Terrible news hit the WWE Universe last night. The WWE confirmed that the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins sustained right ACL/MCL/medial meniscus tears. In layman’s terms, the Architect’s hurt and he’ll be out for 6-9months, forcing him to vacate the title. Rollins has been the backbone of the WWE for over a year now. He not only bragged about being The Man constantly, he actually was. As the Authority’s hand-picked golden boy, Rollins was involved in a series of high-profile feuds, leading to his almost 7 months long reign. Despite being one of the WWE’s most hated heels, Rollins is also one of the WWE Universe’s favourite wrestlers. He always draws the right reactions at the right time. Rollins easily accumulates heat when he talks but gets cheers just as easily when he wrestles. The fact is that the high-risk in-ring style Seth makes look so easy, actually caught up to him and he’ll be out of the game for a while. This is a big hit for the WWE, as the Creative has to figure out how to keep the main even scene exciting with its biggest star sidelined.
The obvious choice for a new champion would be the current #1 Contender – Roman Reigns, who was supposed to face Rollins for the title at Survivor Series. It almost seems like the Rollins/Reigns feud is cursed. The first time it was meant to happen, Reigns got injured the night before the PPV. A year later, just as they opened the door to that rivalry again, Seth Rollins got taken out of action. It’s now up to Reigns to deal with the aftermath. It will be difficult for him because the WWE Universe hasn’t been particularly supportive of his title aspirations. Reigns has had a rough ride with the fans since he was branded as the “next big thing” on the internet and turned into one of the most popular superstars to hate. The storytelling logic dictates that regardless of the fans’ possibly conflicting opinion, Reigns should win the gold at Survivor Series. His reign has been a long time coming. He’s the one man, whose story arc has been building up to this moment for over a year with numerous obstacles along the way. Objectively, Roman Reigns is perfectly set to be a champion and he deserves to have that run.
The fans, however, faced with Rollins’ unexpected absence, are generating hopes for a sudden break-through for one of their favourite midcarders. The names of Ziggler, Cesaro, Neville, Owens and Ambrose are being thrown around the web in all sorts of forums and comment sections. Unfortunately, all of those have no chance. Owens and Ambrose just started a rivalry against each other over the IC title and it promises to deliver. Their match on SmackDown is a proof of that. The action in the ring was good but the storytelling was even better. Owens and Ambrose are perfect the way they are now. They have a very important task on their hands and that is to bring back prestige to the Intercontinental championship thorough an amazing, intriguing, high-profile feud. As busy as they are, Owens and Ambrose will stay away from Rollins’ vacated title, at least for the time being. Realistically, the chances of Neville, Cesaro or Ziggler, getting a push to the top out of the blue are almost nonexistent. They are all very talented guys but what the championship needs is someone who can pull viewers off the bat. A name that will cause a stir. Sadly, neither one of these men seems to have that at the moment. The WWE World Heavyweight champion needs to be a name that already has heat to it.
Reigns will immediately cause a scandal. The fans will be so keen on rioting against him that they’ll just boost the WWE’s views through the roof. On top of that, there are a number of storylines just waiting to develop. Triple H and Stephanie won’t be happy with Reigns, holding the gold. There’s the question of who’ll be the Authority’s pick to replace Rollins. They’ll either need to corrupt Reigns and turn him heel, which would appeal to the fans but isn’t very likely, or they need to find someone, who’d challenge him. The obvious choice would be Sheamus. Imagine if Reigns wins, after all that time he spent, scratching and crawling, after all those screw jobs he suffered, and then Sheamus runs out and cashes in the same night with The Authority, clapping in the background. It would be heart-breaking for Reigns. The Celtic Warrior actually has heat, as well, so it will be somewhat easier to keep Reigns as a face there. This is not the most original solution but it is the most probable one for a reason. It simply makes sense and has the backstory to support it, making it a valid long-term solution to the Rollins problem.
If you’re looking for a more extreme answer, it’s very likely that the midcard won’t be the place to find it. It is possible, though, that the Authority will scout their new protégé in NXT. It could possibly be Baron Corbin’s time. Saying that, I can already see the fan comments hating on a possible Reigns vs. Corbin feud, although, in all fairness, it will most probably look good in the ring. It would be brutal, aggressive, hard-hitting action. But if you still insist on inserting an alternative current main roster character into the main event scene, that would most likely be Bray Wyatt. He has all the momentum in the world and with his family by his side, he looks unstoppable. The Authority wouldn’t be very excited about that but they wouldn’t be able to control Wyatt. He’s just beyond this world. Reigns vs. Wyatt is still hot, so the Eater of Worlds could easily continue his pursuit. The only issue with that is that the fans might have had enough of this rivalry already. Therefore, the most plausible scenario remains a Reigns/Sheamus feud.
Who do you think will win the title at Survivor Series? Who would you book them to feud with? Tells us in the comment section or on Twitter!
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