Ghostcrawler posted fairly heavily on the Warrior forums the other day, and while Warriors are not especially my territory, something the crabman said reminded me of something I've really liked about Wrath so far. Referencing Gladiator, "Watch how Maximus uses his shield -- he isn't cowering behind it -- he's bashing people in the face with it. Shields should be a viable form of combat, not the option to avoid combat." This was said in the context of Protection possibly being viable in the arenas in the nebulous future (not anytime soon), but it reminded me of general playstyles anyway.
To some extent, Warriors have fought like this for quite awhile. Shield Bash, Shield Slam, things like that. It wasn't just Shield Block. However, none of that stuff hit very hard. Sure, Protection Warriors shouldn't be able to rock the DPS with their shield, but Shield Slam was more like Shield Bump. The higher block values and thus higher Shield Slam damage is exciting, and the addition of Sword and Board puts even more emphasis on the shield.