How Rollins, Ambrose, & Reigns Have Become “The Kliq” of This Generation.

When you look at them, it is almost like history repeating itself. As World Wrestling Entertainment ushers in the “New Era”, we are seeing the three members that once comprised one of the dominant stables in the company’s history The Shield start to assume dominant roles within the main event scene. As I watch this progression develop, I cannot help but think back to the 1990’s when a group, who would later be identified as the Kliq would form and have a profound impact on the Professional Wrestling scene during a time of great transition.

Those that became fans during the early 1990’s the then-WWF started going through a period of transition as familiar faces such as Hulk Hogan and “Macho Man” Randy Savage, were starting to fade into the background and other stars where beginning to be put front and center. One of those stars was the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, who had come into his own after breaking away from Marty Jannetty and the Rockers in one of the more memorable team break ups on Brutus “the Barber” Beefcakes “Barber Shop” on December 2, 1991, by throwing his partner through a glass window.

This moment for Michaels is very resemblant to the evolution of Seth Rollins career, as he also was responsible for the betrayal of his former Shield members on the June 2, 2014 episode of Monday Night RAW. Shawn Michaels would turn into one of the greatest Professional Wrestlers and Sports Entertainers of a generation. He would be the WWE’s fourth Triple Crown Champion, as during this run he would become a 3-time WWF World Heavyweight Champion, 3-time Intercontinental Champion and 2-time Tag Team Champion.

    In establishing himself as a singles competitor Shawn Michaels would go on to be a fixture in the main event scene along with his rival Bret “Hitman” Hart, as they would go on to feud for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Over time other stars began to arrive as Razor Ramon, or Scott Hall as we know him today, made his in-ring debut on Superstars on August 8, 1992. “The Bad Guy” Razor Ramon would come onto the scene and made an impact onto the scene over a year after his debut as he would win the vacant Intercontinental Championship in a match against Rick Martel, that was determined in a Battle Royal the week before on October 4, 1993, as Shawn Michaels had been stripped of the title due to serving a suspension.
Razor Ramon would then be put on a collision course with returning Shawn Michaels and the stars would line up for them to create the ultimate WrestleMania moment at WrestleMania X in the first Ladder Match in this history of the WWE. This match, as the history books would later write, would steal the show and would lead to Razor being victorious in retaining the Intercontinental Championship. This would also solidify Razor Ramon as a top-tier Superstar and usher in a another branch of a new wave of WWE superstar.
    Finally in late 1993, Kevin Nash, after having two very lackluster stints with World Championship Wrestling as characters such as Oz and Vinnie Vegas, who had been paired with Hall as the Diamond Studd under the management of Diamond Dallas Page, would arrive in the WWE. Given the name “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel, he would be brought in as the muscle for Shawn Michaels as HBK’s bodyguard. Their partnership would bring immediate gold for Diesel as he would beat Razor for the Intercontinental Title in April of 1994 and then would be co-holder of the WWF Tag Team Championship in August after defeating the Headshrinkers. His transition to superstardom would be complete in November of 1994 as Diesel would defeat Bob Backlund in Madison Square Garden to become the World Heavyweight Champion and would hold onto the title for 358 days.
  Though the careers of both groups don’t entirely mirror each other, the comparisons between the two trios can certainly be made. The Shield arrived at a time when the WWE is seeing the last of the leftover veterans from the Attitude Era winding down from the wear and tear of their careers. We are also seeing John Cena, who undoubtedly is the Hulk Hogan of his era, witnessing his biggest performances becoming less and less. The timing of the Shield enables the WWE to fill the void that will be left when Cena, Orton and other notable names are unable to compete any longer.

Seth Rollins has undoubtedly turned into a performer that puts on great performances when the lights shine the brightest. “The Architect” of the Shield has started a great foundation since arriving in WWE as he was the first NXT Champion in the history of the developmental brand and is already a two-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Seth’s ego and swagger is very reminiscent of Michaels during his time coming up in the business and certainly if you listen to chatter on social media, chat rooms and discussion boards, Rollins is debatedly the more popular of the Shield members.

  The Roman Reigns comparison to Diesel is pretty accurate, as there are some that might say that at the time Kevin Nash may not have been ready to carry the ball for the WWE, which is a similar to the criticism that Reigns is getting now. Despite any critics Nash may have, he has undoubtedly had a great career as he has won the WCW World Championship five times and the WCW World Tag Team Championships nine times, on top of the achievements he has had in the WWE. Reigns, has to his credit scored three WWE World Title runs and a run as co-holder of the WWE World Tag Team Titles, despite recently being suspended for violating the wellness policy.
     When it comes to substance abuse, that is where this comparison changes a bit. Hall, whether he was portraying Razor Ramon or himself as Scott Hall, has the dubious distinction of never holding the World Heavyweight Championship in any of the promotions he worked for. Despite that Hall was an impressive worker, even though his battles with substance abuse did weigh those accomplishments down for a time despite the Hall of Fame induction. Comparing Hall to Ambrose is difficult now as, despite now being the current WWE Champion, where this comparison is warranted is how his talents tended to be underutilized in terms of the Main Event picture. Both men were excellent workers and have been a part of some amazing matches.

Without question the Shield and the Kliq members mentioned have left their mark on the wrestling industry and where the Shield is concerned, they have only begun to rise to the top of the business. I think the most exciting part of this is the Shield has an incredible opportunity to outshine its predecessors and though history is repeating itself in some ways, it’s members hopefully realize that it doesn’t have to in the end.

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By. Sherron W.


Edited By. Ramsey S.


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