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WWE has nearly ruined Seth Rollins

How could anybody with a brain screw this up?

Seth Rollins could be THE guy today, yet he isn’t. He could have the kids, the women, the men, the families, and wrestling fans worldwide in the palm of his hand, but he doesn’t. He could be number two in merchandise sales behind John Cena, and he could be the face of the company, but he isn’t.


Thanks to some of the shoddiest, most ridiculously stupid booking this century from WWE, Seth Rollins has gone from an entertaining performer into a dude that has good matches that no one believes in. It goes back to the original promo upon his return from injury last summer. I said many times on this very website that WWE had an opportunity to recreate Triple H at Madison Square Garden with Seth Rollins, but instead of doing that, they elected to completely botch every inch of an already-wrapped gift. They didn’t just pull the bow off, they actually urinated on it and fed it to the masses.

How the hell does a smart company get this so insanely wrong? Further, how did they jack this up not once, but twice?

Seth Rollins may not be a natural babyface in the intonation of his words. He sounds a bit sniveling, as if he should have been working as a henchman for The Penguin in the old 1960s Batman television series. He laughs like a villain. That said, he was still likable because...well, because people liked what he did in the ring and enjoyed seeing him do his thing.

Unlike Braun Strowman, where WWE chose to remove all restraints, shackles, and leg irons from the character and let him enact pure chaos and violence in all directions, Seth Rollins is the ultimate shade of grey. Why did he turn babyface? It wasn’t because he realized how important the fans were, or how many people loved him, or how he inspired children and was inspired by them in return. It was none of those things. The entire rationale for the turn centered around being jaded and jealous that Kevin Owens was now the apple of The Authority’s eye.

How that concept even made it out of the creative meetings is beyond me, because in absolutely no way was that ever going to work. There’s always a time to strike in entertainment, and certainly with characters on properties. There are windows for teams to win championships, and when the window closes, it can actually slam with a thud and immediately be caulked shut for years.

Seth Rollins showing up as a complete beast on his first night back would have been perfect, and although WWE almost got that portion right with the Pedigree on Roman Reigns, they forgot what made Triple H’s return successful. He came out and attacked someone, then cut a very basic, to the point promo about being back and being bad to the bone. He wasn’t a babyface. He was an outlaw. He was ready to make up for the time on the operating table and in the physical therapy rooms. If you were in his way, you would be dealt with accordingly.

The next night on RAW, there was no compromise between Seth and the viewing audience. There was no attempt at connection, as WWE insisted on keeping him as a heel at the one moment they couldn’t afford to do so. While the fans want to believe they know everything, they’re still going to cheer the cool babyface that doesn’t repeat dumb-ass scripted nonsense like “sparkle crotch.” What’s painful about Seth’s current standing is it has nothing to do with him, yet he can’t escape what’s been done to him.

He still gets a solid reaction, but the heat hasn’t been there in what should have been a stellar program with Samoa Joe. To think, two main event level players that can talk AND work at a high level. Neither is anywhere near where they should be right now in terms of fan response and degree of interest. Joe wasn’t even on the WrestleMania card, which continues to baffle me.

WWE fails to fully pull the trigger with over 75% of its roster. Very few have defined characters that can bridge bad writing or the occasional misstep. Strowman’s rise should have been the most glaring of headlights in Vince McMahon’s face to change course and stop the antihero bullshit that’s plagued the company for over half a decade. Yet, he continues to stay the course, and although ratings are often cyclical, there’s no reason to watch these shows right now.

What got me thinking of Rollins specifically is Finn Balor, and how at present, he’s a far fresher, bigger star than Seth. While Finn was injured, Rollins never took the ball, because it was never handed to him. He had pretty good matches, though none that wowed us like those in 2015, but the promos flat out sucked. They sucked because the content was garbage and it left the crowd unable to decide whether they should cheer for this man or boo him for being a whiny loser.

Finn has supplanted Seth, and he hasn’t even put the paint back on yet. I read a few tweets from various people claiming Balor is missing something since his return. No, he’s really not. You’re just forgetting that The Demon is his Venom, not his Eddie Brock. The Demon is his white pants Seth Rollins, his Shane McMahon at WrestleMania, and in no way should it be a weekly thing. So many of the Finn matches most of us watched in NXT were TakeOver matches where he was in full Demon mode. This is the normal Finn Balor, and he’s still awesome. He’s missing nothing, and he’s damn sure more likable than Seth Rollins.

Seth’s still great, and that’s what’s so damn frustrating here. Nothing’s changed about the talent of the man behind Seth Rollins, but the execution and care with which he’s been crafted over the past ten months hasn’t just been poor, it’s been abysmal and borderline indefensible. This was such an easy thing to get right, and instead it stands next to changing the ring for Cruiserweight matches, taping 205 Live after SmackDown, and ruining Bayley as the biggest failures during that time frame.

Seth is a top draft pick, a blue chipper, and should be a can’t miss prospect, and he is, but he’s in the wrong spot in the order, no one’s getting on base for him, and he’s swinging for the fences. Right now, it’s as if WWE is masterminding both his team and the opposing squad, knows he can’t hit a curve ball, and continues throwing curves. From the first post-injury promo - which flew in the face of the WWE Network special where he was the most sympathetic man on the roster - to Monday night and his attitude with Roman Reigns, nothing the character does makes any sense.

WWE has an A+ player sitting there, and they KNOW he’s an A+ player. Maybe start writing him as if he’s an all-star and not the water boy.

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