For the second time in his run on WWE’s main roster, Seth Rollins turned heel late last year after previously working as a babyface, as the company seemingly capitalized on his decreasing popularity among fans despite his erstwhile good-guy status. Now a full-fledged villain, the man who now calls himself the “Monday Night Messiah” is arguably the Raw brand’s top heel outside of reigning WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, leading a stable that also includes the Authors of Pain and Buddy Murphy. And as he related in a recent interview, there’s one key reason why it’s not as hard to be an effective bad guy these days, as compared to how it was in previous decades.
Speaking to the San Antonio Express-News earlier this week, Rollins discussed a variety of topics, including his current role as a heel on Monday Night Raw. As quoted by WrestlingNews.co, the former two-time Universal Champion told the publication that social media makes it “easier” for wrestlers to be effective antagonists in the present-day wrestling scene, as fans now have a “voice” to react to a heel competitor’s online posts.
“They can get online and say whatever they want, and even if one or two people respond to it, that’s one or two people more than 20 years ago when they were just sitting in their living room talking crap to their friends. … Our audience looks for things to complain about, to dislike and to pick apart.”
— WWE (@WWE) January 23, 2020
Rollins continued by suggesting that it’s conversely harder for modern-day babyface wrestlers to remain popular with fans, noting that if a performer is able to maintain their “hero role” for a long time, they’re doing something “incredible.”
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Rollins’ most recent heel turn wasn’t something that WWE had thought of in advance, but rather something that he came up with himself. At that time, Figure Four Weekly’s Bryan Alvarez explained on Wrestling Observer Live that the 33-year-old grappler wanted to transform into a character that still saw himself as the good guy, despite saying and doing villainous things to rile the fans. This character change took place just as the former Shield member was receiving boos from live audiences despite being booked as Monday Night Raw’s top babyface.
While it’s still unclear how Rollins and his faction will proceed in their ongoing feud against Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, and Big Show, recent rumors have suggested that the villainous group might soon lose its strength in numbers, as Rey Mysterio and Aleister Black are both being considered as potential allies for the aforementioned babyface trio.