Examining Seth Rollins' Potential Future as WWE's Next Top Heel

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2014

Seth Rollins
Seth RollinsCredit: WWE.com

Seth Rollins is one of those heels who just seems to need a little work.  

The spotlight is there, thanks to a direct association with Triple H and The Authority.  The opportunity is there, as Rollins has been receiving more than his fair share of airtime since turning on his Shield brethren back on June 2.  And the effort is there, as every time he's in the ring, Rollins brings everything he has and then some to his matches.

Yet, for many WWE fans, The Authority's golden boy seems to be falling a little flat.  

The time to panic may not be here just yet, however, as Rollins still has plenty of upside and is still believed to be a true main event star in the making.  Indeed, Rollins potentially has what will be a future as WWE's next top heel.

This was a situation that many of the WWE faithful perhaps thought they would never see.  As recently as May of 2014, Rollins was still a member of The Shield, the company's most dominant faction of all time. It was not a status to be taken lightly, as WWE had seen its fair share of top-notch heel groups in the past.

Degeneration-X, The Nexus, Evolution: All three factions had their own unique styles and their own separate set of contributions to WWE.  Each group entertained, and each group reigned in its own individual era.  To this day, each one is still leaving its mark and is still being felt among fans.

The Shield
The ShieldCredit: WWE.com

But no one did it like Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns.  

They destroyed everyone in their path, and they did it with total cohesiveness and selfless teamwork.  The sum was greater than its parts, and they proved it with every challenge they faced in the middle of the ring.

However, even through their dominance, The Shield was second-guessed by fans.  The reason for that had little to do with any dissension that existed between them and more to do with the fans' knowledge that ultimately it would all come to an end.  The crowd understood that Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns had big futures ahead and those futures would likely not come as a unit.

However, Rollins was not believed to be the one who would bring it to an end.  That distinction belonged to Ambrose, who was widely thought of as the man who would eventually betray The Shield.

Ambrose had the look of a heel, a man who just could not be trusted.  His wild-eyed intensity, combined with his rebellious nature, seemed to spell disaster for The Hounds of Justice, as it was surely only a matter of time until he would leave his Shield teammates behind.

Rollins and Triple H
Rollins and Triple HCredit: WWE.com

Of course, that particular betrayal did not come, and now fans are left with Rollins as the man riding high with The Authority.  Rollins was the Judas in The Shield, the man who saw an opportunity for himself and grabbed it by the horns.

But does Rollins' role as the heel from The Shield mean he's now headed for a top spot in WWE?  More importantly, does it mean he's headed for the spot of top heel in the company?  

The biggest plus that Rollins has right now, of course, is his association with The Authority.  Rubbing shoulders with Triple H has done nothing but help Rollins.  Instead of being viewed as merely a traitor, he is seen as a man with an agenda, as someone who knows he's meant for something more in the industry.

And he's taking steps to get there.

His attitude as the cocky, entitled Superstar with an inflated sense of self-worth is perfect considering the situation, and he can go very far with that personality.  Rollins is just the right mix of intelligence and arrogance, and it's enough to make fans respect him yet hate him at the same time.  He is very good at getting that reaction, and it should serve him well against any type of babyface he encounters now or in the future.

Speaking of his future, the fact is that Rollins is a very talented performer in the ring, and that is another factor that bodes well for him as a future top heel.  Today's WWE is comprised of the best talents whom fans have seen in perhaps a very long time.  

From Daniel Bryan to Cesaro to Dolph Ziggler and even Ambrose himself, today's Superstars are a cut above the norm.  Talent on the mic and in the ring both make for the complete package, and this clearly defines who Rollins is.

So the attitude is right and the work ethic is there.  What else is left for Rollins as a potential top heel in WWE?  

At the end of the day, it's all about the money.

Rollins needs to be able to draw money.  Fans must need to see him and want to see him get his against his opponent.  Whether it's against Ambrose or another strong face, Rollins must be hated to the point that fans will pay to see him get punished in the ring.  

Yes, the respect is there, and yes, he has earned their appreciation for what he can do in the ring.  But the WWE faithful must want to see Rollins beaten down in the match.

If that does not happen, then the validity of Rollins as a top heel is seriously called into question.  Fans can enjoy his matches all day long, but if they're not willing to pay to see him, then his overall value to WWE will not be what it perhaps could be.  

And that is not a good sign for the former Architect of The Shield.

The bottom line for Rollins is that he has the tools necessary to succeed on a high level.  But much of that success depends on his ability to affect fans to the point that they will pay to see him in the ring.  However, if Rollins stays the course, and if WWE continues to promote him and book him in the right way, then fans may indeed be looking at the evolution of the company's next top heel.