The Shield reunion was just the sort of shot in the arm that Raw needed, as it not only raises some engrossing questions, but it will likely provide tangible motivations for the top young stars on the brand. In the fans' eyes, the reunion will likely only bolster their interest, provided that the story continues to develop legs. That's a big "if", naturally.
But no matter, it was still a cool moment, as other reunions from wrestling's past have been. In light of the Hounds of Justice coming together to bestow an injustice upon Strowman, let's take a look at the greatest reunions from over the years, be they duos or groups. Some were more emotionally charged, while others decently practical. In any event, we can all agree that a reunion in wrestling is almost always a welcome happening.
10. The Rockers (2005)
It may have only been for a night, but that was more than any of us ever expected. In the run-up to WrestleMania 21, WWE re-established the underrated greatness of Marty Jannetty, setting him for a loss to Shawn Michaels' rival Kurt Angle on SmackDown, in what turned out to be an incredible match. Jannetty still had *it*, even in his mid-forties. One night before the Angle/Jannetty showdown, we got some renewed vigour from the Masters of Motion.
It was on the 14 March 2005 edition of Raw that Michaels and Jannetty, familiar music and all, downed La Resistance, who may well have been stand-ins for the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers. Hell, Lilian Garcia's ring announcement was practically an echo of Mike McGuirk's proclamations back in the day. It was just neat to see Michaels and Jannetty, even in their cool dad frame of age, still bringing it like men half their ages.
9. Evolution (2014)
This was all too short-lived, but it at least added an interesting dimension to WWE programming during an ambitious spring and summer of 2014. When fans crapped all over the ill-timed return of Dave Batista, the only way to mine potential out of him was to use him in a villainous capacity. Once Daniel Bryan thwarted the three younger members of the former group at WrestleMania XXX, the idea of putting the trio back together seemed like a good one.
There was a genuine buzz for Triple H, Randy Orton, and Batista sporting the designer suits once more, whilst focusing their malice on The Shield. What we got out of the arrangement were two excellent six-man tags at Extreme Rules and Payback, prior to Batista's sullen hand-wave of an exit.
8. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (2017)
This one gets points for how long it was milked, and how great the payoff felt. For weeks, Rollins attempted to re-establish the spark with Ambrose, who was having none of it due to the way Rollins betrayed he and Reigns three years earlier. As Cesaro and Sheamus continued bearing down on the former Shield-mates, they would valiantly fight back, but not exactly as a team.
Fans clamoured for this reformation, they pleaded for it. Ambrose and Rollins, at different times, would spurn the other, unable to get on the same page. When the moment finally came with the duo sharing the stiff-arm pose, the crowd quite simply exploded. Tease, milk, deliver - the winning formula. Semi-hot take: Ambrose and Rollins could be one of the greatest tag teams of all time if their shared body of work as a duo were larger.
7. The Sandman & Tommy Dreamer (1999)
Dreamer and Sandman were never really an official team, in that they never had a shared name or the like. But their stand-by alliance that had been in place since 1996 was an ECW staple, as the two did all they could to turn back nefarious foes in blood-and-guts wars. ECW lost part of its spirit when Sandman departed for WCW at the end of the summer of 1998.
One year later, Sandman was part of a wave of WCW firings, and it just so happened that ECW was hosting a show at the famed ECW Arena that Saturday night. There, Sandman made a grand return in the main event to save Dreamer and unlikely partner Raven, and the reaction was absolutely nuclear. Joey Styles didn't even provide commentary for the entire five-minute sequence - he let the fan response and the visuals tell the story themselves.
6. The Dudley Boyz (2002)
The draft for the initial Brand Extension would see some rather drastic changes, one notable one being the dissolution of The Dudley Boyz. D-Von was taken to SmackDown, while Bubba Ray ended up on Raw. While Bubba mostly remained the same ass-kicking brawler he always was, D-Von regrettably became a fast-talking Reverend (that served as the catalyst for Batista's debut). While Bubba got the better end of the deal, he was admittedly not the same without D-Von.
