Did WWE pick the wrong guy to get behind? Has the Roman Reigns saga effectively pushed other more deserving wrestlers down the food chain? Would the company that has hitched its wagon to one former Shield member do the same thing with another? Should WWE swap out Roman Reigns and replace him with Seth Rollins?
After hearing Seth Rollins on Monday night, I am also willing to bet WWE may have rethought its decision to put so much time and effort into building Reigns up and knocking him back down. The former WWE Champion and current Intercontinental Champion is “the man” on Monday nights and has made the mid-card of Raw one of the best parts of the three-hour program.
Rollins has taken his place as the ringleader of a show needing a shot of adrenaline. After the Superstar Shakeup, one could argue the McMahons were looking for someone to take the lead since Reigns is still not the fan favorite Vinnie Mac had hoped for and Brock Lesnar’s on again, off again scene life has become an issue with the fans and the Universal Championship he still owns.
Rollins is as close to a throwback superstar as this company has. Everyone has waited for the next Shawn Michaels or Randy Savage. Rollins is as close to a Showstopper WWE has right now. It was supposed to be Dolph Ziggler. It could have been Daniel Bryan right now if not for injuries. Bray Wyatt had a solid run as a potential Undertaker-like figure. Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes were wasted talents.
It’s Seth Rollins or bust right now in WWE.
When Rollins addressed the crowd in Montreal last Monday night, there was electricity. Fans have come to love the former heel who has turned babyface and finally eased into his role of the favorite son. It wasn’t forced. Seth Rollins didn’t lobby for it. It was anointed by the fans – the ones who wanted him over his former brethren. It a fit as comfortable as a glove. Once WWE gets over itself and stops pushing the unattainable Reigns as champion, the crossover to Rollins will be realized.
If anything, this could lead to a Reigns heel turn, which is what should have happened a year ago.
The main event picture on Monday Night Raw is a bit unsettled at the moment. Reigns is still the lead dog in a pack of performers whose roles are yet defined. Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman are window dressing at the moment as Lesnar still holds the gold but is nowhere to be seen. Lashley has been rumored to face Lesnar at SummerSlam. Strowman is the beast in waiting – with WWE slow playing his run toward being a champion.
Rollins is the man on the outside looking in, telling the fans he doesn’t want to be like Lesnar. He wants to be a fighting champion – someone who comes to work every day and gives those who come to see him exactly what they want.
It’s a great sentiment. One that Rollins backs up every Monday night. But at some point, WWE must make a choice. Will the company put the belt on Reigns and elevate Rollins to the main event picture, the way wrestling used to be? The Intercontinental Champion used to be the top contender for the WWE Title. Now, it’s on an island by itself. Rollins or whoever holds the title deserves a better fate.
Rollins deserves to be the champion of the red brand. He deserves the accolades and comparisons to Shawn Michaels and wrestling stars of the past. For now, he is the guy who will lead the Monday night roster into battle. He has become a people’s champion of sorts, much like Daniel Bryan has been with the “YES!” movement.
Seth Rollins isn’t worried about some movement or catchphrase. He wants to be the lead dog – something he is ascending to faster than WWE may have wanted. He’s been there before. There is no reason to think he’s slowing down or losing momentum.
WWE will eventually realize the grave mistake it has made and Rollins will stand where he should be, as the man the company pushes as its best option to lead the New Era.
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