The WWE world champion is down! After initial reports indicated a “tweak” for Seth Rollins, it appears the injury to the champion is much worse as Rollins will be sidelined and stripped of his WWE title effective immediately.
Jonathon Coachman of ESPN broke the news Thursday that Rollins suffered right ACL/MCL/medial meniscus tears which will keep him out of the ring 6-9 months. If you haven’t done the match yet, that timetable will keep him out of WrestleMania 32. The news marks a sad ending to one of the biggest commitments the company has made in years in creating a new main-event superstar.
Coach further reports that the WWE will hold a tournament at Survivor Series to crown a new WWE world champion. Ironically, it will be almost twenty-years since the WWE held a tournament to crown a new WWE champion at Survivor Series 1998 in which The Rock defeated Mankind in the finals to win the title.
— Jonathan Coachman (@TheCoachESPN) November 5, 2015
The news will also result in a major shift in plans for the WWE. The WWE had plans in place which some speculate would have kept the title on Rollins through WrestleMania, although most presumed that Roman Reigns would win the belt at Survivor Series. Without Rollins in the picture, the entire picture surrounding the WWE world title gets much murkier.
The news also comes at a time where the WWE is already down two of its major stars. John Cena is on a leave of absence until the end of the year. Cena is rumored to be away filming some kind of a fitness show. While WWE management would likely plead their case to the former WWE champ to come back early and fill a top spot, Cena may be restricted to do so due to his commitments. That said, it would shock me not to see Cena back in some form, even if it is limited to help out.
A tournament was probably the last option I would have picked here. I suspected that they may think outside of the box on this one. I thought one possibility would be to have Brock Lesnar come back for a date at Survivor Series and wrestle Roman Reigns as the number one contenders for the title. Another option would have been to book the match on RAW to spike the ratings and get Reigns’ win over as something monumental the way WCW did when Goldberg beat Hulk Hogan on Nitro.
The biggest problem with the tournament is that without Cena, Randy Orton, and Rollins there is no star power. Reigns is all you have at that point. Any tournament in that regard will look like something put together to decide a new intercontinental champion. I can only blame the company of having done a poor job of creating new stars with enough power to fill gaps during these kinds of emergencies. Maybe the company will use it as a wake up call?
— DroidStar Electronic (@DroidStar_com) November 4, 2015
Update: Dave Meltzer reports that the Survivor Series may be a case of “card subject to change” in that the company may not wind up going with a championship tournament after all.