Roman Reigns made his main roster television debut as on November 18, 2012 at the Survivor Series pay-per-view event alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, assaulting Ryback during the triple threat main event for the WWE Championship, allowing CM Punk to retain the title, thus establishing themselves as villains. The trio declared themselves The Shield and vowed to rally against “injustice”, while also denying working for Punk, even though they would routinely emerge from the crowd to attack Punk’s adversaries, including Ryback and WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane). This led to a six-man tag team Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 16, in which Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins defeated Team Hell No and Ryback in their debut match. The Shield continued to aid Punk in January 2013, attacking both Ryback and The Rock. On the January 28 episode of Raw, it was revealed that Punk and his manager Paul Heyman had been paying The Shield and Brad Maddox to work for them.
The Shield then indistinctly ended their association with Punk while beginning a feud with John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus that directed to a six-man tag match on February 17 at Elimination Chamber, which The Shield won.The Shield then made their WrestleMania debut, where they defeated Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show at WrestleMania 29 in April.The following night on Raw, The Shield attempted to attack The Undertaker, but they were stopped by Team Hell No.This set up a six-man tag team match on the April 22 episode of Raw, which The Shield won. On the May 13 episode of Raw, The Shield’s undefeated streak in televised six-man tag team matches ended in a disqualification loss in an elimination tag team match against Cena, Kane and Bryan.
On May 19 at Extreme Rules, Reigns and Rollins defeated Team Hell No in a tornado tag team match to win the WWE Tag Team Championship. On the June 14 episode of SmackDown, The Shield where given their first decisive loss in televised six-man tag team matches at the hands of Team Hell No and Randy Orton, when Bryan submitted Rollins.Reigns and Rollins defeated Bryan and Orton at Payback to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.Further successful title defenses followed against The Usos at Money in the Bank and The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O’Neil) at Night of Champions.