Happy Tuesday TJR Faithful! It’s been a few weeks, but I’m back with some hot WWE takes that I need to release into the world! The last couple weeks of WWE TV have been forgettable. I had trouble recalling anything outside of that Goldberg segment from last week’s edition of Raw, and like hell if I remember anything meaningful that happened the week before. Smackdown is usually a saving grace, but this Ellsworth stuff isn’t my cup of tea, and I remember more about what wasn’t on Smackdown as opposed to what was on the show.
The major problem with Raw is first and foremost that third hour… damn the show is just so long with so much filler each week. However, from a storytelling and character perspective, Raw’s greatest failure right now is Seth Rollins’ heroic about-face. They have not handled his turn well at all. Whether it’s been how quickly he has seemingly dropped his vendetta against Triple H for screwing him over (when’s the last time they’ve really given us an update on that whole angle by the way?), how he’s been like a whiny ex begging Stephanie to tell him why Hunter dumped him in the first place (as opposed to simply being pissed about it), or his attempts at comedy (because every babyface has to be a comedian).
They’re going about this face turn all wrong. They seem to be attempting to make him appear cool (something I have a hard time believing that the WWE knows anything about) by having him seek vengeance on the entire Authority and their new golden goose Kevin Owens, all the while making “hilarious” jokes at their expense. This is less than compelling television.
A few weeks back, Seth had a sit down interview with Michael Cole, in which he partook in a bit of revisionist history. He still buys his own B.S. about carrying the company on his back while he was Champion. At no point did he even acknowledge that The Authority helped and handed him everything. Even Owens mentioned that Hunter gave him a nudge over the finish line, while claiming he didn’t need it.
I had high hopes for that interview. I wanted Seth to talk about how getting injured gave him time to reflect about his time at the top of the WWE. Talk about how he turned on The Shield because he dreamed of being The Man at the top of the industry, and that looking back on it, it all feels hollow. He accomplished everything he wanted to by turning on The Shield, but it never tasted as sweet as he thought it would. He did everything he wanted to do, but accomplished nothing.
You see, the reason it’s hard to fully get behind Rollins right now, is that he seems to believe that his time as Champion is a great reflection of him as a man (as far as the character is concerned). He seems delusional to a degree that can only be categorized as ridiculous. He seems like a petulant child whining that Daddy has a new favorite, and that he’ll ruin the game because Daddy doesn’t want to favor him anymore. Long story short, he doesn’t, and hasn’t seemed angry about the way he was screwed over; instead he’s acting like a crybaby, and nobody likes a crybaby.
There’s still time for improvement. They can still get us really into this Seth Rollins babyface character, and all they have to do is give us great snapshots. Snapshots in time that will remind us why we love or hate a character. Seth Rollins had a great snapshot upon turning on The Shield, but has had nothing resembling that for his face turn. Those moments are oh so necessary. We need to build to those moments starting at Hell In A Cell. Here’s what I’m thinking.
At Hell In A Cell, have Triple H cost Seth again, infuriating Seth Rollins. Drop the whole “was Stephanie in on it?” bit, and have Seth simply be angry and want to get his hands on Hunter. He can call him out, bait him by talking crap to Stephanie, even take a trip to Titan Towers to get at Hunter in his own office. All fruitless endeavors, but Seth will seemingly do anything he can do to get in the same room as Triple H to get vengeance.
Eventually he does get his hands on Triple H, if only for a brief moment, at NXT TakeOver Toronto. Let Seth flex that intellect, surmising that the only place he knows Triple H will be for sure is at NXT. Have Triple H do the NXT introduction he likes to do for some of the shows, and during it he is attacked by Seth Rollins who rushes him from the crowd. Seth beats on him for a short period before security and NXT wrestlers come and separate him from Hunter. This chaotic melee will serve as Seth’s first snapshot. A moment we’ll all remember and think fondly of.
(Side note: I just have this dream of Seth being kicked out of the arena after his stunt, with Triple H watching, protected by a lineup of NXT Superstars. Seth walks along the line telling them that Hunter is using them to protect and pad his own legacy. That he was the first NXT star that Hunter leeched off of to stay relevant, and that he won’t be the last. As he nears the end of the line he comes face to face, for a split second with Shinsuke Nakamura, before exiting the arena. What A Tease!)
Then at Survivor Series there must be a backstage segment between Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. Roman and Dean reunite backstage when Seth Rollins joins in on their conversation, asking them if they saw what he did to Triple H the night before at NXT? They give him icy looks, to which he responds with a “my bad” for the whole turning on them situation. He says they probably would have done the same if they had been given the opportunity. Ambrose and Reigns exchange looks, before walking off in disgust as Seth stands there saying “C’mon guys. Let it go!” (this will be important for later). At Survivor Series, Triple H attacks Seth and costs him his match, whether it’s a singles bout or whether he’s in one of the traditional elimination matches.
The next night Rollins enters the arena fuming and calls out Triple H, and for the first time since screwing Seth over, Triple H obliges Seth and answers his call. With Seth looking for a fight, Triple H simply stands at on the ramp and shuts him down. He calls Seth’s antics since that August 29th Raw, where Kevin Owens captured the WWE Universal Championship, pathetic. Rollins retorts with his usual line about it being pathetic that Owens was literally handed the Championship, and Triple H cuts him off saying “Like we handed you the Money in the Bank Briefcase? or like we carefully held your hand as you held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? We gave you Kane and J&J to make sure you kept that Championship as long as you did? Let’s face it, your issue isn’t with Kevin Owens, or with me, it’s with yourself. You’re used to being coddled, and I got tired of coddling you!”
Triple H’s line of attack needs to be a scathing indictment of Seth’s run as Champion. He needs it to be vocalized that he was as big a scumbag as Owens, if not more of a scumbag. Seth Rollins needs to face his past in order to become the hero they want him to be. He can’t revise it. He can’t pretend it didn’t happen the way that it did. He needs to be called out for what he was, in order for the people to truly accept him for who he has become.
After the verbal tongue lashing from Triple H, Hunter makes it clear to Seth that they won’t be fighting now, or ever. He refuses to waste any more time on Seth’s petulant B.S. Seth needs to grow up, accept that he isn’t Daddy’s favorite anymore, and move the hell on. “This animosity that you have for me, my wife, this company, that ends tonight, or I promise you, there will be dire consequences!” Seth of course ignores this ominous warning (as our heroes oft do) and attacks Triple H, which prompts Triple H to formally announce that Seth Rollins is banned from any and all Championship matches, indefinitely. A stunning and heavy handed death penalty, the first of its kind in my recollection of the WWE, handed down by the cruel COO to his former chosen son. I would then get through the rest of the year with Rusev (another original NXT standout) being hand-picked by Triple H to deal with Seth Rollins for him.
That does it for PART I of Seth’s Journey To Redemption. I will be back tomorrow with Part II, but as always I want to know what you think! Are you fully behind Seth’s character right now? If so, why? If not, what’s missing? Is he being too whiny? Are we ever going to get any answers in this feud with Seth and Triple H? Does it matter if Stephanie was in on it?
Until next time folks, I’m Matty J. Douglas saying happy NBA kickoff day! I for one am excited to see a lot of these teams get on the court! See y’all tomorrow.