Next-generation talents such as Seth Rollins are always hot-button topics on Twitter. The Shield split has gone according to plan thus far but, for Rollins, is it too much, too soon?
@ThisIsNasty Do you think the Seth Rollins push is a bit premature?— Top Banana (@EmbraceParker10) July 9, 2014
Not necessarily. After showing two years of promise with The Shield, in addition to a notable run in WWE Developmental, WWE needs to see what they have in Seth Rollins. The promotion is running on a tight budget and has no room for dead weight, as evidenced by the ongoing slew of releases.
Rollins, much like a handful of other WWE Superstars, is in sink-or-swim mode. To borrow a phrase, he’ll either adapt to prime position with main event real estate on weekly programming, or he’ll perish.
Even if Rollins’ potential as a headliner is found to be fool’s gold, he’ll have a soft landing through his feud with the equally talented Dean Ambrose. Either that or it will be the other way around, as his midcard feud with Ambrose can elevate him as a top-tier talent.
When all is said and done, who will have the most WWE World Heavyweight Championship reigns?
Long-term, I think both Rollins and Ambrose will benefit from the inevitable coronation of Roman Reigns.
If either are presented with the opportunity to become an organic top babyface down the road, they'll be here to stay.
Sure, fans are firmly behind Reigns as he rises against The Authority and vies for his first world championship. But after three, four or five world title wins, The Reality Era will stay true to form and turn on him.
He’ll basically be the second coming of John Cena (“Let’s go Roman-Roman sucks!”). When that happens, the Internet will seek out a CM Punk type. That underground superstar with more of a common-man appeal who WWE officials don’t view as highly as Reigns.
Dean Ambrose fits that description to a T, as does Rollins, who kind of looks like CM Punk to boot.
@ThisIsNasty Yeah but it's totally recycled from the Rock's hollywood heel gimmick back in '03.— Spencer Davies (@SpinDavies) July 9, 2014
The Miz’s current gimmick is also very fitting to his Hollywood persona. I like what I see from The Miz’s new gimmick thus far but not everybody shares that same sentiment:
The entrance video, showing the bright lights of Hollywood, certainly seems familiar, and Miz—an admitted fan of The Rock dating back to his adolescence—has definitely lifted a few aspects of Rock’s 2003 character, but recycled is a strong word.
Miz has been in such desperate need of something fresh for so long, even minimal tweaks like scarves and sunglasses make him seem like a whole new man.
Miz’s take on the movie-star satire comes in the form of a competitor whose narcissism is his downfall in the most literal of ways. According to Greek mythology, the hunter Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection to the point where he died admiring himself.
Monday on Raw, Miz’s continued obsession with his presumed movie-star good looks translated to the ring. Miz went on to suffer a loss to Chris Jericho while being overprotective of his face.
Much like Narcissus’ downfall was his own vanity, Miz’s own narcissism goes beyond the built-in arrogance that comes with the territory of being a heel.
Miz’s reading of the Johnny Russo letter was also spot-on. With otherwise standard material, Miz shined in this segment by publicizing his praises while using facial expressions to convey delusion and self-unawareness.
As Miz delves deeper into this Hollywood persona, a more delusional persona will help him become the type of legit heel that WWE is dying for. A visceral meltdown when Miz is snubbed for an Oscar should be in the cards.
With the advent of Bray Wyatt’s brand of babyface heeling, Miz represents a failed experiment who couldn’t sustain his superstardom as WWE’s top villain.
Few fans actually want to see Miz back on top of the WWE ranks.
And that’s exactly what makes him a prime heel candidate.
@ThisIsNasty They have to be doing the Whole Micky James Trish Stratus thing with Paige and AJ right?— Brandon Barnes (@barnyard_barnes) July 8, 2014
Competitively, the hope is that the AJ Lee and Paige feud will rewrite WWE Divas wrestling the way Trish Stratus and Mickie's did. From a creative standpoint, however, this feud is far from the angle of Mickie James being an overzealous fan turned psychotic stalker.
Paige’s admiration of Lee is intentionally transparent, with Paige almost sarcastically expressing her support of the current Divas Champion.
This type of extra-curricular activity is exactly what Paige needs before she becomes a mainstream star in the WWE. Perhaps officials were so excited about her elite in-ring skills, they jumped the gun in making her champion on the first night.
Character and personality cannot be taken for granted, no matter how talented the athlete. A heel Paige will help create a character that connects with the WWE audiences while showcasing an impressive moveset.
Paige will have the rest of her career to fluctuate between babyface and heels. This is especially true if she becomes effective as a villain, since many effective villains are eventually cheered.