We Ask Non-Wrestling Fans: Who Is The Best Member Of The Shield?

Wrestling muggles break down Seth, Roman, and Dean...

Who is the best original starter Pokemon: Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle? I'm sure you'll agree that it's one of the most important questions in human history. You can tell a lot about someone from their choice of starter Pokemon.

Personally, I'm a Squirtle man, and for the record, Pikachu is not an acceptable answer. Pikachu will never be an acceptable answer.

WWE's equivalent of the Pokemon debate is surely 'Who is the best member of The Shield?'. It works along the same principles; there are three of them, each with their own distinct characteristics and quirks. One is a treacherous snake and CrossFit practitioner. One is a dog; a big dog. One is a crazy person who just does wacky things, Michael. The differences are exciting and endless.

I could have polled wrestling fans to find an ultimate answer, but they'd probably have approached the question with reason. There's no fun in that, so I instead decided to interview three non-wrestling fans.

Wrestling muggles are a fascinating breed. Unlike us, they are free from the shackles of fantasy booking, smark outrage, and accepted opinions. Have you ever watched wrestling with a wrestling muggle? If not, I'd strongly recommend it. Their reactions are wonderful.

In future editions of this feature, I hope to choose a more diverse pool - perhaps including one of my parents, or my 13-year-old cousin. Unfortunately, this was written at quite short notice, so I just selected three of my friends, all young professionals in their mid-20s.

I showed the trio the most clear-cut photographs of The Shield I could find - their profile pictures on WWE.com. I asked a few questions and provided brief background information, as you'll see. The results were enlightening.


- Sophie, 25, London -
I've known Sophie since school and can confirm that she is not a wrestling fan. She is, however, a fan of reality TV. She watches Total Bellas, and therefore has a basic knowledge of John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and - of course - the Bella Twins. She's also heard of The Rock, because everybody knows The Rock.

Just on appearances alone, which Shield member is your favourite so far?
Seth. He looks like a brunette Thor.

I'm actually surprised. I thought you'd go for Roman Reigns.
I don't like the vest.

Not many people do. The one you picked is probably the best wrestler of the three in my opinion, but he turned bad once. He broke up the group and betrayed the other two. Does that change your opinion at all?
Has he since reformed?

Well, I think it makes me like him more - bad boy turned good. And he looks like Thor. And he's 'the best wrestler', apparently...

Any reservations about the name Seth? I've heard people mock him for being called Seth.
I don't mind it. It's not like he's called Paul or Steve.

Okay, the next one, Dean Ambrose. Thoughts?
He looks like a liability. I wouldn't want him on my team.

You've basically nailed it. He's supposed to be the crazy one. He's actually married.
That's nice. I appreciate him more.

Don't you watch Total Bellas? You know Renee Young? That's her husband.
Him? He looks like a hairy James Arthur [winner of UK singing competition 'The X Factor' in 2012].

James Arthur!? That could confuse our non-UK audience. It's fine, I'll put an explanation. It's fine.

Okay, lastly, thoughts on Roman Reigns?
I'm a bit of a fan, but I think it's a shame that he wears a vest. He should please the fans (me) and just keep it off. I don't know what it signifies, but whatever. It should be gone.

So if you were to rank them from best to worst, I'm guessing you'd go Seth, Roman, Dean.
Correct. Spot on.


- Tom, 25, Durham -
Tom is my BFF for life, and is also not a wrestling fan. He has expressed bafflement at my line of work on several occasions. I once forced him to watch Money in the Bank 2011, and he said: "CM Punk seems like a cool guy; I'd definitely go for a beer with him."

Tom, who would you say is the coolest, or generally your favourite?
Okay so, the coolest is definitely not Dean Ambrose. He looks like a wrestling fan grown up. I think I'd also have to disqualify Roman Reigns for the Spider-Man logo on his combat vest.

So Seth Rollins, entirely by process of elimination?
Yes. Look at Dean Ambrose. I'd be less surprised if I found out you were a professional wrestler than that man.

Sophie's favourite was also Seth. She said he looked like a brunette Thor, despite Roman actually looking like a brunette Thor.
Roman looks more like Aquaman with that tattoo.

I should mention, Rollins once broke up the group. He betrayed them.

It makes you sympathise with him more. I think he should go it alone.

He did for a few years. He became WWE Champion.
Sensible choice, really.

And finally, Roman Reigns. Any thoughts?
He seems okay, in fairness. I'm not a huge fan of his combat vest though; it's overkill. No one is going to be stabbing you, pal.

