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The Shield of Theseus

(…or how The Shield is the new Sugababes)

(Also, this is also a video on YouTube if that’s more your thing)

In a turn of events that saved us from the woefully enticing car-crash of Finn Balor battling Sister Abigail, the latter appearing to be nothing more than Bray Wyatt in a Poundland halloween costume, viral meningitis struck down some key members of the WWE locker room.

And also Bo Dallas.

Since then, things have gotten strange. On occasion, they got good strange; AJ Styles took the place of Bray against the Demon King, awarding viewers a scrappy yet brilliantly intense match between two former leaders of the Bullet Club.

On the other hand, viral meningitis did what The Undertaker apparently couldn’t and put down the Big Dog, Roman Reigns, who had recently retaken his position at the helm of The Shield. Stuck with a reformed stable minus its leader, WWE creative instead offered up Kurt Angle to battle a fairly rag-tag crew of opponents at the recent TLC event. And it worked because for all his ring-rust, Kurt Angle is Kurt Angle; dearly beloved veteran of the attitude era, recent Hall of Famer and everyone’s embarrassing dad. It was fun.

Now in the midst of a UK tour, WWE have instead chosen to fill Romy’s spot in The Shield with The Game himself, Triple H. Who knew that the leader of The Shield was so readily replaceable? They could be pro-wrestling’s equivalent of the Sugababes, original members merely a fancy thing of the past until none of the original components remain, like the Ship of Theseus.

With this new information in mind, We thought we’d have a look at who else could fill in for Roman.

5. Shinsuke Nakamura
Since popping up on Smackdown, Nakamura has been utterly wasted. I mean they’ve been wasting his talent, I don’t mean he’s been drunk. A feud with the faceless wrestler, a.k.a Dolph Ziggler hardly screams ‘destined for greatness’, and while I quite like Jinder Mahal I don’t think Shinny deserves to lose to the Modern Day Maharaja, no mater how bored he appeared. In a way Shinsuke and Roman are fairly similar in that neither of them can cut a decent promo, although at least in Nakamura’s case it’s because of a language barrier rather than a chronic lack of charisma.

4. Tyler Breeze
A big part of the Shield’s look is that body armour, an outfit that raises some serious questions about whether all three members are in fact massive heels. I mean they’re wearing BODY ARMOUR and fighting guys in trunks, that’s an unfair advantage if ever there was one. Anyway, that look is clearly a difficult one to pull off; Angle didn’t manage it and he’s Kurt Angle. But you know who could make it work? The Fashion Police’s very own Breeze. In fact he could redesign their whole aesthetic; none of the stable have got the best hair game in town. Tyler could at least raise the average.

3. Elias Samson
Samson made a weird debut on RAW one week fresh off of being booted out of NXT by Kassius Ohno, only to sit around strumming broken chords and being the best heel in the business. He’s carried on doing so since, and intentionally or not is making every face that squares up against him like a joy-killing arse. Jason Jordan, we’re looking at you. People love to boo Roman, and Samson is infinitely more boo-able for some reason, so he’ll fit right in.

2. That Kid from Stranger Things Everyone Likes
I mean the kid with the hair and the teeth. Durden? Dufflin? I don’t know, it’s nice to be topical, isn’t it? It’d just be a turnaround to have a leader in the Shield that you can guarantee everyone is into, what with RR’s chronic likeability issue. If there’s any luck then Dublin will get so into wrestling, he’ll quit Stranger Things and save us all from seeing a great show descend further and further into irrelevance, tropes and cheap nostalgia during a third season.

Stranger Things season 2 is bad, don’t tweet me.

1. Vince McMahon
Look, check who’s filled in so far; the general manager of Raw Kurt Angle, then the future successor to the CEO of the whole shebang Hunter Hearst Helmsley. There’s only one place to go now, right? Time to bring out the Billionaire Beefcake! At 72 it might not be the highest impact match you’ve ever seen, but we’re sure he could still take a decent bump or two, and if he does get injured it’s probably karma for not doing enough to hold on to Neville well enough.

So there it is, another waste of everyone’s time from NGB, and the very first Fannish Announce Table. Vince is replacing Roman in The Shield and there’s nothing you can do about it. Rumour has it Roman is set to return shortly before Survivor Series; do you “believe that”? Let us know at @FannishAnnounce on Twitter.

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