The John Report: The Shield’s Final Chapter 04/21/19 Review of WWE Network Special

Welcome to the TJRWrestling coverage of a WWE Network special called “The Shield’s Final Chapter.” Today (Sunday) is the final day of Dean Ambrose’s WWE contract. He has chosen not to re-sign with the company, so WWE has put together this live event special from Moline, Illinois to show the fans Ambrose’s final match in WWE as part of The Shield. Could he come back to WWE one day? Sure he could, but this is the end of his WWE run for now. As a Shield fan and somebody that has enjoyed the work of Dean Ambrose, I’m glad to be here to review this on WWE Network. Let’s get to it.

WWE Network Special The Shield’s Final Chapter
From the TaxSlayer Center in Moline, Illinois
April 21, 2019

The announce team for this special are Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Renee Young. They went over the matches we’ll see: Finn Balor vs. Elias for the Intercontinental Title, Ember Moon and Bayley vs. The Riott Squad and The Shield vs. Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley and Baron Corbin.

You can’t see it in that image, but the back of Renee’s jacket has her husband Dean Ambrose’s face on it.

There was a video package that showed some of the great things that The Shield did together during their run in WWE that started in late 2012, saw them do several reunions and now it’s over because Ambrose is moving on.

Elias was in the ring doing one of his “concerts” with the guitar. He ripped on The Shield and ripped on Moline for about two minutes until he was interrupted.

Finn Balor made his entrance with the Intercontinental Title. Good pop for him. He’s part of Smackdown now along with Elias. Balor was wearing some Smackdown blue tights.

Elias asked Balor what he was doing out there. Balor claimed he was a fan of Elias, so Elias told him to sing a song with him. Elias said it’s so simple that even the people of Moline can keep up with him. Elias sang a song “When I say I love Elias you say yes I do” and fans were booing. Balor changed it to “When I say Elias sucks, yes he does” and Elias attacked him, but the cameras were showing a little girl in the crowd. Elias told the referee to start the match, so it was official.

Intercontinental Championship: Finn Balor vs. Elias

Elias stomped away on Balor and he drove Balor’s left arm against the ring apron. The announcers were positioned on a table right beside the ring. Elias slapped on an armbar on Balor’s left arm. Elias let it go and hit a knee drop to the left arm of Balor. Elias drove Balor shoulder first into the top turnbuckle. Balor sent Elias into the turnbuckle, then a boot to the face and Balor hit a hard chop. Balor with a boot to the chest, Elias tried a body slam, Balor avoided it and Balor got a rollup. Elias slapped on the Fujiwara armbar on Balor’s injured left arm. Balor with a double foot stomp to the ribs, then a Slingblade takedown and Elias came back with a running lefty clothesline for two. Balor countered an Elias slam into an inside cradle for two. Balor with a jumping kick to the head. Balor up top, Elias knocked him off the top onto the apron and Balor almost fell on the announcers at ringside. Balor got a sunset flip on Elias for a two count even though it looked like Elias had his shoulders down. Balor applied La Magistral cradle to hook the arms of Elias for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Finn Balor

Analysis: *3/4 It was just a decent match where they didn’t do much in terms of big moves. No dives from Balor, no Coup de Grace double foot stomp from Balor and he just won it with a creative pinfall. It’s not like anybody expects these matches to be great or anything other than a typical house show match. I’m not sure what happened with the finish because the sunset flip pin was likely the ending and they kept going with one more Balor move after that.

Post match, Elias was in the ring claiming he wanted to do another concert for the fans. He was interrupted by the Riott Squad trio.

The Riott Squad trio of Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan went into the ring. They said they wanted to be the Elias Squad. Elias did his “when I love Elias” song and the girls sang “yes I do” and they tried to take it over by making it about The Riott Squad. It was very off key and the crowd booed them.

Bayley and Ember Moon showed up for the interruption because they’re in a tag team match against The Riott Squad. Bayley and Moon are now a part of Smackdown. Liv Morgan is also on Smackdown.

Bayley and Ember Moon vs. The Riott Squad’s Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan (w/Liv Morgan)

Bayley started with Logan with Logan slapping on an armbar. Bayley was sent to the apron, Morgan with a distraction and Logan sent Bayley into the turnbuckle. Riott tagged in with the announcers doing their usual thing where they say that Riott is a future champion. I agree Riott likely is a future champion, but the announcers say it as if they are robots. Moon tagged in with three straight rollup attempts on Riott. Logan tagged in, Moon with an armdrag takedown and Moon slammed face first into the mat. Graves had a funny joke about how somebody close to Logan forgot their name, which is a reference to Sarah’s husband becoming “Erik” of The Viking Experience instead of his real name Ray Rowe. There was another distraction from Morgan, so Logan hit a dropkick that sent Bayley into the turnbuckle. Riott and Logan kept doing quick tags to isolate Bayley. Logan slapped on a submission on Bayley’s legs. Bayley managed to break free by kicking Logan to the corner. Bayley sent Logan into the turnbuckle. Riott tagged in to prevent Bayley from tagging to Moon, but it wasn’t that effective. Moon tagged in with a dropkick on Riott, an enziguri kick and a boot to the face. Moon with a springboard cross body block for two. After Moon was sent to the turnbuckle, Riott kicked her and got a pin attempt where Morgan tried to cheat to help Riott’s pin attempt and the referee saw it. The referee ejected Morgan from ringside. Moon went up top and hit the Eclipse stunner off the top on Riott for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Ember Moon and Bayley

