Seth Rollins finally turned heel on the November 25 edition of Monday Night Raw. The former Universal champion decided to take it upon himself to lecture the locker room in the middle of the ring, where he berated everyone who came up short at Survivor Series the previous night. The Beastslayer came off as very condescending, judgmental and entitled. His point of view placed him above everyone else around him and in the end, his self-righteousness got the best of him.
In other words, art has once again imitated life in Vince McMahon’s company. This was the direction that Seth’s character was heading and WWE simply allowed that journey to happen in storyline. Many fans were shocked by the move, mostly due to WWE’s history of refusing to switch guys based on Vince McMahon’s on personal preference. So why turn Seth when others haven’t turned in the past and does the answer involve CM Punk?
Some would say that Seth’s heel turn had to happen and that’s understandable. Rollins has never been shy about speaking his mind on social media, where he has recently become one of WWE’s most controversial personalities. What began as a defense of his company, morphed into an assault on everyone that disagreed or criticized him.
This ultimately caused the fans to turn on him and Rollins has been in attack mode since then. No matter how much time has passed, he just never seems to tire of being the lighting rod. It’s a role that he’s very comfortable with and it’s one that he plays extremely well. It could even be said that Seth Rollins was turning heel long before his locker room lecture on Raw.
Watch Rollins lecture the Raw locker room!
But the fact that WWE chose to use Seth’s new attitude on TV is surprising at best. Oftentimes, the company does not go the obvious route with anyone and that’s especially true of the top guy. Rollins has been in that spot for quite some time and he’s enjoyed it as a babyface. WWE loved him in that role and there was every indication that he was going to remain there.
But the same was also true of John Cena and Roman Reigns, both of whom were top guys that were babyface. However, the similarities between Cena, Reigns and Rollins ends there. That’s because while Seth used social media to go on the offense, John and Roman both remained the respectable protagonists.
Of course, there’s something to be said for Rollins’ new character, as he’s perhaps not the diabolical heel that some guys are. At least not yet, that is. Right now, he’s basically the same Superstar who is just bringing his online personality to the forefront. Seth feels justified in his actions and his attitude, both of which are obviously portraying him in a very negative light. But even though Seth’s heel turn is thought of by many as a nuanced change of perception on his part, it’s clear that WWE intends him to be Raw’s top antagonist.
Watch Rollins take advantage of an attack on Raw!
Then there’s the fact that this was by Seth’s hand and that was simply not the case for Cena and Reigns. John and Roman both were booed and hated by the audience they fought to please and that hate continued despite what either man did to make fans happy. The crowd had decided that John and Roman were not what they wanted and much of that had to do with both men’s penchant for winning nearly every match they worked. Fans believed that Reigns and Cena were pushed too hard and they were rejected because of it.
But this was not the case for Seth Rollins, who has never been presented as a superhuman babyface. Rollins is human and he could lose on any given night to any given opponent. He was never the unbeatable hero, but the audience turned on him all the same. In Seth’s case, his apparent arrogance and entitled outlook were more than enough to draw the ire of fans.
Many of those fans believe that all of this is leading to CM Punk. The Second City Saint is back in the world of WWE once again, as he is now an Analyst working for FOX on WWE Backstage. While he’s not on Vince McMahon’s payroll, Punk could eventually be back in Vince McMahon’s ring. Nothing has been made official as of yet, but many are speculating that if Punk gets back in the squared circle, it will be to face Seth Rollins.
CM Punk tells Seth what he should do
From the moment that Punk joined FOX, Seth has gone after him. Rollins has been very vocal about wanting to fight Punk and though much of it may have been nothing more than lighthearted banter, the truth is that Seth is not letting up. It’s as if he’s cultivating an angle online, just as he did with his heel turn. Is WWE behind both situations, or is Rollins acting on his own?
After all, Seth would have been booed against Punk whether a heel turn took place or not. But maybe Punk is on the fence about wanting to wrestle again. If that’s the case, then WWE obviously has to keep moving forward and turning Seth was part of that. Kevin Owens is now being positioned as the top face on Raw and being programmed with a newly heeled Rollins is surely going to be the next big angle for the red brand. But if Punk decides to do business, WWE is ready.
So the only question is, will it happen? Many fans believe that if Punk gets back into the ring, he will tag with wife AJ Lee against Rollins and his girlfriend, Becky Lynch. Of course, that could lead to more from Punk, which could lead to WrestleMania 36 and beyond. Seth Rollins is ready but can the same be said of CM Punk?
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