The predicament is not one WWE saw coming, but it was possible every time Seth Rollins got in the ring. The WWE World Champion sold out every night. He upped his game each time he met the likes of Dean Ambrose, John Cena and Sting. He gave fans everything he had and was overused like your grandmother’s tin foil.
Seth Rollins was the machine that made WWE run since Money in the Bank and now, with an injury that will cost him up to nine months of action, there isn’t another superstar on the roster who can give the promotion that kind of juice. Not even the beloved John Cena.
Not even close.
It’s a hard knock life for WWE, one where there is no turning back, no recoil. The company is screwed and it knows it. Partially because of injuries, but mainly because of its own stupidity.
Sometimes, it is not so good to be the king after all.
So what happens now?
Roman Reigns and a cast of characters will walk into Phillips Arena and try to salvage what was supposed to be a banner night. The crowning of a new champion, the evolution of a man who lost the title and may end his association with the Authority and the dawn of yet another era in WWE history.
Call it the “Lost Generation Era” because none of us are quite sure what is going on in a company that used to be so innovative.
If you are looking for a silver lining, then how about this… WWE wasn’t always about mega ratings and kicking everyone’s ass all over the place. Nineteen years ago, when Shawn Michaels was winning his first WWE Title, ratings weren’t solid, there was change on the horizon. But the fans loved the story of the Heartbreak Kid winning his first company title – sitting in the ring, looking at the belt like a lost soul had just rediscovered himself. No one for a second worried at that moment about how many watching history.
Rollins was the company’s best chance at reinventing itself and we all griped and moaned about how he was being overused, was in every segment of Raw and how the list of potential superstars to challenge him was growing thin. I wanted to see him evolve after losing the belt. I wanted to see Triple H, Stephanie and Vinnie Mac all a scatter, mad at him for losing and divorcing him like he was a bad habit and the ensuing face change we all have thought about for a couple of months.
Remember, Stephanie said Rollins was good, but wasn’t as good as her husband.
He was never meant to be Triple H.
Back to my original thought.
Cena and the band of veterans who may be called on to replace Rollins on the marquee won’t help WWE move forward because the talent on the current roster, which is very good, hasn’t been cultivated enough. The petri dish wasn’t given time to mature and the most recent past NXT stars are exciting but not fit to lead yet.
It’s a conundrum this company faces year after year. Cena is WWE’s Ben Kenobi – it’s only hope. Or so it thinks. And the fact The McMahons cannot drop on anchor on another star, like it did from Hulk Hogan to Bret Hart to Shawn Michaels to Steve Austin to The Rock is disturbing.
Ric Flair held the NWA/WCW Titles because he could draw money, he was the best in the ring and could talk forever (he still can) but the evolution of Dusty Rhodes to Sting to Vader to New World Order made it easier to move forward. There is nothing easy here.
When Survivor Series is over and Reigns walks out with his title and the fans eagerly await to see who will be the next to challenge him, look no further than the man who put him there – Vince McMahon.