Seth Rollins’ Identity Crisis


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So I was watching Monday Night RAW last week, and when Seth Rollins made his entrance to face off against one-half of the RAW Tag Team Champions, Sheamus, his theme song came out and played, as per usual. But right before the beat dropped in his theme, we heard one guy yell at the top of his lungs, BURN IT DOWN! It shook me and made my heart race because it wasn’t something that I was expecting. However, a bigger question in the back of my mind was proposed. Why? I mean, I don’t mind that part being added into his song, but what does that mean for his character? What’s his identity?

Now, “Burn it down” would be appropriate since he did come out with a torch against Triple H at WrestleMania 33, and we have seen him burn things down in promotions for WWE 2k18. However, those two events were mutually exclusive. None of those events amounted to the same thing and were for completely different events. So unless Seth Rollins’ new gimmick is being a walking video game promotion, who is Seth Rollins now? When he first started in WWE on the main roster, we knew him as the half blonde, half black athletic member of The Shield. The Shield as a whole were a trio of rebels looking deliver their own brand of justice. They had an entrance, attire, and character that were completely unique to them. Then, Seth Rollins betrayed Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns after Payback 2014, and then he became not only Mr. Money In The Bank but the Architect (though I am still not entirely sure what he meant by that to this day).

Exactly what is Seth burning down? Do we need to call the police?

On his own, he became a talented, but arrogant heel that served as the face of The Authority and was a figure of opportunity and privilege. So there, I could understand why he was in that context. He became that for about a year and a half before making a triumphant return in 2016 after blowing out his knee at a live event in 2015. He continued that shtick for a couple of months before entering a feud with Kevin Owens and completing his face turn by the end of the year. However, since he has turned face, who has he become? Just a good guy? I think Stone Cold Steve Austin said it best:

“When you say ‘Seth Rollins’ or if you want to say ‘Seth Freakin’ Rollins’, I still don’t have a sense of what or who this guy is. And so, that rests on Seth Rollins’ shoulders, as an individual, as a performer, to define or create that as well as the WWE because I still don’t get a sense of what kind of person he is.

We all know what he could do in the ring, and his mic skills are more or less just about average with any other face in the company. However, he just seems to be another guy on the roster, and for a man that is a former WWE Champion, Tag Team Champion, United States Champion and Mr. Money In The Bank, it’s starting to become concerning. Rollins is currently involved in a Shield reunion storyline with Dean Ambrose, and say what you want about Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, but at the very least they have discernable characters. Ambrose is an eccentric lunatic with an unorthodox style of wrestling. Roman Reigns is a powerful enforcer and dubs himself as “The Big Dog.” Rollins is just a guy. I mean, burn it down? Burn what down exactly?

This has actually been a recurring problem throughout his entire career. While Seth gave himself titles, his character was never really clear. It’s easy to have hide behind a title when he has the Money In The Bank briefcase and WWE’s top title behind him, but on his own, who the hell is Seth freaking Rollins? If his gimmick is supposed to be a talented highflyer who’s a good guy, then the future does not bode well for Mr. Rollins. We have seen that generic type of character before in WWE, and despite Rollins’ success in WWE, his time being considered as an elite superstar, at least in the eyes of WWE may be coming shorter than we actually think if that is what he is sticking with.

Seth freaking Rollins. How nice.

His character is as generic as his theme music, and while it doesn’t look like Rollins will be competing for any world titles anytime soon, it would behoove Rollins to re-invent himself in a way that makes him stand out from the rest of the roster as we know he has the potential to be just that. However, Rollins is an intelligent mind and has a great feel for the business, so I’m sure he knows what to do, but now it’s time for him to just….well do it. Instead of burning things down, how about burning those bad perceptions of Rollins?

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