Dating back to his historic Money in the Bank cash-in at WrestleMania 31, Seth Rollins has defended or challenged for a WWE World Title in every pay-per-view that he’s been healthy for since. Of course, he was forced to relinquish the title prior to last year’s Survivor Series due to a severe knee injury, but at the time, plans called for him to drop the belt to Roman Reigns at that event anyway.
All in all, Seth Rollins has been in 14 World Title matches on pay-per-view, including that infamous run-in during Reigns’ match with Brock Lesnar in Santa Clara last March. On only three of those occasions was Rollins not in the main event, thanks in large part to the aforementioned Lesnar. The Beast headlined 2015’s SummerSlam and Hell in a Cell with the Undertaker, and this year’s SummerSlam with Randy Orton.
So since Seth’s return from injury this past May at Extreme Rules, he’s been afforded the opportunity to compete for a world championship in the subsequent four pay-per-views. He was successful just once, and that win itself was brief. Rollins won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Reigns at Money in the Bank, only to have Dean Ambrose cash in his briefcase and steal the title.
Since the brand extension, RAW introduced the WWE Universal Championship as the show’s top prize. Seth Rollins faced Finn Balor for the new title at SummerSlam, with the Demon King emerging victorious, but relinquishing the title himself after severely injuring his shoulder during the bout.
Seth got another opportunity the following week on RAW, but of course, Triple H interfered in the fatal four way and cost both Rollins and Reigns, allowing Kevin Owens to become the new Universal Champion. HHH has yet to appear on television again since his attack, save for a brief backstage moment with wife Stephanie at the conclusion of Clash Of Champions.
Owens successfully defended his title against Rollins in the main event, thanks to some help from best friend Chris Jericho and a johnny-on-the-spot referee that Stephanie ran out to the ring. The feeling is that RAW’s next brand-exclusive pay-per-view will be headlined by a triple threat match between Owens, Rollins and Jericho for the Universal Championship at Hell in a Cell.
However, it was during the Clash of Champions main event that Rollins injured his ribs. It occurred on a spot where Owens hit a Gutbuster off the top rope on Rollins midway through the match. Rollins was able to gut out the remainder of the bout but was said to have some difficulty breathing backstage when it was over.
According to Ringside News, Seth Rollins was fortunate in that he did not break or crack a rib. Rather, he escaped by only suffering some slight tissue damage. As seen on Monday’s episode of RAW, Rollins did not participate in anything physical as he was not cleared medically to compete. Had he broken a rib, the estimated time frame that Seth would have been out may have ranged from six to 12 weeks. The tissue damage makes it much more of a week-to-week thing at the moment.
Fortunately for Rollins, he’ll have more than a month to fully recover if the WWE wants to be precautionary with his return to competition. Hell in a Cell doesn’t happen until October 30, so there’s plenty of time for verbal building until Seth is ready to wrestle.
There’s still some lingering uncertainty among the WWE fan base as to whether Rollins is a heel or face. Backstage reports have indicated that WWE officials are aware that the full face-turn has yet to be completed, despite being booked as the company’s top babyface. That turn should be completed by the time the next title defense takes place, if not before then. As noted, the original plan for the Hell in a Cell main event was to feature Balor, Owens, and Jericho in a three-way, so Rollins is essentially replacing Finn, though Owens is the champ.
All of this is a long, drawn-out story, setting up a match between Seth Rollins and Triple H, likely at WrestleMania, so even though there may be time for Rollins to capture and release the Universal Championship, don’t expect it to happen.
[Featured Image by WWE]