The night Roman Reigns announced his leukemia was out of remission and he’d be stepping away from WWE to resume treatment ended with Dean Ambrose attacking Seth Rollins.
To say the latest breakdown among Shield brother was controversial would be an understatement. To some, this writer among them, capitalizing on the real emotion of Reigns’ announcement to create what seemed like it would be a hot fictional program made sense. To others, it was tasteless and destined, maybe even deserved, to fail.
Turns out the detractors were right. And based on his comments in a recent interview with Yahoo Sports, it sounds like Rollins - and Ambrose - were among the detractors:
“The way that affected Ambrose, that wasn’t really his best look. No one wanted to see us fight each other, we had been through that, it didn’t feel good. I was upset, he was clearly upset and people didn’t want to see it, they wanted to see us be brothers and care about each other.”
Perhaps it was obvious to others, but I’d been so distracted by how awful the writing for Dean was after the turn (implying Reigns deserved cancer, getting fake inoculated against the WWE Universe) that I didn’t consider the whole story was doomed for the reason Seth gives... we’d seen them fight before, and we didn’t want it again.
Maybe better booking for the Lunatic would have helped. We’ll never know. But in retrospect, it’s hard to say the critics - included among them the performers involved - weren’t right to say the turn never should have happened in the first place.
Fortunately for Seth, Fastlane’s Shield reunion provided some closure:
“At the end of the day, I was happy to have that one last match with my Shield brothers by my side. It was one of the most emotional experiences I’ve ever had in a wrestling ring and it felt so good. Whenever we’re back on the same side, it’s so easy, it’s so much fun. Knowing that was the last one, I think we all felt it, were able to soak it in and enjoy that match. That propelled me and gave me all of the momentum I needed heading into WrestleMania.”
Maybe he’s not heading into Sun, April 7’s Universal title showdown with Brock Lesnar as hot as he might have been without the Ambrose feud, but at least the Architect has that. Did Dean being “clearly upset” by his booking contribute to his decision to leave WWE?
We may never know. But it seems pretty obvious that turning him back in October of 2018 was a bad decision.