Seth Rolliins, Tyler Black and why the WWE need to up their game for the Brand Split

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.

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WWE

To put this post into some context for you: I am a wrestling fan. From living in the UK, the USA and Japan, wrestling has been a big part of my life. I grew up during the Monday Night Wars and the Attitude Era, and am suffering (but still watching) through the PG Era (which frankly, needs to end).

The reason I am writing, to any WWE fan, should be obvious. To any non-WWE fans on here, I shall explain. WWE’s PG Era was the least thought-out move the wrestling industry has ever seen. We moved away from Hogan’s “say your prayers and eat your vitamins” schtick in the 1980’s, towards a more realistic, more progressive, more mature era right until the mid noughties, and now we’ve regressed back to the 1980’s bollocks. John Cena, a man once known for having a good move-set (amount of effective techniques in the squared circle) and the biggest mouth in the business, is now known for never losing his temper, or swearing. He became “Mr. Hustle, Loyaltly, and Respect”, burying talent (always winning clean) and never being a real person. Vincent Kennedy McMahon and Paul Levesque, if you read my pokey little blog, which nobody really does, you may want to read onwards.

The first thing wrong with WWE, is that you never let your talent have what they want. That’s why you have just lost your biggest ironman since The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar. All he wanted was a return to the championship scene, and because you refused him, where is he and Paul Heyman headed? UFC. You never gave the best wrestler in the business the promotion needed along side his push forwards, and where did CM Punk go? UFC. If you don’t give the self-styled “King of Strong-Style” what he needs, he’ll end up back at New Japan Pro Wrestling. Your “Phenomenal One” AJ Styles will go back to TNA. Oh wait, I’ve made a cock-up there, even in your WWE Network documentaries, you never mention Total Nonstop Action: Impact, which still beats you in the ratings. It’s time you acknowleged them. They have got two of your biggest old talents working for them: Kurt Angle (why that man isn’t in the WWE Hall of Fame is beyond me) and Booker T (again, should be in the Hall of Fame).

The second thing wrong with WWE is your booking problems. Jesus, even I could book your shows and Pay-per-views better than you have been doing for the last three years. There is even a popular YouTube show from the WhatCulture channel called “How WWE Should Have Booked/Should Book” because of your continuous booking failiures and fuck-ups. Seriously, we know Joseph Anoa’ii (better known as Roman Reigns) is a powerhouse of a man, with speed and the strength to match it, but there are serious problems with him. He cannot speak well on a microphone to save his life, and the fans hate him. Something to me seems seriously wrong when you have to drown out the boos from your live crowd with over-dubbed cheers at the biggest event of the year for you. If that isn’t enough, stars like fellow englishman, Wade Barrett leave after 10 years of loyalty, just because you want to play favourites and because some of your biggest stars have had family that have done your company well 20-30 years ago. From a business point of view, your model is not only useless, but obsolete and irrevelevant.

The (less than) Great Escape

So then, after the biggest turn out since 1992, the people of the UK have voted to leave the European Union (referred to hereafter as the EU) by a margin of 4%. I’m honestly not sure what to say.

There are some good things in relation to this: noted pig-fucker David Cameron has resigned his post as Prime Minister and will be out of 10 Downing Street by October. Thank fuck for that. However, this does give Cameron one ignoble honour: He’s the shortest Prime Minister to have ruled with a majority government in history. How’s that for a slap in the face?

There are, however, things much worse happening. The strength of the pound has fell dramatically, undoing 4 years of economic growth. Nando’s have closed nationwide due to the result, so if you’re reading this on the 24th of June, you have only today to lose your Nando’s virginity. Scotland are calling for a second independence referendum, which now means that they are inevitably leaving. The majority of Scotland voted to remain. So, I’m probably going to move up to Scotland.

That so far is what we know for certain is going to happen, so in my usual format, here is my opinion. Well done, Britain, this time you have nobody to blame but yourself. Not the European Parliament, not the party of upper-class, corrupt, pig-fucking toffs, but yourself. In your ignorance and fear, you turned to a city banker and his party of casual racists to guide your decision and now we are well and truly fucked. Our economy is going to sink into recession at least, which means more unpopular austerity cuts, more fucking idiotic financial measures, and guess what? More inflation. To give people in the UK an example: You know how Freddo bars used to cost 10p? They will cost a fuckton more now. Honestly, you know what? I’m done. I’m fucking done.