WWE has announced that Dean Ambrose will be leaving the company in April 2019, after 8 years with the promotion, coming through the ranks at FCW and NXT, before starring on the main roster.
Ambrose is reportedly unhappy with the creative direction of his character and hence told WWE that he will not be renewing his contract with Vince McMahon’s promotion.
We aren’t sure where he will be going next, but even though WWE will miss such a strong character like him, they also have supremely talented Superstars on RAW and SmackDown, as well as NXT, to take his place.
When Ambrose, along with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins made their debut on WWE television as The Shield in 2012, Ambrose was the de facto leader of the group, as well as the group’s voice. The Shield have now broken up due to Reigns’ illness, and then Ambrose turning on Rollins, ending the story of one of the most dominant factions in WWE history.
But, if – and when – Roman Reigns returns to the WWE, could WWE reunite Reigns, Rollins and add another Superstar to form Shield 2.0 – the second iteration of the group?
If they do, here are 5 Superstars who could replace Dean Ambrose in The Shield:
#6 AJ Styles
Words have started coming that WWE Superstar AJ Styles could be on his way of of WWE but if that report becomes impossible at the end of the day, the Styles would be the best replacement for Dean Ambrose.
All Elite Wrestling are kicking off in May and several WWE stars have been linked with a switch to the new promotion. They have already gotten hold of Chris Jericho and rumors suggest that Kenny Omega has also snubbed WWE to join AEW.
Surely, Deam Ambrose absence in the Shield would remain a big hole but since the company cannot continue crying forever, then that hole must be filled up by someone who has the ingredients that fans already love and are happy to see.
AJ Styles’ fit that description perfectly.
The addition of Finn Balor to The Shield is a no-brainer, really. The former Universal Champion is a huge fan favourite and is one of the most popular Superstars in the entire WWE roster.
Balor is a terrific wrestler, putting on great matches with almost every Superstar – from Seth Rollins to Brock Lesnar, and AJ Styles. His mic work can’t be compared with that of Dean Ambrose, but he probably outshines the former WWE Champion with his in-ring work and never-say-die attitude.
Rollins and Reigns have also teamed with Balor previously on RAW and at Live Events, and have shown that they have chemistry together.
Perhaps a run with The Shield could bring Balor better luck and maybe more title opportunities on WWE television, something that the WWE Universe has been asking to see on RAW.
UK Champion Pete Dunne is just 25 years of age but could be moved to the main roster pretty soon considering how much he has grown over the last year or so. Dunne impressed in the 2019 Royal Rumble match and has put on great matches on NXT as well.
Dunne’s never-say-die attitude, as well as incredible skills in the ring, and his reputation of being a brawler could fit in well with the mercenary nature of The Shield.
The UK Champion also shows no fear, even challenging the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, something that would go down well with fans as that is the kind of spirit that they would like to see in a babyface on WWE television.
But, it may take a while till we see Dunne in the main roster, at least until he becomes a top player in NXT, competing for the NXT Championship.
Former TNA World Heavyweight champion, EC3, is yet to be assigned to a brand following the announcement that he will be moving to the main roster from NXT.
EC3 would fit in perfectly on RAW as the SmackDown roster is currently inflated with several top dogs.
If he does get assigned to RAW, he will probably debut as a face and is a prime candidate to replace Ambrose in The Shield. EC3 is incredibly gifted on the mic, is a good wrestler, and has the physique to fit very well in The Shield.
His charisma and experience shine out every time he steps into the ring, which is required in a popular faction like The Shield.
Simply put, Braun Strowman in The Shield could make the faction unbeatable and even more dominant than they ever were. Strowman has, it seems, fallen out of favour to challenge for the Universal title in the eyes of WWE’s creative team, which is a pity considering the great run he had in 2018.
Strowman in a faction may seem unnecessary as The Monster Among Men has previously shown that he can destroy more than one person single-handedly.
But, if WWE wants to make The Shield a dominant faction once again, a Superstar of the stature of Braun Strowman will give The Shield a huge fillip (pun intended) almost instantly.
The only downside to Strowman joining The Shield would be that WWE will have two fewer top Superstars to face the Universal champion (if one of the three is holding the Universal title), but there are other titles that can be won by The Shield to dominate RAW.
Elias had a great 2018, ending the year as a babyface after debuting on the main roster as a heel. His “Walk With Elias” gimmick has won over the fans, while he’s no slouch in the ring as well.
The guitar-slinging Superstar is a throwback to a wrestler of the 80s and 90s, with a gimmick that will probably never get old.
The 31-year-old is a future top star on RAW and will probably get a huge push soon, considering how over he is with the WWE Universe.
Elias hasn’t won yet to win a title on the main roster, but that could change by the end of 2019. Elias, like Ambrose, is good on the mic with his witty retorts and also has great comedic timing which can complement the other two members of The Shield.