The latest rumors behind the scenes suggest that Seth Rollins’ apparent heel turn on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw was, unlike most storyline developments, not planned well in advance by WWE. Instead, it seems that this sudden turn to the dark side was cooked up by the former Universal Champion himself and executed on the day of the show.
As cited by WrestlingNews.co, Figure Four Weekly’s Bryan Alvarez talked about Rollins’ character change on a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Live, explaining that the gist of the new persona is that he is still a babyface in his own mind but a heel in the eyes of everyone else, including the fans. This, as noted, is similar to WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart’s heel gimmick in 1997, where he still saw himself as a heroic figure despite being booed by U.S. audiences for his words and actions. However, WrestlingNews.co clarified that Hart’s character was different because he was still cheered as a babyface in his native Canada — in Rollins’ case, he “comes across as a heel in every city he wrestles in.”
In response to a listener’s comment, Alvarez noted that Rollins’ heel turn was not a “slow burn” that WWE had been subtly teasing for some time through its storylines, but rather something he himself came up with.
“All of this stuff that Seth has been doing where he’s been booed out of the building — up until yesterday, the idea was never that he was turning heel. It was his idea to turn heel. In his mind, he may have been planting seeds but he was supposed to have been a babyface all the way up until yesterday [and then] boom he turned.”
According to WrestlingNews.co, Rollins’ switch to a villainous persona might explain the controversial comments he recently made in interviews and on social media. Aside from taking a shot at Kenny Omega by suggesting the All Elite Wrestling star wrestles in the “minor leagues,” the “Beastslayer” has also issued repeated challenges to CM Punk, including one for a match at WrestleMania 36.
Despite the apparent success of his heel turn, The Inquisitr wrote on Tuesday that WWE owner and chairman Vince McMahon was allegedly unhappy with Rollins for the promo he cut at the start of this week’s Monday Night Raw. Reportedly, this was because the 33-year-old wrestler mentioned Punk in his spiel, effectively referencing a match that WWE has no current plans of booking.