After Tuesday night’s taping of Smackdown, there are only two more weeks of WWE programming with which to build towards the next pay-per-view, Battleground. Aside from announcing Brock Lesnar’s SummerSlam opponent on the blue brand this week, there is minimal chance that any other of the top storylines will be driven further along, especially the main event involving Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and WWE Champion, Dean Ambrose.
As we know, the three former members of The Shield are set to square off in a triple threat main event match on July 24 in one of the most anticipated matches since the group’s implosion. Some steam has been let out of the build, however, with Reigns being forced to the sidelines for violating the WWE Talent Wellness Policy. Add to it the fact that there have been backstage grumblings regarding heat on Ambrose and the overuse of Rollins, and the program is having a difficult time living up to the near two-year hype.
For some, though, those underlying factors add a level of intrigue to a match that should have everyone talking, regardless of the outcome. Because Battleground will happen after the WWE Draft, whether or not Reigns, Rollins, and Ambrose end up on the same show remains a mystery, but the numbers game alone makes it more improbable. But it’s certainly not impossible to imagine two of the three becoming champions in the aftermath, what with the brand extension reintroducing a second world title to the company.
The Shield three-way has had many fantasy bookers imagining every possible outcome for when Battleground rolls around. Ambrose’s character seems poised to remain exactly how he is now, champion or otherwise. But with the vocal backlash Roman Reigns had been facing on a nightly basis, and the reception Seth Rollins was met with upon return from injury, the triple threat match seemed like the perfect opportunity to execute a double turn, again, regardless of the outcome.
However, according to Cageside Seats, the likelihood of that happening is not very high. Whether Reigns comes back from suspension equipped with a redemption storyline, or he maintains the polarizing, tweener role remains to be seen, but at the moment, Vince McMahon has no plans to turn him heel. And it appears that no drastic change is on the horizon for Seth Rollins either.
Rollins has been rebuilt with some redesigned merchandise, but he has yet to reclaim what he truly never lost, the WWE Championship. And while he still might, it apparently won’t come as the top babyface that fans have largely hoped for. Just as Vince believes Reigns will eventually get over, the WWE chairman is off the mindset that Rollins will become one of the greatest bad guys in the history of the business.
Rollins was certainly given every opportunity in 2015 to put the company on his back and showcase his abilities to be the WWE’s lead heel. Whether or not his run was successful is up for debate. The timing of his injury was certainly unfortunate, although preliminary creative plans called for him to drop the title to Reigns at Survivor Series anyway, and eventually feud with Triple H which would have culminated at WrestleMania.
WWE squandered a perfect opportunity to bring Rollins back as a huge babyface. Fans were not behind Roman Reigns as champion and desperately wanted to cheer for Rollins. But due to a lack of top heels in the company, Vince brought him back as a heel, and he doesn’t appear to be second-guessing that move now. But with reports surfacing recently that Vince is still interested in an angle between The Shield and The Club, he may have to reverse course at some point in the not-too-distant future.
[Image via WWE]