Seth Rollins Solidifies Status as WWE's Top Star After WrestleMania 31 TriumphMarch 30, 2015
Seth Rollins, the Architect and eventual destroyer of The Shield, laid claim to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and became WWE's top star at WrestleMania 31.
One of the largest elephants in the room over the course of the past few months was Rollins' Money in the Bank briefcase. When in the world was a smart heel going to try to rip the strap from Brock Lesnar, the "1" in 22-1 and conqueror of John Cena?
In the main event of WrestleMania, of course.
Rollins played his cards just right for the ultimate shock: the first MitB cash-in attempt at WrestleMania. Look around. Pre-show discussions centered on when in future months Rollins would attempt to take the belt off one of the two eventual winners. During the show, a violent loss to Randy Orton earlier on the card seemed to spell the end of Rollins' night.
Rollins' character has shown time and again to be an easy-to-underestimate heel. He's cowardly, but the warning signs of his genius, such as tearing apart The Shield, foreshadowed such a maneuver.
Rather than wait to take on a single competitor, Rollins struck after Brock Lesnar delivered a lengthy beating to Roman Reigns. The tide had started to turn in the challenger's favor.
Best of all, as Jim Ross points out, everybody wins:
It's what the best cowardly heels do. They strike at the opportune time when the odds are heavy in their favor and succeed (or run away and try again).
Even the heel Paul Heyman, while visibly angry his client Brock Lesnar lost, likely felt a shred of appreciation for the genius of the move.
That is the point. Many see the genius. Some feel the outrage. In one fell swoop, though, Rollins, while a heel, seemed to save a main event marred by a rocky buildup:
Past missteps are corrected with Rollins' win.
Lesnar still looks like the dominant Beast nobody can defeat in a one-on-one encounter. The mystique around his character, the one who took down The Undertaker, remains intact, and he can continue as a part-time contender whose presence ups the ante of any event. He's no longer an insurmountable problem, a heel with the strap nobody can defeat.
Reigns can spend a year building his character in the proper manner and winning over fans in a natural manner—or turning heel and feeding off the pre-established disdain.
Forget what Rollins' actions do for others and the product, though. Think about him—he has ascended the ladder to the top and now has the matching title.
Rollins is a rock. Over the course of the past year and change, he's put the company on his shoulders and ran with the opportunity.
When Daniel Bryan was out with an injury? Rollins was there, putting on great matches and promos on Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-views. CM Punk walked out? Rollins was there. Brock Lesnar missing in action on a part-time contract? Rollins was there. Randy Orton out filming a movie? Rolling was there. Sheamus out hurt? Rollins was there. Nobody else stepping up and seizing the No. 1 role? Rollins was there.
Call WrestleMania Rollins' reward.
As WWE made sure to point out, Rollins foretold this moment on Twitter quite some time ago:
Rollins is the perfect heel. He's a coward, but a tactician the main event scene hasn't seen since Punk walked out the door. He doesn't need The Authority, either, and the hints of a strong babyface are there too.
Keep in mind Rollins is just 28 years old. He now leads the charge of the next generation of WWE Superstars into what suddenly looks like a very bright future with a focused plan.
Rollins has been the best thing going in WWE for a while now. His historic WrestleMania moment just seemed to make sure everyone understood.
Sit back now and enjoy how Rollins intends to counter Lesnar, Reigns, Orton, John Cena, Daniel Bryan and many more gunning for his top spot. And expect him to do so with a masterful plan.