As recapped by Cageside Seats, this week’s episode of Raw started with a promo segment from Rollins, where, amid loud boos and jeers from the audience, the “Beastslayer” spoke to the rest of the red brand’s roster and berated them for their inability to deliver at Sunday night’s Survivor Series pay-per-view, which saw NXT win most of the night’s matches.
In the segment, Rollins called out Randy Orton, Charlotte Flair, The Authors of Pain, and Rey Mysterio for their failures but notably absolved himself of any blame for how NXT “mopped the floor” with the Raw roster. Most of the wrestlers then walked out of the impromptu town hall meeting, with the sole exception of Kevin Owens. This led to Owens hitting a Stunner on the two-time former Universal Champion and setting up a match for later in the night.
As it turned out, Rollins and Owens’ main event clash ended in a non-finish, as Authors of Pain members Akam and Rezar interfered in the match and attacked Owens. Although the duo teased a further beatdown on Rollins, both men ultimately left the ring, allowing the former Shield member to hit his fallen opponent twice with his Blackout finishing move. Rollins then received more boos from the live crowd at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, who further mocked him by chanting the name of hometown hero and former WWE Champion CM Punk.
“The way everything played out, it came across as if WWE has decided to turn Rollins heel under the guise that he is trying to make Raw a better show,” WrestlingNews.co wrote, summarizing the opening and closing segments of this week’s Monday Night Raw.
Although it has yet to be confirmed if Rollins is truly turning to the dark side and taking on a villainous persona, previous reports have documented how audiences have taken to booing him despite his ostensible good-guy status. These included rumors from earlier this month that suggested WWE had to edit out the negative crowd reactions toward him from a pre-taped episode of Raw. Rollins has, however, seemingly been hinting at a harder edge to his character in recent weeks, most notably doing so as part of his ongoing social media feud with Punk.