It’s happened, folks. After six agonizing months without the evil laugh or knowing smirk, SETH FREAKING ROLLINS IS FREAKING BACK! That’s right, you guys, our favorite trash king is back and is picking up right where he left off: feuding with Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
I was very excited about his return.
Fun fact: my very first RAW recap on this blog was of Seth’s final RAW episode before his injury. Back in October, I said:
“So, Roman and Seth fighting for the title? I definitely can dig it. Reigns has performed like a true star in his feud with Wyatt, and has won over the WWE Universe. My only beef? That Ambrose isn’t in the running. But who knows, there’s still time to fix that.”
Guess not much has changed, huh? Except for the fact that Roman’s popularity has plummeted. Poor, poor Roman.
Rollins’ much-anticipated return carried a lot of questions with it. We wondered if he would take advantage of the fans’ obvious good will towards him and turn face.
We wondered if he would go right into the main event scene.
YES. And thank goodness, too!
I’m a little disappointed that Seth seems to be falling back right into his old heel persona, but if booked right, I can see him slowly morphing into an anti-hero with an edge. A Stone Cold-esque hero who doesn’t care about what anyone else wants or expects. So, without further ado, here’s how I would make that dream a reality.
So, as Money in the Bank draws closer and closer, Seth Rollins grows more and more aggressive. Stephanie, to his utter bewilderment, books him in increasingly difficult matches against the likes of Kevin Owens, Karl Anderson and Chris Jericho. Rollins wins them all (Sami Zayn interferes, costing Owens his match). Finally, a frustrated Rollins approaches a sympathetic Shane McMahon.
Shane tells Seth that he can’t do anything to help him, and that he’s going to have to stand on his own two feet for the first time in his WWE career. Seth storms away, furious, presumably to throw a tantrum.
Cameras follow Rollins, and to everyone’s surprise, he runs right into a waiting Dean Ambrose. Rollins, tense, prepares for a fight, but Dean assures him he’s not looking for one…yet. In fact, he has some advice for his former Shield brother.
“The only person you can ever truly rely on is yourself,” Dean tells Seth. Seth scoffs.
“Yeah? Well, look where it got you, huh?” he fires back. Dean shrugs, unaffected.
“I’m still standing, aren’t I?” he asks, turning and walking away. The camera focuses in on Rollins, deep in thought and unsure.
The next week, Roman Reigns opens RAW, reminding the jeering crowd that he wasn’t the one who turned on his brothers for the sake of getting ahead. He wasn’t the one who hid behind the likes of The Authority and J & J Security. He says that Seth Rollins is a weasel who doesn’t have the courage or ability to fight his own battles.
Cue Rollins himself, who charges down the ramp, mic in hand. Furious, he tells Roman that he didn’t have The Authority OR J & J by his side when he pinned HIM to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. No, he did it all by himself.
“And at Money in the Bank,” he proclaims brashly, “I’m going to do it all over again. You might be the guy, Roman, but I am the MAN. I always have been, and I always will be. And you can believe that.”
Money in the Bank arrives, and Rollins looks poised to reclaim the title that he never lost. He puts on an instant classic with Reigns, a match which looks pretty even throughout. The two former brothers dish out everything they have, with Rollins returning to his more babyface-esque flying style.
At the match’s conclusion, Rollins hits a stunning Phoenix Splash on Reigns, following it with a Pedigree for good measure. The crowd goes absolutely mental as Rollins covers Reigns for the 1, 2-
Then, the lights go out. Seconds later, they come back on, and Triple H is standing there, in the center of the ring. Rollins looks frozen with shock, and Triple H takes advantage, immediately attacking the Architect. Reigns rises, dazed, and sees what’s happening. Triple H stops, and looks at him, and everyone wonders if he will help his helpless foe or join in on the carnage.
He joins in.
(I should note that Ambrose wins the Money in the Bank briefcase.)
Triple H opens RAW the next week, announcing that he plans on having the Authority control both RAW and SmackDown. WWE builds on the real-life tension between Shane and Triple H, with Triple H looking to exert total control over WWE television. Then, Seth Rollins storms the ring, attacking Triple H, flinging curses all the while. Even after, Roman Reigns emerges, pulling Seth off of Triple H, to everyone’s shock.
