Why WWE missed an opportunity with Seth Rollins Submitted by Josh Mansfield on 02/16/2021 at 04:03 PM
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This past Friday on SmackDown, Seth Rollins returned to television for the first time since Survivor Series apart from his surprise return at the Royal Rumble. Seth has been absent since his wife, fellow WWE Superstar and former Womenís Champion Becky Lynch, had their first child. The SmackDown locker room emptied out and surrounded the ring for Rollinsí return. Seth came out to his old ďBurn It DownĒ theme song and began his promo and seeming face turn saying how having a child has changed him, but quickly reverted back to his Messiah gimmick saying he was here to save the Superstars surrounding the ring, causing them all to walk out, save Cesaro, who walked out last, only to be attacked from behind by Rollins. This cemented that, even though Rollins had his old music back, he was still doing his Messiah heel gimmick. This was a very missed opportunity by WWE to give SmackDown a major face alongside Kevin Owens while Big E, Cesaro, and Nakamura are being built up (again, in the case of Nakamura).
While Kevin Owens has been the Stone Cold esq top babyface on SmackDown, SmackDown, while being the most popular brand right now, is lacking another top babyface to rival Universal Champion Roman Reigns (and is probably what is leading to Edge challenging Reigns and not McIntyre on Raw, where Raw lacks top heel power to rival Drew). Letís look at who the main babyfaces would be to potentially challenge Roman.
Kevin Owens - Owens has faced Roman in multiple Universal Title matches always ending in Owens getting screwed. He has proven himself as a top star, but constantly getting screwed out of title wins makes one think that giving him another one on one chance would just end in the same result again. Owens still absolutely should be kept near the top of the card, but I think his chances vs. Reigns one-on-one have run out.
Daniel Bryan - Daniel has settled nicely back into the midcard since losing to The Fiend at the end of 2019, seeking more to help elevate the midcard talent. Shaving his head and beard, making him look more like a combination of 2011 and 2012 Daniel Bryan, doesnít help him either. Even though he is Daniel Bryan, he would need to bring out the 2013-2014 Bryan for Reigns, and Iím not sure if thereís enough time for that.
Rey Mysterio - Rey is a legend in his own right and a first ballot hall of famer. However, Rey has, like Daniel, been in a nice place in the midcard with feuds against Baron Corbin, and formally Seth Rollins. Not to mention, he is also wrestling alongside his son, and as great as Dominick Mysterio is in the ring (and thereís no denying the kid whoís only a couple days younger than me looks absolutely fantastic), that may have to mean splitting them up, and Iím not too sure how Dominick would fare on his own just yet.
Big E - Big E is red hot right now, getting a major push, and is the Intercontinental Champion on a dominating streak. He is doing Open Challenges each week and trying to showcase other stars, much like John Cena did with the United States Championship a number of years ago, and bringing a sense of legitimacy back to the workhorse title. But, Big E is still in the early stage of his new run. Now, thatís not to say that WWE can still do it, they did it with Kofi after his performance in the 2019SmackDown gauntlet, but I think WWE is trying to build up Big E in a more concrete and orchestrated way, and throwing him right into the main event scene too early, may backfire.
Cesaro - WWE fans have been begging, even pleading, with WWE to finally give Cesaro a major push. We all know that he hasn;t gotten one yet because VInce doesn;t see him as a main event star, but Vince can sometimes change when the fans tell him loudly and forcefully ďenough!!Ē like they did with Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston before him. Cesaro being paired up with Daniel Bryan will give him that rub that he needs, and even though fans have been waiting for this almost as long as they waited for Kofi, Cesaro needs to build back up is reputation a little bit more with some fans to show that he can be the main event guy that the fans desperately want him to be.
With this, it seems to me that it made zero sense to not turn Rollins babyface on SmackDown. Now that isnít to backtrack my words a couple weeks ago and saying that the Superstars I just mentioned arenít bonafide stars, because they most certainly are. SmackDown is the number one brand right now for a reason that isnít named Roman Reigns. But Rollins is someone who can go from midcard to main event or vice versa in an instant. Thatís not saying that Daniel Bryan or Rey Mysterio canít either, but as the saying goes, ďAbsence makes the heart grow fonderĒ. The fans wanted Rollins to bring back his old music (which he did) and drop his Messiah gimmick (which he didnít). If anything, you couldíve had Rollins say, ďIím here to save you. Iím here to save you from Roman ReignsĒ and watch Roman come out and Seth turn face as the only person who knows Reigns better than anyone on the SmackDown roster, inside and out. Rollins knows what it takes to beat Roman and we never got that full on Roman vs. Rollins feud. Rollins doesnít have the AOP, he doesnít have Buddy Murphy. Rollins is alone as a heel now and that just doesnít make sense for his character. Rollins seems, to me, the only person (except for Edge) who can go toe to toe with Roman right now and you can actually believe that he is a viable and immediate threat to Romansí title reign (pun intended).
A face Rollins is what SmackDown needs more than Edge right now. At this rate, Raw needs Edge far more than SmackDown does, because Drew McIntyre has no viable opponent for him at WrestleMania looking at the current heel Raw roster, but thatís for another time. This may sound weird, but Raw needed Rollins to turn face more than SmackDown did. Because what do you do on SmackDown with Rollins when heís already feuded with Kevin Owens and the Msyterios and has no tag team partner or stable backing him up. You could probably put him in the Intercontinental title picture to give Big E a boost by beating Rollings, but that doesn't do anything for the main event scene. Heel Reigns vs. Face Rollins for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania, after what Rollins did in destroying the Shield, after what Rollins did in stealing the WWE title from Roman (and Brock Lesnar) by cashing in Money in the Bank during the main event of WrestleMania 31, after being the authorityís golden boy and finally beating Lesnar himself, and to determine who really is the face of the company, the story practically prints money on its own. While Roman and Edge have fantastic chemistry together, and everyone has always wanted to see this Spear vs. Spear dream match, not doing Rollins vs. Reigns seems to me like a missed opportunity.
Agree with me? Disagree with me? Letís hear it! Sound off below in the comments and, until next time, be blest!