November 4th, 2015 was the last day WWE fans could call Seth Rollins a champion. After Rollins suffered multiple knee injuries in Dublin, the stage was set for a new champion to rise. What should have been seen as an opportunity for many Superstars turned into the crowning of the next man up. The Roman Reigns saga has been cluttered with utter disgust, muted booing, and blatant disregard of fan reaction. Amidst the anger among the WWE faithful, we see an outcry for the return of Seth Rollins, but an early return could spell disaster for the WWE. By exploring why fans love Seth Rollins and what bothers them about Roman Reigns, it will be clear why Rollins is worth the wait.
Before the knee injuries, WWE fans had mixed feelings about Seth Rollins. After he dismantled The Shield he was showered with “You Sold Out” chants, and rightfully so. Regardless of how you felt about Rollins originally you could not deny his skill on the mic. Without this skill the heel turn would have been far less effective. If Rollins only had mic skills he would be on the same level as The Miz. Luckily he has the wrestling skills to back up his talk and make others around him better. A great example of this was at Wrestle-Mania 31 against Randy Orton. Rollins was going in for the kill with a curb stomp when a reversal by Orton launched him up into the air and brought down with a vicious RKO. As talented as Orton is, most of the credit for that epic move goes to Rollins for the excellent setup and sell.
Continuing, Rollins is the best heel the WWE has currently. The way he turns the crowd against himself is comparable to Edge with an added dose of attitude. His alliance with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon made Rollins the champion with an even larger target on his back. Had the injury not occurred, the hate for Rollins would have augmented even further, assuring the rise of a baby face rival.
So the writers at the WWE saw their prized asset suffer a horrendous injury leaving them with free “Reign” to anoint a new face of the company. If only there was a Samoan former college football player that could save the day. With The Rock continuing his exciting life outside of wrestling the WWE settled for his less talented relative (A cousin Oliver if you will). Roman Reigns, while massive, is not the leader of the company and the fans quickly came to this conclusion. His overall wrestling ability is decent at best and his finishing moves lack originality and difficulty. Not to mention he is an absolute oaf on the mic leaving him unable to talk the slightest bit of smack. WWE fans have put up with characters like this before without revolt (*cough* Goldberg cough*) but Reigns is being absolutely jammed down our throats. The plan was for Reigns to face off with The McMahons and Triple H, but that is like giving fans the choice of getting punched in the face or a sharp stick to the eye. Reigns is clearly a failed experiment that the WWE refuses to admit to. In the process of boosting Reigns we see much more talented wrestlers (Dean Ambrose, Alberto Del Rio, AJ Styles) get shafted out of title contention. The best wrestlers make everyone around them better, not cut them down.
Part of me believes that the WWE is trying to see how far they can push their fans before we jump ship. This could in fact be the making of the greatest rivalry between Rollins and Reigns amidst his healthy return. The WWE is no stranger to this path as it occurred with Triple H and Shawn Michaels producing positive results.
Rumor has it that Rollins will return at Summer Slam to which I say, “What’s the rush?” We have already endured a worthless money in the bank cash-in by Sheamus and a boo-riddled Wrestle-mania main event, both of which favored Reigns. Both the cash-in and the Royal Rumble gave fans a glimmer of hope that Reigns had lost favor, but they were just a tease. Four more months of Reigns does not compare to the disaster that is another Rollins injury. That is why I request that Rollins does not come back until he is 100% ready mentally and physically. If the knee feels better, great, wait another month… even two. The appreciation for Rollins only increases the longer he remains sidelined. After a successful return Rollins will look less like a sell-out and more like wrestling’s prodigal son. In hindsight, the second Rollins “sold out” we all should have “bought in.”