Analysis: *1/2 It was a standard women’s tag team match that we see on TV nearly every week. They could have set the finish up better and Logan didn’t even try to save Riott on the pin attempt, so that was lame. Anyway, this is just a house show match where they keep it simple. The Eclipse from Moon is one of my favorite finishers in WWE.

A commercial aired for WWEShop promoting championship titles on sale.

A commercial aired promoting Raw on Monday with new people on the show.

The Shield trio of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose did a cell phone promo like they have done many times in the past. They talked about their seven years together and they are going to go out and do it their way. Reigns said “believe that” and Ambrose ended it saying “believe in The Shield.”

There was a clip from earlier tonight when the trio of Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley and Baron Corbin beat up the Lucha House Party and the Singh Brothers earlier at the live event in Moline. Corbin said that was just a preview of what they’ll do to The Shield.

The heel trio made their entrances individually. Drew McIntyre was up first, Bobby Lashley was next and Baron Corbin was the last man for the team. They are all Raw guys that are not switching brands after the Superstar Shake-up that took place last week. When Corbin got in the ring, he made ring announcer Mike Rome give him a special introduction listing his credentials including the line saying he is the “Quad Cities favorite son.”

Corbin said it was an emotional night. He said tonight is The Shield’s final chapter while adding that they are one of the most dominant forces that WWE has ever seen throughout history. Corbin said you all thought Kurt Angle would have a fairytale ending, but Angle’s final chapter was losing to Corbin. Corbin said that tonight, The Shield will get the exact same privilege. Lashley said that The Shield won’t have their hands held high. Lashley said they are going to give The Shield a very brutal beatdown. McIntyre told the fans to get on their feet and show some damn respect to them. McIntyre said that we are about to be a part of history while adding that history is written by the victors. McIntyre said that after they eliminate The Shield, they will be the new dominant force in WWE. Drew said to bring The Shield out there.

The Shield trio made their classic entrance by entering the arena through the crowd like they have done so many times. Seth Rollins had the Universal Title with him and Rollins had the original Shield vest. Cole noted he interviewed them. Reigns told Cole he enjoyed traveling with Ambrose to the live events this weekend for the final time because they drove together to shows for many years.

The Shield trio made their classic entrance by entering the arena through the crowd like they have done so many times. Seth Rollins had the Universal Title with him and Rollins had the original Shield vest. Cole noted he interviewed The Shield trio and it’s on Youtube now. Renee Young said that it was emotional seeing her husband Dean Ambrose, but he’s doing what he wants to do and she supports him. Reigns told Cole he enjoyed traveling with Ambrose to the live events this weekend for the final time because they drove together to shows for many years.

Analysis: In case you don’t know by now, this is Dean’s last match because his contract expired and he chose not to renew it. This is it for Ambrose in WWE for now.

The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose) vs. Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley and Baron Corbin

Rollins started for the team against Corbin. Ambrose tagged in with a flurry of offense. Renee said when she had her first date with Ambrose, she thought it would be just one on one, but Rollins was with Dean and she laughed about it. Cole just said “and the rest is history” meaning that Dean ended up marrying Renee. Lashley was in there, Ambrose took it to him, Reigns tagged in and faced off with McIntyre for the first time since their WrestleMania match. Reigns with an uppercut punch to McIntyre, Drew with a kick and Reigns hit a Samoan Drop. Ambrose back in and he tossed McIntyre over the top to the floor. Ambrose hit a suicide dive on McIntyre on the floor. The heels managed to do a distraction move leading to McIntyre working over Ambrose and Lashley stomped on Ambrose. Lashley with a suplex into a cover on Ambrose for two. Lashley dumped Ambrose to the floor, distracted the referee and that led to McIntyre and Corbin to stomp away on Ambrose on the floor. Corbin with a knee to the ribs of Ambrose. Corbin punched the other faces off the apron and Ambrose slapped on a Figure Four Leglock. McIntyre raked the eyes of Ambrose to break the hold. Ambrose countered a McIntyre suplex into a suplex of his own. Lashley prevented Ambrose from tagging out and Lashley hit a belly to belly suplex for two. Reigns got sick of the heels cheating, so he grabbed a chair, but he didn’t do anything with it other than a staredown. Ambrose hit a neckbreaker on McIntyre to create some space.

