Seth Rollins Is Proving His Greatness as WWE’s Intercontinental Champion – by Mike Sanchez

Much has been said about Seth Rollins in recent weeks, and I make no apologies for feeling the urge to write about him now. Though I’ve complained about the lackluster allure of WWE of late, especially in the persistent pushing of Roman Reigns despite a distinct negativity from live audiences (my UK brothers & sisters making their voices heard very loudly this past week). It would be wrong of me to bemoan everything WWE is doing and put a negative spin on all of the talent, and I simply cannot do that as there are some major highlights for us to see every week – none more so than the Architect, Seth Rollins.

Rollins has been a continual positive for Raw these past few weeks and months. After his brief stint holding the Raw Tag Team Championships with Kurt Angle’s son (lol) Jason Jordan, he’s been placed back into competition as a singles wrestler. Personally, I think Rollins blossoms as a singles star rather than as part of a team. Yes, the Shield were great and their impact in WWE more than the sum of their parts, but in that faction, Seth was just a team player. Even when teamed up with Jordan, he adopted the role (intentional or not) as the senior member of the team and had to reel in Jordan on more than one occasion. Doing that took something away from Rollins’ character in my opinion. A cautious, careful Seth Rollins isn’t true to who he is.

I’ve heard comparisons between Rollins and Shawn Michaels in more than one conversation, and I don’t like to subscribe to that way of thinking. I’ve never enjoyed the comparison between legends in a sport and the next up-and-comer, though Rollins is more than established right now. I see Rollins as nobody but himself. Comparisons between his character and those who have ran the ropes before does him a disservice and places undue pressure on his shoulders. Rollins has proved time and time again that he makes the best of whatever he’s given. The determination, passion and effort he puts into his matches is second to none. He embraces all and every opportunity that comes his way and simply cannot be faulted for trying his best – something we can’t say about everyone in WWE.

As a fan, I find his best work and connection with the fans as a face in singles competition. Even when the Shield broke up, I found his interactions with Dean Ambrose better than anything he did with Roman Reigns – although if WWE wants to turn Roman heel, look no further than his former partner to feud with. The crowd embraced Rollins early and continue to do so. Even in defeat he’ll still give a highlight in some form; I continue to watch the epic RKO he took from Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 31. Man, that was special – and Rollins knew something so imaginative would generate a reaction. His Money in the Bank cash in the same night rings long in the memory. Perhaps his notoriety to do something special at Wrestlemania may be the connection people draw between him and Michaels?

Where I really began to find a renewed interest in Rollins in recent weeks was when he became Intercontinental Champion. I’ve made no secret of my massive respect and admiration for the Miz and his last title reign. He’s right in saying that he made the IC Title relevant again. When Seth captured that prestigious belt, I worried that it would become trinket he’d wear for promos and all his matches would be non-title, and he’d be screwed out of winning a couple or his wins would be part of a bigger feud. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Rollins embraced his new title and took it upon himself to become a fighting champion – this time by actions, rather than words. He’s taken on all-comers and defended the belt with gusto before supportive live audiences.

Matches with something on the line draw greater interest and are a boost to those involved. His recent match with Kevin Owens was the best on Raw and the crowd were as appreciative as ever with both men’s endeavors. Rollins is proud to defend the belt and show it off. His references to Brock Lesnar and his ridiculing of the Universal Champion lead us to think there are bigger fish to fry for Rollins down the line. Hopefully not too soon, as his current run as Intercontinental Champion is making Monday Night Raw a must-see show, purely to witness the Architect in action. The Miz made every show he was on a ‘must-see’ such was his passion and talent when holding the IC Title. It’s now fallen to Seth Rollins to try and replicate what the Miz built up and he’s doing it superbly.

So what do I hope is the future for Rollins and the IC Title? Keep doing what you’re doing. There are plenty of people for him to feud with in the mid to upper card and with all WWE PPVs now dual-branded, he can even have crossover matches with the title on the line. With WWE determined to keep Reigns and Lesnar on a never-ending collision course, it’s probably best that Rollins is left out of the Universal Title picture for the foreseeable future. Both he and us are having too much fun watching him now. Perhaps down the line he can be our savior and take the top belt once more? Who knows, but if Rollins has anything to do with Brock’s title run, only the Architect can ‘Burn it dooooowwwnn!!!