Seth Rollins began his career as an independent wrestler who wasted no time making an impact in the world of sports-entertainment. After becoming the first NXT Champion in August 2012, Rollins quickly moved on to join forces with fellow NXT standouts Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns to wreak havoc on WWE.
The trio debuted in WWE at Survivor Series 2012, smashing Ryback through the announce table and costing him a title match against WWE Champion CM Punk. The group returned the following night on Raw during Punk’s 365-day championship celebration, sending Ryback through the announce table once more.
When Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns finally spoke a week later for the first time in WWE, the trio denied any involvement with Punk. Rollins said they “saw things heading in the wrong direction,” so the group “stepped in and righted those wrongs.” Rollins referred to himself and his cohorts as “a shield from injustice in WWE,” and Ambrose aptly named the group “The Shield.”
Although they occasionally stumbled in singles action, The Shield was unstoppable as a collective unit, besting any and all Superstars who dared to cross their path. At Extreme Rules, The Shield established themselves as WWE's most dominant trio with Ambrose capturing the United States Title, Rollins & Reigns defeating Team Hell No in a Tornado Tag Team Match to capture the WWE Tag Team Titles. Following SummerSlam, The Shield allied themselves with WWE COO Triple H to become the muscle of the corporate Authority; despite losing the WWE Tag Team Titles to Cody Rhodes & Goldust, they remained a force to be reckoned with for The King of Kings’ most persistent enemies, particularly Daniel Bryan.
The Shield’s first true test came in the form of CM Punk, who used mind games to drive a wedge between the three of them. The group’s frustrations continued to mount all the way into 2014, when Rollins entered the 2014 Royal Rumble Match at No. 2 and lasted deep into the contest. However, he and Ambrose were eliminated by Reigns, who came in second to Batista. The next night, The Shield were prevented from earning their way into the Elimination Chamber Match and challenging for the WWE World Heavyweight Title when The Wyatt Family interfered in their qualifying bout, handing the DQ victory to Daniel Bryan, John Cena & Sheamus. As a result, The Shield demanded, and were granted, a showdown with The Wyatts at Elimination Chamber. After a couple weeks of circling each other, the two factions finally came to blows at the end of the Feb. 17 Raw.
But at Elimination Chamber, The Hounds of Justice fell in a hard-fought battle to The Wyatt Family, and fell again in a rematch eight days later when Rollins – fed up with his teammates’ infighting – abandoned them to make a statement. His point taken, The Shield rallied and eventually turned on The Authority altogether, decimating WWE Director of Operations Kane and The New Age Outlaws in one of the most dominant WrestleMania showings ever.
So persistent was The Shield’s resistance that The Game re-formed Evolution with Randy Orton & Batista to combat them, but at Extreme Rules, The Shield emerged victorious, thanks in no small part to a gravity-defying effort by Rollins. But The Hounds weren't done with Evoluton, as Rollins, Ambrose & Reigns shut out all three members of legendary faction in a brutal No Holds Barred Elimination Match at WWE Payback. Even though Batista quit WWE the next night, the evening still threw the future of The Shield into question, however, when Rollins attacked Reigns and Ambrose with a steel chair and seemingly allied himself with Evolution.
The next week, Rollins explained his actions as a business decision and dared his former allies to attack him; despite a timely escape by The Aerialist, Ambrose & Reigns allied with John Cena to defeat The Wyatt Family later in the evening. Rollins not only continued to antagonize Ambrose, but Triple H entered him into a traditional Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship contract ... without having to qualify first. The next week, he successfully convinced Triple H to allow Ambrose into the match along with The Game's other handpicked competitors so Rollins could better thwart his former teammate's plans against The Authority.
Seth Rollins’ plan came to fruition at WWE Money in the Bank 2014 when, with the aid of the Demon Kane, took out his fellow Shield cohort and earned the right to be called “Mr. Money in the Bank.” Ambrose vowed to keep Rollins from cashing in at every turn and has kept his promise thus far. The two former teammates were scheduled to go head-to-head at WWE Battleground, but never had an actual match as Ambrose attacked Rollins backstage, again in the ring after being ejected from the building, and once more in the arena's parking lot by hiding in the trunk of Rollins' car.
In the midst of all-out bedlam in a Lumberjack Match at SummerSlam, Seth Rollins hit his former "business associate" Dean Ambrose with the Money in the Bank briefcase to overcome his unstable opponent. During their rematch the next night, Kane helped Rollins Curb Stomp Ambrose through a pile of cinder blocks in an attack that would have sent Ambrose to a local medical center, had he not thrown off his restraints, refused treatment and escaped from WWE officials altogether.