Seth Rollins is a member of the Raw roster. He just came up short in an effort to win that show’s top title, the WWE championship.
Despite those facts, he is now the #1 contender for SmackDown’s Universal title. Rollins will challenge Roman Reigns for the belt at Royal Rumble on Jan. 29 in St. Louis.
Why is Seth next in line for a shot at the Tribal Chief? WWE authority figure Adam Pearce was asked that on The Bump this morning (Jan. 12). He didn’t mess around with a kayfabe explanation. The storyline reason is pretty much the real life reason:
“You know, the thing about finding Roman’s challenger is that you need to scour every nook, every cranny, and you’ve gotta find somebody that you believe is a formidable challenge to Roman Reigns. I was listening to Bobby Lashley a second ago talking about the match coming up against Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble, and I wanted to find something that would bring a very similar feeling.
“And what landed me on Seth is history, really. When you think about two people intertwined for a certain period of time, I think Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins with everything they’ve been through, with everything they’ve stood together for and against, makes a very intriguing matchup and one that I know Mr. Reigns is not happy about, but here we are. They trusted me to make the decision and it is official.”
It’s a roundabout way of saying that folks want to see the former Hounds of Justice throw down in their current incarnations. And I can only speak for myself personally, but he ain’t wrong.
There’s definitely still storytelling twists and turns that will eventually decide if this is the right call, and there’s certainly an argument to be made that it should receive a bigger build than “Seth knocks on Roman’s door” (it was a badass knock, though). But I’m not mad they didn’t try to bring back the Wild Card Rule or something.
Sometimes the obvious answer is the best one.