The Seth Rollins experiment is about to begin again in WWE.
Amid the news that the former WWE World Champion was back in the ring training after suffering a devastating knee injury late last year, will the wrestler everyone loved to hate get the repackaging he needs to become the face of this company and once again claim gold?
Better yet, will he take the title from his former Shield member, Roma Reigns, or will he get in Triple H’s face and demand his strap back? In most of the country, the cold winds still blow, but in the wrestling business things just began to heat up.
There is no updated timetable when Rollins will be back to live action, chasing down friends and foes alike, but early prognostication had him set to return somewhere around SummerSlam.
This is nothing new, but WWE needs Rollins. He was the best the company had to offer at the time of his injury. Regardless of the potential title change at TLC like we were fed by media outlets, his involvement in the main event, which has been replaced by his other Shield crony, Dean Ambrose, allowed the fans to tolerate the title shift and the Roman Empire a little more tolerable.
I wonder if Rollins chuckled a bit as he watched everything unfold at the end of last year and then rolled his eyes a bit while watching a fairly weak Royal Rumble.
Now, with news of Rollins back in training mode, we all play a waiting game. I am sure WWE is doing the same thing, wondering if he can catch lightning in a bottle and give the fans that electricity he created with his 220-day reign as champion.
Rollins’ value to WWE can be measured more by the time he has spent away from the ring, rather than the time he was champion. Since his departure in November, there has been plenty of unrest with concern about the WWE World Title, given the fact Reigns has won it twice and has still not gotten over with the fans. Ambrose has been added to the main event program, having lost his Intercontinental Title to Kevin Owens and Triple H has since gotten back in the ring. Sheamus was elevated from jobber status to become the top heel while he captured the title while the company continued to build Reigns as the new savior of wrestling, replacing John Cena.
It still has not worked.
The fact Cena was thought to be a serious addition to the WrestleMania 32 card despite still ailing from rotator cuff surgery shows how desperate times have been and civil unrest throughout the roster.
If the creative team does indeed change Rollins’ character and he becomes the babyface everyone wants to see, his popularity will grow even more, the same way Shawn Michaels rose from villain to babyface and captured WWE gold.
Rollins, unlike Dolph Ziggler or Cody Rhodes or to some degree Reigns, remains a fan favorite because with him what you see is what you get – and night after night he delivers. I’m not saying the others I mentioned don’t do that, but he identifies with the fans more readily. And honestly, his smarminess, greed and narcissism catches the right kind of heat for a super heel.
That might not have been the case if Rollins was a heel in the late 1980s or early 1990s.
The news of Rollins improvement comes at a time when fans aren’t extremely excited about WrestleMania 32 and are praying to the business gods that Vince McMahon reverses direction and puts the company title on Triple H until Rollins returns or Ambrose wins this week, forcing Reigns to turn heel. Either way, it will be Rollins who will be the one benefitting from all of this. The company doesn’t need to rebuild him as a champion. It just needs to redirect him so his popularity continues to soar once he gets back in the ring.