Seth Rollins made his presence felt immediately upon returning to WWE when he pedigreed Roman Reigns at the conclusion of the main event of last week’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view. Rollins thrust himself right back into the championship picture, and Shane McMahon confirmed it one night later when he announced that Rollins and Reigns would headline next month’s Money in the Bank show from Las Vegas.
The reactions that Rollins received from both the Extreme Rules crowd and the Monday Night RAW audience the following night were deafening, arguably the loudest of 2016 outside of Shane returning the night after the Royal Rumble in Detroit. Curiously, however, WWE stubbornly brought Rollins back as a heel. Reigns, meanwhile, is billed as the company’s top babyface despite receiving the loudest negative reactions on the roster.
Vince McMahon passed down an edict to JBL on commentary, instructing him to proclaim that love him or hate him, everyone has an opinion on Roman Reigns. Clearly, Vince and company are booking their stars as they see fit while “allowing” the crowd to cheer and boo whomever they please. The fact is, the biggest reason for Seth Rollins to return as a heel is because the roster was thin at the top of the card at that position. And with John Cena and Brock Lesnar scheduled to return, the babyface portion will get more crowded.
As for this Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins rivalry, it was set in motion two years ago when The Architect of The Shield dissolved the faction with one fell swoop of a steel chair to the back of Reigns. Things would escalate at WrestleMania 31 when Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract during the main event match between Reigns and Brock Lesnar. The only ensuing match pitting both Rollins and Reigns in the main event came in a Fatal 4-Way with Dean Ambrose and Randy Orton at last year’s Payback.
As it turns out, WWE was saving the eventual one-on-one collision for Survivor Series, where Rollins was finally scheduled to relinquish the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to signify the beginning of the Roman Empire. Reigns still won the title that night, but Rollins had vacated the championship due to injury and the match never happened. Fast forward five months later and the two will finally square off with the biggest prize in the industry on the line on June 19.
Exactly one month after Money in the Bank airs, WWE will air its first live episode of SmackDown in the new era. Wednesday’s announcement of a brand split will shake the foundation of the company, and every subsequent report about creative plans hinges on this roster divide. But as of now, Cageside Seats is reporting that there are no plans to take the WWE World Heavyweight Championship off of Roman Reigns.
This means that even though Seth Rollins is right back where he left off, he won’t become champion. At least, not yet. Until the announcement of the brand split, everything appeared to be coming to a head at this year’s SummerSlam. The Inquisitr recently reported that Brock Lesnar and Bray Wyatt are penciled in for the event while we await the returns of both. There’s been talk of Triple H facing Shane McMahon as the power struggle gets to a boiling point. The New Day appear to be holding on to their titles at least until Enzo & Cass are groomed to take them away. And Roman Reigns has been rumored for months to headline SummerSlam with John Cena.
Where that leaves Seth Rollins for the company’s second-biggest show of the year remains up in the air. He had been rumored to eventually face his mentor and boss in The Authority, but Triple H could be headed in a different direction if he’s planning on coming back soon. Rollins did tell ESPN that he wouldn’t mind feuding with AJ Styles, so there’s definitely potential there. But as of now, the plans are to keep Reigns as the champion.
[Image via WWE]