Seth Rollins will not only defend the U.S. title against John Cena at Night of Champions, but on the very same night he will also defend the World Heavyweight title against Sting. Yes, in 2015, Sting, the franchise player of World Championship Wrestling (WCW), is headlining a WWE pay-per-view. The odds aren’t in his favor to walk out of Houston with the gold due to his age and the fact that he has been only wrestling part-time. The thing is, though, that he needs to win the title.
Sting was brought in as a nostalgia act and Vince McMahon is not accustomed to making booking decisions based on sentiment. However, it’s more than that now because, for the last four weeks, Sting has legitimately been the most popular wrestler on the roster. He gets the biggest pop, garners the loudest sustained reaction, and his match with Rollins is the only thing on WWE television that fans care about right now.
Unfortunately, Rollins as world champion is getting stale. He is more crybaby than bad guy and his promos are expositional dialogue that fails to connect with the audience on any emotional level. The character needs a refresher. His run with the title is not a train wreck by any means. In fact, Rollins is arguably the best wrestler in the world, however, the output of stellar match after stellar match is not enough.
WWE has put forth a lot of time, money and promotional effort in conveying to fans that Seth Rollins is the villain of their story. They are not going to give up on their investment that easily, nor should they. Losing the world title would be a great opportunity to give Rollins’ character some much-needed depth that won’t happen if things stay the present course.
Just think about it for a minute. Imagine seeing Sting holding the belt up high at the end of the night and what a great moment that would be and how it would get people excited and talking about the product again. He’s got the credibility, and in the era of wrestlers having fake real names, Sting has a character and presence that makes it easy for fans to get behind.
Despite my belief that Sting should win the title on Sunday, I’m not foolish enough to believe that this would be a long-term solution. At 56 years old, Sting as champion would get old, fast. The smart play is to have him win the title, defend it on the October 3rd network special while promoting it as Sting’s first match in Madison Square Garden, and drop the belt back to Rollins at the end of the month at Hell in a Cell.
Sting, as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, would enhance his own legacy which in turn will make him more valuable to WWE. He is easy to market merchandise for i.e. his documentary scheduled for a mid-October release. Sting as champion would also serve as a great means to help Seth Rollins become a more memorable attraction as opposed to the footnote he is starting to become.