We are now two months into the Seth Rollins era as WWE world champion and one thing has become abundantly clear. It’s not working. The champ needs a makeover and with a little more depth to his character, he may be able to turn it around before all is lost.
Disappointment may be a little harsh to some but as a fan I can’t think of anything other way to describe it. The ratings have been terrible since he took the title from Brock Lesnar and from a creative standpoint, his creative has become his biggest anchor. Rollins needs to be repackaged and a look at history and current booking will provide evidence of such.
Rollins needs to be booked stronger. I get the idea of a heel chicken or coward as world champion but it’s not working today nor has it ever worked for a sustainable amount of time. The problem with Rollins is that nobody in the casual audience is buying him as WWE champion and Rollins has nobody to blame for that other than the brilliant minds that are scripting his character.
I look at Ric Flair, heel NWA world champion as the gold standard of heel world champions. I grew up in the Flair era and watched him weekly on NWA World Wide Wrestling and TBS among other places. I have certainly seen enough of him on tape and video since to understand his greatness. While characters certainly have to evolve over time (although who would have expected a heel Russian to get over in 2015?), I think the WWE creative team could learn how to book Rollins using Flair’s character or any other successful heel champion for that matter.
Flair was never someone you would characterize as a chicken. Sure he’d beg off in every match and yes, he’d cheat to win when necessary but the one thing Flair never did was run from his opponents. Flair would get on television every week and whether it was Dusty Rhodes, Magnum TA, Lex Luger, Bruiser Brody, Barry Windham, Nikita Koloff, the Road Warriors, Ricky Steamboat, Ronnie Garvin, or Kerry Von Erich he’d tell you about how great his opponent was but emphasize that he was that much better. Flair was braggadocios, arrogant, confident which made you want to pay to see him get beat even more and it worked.
Flair wasn’t the only one who was a confident heel world champion that drew money. Look no further than the last couple of successful heel WWE world champions. Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, and Triple H cheated when necessary but never backed down from their rivals. Look no further than NXT champion Kevin Owens as a confident heel who will cheat when necessary, yet take the fight when it’s right. Even The Miz while not necessarily successful, exuded more confidence in himself than Seth Rollins. That’s a problem.
I am speaking not only for myself but for the casual fans. I talk to many casual fans that tell me Seth Rollins is too much of a “chicken sh*t” to be taken seriously as WWE champion. The first time I heard it I thought, “Well that is just one fan.” Now that we are two months into his title reign it is becoming more of a prevailing theme in his storylines. This is a guy who beat Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns in one night at WrestleMania! Controversial of course, but if anything that win should provide Rollins with false bravado as opposed to running away from a guy he has beaten on several occasions.
I think there is so much potential with Rollins as WWE world champion. Unfortunately the opportunity to create a legacy such as this one may only come once for Rollins and he is not getting the support he needs from the creative side. Rollins needs to be repackaged quickly or he is going to fall deeper down a hole his career may never recover from.