“Best In The World” is a moniker that has been used both in and out of the wrestling scene. CM Punk made it into shirts, Daniel Bryan made the assertion as when he was ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson, and Chris Jericho added “at what I do” and got it over. Many are calling near 700-day IWGP Champion Kazuchika Okada that very thing.
But in 2018, Seth Rollins has stepped up to the plate to stake a claim on being the absolute best.
There was only one way to find an answer, and that was to pose the question to our crack staff here at The Chairshot. Each was sent the question and asked to “Buy” or “Sell” the notion, with an explanation of why.
These are their responses, this is BUY or SELL:
(Commentary in italics.)
Jon Weigell – SELL
In WWE, he’s probably the best (right next to AJ Styles). But as far as the whole wrestling world is concerned, he’s behind names like Tetsuya Naito, Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega in my mind. Rollins definitely breaks my top 5 though.
See how this works? Also, not shocked Japan rared it’s head in the first response!
Eric Ames – SELL
But not because I don’t feel he’s deserving of the honor. Honestly, it depends on what your criteria is for “best wrestler”, which is always the case with these kinds of questions. To give an answer though, I think we’re looking at a “1A” and “1B” type of situation. While I can’t argue against it, I can’t argue for it either because of one name…AJ Styles. Also, if Andrew says someone from Japan is equally as good as well, I’d probably believe him.
Did someone say…Andrew?
Andrew Balaz – SELL
Mainly off the basis that most people complain WWE isn’t even the best wrestling around (biggest doesn’t equate to best). So just because he’s had an impressive 4 months, in a company not known for quality wrestling, that’s like being the star player on a losing team. He’s not even the best wrestler in WWE, he’s top 3, but not the best. Don’t let recency bias skew the worldwide narrative.
Well, the question does say best in the world “today.” So recency is inherent to the question.
Big Rick – SELL
Four reasons why: The Miz, Finn Balor, AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan.
Excited to see The Miz on here. Being the Best In The World means talking as well. But does it also knock AJ Styles down a half-peg? Also, note that you can be a pure WWE fan and still see some great wrestling.
Big Dave – SELL
I absolutely feel Seth is in the Top 5 but to say he is #1 in a world where Daniel Bryan just came back, AJ Styles is WWE Champ, Kenny Omega, Kazichika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, Will Ospreay are in NJPW, and you have incredible talent in WWE like Andrade Almas, Aleister Black and Richochet….I can’t unequivocally buy that Seth is #1. Is he in the conversation? Easily. I just can’t feel completely confident with anointing Seth Rollins as Best In The World.
Yes, we have two guys named “Big” something. It’s wrestling. Also, it’s too soon to have Ricochet on this list. But he’ll end up on it before all is said and done.
Steven Mitchell – BUY
Granted, WWE has AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura and Daniel Bryan, and Kenny Omega exists at all. But when was the last time Shin or Styles went over an hour in a match? How many matches do NJPW stars really do in a month? Rollins not only works on the WWE Schedule of day after day, week after week, but he goes even harder. Rollins even said in his promo on April 30th that he’s had the whirlwind workhorse schedule with the Intercontinental Championship, but you wouldn’t know it with how each match he’s in is incredible.
From the historic Raw Gauntlet to his WrestleMania win that made him a Grand Slam Champion to Greatest Royal Rumble to the Raw-After-GRR to being the highlight of Backlash (though that wasn’t that hard, but Backlash is another subject all together) to the May 7th edition of Raw where he elevated Mojo Rawley, and how he welcomes being the new Open Challenge Champion, #MondayNightRollins IS the best.
Now, Steven literally covers EVERYTHING being referenced by everyone, and does it without bias. That’s credibility to me.
Christopher Platt – SELL
He’s had a hell of a run the past few months, but he’s naught even the best in the company.
Okay, then who is? Feed Me More!
Christopher Platt – AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns.
He put some respeck on Roman’s name! #SamoanSexMachine #BelieveTHAT
Steve Cook – SELL
Rollins is having a killer series of matches, no doubt about it. He’s busting out all kinds of crazy moves & putting together the best run he’s had in WWE in a couple of years. We know there’s more to wrestling than moves though. You gotta talk. You gotta have a personality. Seth has gotten better at these things over the past few years, but it’s still nowhere near an asset for him. I’ve had AJ Styles as the best wrestler in the world for awhile now, and he still has the spot from where I sit. Say what you will about the finishes to his matches with Shinsuke Nakamura, but the work leading up to it is good & he’s done a good job as the rightfully outraged babyface champion. Rollins is working his way up the ladder, but he’s not past AJ yet.
