I’m going to get some static for this one, but it is my opinion that the WWE world heavyweight championship reign of Seth Rollins, so far, has been flat, dull, and a repetitive loop of the same old song and dance we’ve already seen.
WrestleMania’s climatic finale brought cheers as loud as the celebratory fireworks that lit up the San Francisco skyline when Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and got one over on Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar to become the champion. Rollins’ coronation promised so much hope and change because one of the best workers in the business was now the top dog.
Optimism notwithstanding, the unique and dynamic skill set of Rollins’ in-ring exploits haven’t been able to overcome the on screen role that WWE creative has written for him. Instead, distinguishing the ‘architect’ from every other corporate heel champion, his shtick is identical to Randy Orton’s character when he was with The Authority.
Rollins whines about being booked in matches, hides behind two giants, and he can almost never win a match on his own. This sounds like someone the audience can easily hate, the problem is that Orton did it better, therefore Rollins comes off as a cheap imitation; playing a role, if you will, instead of actually being somebody.
The performer is just as responsible as the writers are for making a character resonate with the audience. However, Rollins’ deserves a pass, at the moment, because he is still new to being the featured attraction, whereas when Orton was in that role, he flourished for years. Even the best actors on television need time to get comfortable in their role. Still, tepid reactions and ratings on the downside will only give someone so long to adjust to their new surroundings until a decision needs to be made.
Do you sit back and hope that Rollins can find his footing with lackluster material, or do you cut him off at the pass and go in a different direction? While both arguments have merit, the proper course of action would be to stay the course, for now. Dethroning Rollins at this junction will convey to the audience that he is a failed experiment with a return to the lead role unlikely to materialize.
Seth Rollins is the most consistent standout performer in WWE. However, we haven’t seen a standout performance from him since he won the title at WrestleMania. While WWE will probably always book their authority-endorsed champion as the prototypical chicken s&^% heel, it’s too early to squander such a new investment.
Rollins has an opportunity to gain some upward momentum in his match this Sunday at Elimination Chamber against Dean Ambrose. A show-stealing performance here will be a great start in making the casual fans see Seth Rollins as more than just a carbon copy of things we’ve seen before. He has the talent, he has the backing of the company, now he needs to find a way to turn creativity-stifling water into star-making wine.