The overwhelmingly negative response Seth Rollins received on WWE Raw as well as at Survivor Series was too loud to ignore and forced WWE to do what it should have done months ago in turning him heel.
Truth be told, it was more a matter of when and not if WWE would flip the switch with his character, and this past week was perhaps the perfect time considering the backlash he's endured recently.
The Architect was already among the most hated Superstars in the entire company, but his booking didn't reflect that until Monday night.
After eliminating Tommaso Ciampa from Sunday's big brand warfare tag team match (to a chorus of boos, no less), he was greeted with a chorus of jeers from the fans in Chicago on Raw the following night and proceeded to scold the Superstars standing around ringside for their lack of success at Survivor Series.
It was the first time in many months that a Rollins promo actually elicited the desired reaction—and it was glorious.
Rollins has been criticized by fans since the summer for controversial comments he made on social media and in interviews regarding Will Ospreay, Jon Moxley and All Elite Wrestling, among other things. Although he apologized in some circumstances, he largely hasn't been doing himself many favors as WWE's supposed top babyface.
Say what you will about John Cena and Roman Reigns, but even they never publicly reacted in the manner Rollins did, causing many members of the WWE Universe to resent him before long.
All of those comments quickly came back to bite him, and by the time of SummerSlam in August, he was getting barracked by a vocal contingent. It worsened when he beat Bray Wyatt at Hell in a Cell on October 6 to retain his Universal Championship, a pay-per-view ending that was widely panned by fans.
After that, the only logical thing left for WWE to do with Rollins was to turn him heel, and to its credit, it took the appropriate first steps in that direction this week on Raw.
His promo running down the red brand's roster was exactly what it needed to be. The self-appointed locker room leader tried to act sincere while pointing out everyone else's failure but in reality only established himself an unlikable jerk.
More importantly, Kevin Owens' Stunner to The Architect in that same segment effectively set him up to replace Rollins as the face of the flagship show.
The idea of Rollins returning to his heel roots was always far-fetched because no one came close to his level of popularity as a babyface, but the red-hot KO has since solved that issue.
WWE was wise to plant the seeds for a Rollins heel turn on Raw without going all the way with it just yet. That gives viewers an incentive to tune in next week to see what will happen.
Before his bout with Owens could reach a proper conclusion, AOP interfered and viciously attacked The Prizefighter while Rollins watched from afar. Although he begged AOP for a fight, they walked off and allowed The Beastslayer to plant KO's face into the mat with a thunderous Curb Stomp.
It wasn't set in stone on Monday night, but AOP eventually aligning with Rollins as his new pair of heavies would benefit everyone involved.
It's difficult to believe it was just over a year ago that fans were losing their minds for Rollins and actively petitioning for him to unseat Lesnar as universal champion.
Unfortunately, though, his great matches with AJ Styles and Braun Strowman weren't enough to endear him to the audience. Combined with how none of his rah-rah speeches have ever come across as truly genuine, everything he's been doing and saying outside of the ring since his rise to superstardom on Raw has been counterproductive to his status as a fan favorite.
Thankfully, Rollins has proved in the past he's in his element as a heel, and this turn will be for the better. The more time WWE takes with it, the more meaningful and impactful it will be in the end.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.