That's why it was so nice when D-Von made the save for Bubba in the opener of Survivor Series 2002, reuniting the Dudleyville denizens in one fell swoop. It would be explained that D-Von was part of a massive trade between the brands that saw SmackDown acquire Big Show, which was fine - one of wrestling's most celebrated duos would have more chapters to write.
5. D-Generation X (2006)
This was something of a mixed bag, but the appeal and success cannot be denied. When Shawn Michaels and Triple H came together in 1997, they were edgy, irreverent, and not afraid to say and do things that were considered taboo at one point in time. Conversely, the 2006 version of DX was more infantile, prone to making forced, safer jokes (probably due to Michaels' devotion to faith) than being sneering hellraisers.
But the DX reunion still worked, even with its different composition. The kinder, gentler version of the duo still entertained crowds, and were an effective act, even with the restrictions in place. There aren't too many acts on this list, if any, that topped the original incarnation, so this can hardly be held against the latter-day DX.
4. Undertaker & Paul Bearer (2004)
Maybe it feels like sacrilege to put three months of this reformed duo ahead of DX 2.0, but at least Undertaker and Bearer didn't part ways with what made their act work in the first place. This is admittedly more of a quaint entry anyhow, given that Bearer was more of a stationary presence to Undertaker's stalking mayhem. But that's what made their collective clock tick.
When Bearer's "OHHHH YEEEESSSSS" preceded Undertaker's entrance at WrestleMania XX, it was a welcome addition to the druids, the gongs, and the darkened ambiance, transporting all of us back to those glorious 1990s, when Bearer and his chilled Phenom were a regular presence on WWE programming. Sure, Undertaker did kill Bearer three months later inside a cubicle with the aid of wet cement, but what can ya do?
3. The Harts (1997)
Unpredictability began to reign supreme throughout WWE in 1997, with Bret Hart's heel turn being one of the more unexpected developments in some time. After his righteous denouncing of the United States, Hart sought allies for an upcoming war of attrition. He turned to relatives that, on screen, had been his rivals and nemeses for several years.
When Bret broke up a skirmish between Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith, he got into both men's heads with reasoned sentiment, and genuine care, causing Owen to break down crying. Seeing the Hart brothers on the same page for the first time in more than three years was something of a paradigm shift, while Bulldog reuniting with his brother-in-law was a development unto itself. Add in Jim Neidhart and Brian Pillman joining the fold, and suddenly "Stu's Crew" was a force to be reckoned with.
2. The Four Horsemen (1998)
I won't even pretend that this was the strongest version of The Horsemen, because it most certainly wasn't. This gets points for the reunion itself, which hinged on the return of the estranged Ric Flair. Nitro emanated deep in the heart of Horsemen Country, and Arn Anderson brought out everybody, sans the one big name. The Enforcer gave a put-on apology for forgetting the final component, before giving Flair a stirring introduction, sparking a crowd reaction like you've never heard.
Flair's tearful speech that followed, beginning with humility, graciousness, and a near-inability to find the proper words, soon morphed into a public flaying of Eric Bischoff, in an anger-filled, curse-laden tirade that was as quotable as it was welcomed ("FIRE ME! I'M ALREADY FIRED!"). Perhaps the greatest moment in Nitro history.
1. Randy Savage & Miss Elizabeth (1991)
If you had to make a list of the biggest "winners in defeat" in wrestling history, you'd include Austin (WrestleMania 13), Michaels (WrestleMania X), and Mankind (King of the Ring 1998), solely for their life-altering performances in monumental matches. For Savage, who dropped a Retirement Match to The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VII, he would earn plaudits for his work that night, but the aftermath would prove far more memorable (and that's saying something).
When an irate Sensational Sherri took to beating a pained, downed Savage for losing, Miss Elizabeth suddenly emerged from the crowd, violently flinging her to the outside. It took Savage a moment to realize who had just rescued him, the woman that he parted ways with two years earlier, per the story. After experiencing conflicted feelings, Savage gave in to emotion, and the crowd's cheers, and embraced Liz to a thunderous ovation. As far as fairytale moments in wrestling go, there are none greater.