At the inaugural Clash of Champions, Raw’s exclusive pay-per-view, the main event featured WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens against challenger Seth Rollins. The 25-minute match featured the typical daredevil spots that Rollins executes during most of his matches, as well as Owens’ risk-taking move set. The finish ended with Chris Jericho, who competed earlier in the evening and was able to defeat Sami Zayn, assisting Owens in distracting the referee, which allowed him to give Rollins a pop-up powerbomb for the three count.
While many fans respect him as a performer, specifically due to his years wrestling on the independent circuit, his in-ring work as a WWE talent has been criticized as being reckless.
Former WWE World Champion Bret Hart has been one of the most critical people regarding Rollins’ in-ring style. His opinion was mostly prompted by the three different occasions that Rollins performed moves on opponents that could have been timed much better to protect the other wrestler. During a match with John Cena, Rollins did a jumping knee strike, which immediately broke Cena’s nose and put him on the shelf for weeks.
One of the most costly matches for Rollins was his match at last year’s Night of Champions event against WWE Hall of Famer Sting. Executing his patented buckle bomb maneuver twice, Sting suffered an injury that caused his in-ring career to end. Although Sting does not blame Rollins for the injury, many believe Sting’s comments are a sign of his nobility and not of what actually happened. Most recently, Rollins caused former WWE Universal Champion Finn Balor to relinquish the champion just a day after winning it due to a buckle bomb outside the ring on the barricade.
This time, unfortunately, Rollins is now the one who is injured. Reportedly, Rollins had trouble breathing after Owens administered the gutbuster on him from the second rope. Even after the spot, Rollins looked shaken up, but he was able to finish the match without the program having to be cut short.
Rollins, unfortunately, has complied a list of negative statistics of either injuring others or getting injured himself. He just returned after being out with an ACL and MCL injury following an attempt to do a flipping powerbomb on Kane onto a table during a live event in Dublin, Ireland. While this injury seems to be related to his ribs, which should not result into any time off, it may be a sign that WWE really needs to focus on protecting their competitors better.
Otherwise, the injuries will continue to rack up and the roster will be depleted, making it more difficult for the creative team to put together compelling storylines to maintain their fan base.
[Featured Image by WWE]