John Cena once got stabbed in a nightclub by a man named Jesus.
Oh. Okay, fair enough on the vest then.

I feel I should defend Dean's appearance. He's supposed to be the crazy one of the group.
'Dean', what a name. Change it.

But 'Seth' is fine?
Vaguely. It's better than Dean.

I think Rollins is my favourite too; his character is the most interesting. He betrayed his friends, sold out, became successful, and then had to find forgiveness.
Yeah, that's pretty much what I said.

So if you were to rank them, I'm guessing you'd also go Seth, Roman, Dean?
Yes, definitely.


- James, 24, Leeds -
James and I used to live together. He probably knows the least about wrestling of all three interviewees. Despite this, I once took him to a UK indy show. He got drunk and remembers little. He expressed awe as soon as I showed him the photographs of The Shield.

So j-
Oh damn!

...so just based on appearance, which one would you say is your favourite?
Probably the Seth or Roman geezer. If I had to choose, it'd be Roman.

Interesting. Any reason? Does the vest help?
It does, surprisingly! Also, he has a better version of Seth's hair and beard.

I understand. He pretty much wins all the time. He's 'The Big Dog'.
No shock there.

Yes, he's the powerhouse of the group.
Well I feel even more strongly about my choice now.

Not a fan of Dean Ambrose?
He looks like he came out of the film Snatch.

Oh, Brad Pitt's character? That's maybe the most accurate comparison so far. He's a bit of a wild scrapper.
Yeah, or maybe a lad from Middlesbrough. He has that sort of look. [Incredibly, Sophie's mention of James Arthur corresponds with this, as he is from the town of Middlesbrough.]

Both Tom and Sophie had Ambrose as their least favourite too.
He doesn't have the wrestler vibe, to be honest.

That's what Tom said! Any thoughts on Seth Rollins?
He seems mediocre, but probably a loveable character.

He actually broke up The Shield. He betrayed the other two.
Hahaha, f***ing hell!

I know, right!? He hit one of them with a chair.
What a U-turn.

What do you make of that decision? He sold out and aligned with Triple H.
But isn't Triple H is a bit of a childhood hero for many? I can get behind that.

So if you were to rank them, it'd be...?
Roman, Seth, Dean.


So, what did we learn?

Firstly, if we take those rankings and award 3 points for 1st place, 1 point for 2nd, and 0 points for 3rd, we get these final totals.

Seth Rollins - 7
Roman Reigns - 5
Dean Ambrose - 0

1) Everyone Hates Dean
The biggest revelation here is that non-fans do not identify with Ambrose at all. Two of the three interviewees even argued that he doesn't look like a wrestler, which leads me to point two...

2) Non-Wrestling Fans Think It's Still The '80s
Of all three Shield members, Dean is easily the biggest 'everyman', with his unkempt appearance and relatively normal haircut. This seemed jarring to my trio of wrestling muggles, who will largely have experienced WWE via stereotypical spoofs in other forms of pop culture. To them, wrestling is still the domain of larger-than-life, long-haired superheroes. It's as if Steve Austin never happened.

3) Seth Is Forgiven
All three interviewees immediately expressed sympathy with Rollins for his role in the breakup of The Shield. This was the opposite of what I expected. Non-wrestling fans would surely react accordingly to a straightforward heel turn - not like us smarky pedants, often cheering when our favourites go bad. But no, it turns out my three friends are just as heartless as the rest of us. That's comforting to know.

4) Without Context, Roman Isn't The Guy - He's Just A Guy
Clearly, from very early in Roman Reigns' WWE career, Vince McMahon earmarked him as the next big thing. He was to be the next Hogan, the next Cena - and as we all know, that hasn't exactly happened. Wrestling muggles won't have had the chance to understand this, and I was honestly expecting Reigns to be their favourite. He looks the most badass from a neutral standpoint, and even staunch Roman haters often confess that he has a fantastic look for WWE. However, my friends actually took issue with his image (most notably the vest), and this seems to imply that his 'trying too hard to be cool' thing is more obvious than I thought. It transcends fan/non-fan boundaries.

So there we have it; Dean sucks, Roman's okay, and Seth's the winner (almost by default). Congratulations Mr Rollins, you are the best member of The Shield. My very scientific method has been a success, of that there can be no argument.

I do hope you enjoyed this exploration; please provide suggestions for further non-fan subjects (just tweet me or something).

And please remember, don't pity wrestling muggles. They exist unburdened by the outcome of fake fights on TV, while we are forever slaves of the business. Thanks for reading.


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Jack G. King

Written by Jack G. King

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