miz, Rio, and Tommy Dreamer. Recently, they got beat by Team Hell No and ate finishers from Orton and Sheamus.
The problem here is all three of these guys are talented, yet saddled with this bad idea. Do the Heart Throbs sound familiar? John Roselli and Antonio Thomas were two of the most talented superstars, yet because they were saddled with low-tier competition and never saw a push, they soon faded into obscurity. Neither have been with WWE since. Slater, Mahal, and McIntyre have talent, but unless something major comes along to change the gimmick or anything which will get them taken seriously, they might as well add Santino, Hornswoggle, and Khali to their merry band of losers.
Future Outlook: Good Luck in Your Future Endeavors
Dean Ambrose is a guy who can say “been there, done that.” How is that possible? For starters he has been wrestling since 2004, and competed in about a dozen independent promotions to date, becoming headlining champion in almost each one. You have to remember something important, when a promotion, whether WWE, ROH, or even Dragon’s Gate, when you “become the champion” it is because you are the top star of that company. Competing in Heartland Wrestling Association from 2004 until 2011, Jonathan Good competed as John Moxley. He maintained the Moxley name throughout his career, in all promotions until he became Dean Ambrose in Florida Championship Wrestling. Once in FCW, he quickly became a headliner, impressing WWE development officials with his in-ring talent and unquestionable mic skills. He even wrestled CM Punk in a 30-minute clinic. After that match, Punk paid tribute to Ambrose, solidifying that he would undoubtedly become the next major WWE superstar.
Along with Ambrose we have Seth Rollins. Does he look familiar? He should, because this is Tyler Black from Ring of Honor fame. The former ROH Champion has a storied legacy with the promotion. Making his debut with the controversial stable Age of the Fall, he competed as Tyler Black and although his dark persona was meant to elicit disgust from the crowd, the combination of mat-based and high-risk maneuvers made him one of the most-watched wrestlers in ROH history. He did go on to become ROH Champion, and held the title until his departure from the promotion, leaving for WWE. Once in the FCW training camp, as Seth Rollins, he became the first FCW 15 Champion, and when WWE created the NXT Championship, Rollins won the tournament to be crowned its first champion.
Roman Reigns, born Joe Anoa’i has a very different background than his Shield cohorts. Having no known prior experience, aside from being the son of Sika the Wild Samoan, Anoa’i played football, although his time in the NFL was too short to be noticed. He was brought into FCW in 2010 and that is where both his training and career began. He is a big man with a lot of talent, and no doubt being the son of a wrestling legend will help his career.
Current Status: n.W.o.-like Stable
There is no doubt about it. The trio have made their mark, continue to make their mark, and likely will not stop making an impact until WrestleMania. They will have some sort of match at ‘Mania, perhaps with a stipulation attached to give the match some more attention. They are going after the big names, and continue to earn the ire of the WWE Universe. That means they are doing their job well.
As we all know, things like this run their course and inevitably need to change or end. The nWo made an impact for well over a year, but it was due to big names joining the faction, and their being a consistent roster of adversaries to challenge WCW competitors. I do not see The Shield increasing their numbers, but the revelation of a leader or director, calling the shots would keep the stable alive and well.
Looking at the current membership, I think it is pretty easy to see what role each one has now and what role each man will have in the future. Ambrose is the microphone man. We have seen him compete, and we easily see his mic skills are comparable to that of CM Punk. Seth Rollins, the former Ring of Honor champion is just the same, possessing both the mat ability and the promo-cutting skills needed to have a long life in WWE. Then we get to Roman Reigns. I like the guy, he is the enforcer of the group, but that is all he is. He rarely gets on the mic, and when he does, it is for only a moment which gives me the impression the microphone is not his specialty. This does not doom him now, but might be a detriment should The Shield split up with all three men going on their separate paths.
Dean Ambrose – Future WWE or World Champion
Seth Rollins – Future WWE or World Champion
Roman Reigns – Future Main Eventer/Second Tier Titleholder