Seth Rollins is on top of WWE right now, thanks in no small part to his current run as Universal champion. But now The Beastslayer also has the Raw Women’s champion and real life girlfriend, Becky Lynch, at his side on TV.
WWE’s newest power couple is riding high right now and with good reason. The company loves them, they’re extremely popular with fans and now the two are getting over together. Rollins and Lynch are just beginning on television, but it seems that this may become a longterm storyline in Vince McMahon’s company. But will Seth become the longterm top guy in WWE?
The top guy question has been debated in fan circles for quite some time. Many feel that WWE is actually no longer in the top guy business and instead has shifted the focus to the overall roster of Superstars. One talent is not being elevated over another, which means that everyone has a fair shot of getting over with the audience. It’s an approach that sounds good on paper, but it’s perhaps not the most ideal situation.
That’s due to the fact that WWE seems to rely too much on 50/50 booking as a result. If everyone is equal, then no one has the ability to breakout. If that’s the case, then no one can really get hot enough to truly make a difference for business. The entire roster is noting more than an assortment of cookie cutter performers, each one interchangeable and largely forgettable.
Watch Rollins and Lynch backstage on Raw!
But this is not how WWE has typically operated in the past. From Bruno Sammartino to Hulk Hogan to Steve Austin, one top star after another has been featured as the primary draw of the company. WWE’s success hinged on each man’s ability to generate interest and that interest led to ticket sales, merchandise sales and pay-per-view buys. Of course that all changed with John Cena.
This is where the top guy method of doing business began to transform. Cena was a top guy in every sense of the word. He sold merchandise, he sold tickets and he did generate interest. But he often did all of those things while also being the most hated babyface in the industry. WWE fans didn’t believe that a guy could be so honest and upright as was always the case with Cena.
He was too good for his own good and the crowd despised him for it. So while John was indeed the face of WWE, he also was not the only draw on the roster. Randy Orton was always around to feud with John and Cena definitely needed The Viper during some very critical points in his career. The Undertaker and Triple H have also been a presence, albeit part-time, when WWE needed two big names on a big card.
Watch Rollin and Lynch get extreme on Raw!
But the man that truly challenged the top guy idea was Brock Lesnar. The Beast Incarnate has been paid some incredible money to do incredibly little. But what he does usually works. Lesnar gets an automatic reaction from the crowd despite what city he’s in or what he’s there to do. The same fans who claim they don’t want him around are likely the ones on their feet when his music hits. He’s just too compelling to ignore.
But was Brock Lesnar ever the top guy in WWE? Common sense says no, because of his schedule. Lesnar was never there every week, both in the ring and on the mic. Those days have long since passed. Brock is an attraction now and nothing more. However the fact that he continues to spark such great interest when he’s booked, implies that WWE just doesn’t seem to care about the top guy spot anymore.
Why saddle one talent with that kind of responsibility, when it can be shared among five or six stars? Does that explain why Roman Reigns, the heir apparent to John Cena, is no longer the driving focus of WWE? Could it be that Vince McMahon has indeed deiced to move on and shine the spotlight on Seth Rollins instead? Or is all of this a case of “right here, right now?”
Check out Seth’s greatest moments in WWE!
Perhaps Seth is just in the right position at the moment. He is a company guy after all and he proves that every time he defends WWE. Rollins is loyal and believes in his company. He truly seems to have taken on the role of top star, but has he done it by default?
Is it possible that Rollins is the man for the job because he’s the man that currently suits that job? Or is he at the forefront right now because WWE is anointing him as the new top guy?
The truth is that Seth Rollins on top of Monday Night Raw and ultimately WWE, is what many fans wanted from the very beginning. Reigns was just as hated as Cena and perhaps even more. Lesnar is the part-time prize fighter and every time he holds the Universal Championship, the title disappears with him. Fans wanted to see someone finally defeat him and more importantly, they wanted that win to actually stick. This time it has.
Seth Rollins, the workhorse of The Shield, became the workhorse of WWE. He’s battled back from injury, he’s proven himself time after time and he is one of the best in the business today. Is he the top guy in WWE, or is he merely filling that role right now? Perhaps it doesn’t matter and maybe it never did. Only Seth Rollins and WWE, knows for sure.
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