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Ryan's Review: Seth Rollins' Championship Run.
Sadly... It's over.
Yes my friends, as of today, Thursday, November 5th, 2015, Seth Rollins is no longer the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Last night, at a house show in Dublin, Seth Rollins tore both his ACL and MCL, and is projected to be out from six to nine months.
Without missing a beat, the WWE reacted, unceremoniously stripping Rollins of his championship and announcing a tournament for the belt at the Survivor Series pay per view (November 22nd on the WWE Network).
You truly can not review something while it is happening, so for the most part, I've been sitting back and enjoying Rollins and his championship reign for the better part of 2015.
But sadly... It's over.
Here are my thoughts.
For a title reign that was mostly forgettable, there were a few bright spots.
Here are my five favorite moments of Rollins' championship reign.
5. Any interaction with The New Day.
I don't know who decided to put these guys together.
I mean, sure, they're all heels, and you'd think they'd get along by proxy, but not to the extent that Rollins and the New Day did.
Their backstage segments were golden, and the New Day rocking out to Rollins' theme music made me chuckle every single time.
They almost never won when they tagged up, and they only worked together for a couple months, but... man.
It was gold.
4. Seth Rollins thanks... Seth Rollins.
In a moment straight outta Jericho's handbook, Seth Rollins brought a list out on... ahem... Monday Night Rollins. He wanted to set time aside to thank everyone that helped him defeat Dean Ambrose.
He thanked Seth Rollins, Seth Rollins, Seth Rollins, Seth Rollins, and, and I hope nobody ever forgets... Seth Rollins.
It was heel heat at it's finest, and good luck to whomever tries to fill his shoes.
3. Rollins holds off Mighty Mouse.
In a classic heel move, Rollins issued an open challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The only caviat is that the challenger be under six foot, two hundred pounds.
Now, while Rollins may have been expecting a squash match with El Torito, what he got instead was a 5 star match with Adrian Neville.
It was intense and back and forth, and it had a killer false finish that had me believing Neville was the new WWE World Heavyweight champion.
It was awesome and hopefully a preview of things to come.
During the fatal fourway at Payback, we had a bit of a flashback.
Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns triple-powerbombed Randy Orton through a table, and suddenly it was 2012 all over again. It was a bit of nostalgia, and I think we all marked out.
1. He broke the face that runs the place.
Who could forget the incredible match that Rollins and Cena had on Monday Night Raw.
Who knows if the two were even supposed to work each other before this match, but when they did, it was obvious they had incredible chemistry.
As long as Rollins has been champ... had been champ... he and Cena never had a bad match.
Sadly, this match won't be remembered for their incredible chemistry, it'll be remembered because halfway through, Rollins broke Cena's nose.
Some of the stuff in WWE is smoke and mirrors, what Seth did to Cena's face isn't.
It legitimately broke... I mean... look at this.
What could have been...
Unfortunately, when looking back on Seth Rollins' run with the title, one thing will be remembered above everything else...
"Is it the line of WWE Hall of Famers he defended the title against?!"
No... Though names like Randy Orton, Kane, Sting, Brock Lesnar, and John Cena were unable to take the belt from Rollins, that's not it.
"Is it the development of his heel character?"
Not that either, though this was a seriously underrated facet of his development as the future of the WWE. Rollins' versatile move-set, good looks, and outgoing disposition had many thinking he was destined to be a high-flying babyface like Rey Mysterio or maybe Daniel Bryan when he split from The Shield. Instead, he became a heat magnet. He became so, so much fun to hate.
Long after the heat from turning on the Shield wore off, Rollins kept taunting the fans into booing, even when they were smiling.
From old school tricks like making fun of local sports teams, to threatening to kill Edge on national television, Seth Rollins and his signature evil laugh drew more heat than a black shirt in July.
Unfortunately, when remembering Seth Rollins' tile reign, we'll remember one thing.
How terribly he was booked.
Sure, he held onto the title, and at one point even held the United States Championship as well, but... he never seemed to beat anyone not named Dean Ambrose without some help.
Don't believe me?
Let's go back to the beginning.
At Wrestlemania 31- vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns.
Okay, okay, so this one barely counts, because it's the nature of cashing in the "Money in the Bank" briefcase, but even when he won the championship, Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar were essentially unconscious in the ring.
Extreme Rules- vs. Randy Orton (In a Cell/RKO is banned).
This match was a real mess. There was interference from J&J Security, Kane, and a move that was supposed to be banned... It was just nonsense.
Payback- vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton.
Typical fatal four-way shenanigans aside, Kane, as well as J&J Security got involved again, leaving Rollins to come in and scavenge a win.
Elimination Chamber- vs. Dean Ambrose.
The match was great... right until some shoddy, nonsensical BS ending. Ambrose wins by DQ, which means everyone loses.
Money in the Bank- vs. Dean Ambrose in a ladder match.
Rollins wins clean. Yup. I mean, it was an exciting match because Ambrose refuses to sell anything, but it was a cool finish and Rollins looked strong for a moment.
Battleground- vs. Brock Lesnar.
It was a typical Brock Lesnar match. Suplex, suplex, suplex, uh-oh, the other guy is making a comeback, suplex, suplex, sup- Undertaker interference. Which, yeah, was cool, but Rollins got the living hell beat out of him, and then barely gets to stay the champ.
SummerSlam- vs. John Cena in a Title vs Title/Winner Take All match.
It was a great match. Cena busted out some new moves, Rollins wrestled like a baby-face, and everything was going great. Then they go with the "unconscious ref/outside interference" angle, and while Rollins won, and we all cracked up at heel Jon Stewart, it just made it seem like the champ couldn't beat a mid-carder... even if that mid-carder was John Cena.
Night of Champions 1- vs. John Cena (United States Championship).
No interference here. Just a clean match...
That the man who is carrying the two most prestigious championships in the company was beaten badly in.
Made to look weak as all hell.
Night of Champions 2- vs. Sting.
What do you say about this match? Rollins made a 56 year old man look strong... right until he did what all 56 year old wrestlers do and got hurt. Rollins wins clean, but... after you've already lost to Cena, rolling up an injured old man for a win? Not exactly intimidating.
Hell in a Cell- vs. Kane.
This match took place in October.
The last time Rollins had a championship match against someone his own age at a pay per view was Ambrose... Back in June.
Yeah, Rollins won... after carrying Kane for what seemed like forever in a match they'd both like to forget.
I know what you're thinking.
Rollins is a chicken-shit heel.
He's supposed to sneak away with wins.
See: Ric Flair.
See; CM Pu- Don't you dare.
But those guys did something different.
They looked like they could still win, they just cheated because they're evil... and presumably lazy.
Rollins was jobbing to everyone on free TV.
Allow me to list some of the wrestlers that Rollins lost to clean on TV as WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
John Cena, Kane, Ryback, Cesaro, J&J Security, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Dolph Ziggler.
Let me list the people that Roman Reigns has lost clean to over that span.
Like, all the people who have pinned or submitted Roman Reigns without interference over that span.
Just kidding, but... yeah... Nobody.
Nobody at all.
But you wonder why ratings sink?
You wonder why people reject Roman Reigns?
Two hundred and twenty days.
It started with a bang and kinda coasted from there.
There were the occasional highs, but ultimately, he was just terribly booked.
He'll probably be out until next August at the earliest, but it's hard to imagine a future where he's not immediately thrown back into the title picture.
Get better Mr. Rollins, we'll miss you and your shiny boots.