In a return to the sports posts, I have decided to discuss one of the WWE’s most controversial modern stars, Seth Rollins. Previously a Florida Championship Wrestling (one of WWE’s developmental divisions) star, he was promoted to NXt where he found great success before rising to the main roster as part of one of the most popular stables in wreslting history: The Shield.
The Shield were kayfabe (only real for the sake of storylines) enforcers for the kayfabe corporation running Monday Night Raw. They consisted of three wrestlers: Roman Reigns, the powerhouse of the group, Dean Ambrose, the slightly insane one who happened to be unpredictable, and the athletic and brainy one; Seth Rollins.
Rollins’ background is fascinating, having been one of the most popular independent wrestlers in modern times. His popularity started with an appearance in Total Nonstop Action: Impact Zone, from which he was headhunted into Pro Wrestling Guerilla (PWG) where he won a Tag Team Championship before heading to Liverpool, UK to win a Full Impact Pro (FIP) World Heavyweight Championship using his former billing name, Tyler Black).
In 2009, he started appearing in Ring Of Honour, one of the WWE’s rivals as Tyler Black, where he performed extremely well, beating big names such as Austin Aries, Chris Hero and Colt Cabana (I recommend the latter’s podcast: it’s excellent). He had and held the World Championship there for over a year before being signed to the developmental programmes of WWE, with a new monicker: Seth Rollins.
When Rollins appeared on the main roster of WWE, his character he had portrayed had completely changed. He had gone from being a devil-may-care, flamboyant, give-no-damns son-of-a-bitch to being the exact opposite. Out had gone his signature move (the Phoenix Splash, which is an amazing piece of acrobatics) and he had got a dangerous move called the kerbstomp until the end of Daniel Bryan’s career. Bryan’s career ended because of a concussion brought on by this move, and now Rollins uses a stock move, made iconic by the Undertaker and Triple H: The Pedigree.
Now that Roman Reigns has been suspended for the consumption of a banned substance in line with the WWE’s wellness policy, Vince McMahon and co. have been left with a problem: What do we do with Seth Rollins?
Here’s what I would do. I would get rid of the whiny bitch heel that Rollins has become and make him more like Tyler Black. Let him use his acrobatic style and brains to win matches. And this is how:
We’re coming up to Summerslam this year: At SS, Dean Ambrose loses his World Heavyweight Championship Title to Rollins. Rollins, on the following Monday Night Raw, does a Bret Hart and claims “he’s the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be”. This causes Triple H (who’s currently the kayfabe manager of Raw) to make Rollins prove it. At Clash of Champions (where every belt is contested), Rollins has a triple threat match against Reigns and Ambrose. They’re doing this at Battleground, but it will be arse gravy of the worst kind.
Rollins retains, but barely. Due to a no-disqualification stipulation, Rollins knocks out Ambrose with chairs and pretty much anything he can get his hands on, before pinning Reigns to win. Nobody likes Reigns anyway, and this will get Rollins popular with the crowd.
Then at Hell in a Cell, Rollins is made to face the godfather of this match type: The Undertaker. The Undertaker beats Rollins in a near-perfect replication of the Taker’s match against Mick Foley, getting the title off Rollins. However, due to sustained damage from his 25-year career in WWE, Taker loses it to Ambrose the following night on Raw. Rollins is, understandably, furious. He demands a title shot from Triple H, but Triple H refuses, saying that as Survivor Series has the matches booked already, Seth is just going to have to wait until Tables, Ladders and Chairs in December. Seth begins to train hard, getting more of a bodybuilder’s physique that he had when he was Tyler Black.
At Survivor Series, a returning Kurt Angle breaks Ambrose’s ankle using his famous ankle-lock manouvre that made him famous. After being awarded the title, he turns to the cameras, and picking up a microphone, calls Rollins a coward and challenges him to a match at TLC.
TLC arrives and the two put on a solid performance. Twenty minutes of pure athleticism pass before Angle’s ego gets too big and pins Rollins after stealing Rollins’ finishing move: The Pedigree. This makes Kurt Angle a heel (villain) and solidifies Rollins both as a tough guy and a babyface (hero).
On the following Raw, Triple H teams up either the Big Show or Ryback with Rollins to help him win the Royal Rumble, but in Rollin’s refusal to be moddycoddled by the bigwigs, he eliminates his babysitter but is sadly himself eliminated by Finn Balor. If Finn isn’t part of the main roster by January 2017, expect a very long-winded rant from me.
After this, Triple H brutally attacks Rollins in his rage, and Rollins is “hospitalised”. In the real world, Rollins will be training again, making himself more resilient and stronger for the next bout. At the first Pay-Per-View after Royal Rumble, the big screen (TitanTron) is hijacked by hand-held camera footage (reminiscent of The Shield’s promos). Seth Rollins ambushes others and gets his revenge, making one final demand: a Wrestlemania match between himself and Triple H.
Wrestlemania arrives and the two men go the distnace: a full-on 30 minute match in which neither man leaves the ring. Solid, athletic wrestling takes place and it becomes a Dave Meltzer 5-star match. At the ending moments, Rollins gets his moment performing his finishing move from before WWE: The Phoenix Splash. The crowd go mental, and Rollins is now what he should be: WWE’s most iconic current babyface.
I have to give thanks to Adam Blampied and Whatculture for the idea and the loose plotlines behind this post, and also thanks to my many years of watching wrestling.