Taking apart WWE superstar Seth Rollins' past ring work reveals great promise and talent.
Rollins, alongside fellow Shield members Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, has thrust himself into the WWE picture. After watching him triple-team powerbomb Ryback and ambush random opponents, WWE fans saw a glimpse of Rollins' ability at TLC 2012.
Just who is this man in black?
Rollins is an excellent high-flyer, an innovator with a solid grasp on showmanship. He certainly will deliver on the wrestling portion of his WWE duties.
Fans who followed Rollins on NXT or Ring of Honor may be familiar with what he can do in the ring. For the rest of us, let's dig and explore his talents.
High-Flying and Kicks
Few moves enliven a crowd like a dive outside of the ring or a soaring kick. Great leaping ability, body control and athleticism are required to make this part of the wrestling product look stunning and believable.
Get your cameras ready, because Rollins is going to provide a number of mid-air photo ops.
Seth Rollins' greatest asset right now is his high-flying ability.
When his kicks involve one foot, however, he seems to be more comfortable and usually excels. With an enzuigiri, for example, he bounces into the air and delivers a far more vicious-looking hit.
Rollins' most impressive moves are the ones where springs up from the canvas or uses the ring ropes as his own personal trampoline. Even when his opponent moves out of the way, he's able to smoothly turn the move into a roll.
Some of his moves aren't as graceful as WWE's best, but are impressive nonetheless.
The elite high-flyers make moving through the air look effortless. Rollins looks less majestic in flight than someone like Morrison, Evan Bourne or Rey Mysterio.
Whatever Rollins loses with that tinge of awkwardness, though, he makes up for in energy and in the height he attains.
Check out this screenshot of Rollins mid-flight. That is Kofi Kingston-like height.
With as many wrestling matches as fans have seen over the years, the moves can get repetitive at times. Seth Rollins has incorporated some creative and exciting moves to bolster his repertoire.
Many of these flashy, new weapons are centered around the turnbuckle.
During his independent circuit days, Rollins also used a move called the Paraoxysm, a swinging inverted DDT.
It's a stunning move to watch, but perhaps one WWE will shy away from due to its inherent danger.
Having such a variety of moves shows that he's talented, but also that he has a chance to stand out from the throng of wrestlers around him.
Inventiveness and excitement is great, but wrestling is not just a series of well-executed moves. The best in the business have made their moves as well as their opponents' components of compelling theater.
Rollins has a ton of promise in the showmanship department, and that is what could help distinguish him from other young wrestlers.
Before making it to the WWE main roster, Rollins had a trademark move where he swung his championship title around his head, evoking a helicopter. In his entrance and in his matches, he's showed off a genuine exuberance.
His wild motions are something straight out of the center of a mosh pit.
The speedy Iowa native sprints between moves, darting toward the ropes in a blur. He often runs faster than has to, which adds to the excitement of the match.
As you can see in this FCW match against Vance Archer, Rollins' motions are often exaggerated.
He sells his suffering well when Archer tosses him to the outside and seems aware throughout that every body part is a tool in telling the story. From a floppy arm to a grimace, Rollins uses all the tools available to him.
WWE Comparison: Justin Gabriel
As unique as Seth Rollins is, he has a lot in common with Justin Gabriel.
Rollins and Gabriel both have a long, lean body. They both rely on kicks, springboard moves and high-flying moves.
Both men are 6'1'', but Gabriel (at 213 lbs) actually has a slight size advantage over Rollins, who is billed as 209 lbs. Gabriel, though, seems like the least powerful of the two.
Rollins, at least in his indie days, tossed around many opponents with moves like the F-5.
The bigger difference between the two is that Rollins is already better at showmanship. There is something electric about a Rollins match, something born from his apparent vigor.
If given the opportunity, Rollins can prove to be a more powerful, more well-rounded version of Gabriel.
The Shield member may also stir up memories of Shelton Benjamin.
Though not as impressively athletic as Benjamin, Rollins is a super-charged performer with great leaping ability and an entertaining wrestling style.
WWE seems to be moving in the direction of this type of athlete, kicking masters who can produce fast-paced matches. The emergence of Daniel Bryan, Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler serve to prove that point.
If that is indeed what WWE wants its superstars to be, then Rollins is an ideal candidate.
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