Since NXT’s recent rejuvenation, the former “C-brand” of the WWE has taken on new life that has seen it become more enjoyable than ever. No longer are we subjected to seeing the same already-established WWE Superstars compete against one another in front of a drained WWE crowd, but instead a group of inspiring rookies who perform in front a lively Florida audience.
Of all these fresh faces apart of the new-and-improved NXT is Seth Rollins, who most members of the IWC may know as Tyler Black. Similar to CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, Rollins is also a Ring of Honor alumni who made his way over to WWE in 2010. After two years of competing in WWE’s FCW developmental territory, he finally made his televised WWE debut this past June a part of the new NXT roster.
Of course, NXT is no longer available in the United States, but still is in other parts of the world. We Americans are still able to watch the program through uploads on the Internet, but hopefully it finds a home on a televised network sooner rather than later.
Nonetheless, I immediately took notice of Rollins upon his first match in NXT. I hadn’t watched any of his past work in ROH or FCW (I know, that was wrong of me), but I have thoroughly enjoyed what he’s brought to the table thus far.
Now that the inaugural NXT Championship tournament is underway, Rollins has already made himself a force to reckoned with as he advances to the semi-finals. His most recent matchups with Drew McIntyre have been nothing short of excellent, and scoring a victory over the former Intercontinental Champion certainly adds to his credibility.
Some may feel that Rollins partaking in the title tournament means he won’t be called up to television anytime soon, but that remains to be seen. He’ll be given more time to improve on NXT before making his official main roster debut, which would only benefit him in the end.
As I watch Rollins each week on WWE’s Wednesday night show, I can’t help but feel like I’m watching CM Punk. Of course, not the current incarnation of Punk, but the Straightedge Savior during his time on ECW when he first broke into WWE in 2006.
The similar hairdos, in-ring styles and charisma is simply unquestionable. That being said, it begs one question to be asked: Could we be seeing Seth Rollins form in to the next CM Punk?
Now, before I even begin, let me start by saying that there will never be another CM Punk. Seth Rollins can be his own person, but what I’m saying is that there’s a strong chance that Rollins could be following in Punk’s footsteps.
Can anyone else see Rollins making his entrance to “This Fire Burns”, Punk’s old entrance music? I know I certainly could.
Similar to Rollins, Punk started out on WWE’s third brand known at the time as ECW. He quickly rose up the ranks and within two years of his debut, the Second City Saint was World Heavyweight Champion.
Will Rollins rise to the top just as quickly as Punk? Probably not, but the paths to the World Championship could prove to be parallel over time.
CM Punk isn’t the only former Ring of Honor star to capture World Championship gold in a top wrestling promotion. Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan and most recently Austin Aries have all held World titles in either WWE or TNA as well.
Seth Rollins has all the tools it takes to become a major star in WWE, so it’s only a matter of time before WWE realizes that and moves him to Raw or SmackDown. Sure, his mic skills might not be his strong point, but his promos continue to improve each week that he cuts them on NXT.
Punk’s numerous tattoos and unique build is what made him stand out in front of the WWE Universe, while Rollins’ look is also one of a kind. With Punk now residing at the top of the company as WWE Champion, there’s always the possibility that he can help get Rollins the push he needs, similar to the way he orchestrated the respective pushes of Daniel Bryan and Zack Ryder.
Time will only tell what the future holds for Seth Rollins, but I’m sure it consists of only brights things for this extremely talented athlete.
Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and be sure to drop a comment below with your thoughts on Seth Rollins and how his career could relate to that of CM Punk’s. As always, your criticism and overall feedback on my latest piece is welcomed and greatly appreciated.