In keeping up with the recent, strange trend of 'borrowing' from TNA (the new opening montages, cena/ziggler/aj), do you suppose we're headed for an Aces & Eights type thing with an eventual reveal of who The Shield are working for? I think we can rule out Punk and Maddox at this point, but do you think their employer/leader is something they're building up to?
Not really. I mean, it seems pretty obvious that Punk is the leader and he's just a lying fuck who's been denying it all along because it's his nature.
That being said, it does make me want to address something that was brought up in the RAW thread about how this angle is supposedly just as bad as Aces & Eights. To me, even at two weeks old, it's way better than Aces was. The TNA storyline is plagued by the TNA extreme decompression storytelling, where they have a definite start and stopping point and god help you if you need something to happen between those two points. Also, it took MONTHS for them to even reveal Devon's involvement in the group, and he wasn't even a featured guy under a mask before that. They have no motivation; they literally pick their targets at random with a dartboard. You have no faces to put to the people and no personalities to assign to them, so as a viewer you can't empathize with anyone. Even if they gave them all wacky nicknames and characteristics (Masked Wes Brisco could be "Lucky" and his thing could be that he's always very fortunate in his escapes or something) so there's SOMETHING to hook fans with. Hell, during their FIRST APPEARANCE, Michael Cole told us that 1) these guys were named Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns and 2) They were from NXT. There you go, names and backstory in just their initial attack. With the Aces we still haven't established why they're here, what they want, why they targeted Hulk and then just started ignoring him, who they are under the masks, or a million different questions that most forms of entertainment will answer right off the bat. The dramatic tension with the nWo didn't come from the mystery of the participants, it came from seeing how WCW would react to those participants. TNA seems to think that the anticipation of unmasking a bunch of guys is somehow a substitute for making people care about those guys. The Brisco/D-Lo thing was really clever and all, but it's like six months into this storyline and seemingly either fans are WAAAAAY ahead of the story and already know the payoff, or just don't care about it in general. Like after BFG I was joking that we'd get one unmasking per PPV, but now it's looking like we're not even gonna move THAT fast with it.
So in summation, Shield good thus far, Aces & Eights good to start but long gone over a cliff.