It seems the WWE Universe is over Seth Rollins’ act. Is there any way his character can be salvaged?
It has been a whirlwind of a week for Seth Rollins, a week he’s remained primarily quiet after a Hell in a Cell result in his match against Bray Wyatt’s The Fiend that sent fans into a fury. That, of course, is no fault of Rollins’ as he does not determine match outcomes. Yet still he is shouldering the brunt of the blame.
Yes, the ending to Hell in a Cell was poor and it’s fair to say fans wanted to see The Fiend come out on top. But the ending of the match also marked the start of a new movement. During Rollins’ exit from the cell, he was seen staring down a fan with a sign. This sign read “Seth Rollins is not cool,” which has since become a popular hashtag on Twitter by way of Rollins.
There’s no debate that Rollins is WWE’s workhorse and a top star. It’s also an easy claim that he is a top-five wrestler in the world. Rollins isn’t the problem by far. But it’s important to note how he got here. Many fans were excited when he became Royal Rumble winner, which would lead to a feud with Brock Lesnar whom fans lamented being a part-time champion.
Fans could get behind anyone that would save them from the torture of an absent Lesnar. It would be the booking decisions that followed WrestleMania 35 that would pigeonhole Rollins’ character. Summer saw countless matches with Baron Corbin and the use of his real-life relationship with Becky Lynch to keep his story arc afloat. These were also main-event spots that overshadowed Kofi Kingston’s legitimate title reign.
Nicknames such as “Beast Slayer” didn’t help either, as it doesn’t give Rollins an identity outside of Lesnar. One could argue the nickname seems cheap as does the “burn it down” gimmick. These things have soured a top-three performer in the WWE. However, the jeers he is suddenly receiving also seem unwarranted.
The only other characters who have reached this territory are John Cena and Roman Reigns, where no matter what position they were in, fans wanted to see them lose or turn heel. This is dangerous territory for Rollins as he is a far superior in-ring performer than both Cena and Reigns.
All is not lost and there is still time to salvage the character. Reigns went through a redemption and is beloved again. Cena is away so much with his other endeavors that he is a pleasant surprise when he returns. Perhaps the key for Rollins is to drop the Universal Championship and perform in a mid-card role. Sometimes staying on the top of the mountain can do more harm than good. Fans are impatient and want variety on their programming.
The Friday Night SmackDown draft was a telling scenario. Rollins took on Reigns for the rights to the number one pick for their respective brands. Reigns could have received cheers just to spite Rollins which can only be conceived as rock bottom. An appearance by Bray Wyatt and a disqualification outcome saved this scenario from coming into fruition.
Judging by Rollins using the hashtag himself, it looks as he is using everything as motivation and not taking it too seriously. Again, Rollins is no slouch in the ring and all of his matches are a joy for fans in terms of the quality of his performances. Perhaps creative can learn from the reactions to his overexposure and corny catchphrases before they alienate both Rollins and their fan base.