The Seth Rollins Situation.
Yesterday probably started like every Monday starts for WWE Superstar, Seth Rollins.
He woke up in a hotel room in some strange town, this time it was Columbus, Ohio, and began his routine.
He probably grabbed some breakfast, got a workout in, did some press for Monday Night Raw, and headed to the arena.
Of course, last night wasn't like any other Monday night.
For those of you who haven't heard... Seth Rollins had a rough night.
There are several theories flying around the internet right now, but here is what we know for sure.
At some point, yesterday afternoon, someone posted a naked picture of NXT Diva, Zahra Schreiber from all of Seth Rollins' social media accounts. Even after Rollins attempted to delete them, they were reposted two more times. Shortly after that, Rollins' fiancée, a model named Leighla Schultz reportedly posted multiple pictures of Rollins completely naked. Those pictures were quickly taken down as well, but as everyone on the internet knows, once it's posted, it can never really disappear.
After Monday Night Raw went off the air, Rollins took to twitter to apologize.
Historically, "real life" problems have been known to affect pushes and even derail careers.
Main event stars like Alberto Del Rio, Jeff Hardy, and Kurt Angle had all been released for issues that had little to do with their wrestling ability. Hell, even Triple H had to spend an entire year as a jobber after the MSG incident where he broke kayfabe (the portrayal of events within the industry as "real") by hugging Kevin Nash and Scott Hall as they departed for WCW on national television.
The WWE has worked very hard and very long to maintain an image as a respectable company, aligning themselves with charities like the "No H8" campaign and the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and each superstar knows they are responsible for properly representing the company.
However, there have been exceptions in the past.
Shawn Michaels, one of the biggest stars in WWE history, was infamous for his substance abuse problems and his stint with "Playgirl" magazine, but he never faced real consequences for his actions.
Randy Orton has built up a hideous reputation for being a troublemaker outside of the ring. Between bad fan interactions, trashing other talent on the radio, destroying hotel rooms, steroid use, substance abuse, and the whole "poop in a bag" incident, yet the only superstar with more main event appearances in recent memory is John Cena.
OH! And John Cena!
After a hideous, and very public divorce with his high school sweetheart, many people began to wonder how much of the "Super Cena" character is based on the real man himself. Rumors ran rampant about Cena having affairs with Mickie James, Torrie Wilson, as well as many "ring rats" and even a porn star or two. Of course, none of this was ever officially proven, and many people that were involved tried to sweep it under the rug as the years went by. I don't have to tell you that his push wasn't effected.
And last but not least, there's Edge.
If any situation mirrors the one that Rollins finds himself in now, it's the Rated R Superstar, Edge.
As every WWE fan knows, Edge began an affair with his friend, Matt Hardy's girlfriend, Lita during Hardy's injury. Upon finding out about their betrayal, Hardy told his story to everyone who would listen, including strangers on the internet. As you can see on the WWE Network (for 9.99), this did result in the firing of Matt Hardy, but it also lead to much more. Edge picked up an incredible amount of heel heat and many argue that the addition of Lita as a manger put him over. Eventually the WWE re-hired Hardy and the two had a fierce and violent rivalry. In that case, the controversy actually helped propel Edge to the main event. Hardy was fired, but it was mostly by running his mouth and drawing negative attention to the product.
So what does this mean for Rollins?
Well, there's no denying that the "future of the WWE" nickname is more than just a clever nickname. Rollins' in-ring ability has been compared to the likes of Shawn Michaels, Eddie Guerrero, and even Daniel Bryan. As far as his character is concerned, he's easily the hottest heel in the business as well as Mr. Money in the Bank. Losing such a valued star at a time when the main eventers are dropping like flies would be massively detrimental to the company, but WWE comes first.
The early rumors circulating are that Mr. Rollins and his push won't be affected because frankly, it wasn't his fault.
While the implications of the possession of Zahra's pictures on his phone paint an ugly picture of him as a person, he clearly didn't intend for them to be posted, and definitely didn't want the woman he intended (probably not so much now) to marry in the future to share those humiliating pictures of himself.
Even if he was having an affair, I doubt that "being a faithful boyfriend" is anywhere in his contract. From a legal perspective, only the hacker and perhaps even Ms. Schultz are to blame. Even though it's always easier to see a situation in black and white, with a good guy and a bad guy, there aren't really any winners here.
If Rollins was promiscuous, shame on him.
If Zahra knew Rollins was engaged, shame on her.
And as painful at that situation must have been, and as much as Seth probably deserved to get a nice kick in the ass, it was very immature and maybe even a little illegal for Leighla to post nude pictures of him online in an effort to embarrass him or potentially derail his career.
Was she justified in doing it? Maybe a little, but then again, wouldn't we say the same thing if she had slashed his tires or taken matters further?
Nasty business really, with all three sides coming out smelling bad.
With Seth, I think the fans will troll him for a while, but I do still expect him to keep getting a push.
With Leighla, I hope things don't go to court, and they can eventually just go their separate ways or, if they're crazy, try to work things out.
Ultimately, the person I worry about most is Zahra, who has yet to even debut in NXT, and even if she isn't cut, will forever face a mocking hostility from crowds.
Let's just hope all three parties have a Plan B...