Dan “DPP” Phelan – SELL
Seth Rollins may be my favorite superstar in the business today, but I am selling that he is the best wrestler in the world today. There are many people on the level of Seth Rollins in the ring. If we are talking straight wrestling, you can’t ignore guys like Brock Lesnar, Finn Balor, Kenny Omega, and Kazuchika Okada, just to name a few.
Seth Rollins has the benefit of a great opportunity to be in the position he is in, and that makes him look amazing in the eyes of the wrestling community. If you include mic skills, there are very few that can be argued at his level today. But if we’re talking straight wrestling, he is a great wrestler, but it’s difficult to say he’s the best when so many amazing wrestlers out there in the world.
DPP referenced Brock Lesnar. Take THAT, internet fans!
PC Tunney – SELL
There is no one best in the world. Seth Rollins is among the elite group, though.
So 10 members of The Chairshot staff, all weighing in, and we got one BUY. ONE BUY? Damn. What do I think? Read on…
Greg DeMarco – BUY
I’m with Mitchell (and Derek Montilla). Seth Rollins is the best wrestler in the world TODAY. We might be watching him at his absolute peak, we might not. I’ve long called AJ Styles the best in-ring performer in the world, and he might still hold that imaginary title. But as important as that is, there’s more to it. And Seth Rollins is a better promo guy, looks more like a superstar (I mean, he gets Generic CAW Superstar over!), can literally work anyone, and sells the matches as real more than anyone right now.
Yes, you have the likes of Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito and Kenny Omega in Japan. And I’d love to see Seth Rollins in the ring with each. Hell, I’d love to see him dance with Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Daniel Bryan.
I don’t know how long he sits atop this mountain for me, but as of today, Seth Rollins is the Best In The World.
(And I prefer him as a heel.)
The Chairshot Authority: SELL (9-2)
What say you? Share your thoughts on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom using the hashtag #UseYourHead. Speaking of which, remember to Always Use Your Head!
Who You Got? The Chairshot Picks: WWE Extreme Rules 2018
Well now that things are dual branded, it’s kind of nice to not have to worry about a WWE PPV every 3 weeks.
Regardless, this really doesn’t feel like anything more than a speed bump until SummerSlam. Kurt Angle told us that the matches between The Revival and Lashley & Reigns were meaningless. Team Hell No feels like a nostalgia pop. Brock Lesnar wouldn’t even show up to this, but showed up to UFC. Then there’s Nia Jax against Alexa Bliss that no one wants, and we’re just biding time til Ronda’s suspension is over.
I’m just happy we have a picks game to keep me invested. Speaking of which, here’s the standings:
DPP keeps his lead, but we did see some movement beyond the top 3. Steve Cook was a big mover, poised to crack the top 3 after Extreme Rules.
We also have a crew of new participants, who are likely to join the overall rankings after SummerSlam:
Can Francesca, Sarah, and Tiffany keep their momentum going?
After this rousing summation of some plot points; who else is excited?! Whatever, let’s just get this over with so I can go back to watching New Japan.
Tables Match: The New Day vs SAnitY
Not really a lot to discuss here. SAnitY has been injecting themselves into different situations since finally debuting on the main roster a few weeks ago. And it just happens to line up nicely that both teams have 3 members and a heel/face dynamic. Seriously, I don’t see any other reason beyond “Hey, let’s have the trios fight”. But at least the match should be entertaining, so there’s that.
Big Dave: SAnitY
PC: New Day
Big Rick: SAnitY
Official Chairshot Pick – SAnitY 26 – 1
Is WWE Ruining Bayley And Sasha Banks’ Careers?
WWE has done it again.
After one of the more shocking moments on Monday Night Raw in some time, with Bayley seemingly turning heel on her BFF Sasha Banks, the current angle between the two female stars has become as stale as two-day-old bread. The current storyline of anger management for each woman has taken their roles in the women’s division and turned them upside down.
Shame on you, WWE. Bayley and Banks are two of the more marketable stars on the current company roster and have been relegated to a comedic angle that isn’t working. Neither performer is Daniel Bryan or Kane and the nonsense of watching them talk about their feelings has made me and millions of fans feeling a bit bitter, ourselves.