Rollins got the tag against Corbin with Rollins hitting a springboard clothesline, Slingblade and a slingshot attack over the top on McIntyre on the floor. Rollins with a superkick on Corbin. Rollins teased The Stomp, McIntyre in the ring, Rollins clotheslined him and Corbin hit Rollins in the back of the head with a clothesline. Lashley and Corbin teased a double team superplex on Rollins that was never going to happen, Rollins fought them off and Rollins hit a cross body block on Corbin. Reigns tagged in with a clothesline on Lashley, clothesline on Corbin, atomic drop and a clothesline from Reigns to Lashley. Reigns hit a Superman Punch on Corbin on the apron and a Superman Punch on Lashley in the ring. Ambrose was back on the apron for the hot tag. Ambrose hit the elbow smash off the top on Lashley for a two count as McIntyre made the save. Corbin tagged in, the heels tried a double team suplex, Rollins saved Ambrose and there was a double team clothesline/superkick by the Shield guys. Lashley was back in, but Reigns hit him with a Spear. Rollins with The Stomp on McIntyre. Ambrose hit a Dirty Deeds on Corbin. No cover. Reigns and Rollins tagged in. They picked up Corbin and they hit a Triple Powerbomb sometimes called a Shield Bomb on Corbin. Rollins covered Corbin and got the win for the team after 14 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Shield

Analysis: *** It was a good tag team match as usual from these guys that know eachother so well. We got all of The Shield’s classic hits as Ambrose was the face in peril, then he got the hot tag and The Shield found a way to get the job done to win the match. I thought Dean should have got the pin at the end, but it is Seth’s hometown, so I guess that’s why it was done that way. It’s not a big deal really in terms of who got the win.

There were replays of the highlights of the match.

After the match was over, fans chanted “please don’t go” at Ambrose. Seth Rollins said that they have tried that already.

Rollins said that a few weeks ago, he beat Brock Lesnar for that Universal Title. He said that a lot of people here in the Quad Cities know him and know his story and for him, that was the culmination of the last 15 years of his life that he has put into this business. Seth said that he had family there, he couldn’t do it without them and he couldn’t do it without the fans support. Seth said that the Universal Title would not be possible without this (Shield) brotherhood. Seth said that for the last seven years, he loves them, he will always love The Shield and he couldn’t have done this without them. They had a group hug in the ring.

Dean Ambrose grabbed the microphone. Ambrose said that it’s no secret that Seth grew up here in the Quad Cities and he wants to use this as an example. Dean said that if you work hard, if you put your mind to it and if you bust your ass, you can get to the finish line and Seth Rollins is proof of that. Ambrose said that if you want proof of what it means to overcome something, look at Roman Reigns and see what he has done (beating leukemia). Ambrose said that if somebody tries to tell you that you can’t be something you want to be, you stick your middle finger up the air and you match forward saying that The Shield said so. That’s a nice twist on the Austin 3:16 catchphrase.

The fans chanted “Thank you Ambrose” for Dean. The Shield trio stood in the ring with their fists together as their music played. The three men posed in the ring one final time and that was it.

Analysis: Good speeches from Rollins and Ambrose. I like Dean’s message that you can be anything you want to be if you work your ass off to do it. Well said. I’m surprised that Reigns didn’t want to talk, but I know it was an emotional moment for all of them. They have said it all in their many goodbyes and all the videos that WWE has posted about them.

This special had a run time of 1 hour and 10 minutes on WWE Network.


Final Thoughts

Thank you Dean. This was not a must-see broadcast by any means. It was just three simple matches with babyfaces going over just like you would see at most WWE live events. If you like The Shield, watch the main event and the post match promos. If not, that’s fine. I hope you enjoyed this review.

As for Dean Ambrose’s future, I don’t think he’ll join another wrestling company. I think he just wants a break from wrestling. Is it retirement? Probably not because he’s only 33 years old. I think he’ll be back in WWE one day in a few years. This feels like a break for a year, maybe two or even more and when the time is right, he’ll be back in the WWE ring because it’s something he has loved to do for his entire adult life. Then again, Dean isn’t the type of guy to talk about his interests or his goals in interviews like many other wrestlers do. He leads a very private life, which is his choice. I wish Dean all the best in whatever he does next. He busted his ass to entertain us and I appreciate that. I hope you guys do too.

I hope WWE does more live event specials on WWE Network. The last one was Starrcade last November. It’s easy to air three or four matches. Try to be more creative with the matches or set them on TV and maybe people will care more too. A live event special every two months or so would be cool with me.

Thanks for reading. My contact info is below. Go Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Blue Jays.

John Canton


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