From the moment that they arrived on WWE television at Survivor Series 2012, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Jon Moxley have dominated the world of professional wrestling. Whether as a group or as individuals, their impact on WWE and the business as a whole cannot be understated.
However, before their starring role as The Shield, they were just three men trying to make in WWE. Reigns was a college football star who came within touching distance of an NFL career, Rollins was a former ROH World Champion and Moxley a star of the independent scene. While Rollins and Moxley have often spoken about being of a simialr mindset, it was one summer afternoon training session which really set the wheels in motion for The Shield.
Roman Reigns – “I Beat The Hell Out Of Seth Rollins”
In a new feature with Sports Illustrated all three stars recalled their early days as The Shield to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their debut. During the conversation Reigns and Rollins reflected on one particularly intense training session which brought them closer together than ever. The pair explained that they were being trained “like dogs” by veteran Terry Taylor.
“That was a time when no one knew who we were,” Reigns said. “They were training us like dogs, training us good, and I turned it up on Seth big time that day.”
“I remember it very specifically,” Rollins said. “Terry [Taylor] was working with the talent that day, working with a few of us on basically picking up the intensity for short sprints of time. A lot of what we were doing at that time in the training facility in Tampa was mindless work. It’s summer in Florida; it’s roasting inside. We’d been toiling away in developmental, and it was all very frustrating.”
Rollins added that stood across from the ring from Reigns both men realised what was required and it wasn’t going to be pretty.
“You had five or ten seconds to blow yourself sky high,” Rollins continued. “Roman and I, we were paired together, and whatever we did, it wasn’t to Terry’s liking. We both looked at each other from across the ring, and there was this clarity and communication between the two of us. We were like ‘We need to get out of this ring as soon as possible.’ We knew what had to be done.”
Picking up the story again, Reigns admitted that he “beat the hell” out of Rollins who knew full well what was coming.
“I remember it well, and I know Seth remembers it,” Reigns said. “I beat the hell out of him.”
“Roman was on the offense, and I was on the defense, so I knew what was going to happen,” Rollins said. “Roman knew how to bring it, and he got us out of this drill. Mox and I were already on the same wavelength, and that was the moment that showed the three of us were of one mind and one goal. That allowed us to be The Shield. Without that mindset, there is no Shield, and the last ten years look a lot different.”
At time of writing all three members of The Shields hold championship gold. Roman Reigns remains the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Seth Rollins in the United States Champion and Jon Moxley is the AEW World Champion.