Big E is a pillar for The New Day, but imagine what would have occurred if he was added to The Shield back in the day.
Fantasy booking in professional wrestling is all about alternate universes. Just like Marvel Comics series “What If,” fans come up with all sorts of stories that differ from what is on television each week. During Big E’s WWE Network special, he revealed that there was a time when he was meant to be apart of The Shield, the famed group built around Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose, now Jon Moxley. Imagine if that would have occurred years ago and how that would have impacted the trajectories of everyone involved.
“My first feeling of getting called up was 2012. I was doing loops. Any collective period of days is a loop,” Big E said during the Chronicle. “It’s Roman [Reigns], Seth [Rollins], Dean [Ambrose] and me. There was some thought of bringing all four of us in together as a group. Obviously, that changes; they go on to international fame as The Shield. I was told, ‘You’re going to be with Dolph and AJ; on your very first night, you’re going to attack John Cena. I’m thinking, ‘Man, this is it.’”
At first glance, it seems like a missed opportunity. The Shield went on to be one of the most powerful groups in the WWE. Each man has held the WWE title multiple times and been the central focus of angles and main events. Would Big E have received that same type of push while being a part of the group and post The Shield breakup? That is hard to tell. But one thing is clear, he would not have been able to join Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston to form The New Day.
This is not a debate about which faction was better or more important. The New Day and The Shield both deserve praise for what they added to the WWE. However, for The New Day, this group saved the careers of three men that may not be in the promotion if it was not for the opportunity that they created for themselves. Without them coming together, they would not be recognized as the most decorated tag team in WWE history. Nor would fans have been able to push for KofiMania in 2019. Big E is riding a wave of momentum and popularity that can very well see him heading toward a world title reign of his own.
As Bobby Lashley’s victory during Monday Night Raw shows, these opportunities do not always come, no matter how deserving one performer may be. If Big E was added to The Shield years ago, fans and performers alike may have missed out on some of the best moments brought to pro wrestling via The New Day.
Hindsight is always 20/20. There are those that would argue that Big E’s career would have been better if he was a member of The Shield. That opinion is cool, but there is no way to discredit his work as a member of The New Day. For that, he is already worthy of the WWE Hall of Fame.