As the old campaign slogan goes, “Know when to say when.”
Corey Graves made a comment on Monday night that these wrestlers should settle their differences in the ring rather than some doctor’s office. Whether it was part of the angle or how the Raw commentator really feels, he is spot on in his assessment. When Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage had a falling out, they battled over the WWF Title. When the Four Horseman dissolved, they settled their differences in the ring. Even Tommy Rich and Buzz Sawyer chased each other all over the south while the feuded in the early 1980s.
Why is this any different?
WWE has gotten too cute with its delivery of sports entertainment. The Kane-Bryan angle worked because of their chemistry. They both were charismatic enough to get over with the fans. I’m not saying either of the women involved in this angle lack charisma. What I am saying is their history dictates a match to settle this once and for all.
Banks got over quickly once she moved to the main roster. Bayley is still not there, yet. If she were, her title run would have been longer and she would have gotten more of a push. Other wrestlers have passed her by. Banks has been to the mountaintop and still should be a top draw. WWE has failed to book her properly. What we have here is a failure to realize the potential in this feud that has finally reached its boiling point.
Unless WWE can create some type of Lita-Trish Stratus match resulting from this angle, then get rid of it now or make sure there is a program to settle this at SummerSlam next month. What started out as one of the better storylines of the year has now become an inside joke in the business. It has done nothing to help either wrestler and may have set them back a few years of progress.
If WWE kept the angle fresh with Bayley’s heel turn, I could see this storyline surviving through the course of the summer. Now, it’s as cold as old man winter and needs help finding its way back to where it once began. Either way, it’s a segment that should be swept away and started over.
Has Daniel Bryan Lost His Magic?
When it was announced back in March that WWE was clearing Daniel Bryan for in-ring competition, the IWC rejoiced. FINALLY, their hero had overcome WWE’s unreasonable insistence that a man who, by his OWN admission, was having seizures because of concussions probably shouldn’t be wrestling, where shots to the head are unavoidable. Expectations have been high for the return of the Underdog, but after three months, why does it feel like what made Daniel Bryan so cheerable is missing?
Hear me out. He still gets a great pop and the crowds still do the ‘Yes!’ chants with gusto, but it feels like WWE is trying to reset the clock to where Bryan left off in 2014, just without the WWE Title and it’s just…not working.
Why is that? Well, for one thing, a lot has changed in WWE since the Miracle on Bourbon Street. A lot of the older stars have gone part time or left altogether. The young stars from NXT have pretty much taken over the roster, something that was just starting in 2014.
Another thing has been his role on Total Divas/Bellas. Whether you like the show or loathe it and/or the people on it, TD/TB has elevated the Bellas and the Women’s Division, giving people who want to believe that the Women of WWE don’t work as hard as the guys a real wake up call. It also showed that Bryan is something of a WWE insider. John Cena is his maybe brother-in-law and his stepfather-in-law is John Laurinaitis. It kind of kills the ‘he’s an outsider fighting against the system’ storyline.
To their immense credit, WWE has really tried to recapture what made Bryan such a success in 2014, while not throwing a wrench into their plans for the WWE title. They immediately put him in a tag match at WrestleMania with Shane McMahon against Owens and Zayn, who seemed torn between being legit thrilled at the honor and terrified of killing their careers by accidentally putting Bryan back into retirement. They put him in a feud with Big Cass, who seemed to be Miz’s hired gun, though we’ll never find out due to Cass being fired a few weeks ago. Two weeks ago, they did a Team Hell No reunion and have put Kane and Bryan in a Tag Title Match against the Bludgeon Brothers at Extreme Rules despite having several good tag teams, including The Bar, on the roster.
While this is great for Bryan fans, if you’re not a Bryan fan, or not a rabid one, it feels like WWE and Bryan are trying too hard to reset the clocks to 2014. Part of the reason might be the rumor that Bryan hasn’t re-signed with WWE and officials are trying to wrap up his storylines in case he does leave.
I’m not saying that Bryan’s run has been a total flop, but it does feel like what made him so easy to cheer for isn’t there this time and it feels like he and WWE are trying too hard to recapture it rather than adapting Bryan’s gimmick to what’s going on in 2018 and accepting that what made him such a favorite in 2014 isn’t translating as well in 2018 instead of trying to shoehorn it in.