Seth Rollins has been struggling as the top babyface in WWE. At one time, The Beastslayer was one of the most popular Superstars on the roster. He worked harder than everyone else to get his pop and he earned his level of stardom with every mach he worked.
It could even be said that Seth’s connection to the WWE faithful was directly linked to his reputation as the company’s top workhorse. Rollins is respected for the commitment to his game and that respect caused him to rise above almost every other face in the company. But it has become evident that even his exemplary ring work cannot salvage his babyface status. So has the time come for Seth Rollins to turn heel?
WWE fans began asking that very question long before Seth’s character reaction reached the depths that it now has. They could see the overall signs of fan fatigue when it came to Rollins and now those signs are undeniable. The fact is that those same fans have seen this very situation many times before.
No matter how hot a babyface gets in WWE, he or she will inevitably cool off. It’s the same in any pro wrestling promotion of course, but it seems to be magnified in Vince McMahon’s company. Much of that has to do with overexposure, which often occurs in WWE. The more fans see a guy’s face, the more they grow accustomed to it and the more they grow accustomed to it, the more likely it is that they will grow tired of it.
Listen to Seth get booed out of the building!
Perhaps the best example of this situation is John Cena, who was once the edgiest, most over Superstar in WWE. But once he reached the top and became the face of the company, fans began to turn on him. Suddenly, John wasn’t cool anymore. He was the corporate spokesman for WWE and that has never been a perfect spot for any star seeking to win the crowd as a protagonist.
The same was true of Roman Reigns, who also watched his level of popularity plummet once he became the top guy. Like Cena before him, Reigns did everything he could to make the fans happy but no matter what he did, they still hated him. The WWE faithful believed he would turn heel because of the hate he received. They believed the same thing about Cena. They were wrong in both cases.
But Seth’s current state perhaps has less to do with fan fatigue and more to do with his attitude. For the past several months, Rollins has antagonized the wrestling world on social media. What began as a random instance of a proud wrestler showing loyalty to his company, suddenly became an ongoing controversy.
Listen to what Rollins thinks of the fans booing him!
Seth Rollins came off as arrogant, cocky and braggadocios. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as a little ego is beneficial for any successful star, it’s not been a positive for Rollins. Fans have either taken him wrong, or he’s come across in the wrong way. Despite what the truth is, there’s no denying that there’s a massive disconnect between Seth Rollins and WWE fans.
However, the issue goes back to Cena and Reigns. In both situations, WWE refused to turn them heel. The opportunities were there, the logic was there and the only thing the company had to do was pull the trigger. But it never happened and there’s every reason to believe that it won’t happen now.
The moment a guy becomes the top star is the moment when everything changes. He’s no longer governed by the same rules he was before. He’s held to a different standard than everyone else and as a result of that, he’s not treated like everyone else either. Any other Superstar suffering from a lack of spark with fans would be given the chance to reignite and that chance would usually come in the form of a heel turn.
Allowing a talent to finally cut loose with his or her frustration would be extremely liberating for their character. Releasing pent up aggression and fully embracing their dark side would cause them to become relevant once again. Fans would see them in a different light and when the time came to turn a Superstar babyface again, the move would likely work on every level.
Check out Seth’s top WWE moments!
But that is not the plan when the Superstar in question is the top guy. WWE does not view the issue in the same way it’s viewed for everyone else and that’s just the way it is. So the likelihood of Seth Rollins turning heel again anytime soon is perhaps slim at best. But then again, is it a good idea for Rollins to even turn heel?
The last time Seth turned, he betrayed the most popular faction in recent WWE history. The Shield was a unit of three individuals who came together to create some of the most memorable moments that fans have ever seen. Rollins, Reigns and Dean Ambrose, were a brotherhood and they developed a deep, emotional bond with fans who loved them.
But when Seth turned his back on his brothers, everything changed forever. The Shield reunited, but it wasn’t the same. WWE couldn’t put the genie back in the bottle and though the effort was made to recreate the magic, it just didn’t happen the way fans wanted. The Shield couldn’t remain together forever, obviously. WWE’s intention was to build three new main event stars, so that’s what the company did. But Rollins’ redemption story was not enough to keep fans on his side in the longterm.
When Seth turned babyface, he did so with the promise that he would never turn his back on the fans again. While that was one promo on one night, the fact is that his supporters will never forget it. If he goes back on his word, he could become a less effective heel than he currently is as a babyface.
So what is the alternative? Are fans meant to watch the John Cena/Roman Reigns saga play out once again? Does the crowd continue to boo the guy that the company continues to push as the guy they should love? Why does this keep happening and more importantly, will this ever end? There are plenty of questions and very few answers. The situation is far from resolved and whether or not WWE can resolve it at all, remains to be seen.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, boinkstudios.com and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live