Fueling the Fire: Seth Rollins Sticks Up for WWE...but Is He Right?June 26, 2019
The lines between professional wrestling and reality seem to get blurred more and more as time goes on, and comments made by Seth Rollins on a number of subjects this week haven't helped that situation.
Since WWE Stomping Grounds on Sunday night, Rollins has aired his views on two different matters. He got embroiled in a war of words on Twitter with New Japan Pro-Wrestling IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion Will Ospreay about the state of the company at present, before addressing Jon Moxley's recent criticism of the company he left just after WrestleMania 35 in an episode of Talk is Jericho.
But is the universal champion right to stick up for WWE?
Cynics and critics will argue The Architect is bound to defend chairman Vince McMahon and the company he is employed by for precisely those reasons: because WWE is the one sending him paychecks.
It's even easier to argue Rollins may well be missing the point people like Moxley and Ospreay are making here.
One of his most interesting tweets came when he pointed out his defence of the situation was due to him being frustrated by people getting angry with the company he works for:
However, Moxley, Ospreay and others aren't taking shots at WWE's in-ring talent. There's no doubting the company has some of the most exciting wrestlers in the world on its payroll at the moment, but it simply isn't using them properly.
Moxley described the detailed first-hand experience of how frustrated he was with WWE's booking and Creative processes on Talk is Jericho. At no point did he shoot on Rollins or any fellow in-ring performers, which makes this situation all the more unusual.
What makes things even stranger is that The Architect, positioned as the top babyface in WWE, resorted to taking shots at Ospreay about bank accounts and financial gains, something which has all the hallmarks of a top heel.
Granted, this appeared to be a real-life shoot rather than a work between rival competitors, but even so, it's hardly enhanced Rollins' character development as the clean, popular babyface champion:
This whole issue supports the belief some have that Rollins is doing this because he's under WWE's employ, but while he is standing up for the company, even his most passionate supporters have to wonder if it was right to do so in this manner. When you factor in the undeniable state of the promotion too, maybe it would have been better for him to leave well alone.
WWE's product at present is struggling. The company is persisting with the push of talent like Shane McMahon and Baron Corbin post-WrestleMania, and it's having a disastrous effect on Rollins' reign with the Universal Championship.
Simply put, WWE is failing The Architect and his title reign right now. He should be positioned as the premiere attraction on Raw every week, but that insistence on forcing McMahon down fans' throats, plus the confusion surrounding the Wild Card Rule, is making a title reign many supporters were desperate to see happen become pretty forgettable.
Fans are dissatisfied with the direction the company is headed. It was only a few months ago that Rollins took a shot at TV ratings, fan interest and much more, declaring they were all at an all-time low.
The workload WWE places on its stars is also far greater, and far more significant, than any other wrestling promotion. Granted, the financial rewards which come from that are enormous in comparison to other brands, but that's also a criticism that is thrown WWE's way.
Moxley looks like a guy who is refreshed and revitalised travelling the world, wrestling for various promotions at his own leisure and whenever he feels like it.
It's great that Rollins is sticking up for WWE, and it's probably overdue that one of the company's big names comes out to defend Vince McMahon in light of all the shots being thrown the company's way in recent weeks. But with the way its talent is being booked and the noises recently departed stars like Moxley are making, you have to wonder whether the company has got Rollins' back in return.
The way it can prove it has is by proving how much Rollins means to the company and giving him the prominence and exposure he deserves. Right now, the company's booking is such a mess that he's just lost in the shuffle.