Seth Rollins & The Future Of The WWE
As a soon to be twenty six year old, avid wrestling fan that is a constant reader of the Internet Wrestling Community, this is my blog in which I explore the impatience of this community as it waits for the page to turn to the next generation of WWE superstars.
On June 29, 2014 I was a witness to the dawn of a new age of wrestling. Seth Rollins ascended to the top of the ladder in the TD Garden of Boston, MA and grabbed the golden ticket that is the Money In The Bank briefcase; a guaranteed shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, anytime, anywhere. Although he received his share of help from Kane & the Authority, don’t be fooled, Seth Rollins will lead the WWE locker room in a post John Cena/Randy Orton world. I wanted to take the time and examine the flaws pointed out by the IWC and give my thoughts on why, as a heel or face, Seth Rollins can be the next face that runs the place.
Survivor Series 2012, the debut of the Shield, was completely unexpected by all, but it will forever be remembered as the emergence of three superstars poised to take over the WWE. Many knew the name Dean Ambrose due to his work on the independent wrestling scene and brief internet feud with Mick Foley. Roman Reigns was possibly the superstar fans were least familiar with. However, with the family resume and support he’s received from Hall of Famers and Legends alike, it was difficult to imagine he’d go unnoticed. Then there was Seth Rollins, formerly known as Tyler Black in Ring of Honor, where his in ring skills and athleticism were undoubtedly his stepping stone to the WWE. However, it was on this night the picture began to be painted by the IWC on why he would be the least successful member of the Shield.
Seth Rollins looks like CM Punk. This is the first, and possibly most ridiculous thing I read about why Seth Rollins won’t make it. They both have black hair. That is where the similarities end. When it comes down to it, Seth Rollins’ ring gear, wrestling style, hair, and body type could not be further away from that of CM Punk; and while I’m a fan of both superstars, looking back to that debut in November 2012 the IWC was really grasping at straws on that one.
Seth Rollins doesn’t have a finishing move to be a top WWE superstar. I’ll admit that at first, I wasn’t a huge fan of the flying knee from the top rope and compared to Dirty Deeds and the spear he had the weakest finisher of the three members of the Shield. As time passed, he proved that he has by far the most exciting in ring move set within the Shield and the night he triggered the destruction of the faction he separated himself from the pack with the Curb Stomp. The Curb Stomp isn’t just an effective finisher because it looks like it hurts. The key to having a good finisher is being able to perform it on anyone in the locker room no matter how big or small their opponent is. The Curb Stomp gives Seth Rollins that universal finisher that not only puts down the biggest animals in the WWE jungle, but it adds to his heel persona because it is seen as an action of disrespect.
Seth Rollins isn’t “a good talker”. How many of you have gotten in front of thousands of people on a nightly basis and spoke for 5-15 minutes? Superstars like Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose that have incredible microphone skills do not come around too often, but as time has progressed, Rollins has proven himself to be an effective heel and engaging speaker with his backstage and in-ring promos.
Seth Rollins doesn’t have “the look” of a top WWE superstar. While there is no doubt that the three members of the Shield will become main event players for years to come due to this faction, I truly believe it was Seth Rollins that was held back the most within the group. Since breaking apart from the group he has shined in his singles matches more than Reigns and Ambrose. Most recently he took yet another Cena vs. Lesnar match to the next level with his exciting move set and athleticism. He has a series of moves he flashed during the Shield’s brief run as a “face” faction and towards the end of the triple threat title match at the 2015 Royal Rumble. Much like professional sports teams pride themselves in winning games in different ways, Seth Rollins can wrestle a match with high flying moves, technical wrestling, and in an all out brawl. It is within these traits he will continue to establish himself as WWE’s top wrestler for years to come.
Seth Rollins doesn’t have a good entrance theme. Personally, I listen to Seth Rollins’ music at the gym, but that’s another story. When you think about superstars who get a “pop” solely because of their music you have to consider the initial strike when it comes on. The most popular superstars have a build to their entrance. John Cena and Daniel Bryan are currently the best examples of this. The start of their entrance theme immediately grabs the audience. Even guys like the Big Show and Mark Henry have a trigger to get fans out of their seats. The same goes for Seth Rollins. His initial drum intro, the pause, and then he comes out from behind the curtain as the song ramps up all have the necessary qualities of a top heel or face in the WWE. He also has charisma and a walk to the ring that not many other superstars have. He is one of the few guys in WWE who can stir the crowd into a frenzy as he walks to the ring. As he transitions from villain to face throughout his career his popularity will grow, and his entrance theme will only enhance that. I’m not saying he will get a reaction (good or bad) like John Cena, but to be a successful WWE superstar the reaction in itself is all you can ask for.
Seth Rollins has been losing too many of his matches as Mr. Money in the Bank. The impatience and short term memories of the IWC is perhaps the most frustrating thing about reading articles (like this) online. Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, and even CM Punk lost a hell of a lot more matches than they won prior to cashing in their MITB contract. Ever heard of the saying “it’s always darkest before the dawn”? That’s exactly what these former MITB contract winners experienced prior to cashing in their briefcases. If you ask me, Seth Rollins has, without question, had the most successful run as Mr. Money in the Bank without using his guaranteed title shot. He has established himself as the top heel in the company and has a rapidly growing resume of top tier matches on every stage he’s been given the opportunity.
Rollins is primed to be the next standout star, and possible face of the WWE, not only for the points I made above, but also for the little things he does you don’t see on WWE TV, like interacting with The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, which will undoubtedly bring more eyeballs to the WWE product during WrestleMania season. I expect Seth Rollins to cash in his Money in the Bank contract sooner than later. It is because of the reasons above and support he has received backstage from the likes of Triple H that it wouldn’t surprise me if he has his big moment cashing in his MITB contact on the grandest stage of them all this March at WrestleMania 31. In all honesty, the only people I see credible enough to defeat the beast Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship are John Cena (sigh), Randy Orton, and Seth Rollins, via unexpected cash in. Although he has found himself in a bit of a scandal due to social media as of late, I can’t see the fuel to Seth Rollins’ fire being extinguished just yet. He truly is the standard bearer of this new age of wrestling and this is a fact only supported by the success of NXT. Mark my words, Seth Rollins will be the man with a target on his back as a new crop of superstars are brought up from NXT. His career is running almost parallel with Triple H’s and Randy Orton’s as they rose to the top of the mountain as young competitors. Whether he continues his run as a heel or face, or with or without the Authority, it is clear to see that Seth Rollins has all the tools it takes to grab the proverbial brass ring and much like he ascended to the top of the ladder at Money in the Bank in 2014, lead the WWE and it’s young superstars for years to come.