The screams started from the crowd before Rollins had even said yes, as HBK came to Stephanie and Triple H to say that, if Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns needed help, Seth Rollins should be the one to give it to them. Despite the history there, despite everything The Authority were saying about the fact that these two men hate Seth, Rollins stated that he’d join them in a 6-man tag match against the Wyatts. Cue screaming fangirls, ‘this is awesome’ chants, and everyone who owns a The Shield t-shirt digging it out and thinking they might wear it tomorrow if this is done well.
Unfortunately, what we got was more cowardly heel Seth Rollins, even backed up by the men he used to trust and call ‘brother’, raving about his place in the team and diving out of the way to avoid tags from Ambrose, who took one hell of a beating because Seth wasn’t willing to tag in, or stand close enough. When Ambrose finally got to their corner, Rollins took one look at what he’d be facing, and jumped off the apron, holding his knee and limping away. Hardly champ material.
Possibly this spot was put together at a rush because Randy Orton seems to be out with another injury, just before Hell in a Cell, but it could still have been a lot better than the way it played out last night. Sure, Roman coming over the top rope was impressive for a guy of his size, and watching Dean take a disqualification to get his kendo stick, rather than let Roman take the punishment, is something we enjoy seeing from these two, but there was a chance for so much more to come from this match. So here’s 10 ways WWE could have used The Shield reunion.
1. Dean and Roman refuse to work with Seth
Everyone knows that the dynamic between the former Shield members has been that Rollins doesn’t care, and Reigns and Ambrose are heartbroken, angry, and frustrated by it all. To have Rollins be the only one who was protesting, waving his hands in the air and suddenly acting as if it was a big deal, like maybe these people meant something to him, was bizarre, because it comes from a place we haven’t seen from Seth before.
Roman and Dean seemed to take their brother back with open arms, despite the fact that he’s done nothing but badmouth them and step on them since the split. It would have made a lot more sense if the match had been interrupted by Ambrose and Reigns leaving Rollins to fend for himself, while taking the mic and explaining that, hey, they never wanted to work with this cheating weasel again after what he did to them.
Watching Strowman toss the champ around could have been cathartic for many fans, not just Reigns and Ambrose.
2. Rollins steps up to the Wyatts
The Wyatt/Ambrose-Reigns feud has been going stale for a while, and even the return of Erick Rowan (without ceremony, with even the announce team seeming to remember he exists only in the second he came out) isn’t enough to make it watchable. Even if it’s not believable that Seth would care about the Wyatts hurting his former business partners, if they got their hands on his title, pinned him, or caught on of his high-flying spots, it wouldn’t be a big step to assume that the champ would get angry, and take his frustrations out on Bray’s creepy family.
This would make it a fairer fight, give Dean and Roman the third they desperately need in their battle against the spooky swamp family, and could lead to more matches like this, which seem to go down well with the fans. Plus, seeing Seth stay in the ring with Strowman would earn him some serious respect, something he desperately needs.
3. Seth could have shown off his skills
The high-flying moves that Rollins was famous for while he was still Tyler Black are still some of the greatest moves seen in WWE from a bigger guy, because someone over 200lbs just shouldn’t be able to look so at ease when flying through the air. Seeing a phoenix splash or a standing moonsault is still enough to make the breath of fans catch in their throats, and it does Seth little credit that we’ve seen more of his mat skills recently than we have his high-flying work.
The crowd got to see a couple of good moves by Seth, but it doesn’t do the champion any favours that, recently, we’ve seen more of his back running away from matches than we’ve seen him win clean. Having won clean earlier in the night, Seth was in the perfect position to go in there and do his stuff, show us what he’s made of and remind us why we loved him so much when he was part of The Shield. Giving us the boy who faked injury doesn’t put our trust in him.
4. Ambrose and Reigns could have beaten the hell out of Rollins
Sure, Ambrose and Rollins spent a lot of time after the split of The Shield, and for a while, the fans were getting tired of seeing the same match over and over, especially when it was all over the pay per views as well. But it doesn’t seem ridiculous that Rollins could be a reasonable partner, and Ambrose and Reigns could let him get his licks in, before turning around after they had won and beating the crap out of him for what he did to them.
Ambrose and Reigns seem like the sort of guys who could put their own agenda aside for a win, and if WWE want to show Seth as weak and cowardly, all it would take would be a few good moments where Roman and Dean get face to face with him, and they’re the aggressors, like Seth wants to make nice just so he doesn’t have to fight them. Plus, judging by the ‘you sold out’ chants, which are still sporadically rising up, it doesn’t seem like the crowd are tired of watching Seth take punches from his former brothers.
5. They could have legitimately reunited The Shield
Okay, so it’s a fangirl’s pipe dream – as someone who loved the three of them dominating the card together, it would be an amazing thing to see the three of them get back onto good terms with each other and start supporting each other in matches, even if only in 6-man tags. Sure, WWE wants to push them as three strong individuals, but Reigns still needs guidance on the mic, Ambrose takes many tough hits when he fights alone, and Rollins has taken to just running away from anything he doesn’t like.
