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Shield 2Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on http://bleacherreport.com and was written by Sharon Glencross.

Remember when The Shield was the hottest act in the wrestling industry? It seems like ages ago now, doesn’t it?

Oh, the group—consisting of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns—haven’t fallen that far. The three still have their credibility and receive regular airtime on Raw and SmackDown.

But are they the force to be reckoned they once were? No. They’ve now been demoted to the midcard, regularly appear on the pre-show at the pay-per-views and are taking on the likes of The Usos on a regular basis.

So, what happened? Well, one explanation is that the three wrestlers have gotten a ton of backstage heat on them over the past several months and their push was slowed down.

Ex-WWE writer Court Bauer was one of the first to claim this, explaining on the Live Audio Wrestling podcast that Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns had been accused of developing egos and taking themselves too seriously. Other reports followed suit, with F4Wonline (via CageSideSeats) even claiming Reigns had gotten into a heated backstage argument with top-star Randy Orton after a botched move at a house show.

Did a backstage argument with Orton affect The Shield’s push? (from WWE.com)

There is likely some validity to these stories. But come on, does this explain why the guys are floundering as much as they are?

Probably not. And a more likely explanation is that WWE has simply run out of ideas for the heel stable and doesn’t know what to do with them anymore.

It certain respects, the trio have done everything they can as heels.

They have interfered in numerous title matches. They have taken on the likes of John Cena, Ryback, Orton and Daniel Bryan on television and pay-per-view too many times to count.

And how often have we heard Ambrose bemoan the lack of “justice” in the company?

The recent introduction of The Wyatt Family—another heel group consisting of three guys—probably doesn’t help matters either. Raw may have too many heel stables floating around right now.

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