As fans, we have not been behind Seth Rollins being the Universal champion. Our interest can be labeled lukewarm at best, and we’ve been begging for him to turn heel.
After the debacle that was the Hell in a Cell (a no disqualification match ending in DQ is nothing short of a debacle), the WWE really has no other way to go. They’ve pushed Rollins, tried to put him over and over again, but we never got behind him.
The answer seems to have been to put him against the most popular superstar in the WWE — “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt.
To be honest, Wyatt deserves a top championship, but the WWE always finds a way to keep that from happening, and this was in the same vein. They wrote themselves into a corner by having him challenge Rollins. If he won, it would theoretically diminish the mystery around him (though limiting promos to what he’s been doing would’ve continued working), and having him eventually lose would hurt the Fiend character. The fact is, ending the match in a DQ hurt him as well despite his showing as anytime the boundaries get pushed, someone will put a stop to it. Unfortunately, it was the only way for them to save face.
In short, it appears the Fiend is never meant to hold a title. His existence is to hurt and torment people. An interesting concept, though if that were true, he’d go after titles as losing them would hurt the champions (Works both ways, don’t it?).
So, with the impasse at hand, WWE creative did the only thing they thought they could: have Rollins mentally break and disregard the referee’s kayfabe attempt to stop him from using the sledgehammer. When Rollins didn’t listen, the referee ended the match (Mick Foley being thrown off the top of a cell and through an announce table, then chokeslammed through the top of the cell didn’t warrant that. Neither did Triple H’s execution style sledgehammer blow to Vince McMahon, but we’re not supposed to remember that.)
Careful what you wish for
For the first time in a long, long while, the WWE got what they wanted.
The fans booed Seth Rollins. They booed him when he was beating the Fiend with the chair and other items, they booed the sledgehammer, and they booed the match ending.
The air was filled with chants of “Bulls—!” “AEW!” “Restart the match!” and after the show was over, they continued in one voice, “We want a refund!”
Some canceled their WWE Network subscriptions, other swore off WWE programming permanently, and others even tagged former superstars like Mick Foley on Twitter.
Of course, we’ll be told this is what the WWE wanted, and that may be true. There’s no one better than using our emotions to their own ends than Vince McMahon. Tonight, we may get a lecture and told to stop watching ala Triple H a few years back.
The one thing we won’t get in an apology
But we will probably get a Seth Rollins heel, and since last night was the first time the fans drowned out the PA system because of something he did.
Not the best time to test fans loyalty with AEW rising and showing they’re listening to fans, but then we’ll still tune in to see what they’re up to. Kinda like those that scream their hate for Lesnar keep handing over their money or ratings just to boo him.
Good luck on Raw, Seth. You’ll need it.