Later that night, Reigns cuts a promo, saying he would never support Triple H, but he won’t stand for Seth running rampant around RAW. He says that as long as he’s champion, people are going to do things the right way. His way. The crowd, of course, boos him to infinity, and Seth Rollins emerges.
Seth Rollins, mic in hand, slams Reigns for interfering in HIS business. He tells him to mind his own or suffer the consequences.
The WWE Draft rolls along, and Rollins is drafted to SmackDown. He is granted his rematch against Reigns at Battleground. In the buildup to Battleground, Triple H begins to interfere in Shane McMahon’s running of the blue brand. He exerts his authority (pun very much intended) over both RAW and SmackDown, booking matches without Shane’s consent.
However, curiously, whenever he books a match against Shane’s wishes, Seth Rollins appears to mix things up. He interferes in matches, goes on commentary, and causes general mayhem for Triple H’s favorites like Kevin Owens and the returning Randy Orton, who is serving as an enforcer of sorts for Triple H, having secretly reconciled while he was injured.
Rollins makes life such a living hell for Triple H that he injects Randy Orton into Rollins’ Battleground rematch. Shane asks him to stop, saying he’s only making things worse, but Rollins doesn’t care. At this point, he’s just pissed and out for vengeance. Rogue Rollins is in full force.
Come Battleground, Reigns wins by pinning Orton, who costs Rollins the match when he breaks a pin from Seth hitting the Pedigree on Reigns. He refuses to give Seth another chance at his precious title.
On SmackDown, Rollins goes right after Triple H, decimating him backstage. Randy Orton comes to Triple H’s rescue, and the two begin to team up on Rollins, but in a shocking turn of events, the Lunatic Fringe himself, Dean Ambrose, comes to Rollins’ rescue. Rollins is wary of Ambrose’s intentions, but Ambrose merely tells Seth he owes him a favor.
The next week, an infuriated Triple H brings Rollins out to the ring and fires him, but Shane McMahon comes out. He tells Triple H that if he fires Rollins, he’s missing out on a golden opportunity. He then books a blockbuster match for SummerSlam: Triple H vs. Seth Rollins. The loser leaves SmackDown for good.
In the weeks leading up to SummerSlam, Rollins and Ambrose become uneasy allies, arguing constantly but watching each other’s backs nonetheless. Like the Shield of old, they become unstoppable together, teaming up to further both Rollins’ feud with Triple H and Ambrose’s feud with Randy Orton.
Triple H taunts Rollins throughout, telling him that without the Authority, without him, he’d be nothing. He tells Seth that he was always his second choice, and that he would always be one step behind Roman Reigns.
This finally comes to an explosive conclusion at SummerSlam. Rollins and Triple H take each other to hell and back, and Rollins finally works like he did in his babyface days, flying around the ring like a superhero. He beats Triple H with a whopping two finishers: first, the Pedigree, then a Phoenix Splash. The crowd goes wild, and Rollins revels in it, finally the babyface rogue he is meant to be.
This feud allows Rollins to step away from the WWE World Heavyweight Championship scene for a while and teases a Shield reunion just slightly. He doesn’t return to stake a claim for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship until the Royal Rumble, facing Reigns and reclaiming the title that he never lost at long last.
Reigns gets his rematch at Fastlane and Rollins comes out on top. However, Rollins only wins when Reigns’ fury finally drives him over the edge into a full heel turn, and he attacks Rollins with a steel chair. That night, Stephanie and Shane announce that the two will face each other one more time: at WrestleMania.
The next week on SmackDown, Ambrose opens the show, and tells Rollins that he still owes him a favor. He says that he wants to cash that in, and tells Seth that he will be cashing in his briefcase at WrestleMania, thus turning it into a Shield Triple Threat. The crowd, naturally goes nuts. Rollins comes out, entering the ring wordlessly, and merely holds out his hand. Ambrose shakes it. The match is on.
The conclusion of THAT bout…well. Let’s just say that Ambrose will FINALLY get his WrestleMania moment. Seth got 31, Reigns got 32, and Ambrose will get 33. This will allow Rollins and Ambrose to feud for the title over the summer, with Rollins finally taking it back at oh, SummerSlam?
This booking allows Seth Rollins to not only cement himself as one of the faces of WWE and capitalize on the crowd’s good will towards him, it also lets Roman Reigns have a long run on top of the company. That’s not ideal for me, but it’s realistic as I can get.
What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments and be sure to share this on Facebook and Twitter!