It was vintage Seth Rollins. The man who has made Monday nights his personal playground has found his place at the top of WWE’s mountain top. Regardless of where the current Intercontinental Champion stands in the company’s pecking order, the speech the former Shield member gave will go down as one of the best promos of 2018.
“This got me thinking about what kind of a champion I wanna be. And what kind of a champion I don’t wanna be. I don’t want to be anything like Brock Lesnar. I don’t wanna be a champion like Brock that only fights when it’s convenient, that only fights when the price is right. I wanna be a fighting champion! I wanna be here every Monday night!”
It’s not often a professional wrestler connects with a crowd on a personal level, however that is exactly what Rollins did on Monday night in Montreal. The crowd absorbed everything “Mr. Monday Night” said and were more than appreciative of his effort. As I have said before, when performer and fan base reach a happy medium, that’s when this business is at its best.
On Monday night, Seth Rollins became another Shawn Michaels-type of figure in WWE lore.
WWE is in a position it has wanted for years. Dominant superstars that capture the audience with their actions both in and out of the ring. Seth Rollins has taken the brass ring and run with it, using the last two months to show why he is the best the red team has to offer. Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura have done the same thing on SmackDown Live.
The rise of Shelton Benjamin, the addition of Jinder Mahal to the red brand, Asuka’s value to the women on Tuesday nights and the sudden additions of Ember Moon, The Authors of Pain and the Bludgeon Brothers have given new life to baseline programming.
If this was how Vince McMahon planned it out, it was spot on. The Universal Title doesn’t seem to mean that much to the WWE fan base, but those who are part of the main event picture – Roman Reigns, Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman make the battle a bit more interesting.
I can only speak for myself, but based on what fans have seen leading up to WrestleMania 34, the show in New Orleans and the Greatest Royal Rumble event this past Friday, it is say to say WWE hasn’t been this hot in years. A little reorganization and a few chances taken and voila, we have something special here.
WWE has been waiting for the stars of today to take the baton from the heroes of the past. It was once thought Dolph Ziggler would take the Michaels’ spot. Chris Jericho would become Roddy Piper. The same could be said for The Miz. CM Punk had Randy Savage’s spot. John Cena has been the Hulk Hogan of this generation for some time. It was once thought Bray Wyatt would become the next Undertaker.
Funny how things change.
Seth Rollins has battled the best – Reigns, The Miz, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and others. He has proven to be every bit as good as his WWE colleagues and more. Now as Intercontinental Champion, fans and company hope he will continue to live up to the words he spoke on Monday night.
It took a while for Rollins to embrace the baby face role he has now been anointed. His heel persona was so spot on when he was WWE champion. Now, with a calmness and acceptance, Seth Rollins could become the best performer WWE has to offer its fans.
The fans would be fine with that. So would this writer and fan of what Rollins is doing to change the scenery on Monday nights.