From the NAI Archive - September 10, 2015 - The Rollins Roulette - 4 Ways NOC could play out

In 10 days, WWE will bring us Night of Champions, the annual PPV where every title belt is on the line.  As many of you know (I shan’t assume you’re all well versed in current-day storylines), that puts Seth Rollins in an interesting spot, being the current World Heavyweight AND United States champion.  Mr. Rollins will be defending the US belt against John Cena and the World title against Sting.

Everybody with me?  Good.

There are four possible outcomes stemming out of Night of Champions, assuming, of course, that all of the matches wind up in clean, straightforward decisions.

Stop laughing.

Based off of a question by @Cody_Burris, let’s chat about each outcome one at a time, discussing why it might happen, what it could mean, and how likely it might be.

Rollins loses both matches, and therefore, both titles.

This might happen if WWE wants to take the Seth Rollins character in a new direction.  So far, we’ve rarely, if ever, seen Seth struggle.  He was highly successful with The Shield and then transitioned directly to The Authority’s Golden Boy.  Up until now (if memory serves), we’ve never seen Rollins on the ropes.

To put it another way, playing off of a character from a few months ago, we’ve never seen “Sad Rollins”.

By having Rollins lose both titles in a single night, Sad Seth comes to the forefront.  For the first time, there’s doubt, both in his mind and in the minds of The Authority.  What if Rollins ISN’T all that and a bag of organic, vegan vegetable crisps?  What if Triple H and Stephanie picked the wrong horse?  This would make for some compelling television.

How likely is it? Honestly, not very.  Doing this sends a very clear signal that WWE has lost some semblance of faith in their champion, so much so that he’s not even worthy of a mid-card title.  I don’t think this is the world we wake up to on the first day of autumn.

Rollins wins both matches and keeps both titles.

This might happen if, compared to the first scenario, WWE wants to send a message that Seth Rollins IS the superstar of the next 10 years, and that’s the end of the discussion.  In the 90’s, Shawn Michaels held the World and European titles for reasoning that escape me right now, but it was around that time that he was THE guy.  As much as people might balk at the comparison, Rollins CAN BE the next Shawn Michaels if WWE wants it - uncanny ring work, charisma galore and even the potential for backstage drama.

Seth Rollins is the NoseBreak Kid.  Copyright DC Matthews, 2015.

How likely is it?  Only slightly more likely than him losing both titles, really.  As Liam Stryker says each and every week on NAIpod, the biggest problem WWE has right now is with commitment.  They don’t seem able to fully put their weight behind a single star, so they’re just dancing around with a group of them.

I have a hard time seeing WWE allowing Rollins to beat two all-time legends, even if one is “merely” a WCW icon in Sting.  Just don’t think they want to put all their eggs in that basket.

Seth Rollins loses the US title but retains his World title.

This might happen if WWE wants to hit the reset button on the last 6-8 weeks.  Just like you, I can’t possibly explain the whole Jon Stewart debacle from Summer Slam.  Maybe Stewart insisted on having some ring action, maybe it was just to get the publicity - who knows?

What I do know is that the vast majority of the WWE universe (and NAIborhood, a very exclusive part of the Universe) thought Cena dropping the US title to Rollins made no sense, and perhaps WWE has been swayed.  Putting the title back on Cena allows them to “do it right”, even if Owens is the IC champion by then.

How likely is it?  Far likelier than the other two so far, solely because it requires very little effort on WWE’s part.  They love their lazy booking, and by going back to the US Open Challenge and Seth Rollins World title promos, they’ve written almost a third of RAW already.

This entire column stemmed from the notion that WWE had a bunch of John Cena US title t-shirts ready to be shipped, which led people to believe that a Cena victory was imminent.

My thoughts on that?  Please, people.  There are ALWAYS Cena shirts ready.  I’m sure they have designs prepped for a John Cena Diva’s title, if ever there’s a need.

Seth Rollins retains the US title but loses the World Title

This might happen if WWE recognizes the golden opportunity they have right now, one that they’ve been squandering since Survivor Series of last year.

As much as Vince McMahon and friends might hate to admit it, Sting IS A LEGEND.  They might not have educated new fans on Sting’s role in wrestling history, but his place can not be questioned.

Giving Sting a run with the World Heavyweight Championship, as ludicrous as it might seem, will draw older fans back and potentially create a new flock of fans.  Sadly, Raven won’t be involved.

They don’t need him to hold the title for very long.  Survivor Series at the shorter end, the Rumble at the longer.  A couple of title defenses and a hotly contested loss to John Cena (that’s who he’d lose it to, there’s no question) is all WWE needs to honor an icon and make wrestling fun again for anyone who was a fan of the surfer / Crow / Joker these last few decades.

Plus, Rollins retains a title and can be a contender for the top strap again anytime WWE needs. (remember, HHH held the IC title after winning his first World title.)

How likely is it? This is, in my mind, the likeliest scenario for Night of Champions.  It keeps Rollins relevant, it makes Sting relevant and it puts Cena in prime position for his 16th world title.  Hate it if you must, but that’s going to be a big piece of the puzzle.

WWE will likely feel it is best for Seth Rollins to retain his US title and for Sting to win the World Heavyweight Championship.  As the hip hashtaggers would say, #BookIt.


What do YOU think?  What is, in your mind, the most likely scenario?  Be Heard.
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