Sold into the title too quickly, Rollins needs help protecting it, and his former brothers would be the perfect back up for when matches are getting a bit hairy, giving us a champ who doesn’t have to run away, because he knows he as someone in his corner who will help him out. Working out their issues in the ring would give Reigns some much-needed promo practise, with the orator that is Ambrose ready to take over if the big dog stumbles, and would give Rollins some back up he could count on.
6. The Wyatts could have tried to recruit Seth
It seems ridiculous, but thinking about it, the Wyatts don’t have anyone in The Authority rooting for them, and having the champ on your side is never a bad idea. More so, though I’m not suggesting that it should work out, seeing Seth consider it would place him as the weasel that the WWE want us to see, the man who is always considering all the possibilities and how to come out on top.
Just the negotiations, the new promo ideas for Wyatt, the shock that Ambrose and Reigns would have, seeing Rollins come out with their enemies – all of this could be sold to make the Wyatt/Ambrose-Reigns feud more exciting, and add some spice to it, if it’s not all going to be over a Hell in a Cell. In fact, if they’d done that, and watched Seth sell them out again, to the enemy, it might have driven up more interest in the pay per view, bringing in views that the WWE desperately needs.
7. Seth could have earned the grudging respect of his brothers
Seeing someone fight hard for them, never mind what happened in the past, could at the very least have led to a handshake, or perhaps just a nod from Reigns. Ambrose’s face already looked incredulous and like he was finding the whole situation hilarious, so why not push that further, have them laugh and jeer as Rollins fought for them in the ring, before realising that he wasn’t going to run away, that he was going to work for them and try to win for them. This could have changed their minds as to what a weasel he is, and would have given the fans a reason to like Rollins again, heel or not.
If the crowd could start seeing the fire in Seth’s eyes again, see him actually care about something other than saving him own skin – something which heels have had, because cowardice isn’t a motivation – then it might help bring some of them back to caring, rather than expecting to see a disappointing match just because it’s Rollins vs someone bigger, and they know what the WWE is selling.
8. Ambrose and Rollins could have resumed their feud
While Reigns might be the strong and silent type, Ambrose has always run his mouth off, and it’s not too far-fetched to think that a few harsh words, or missed tags, could have rekindled a fire that has been slowly going out over time – the feud between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. A reminder that Seth’s a weasel, in a way other than him just jumping off the apron, feigning injury and limping away, would go a long way to making a better heel out of him. Having Ambrose chase him down and bring him back to the ring by the hair could have ignited that feud and brought it back to life.
With that feud once more raging, it would be easy to push Dean and Roman, suggesting they were trapped between the Wyatts and The Authority, just two babyfaces with nowhere to go but to turn to each other. We’ve seen a number of wrestlers come out to team with them in recent weeks, and it would be great to see some of the younger talent coming up the roster and using the excuse that Reigns and Ambrose are swamped by enemies to springboard those new careers. Alternatively, we could finally have got that Reigns/Rollins feud we’ve all been waiting for.
9. The teased Rollins face turn could have been started
There have been repeated rumours about Rollins turning face, and it’s easy to see where they’re coming from. The Authority seem to be doing their best to sabotage their champion at every turn, despite claiming to have his best interests at heart, and watching Seth run away from match after match, clutching at his title like a toddler with a blankie is making us lose respect for him. Fighting back against the people who were meant to have his back and taking part in the match completely, maybe even with a fist bump before they all remembered who they were and what their history was, that would get people talking.
Rollins turning face without Reigns and Ambrose turning heel would also give us three top wrestlers who were united, and could mean taking out the Wyatts for good – or taking out The Authority, which would give Stephanie and Triple H a new angle to work with as well. It could be the start of Ziggler turning heel, a move that would surely energise his career, and Triple H could get some of his kids from NXT to come up and protect his business. Rollins as a face got much more love from the fans than he does as a heel, and it seems like a good idea to get it over and done with before Wrestlemania. If a heel takes the US championship off Cena before he takes his time off, that would mean the belts weren’t favouring the babyfaces, and the fans would have some interesting matches to watch.
10. Seth could have been into the match
We all know that our champ hates to lose, and even though we’re apparently retconning his abilities and skills, making him a scared little boy who runs to tell tales when he thinks something isn’t fair, it’s not too hard to imagine him getting into the match, finding it exhilarating to be back in a team, back where he has some support and isn’t just left standing out there with the laughable ‘support’ of the The Authority.
The fans have always loved Rollins best when he’s showing his sheer glee at whatever he’s doing, whether that be wrestling or betraying his team, so having him get excited by being with his brothers again, losing himself in the match and enjoying beating the tar out of the Wyatts, especially as he hasn’t had in-ring contact with them for a long time.
The kicker here would have been the reaction he got at the end – imagine a grinning champ, turning to his brothers and expecting something like the celebrations he used to get, before being snubbed with cold glares and shaken heads, that they’re not ready to take him back, and that he could help them out as much as he wants, but he’s been worthless to them since his betrayal. Character development has been seriously lacking in Seth Rollins lately, and this would have been a fantastic ending to a wonderfully teased match – Seth, alone again, because you can’t run away from the things you did.
How do you think this match should have gone down?