Why Seth, Why?
When Batista quit Evolution in the opening segment on Monday Night Raw, I never imagined that Seth Rollins would fill the void later that evening.
Rollins turned on Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns in a moment that is being lauded as one of WWE’s most unexpected storyline twists in quite some time.
The decision to split The Shield was even more surprising since it appeared that their stock was at an all-time high coming off of decisive wins over Evolution at the last two PPVs. Some feel that Rollins may not be the best fit as a heel since he works a high-flying babyface style of offense.
While these are valid points, I am more excited than fearful of what the future holds. I believe the recent turn of events will go a long way into freshening up the main event scene heading into this summer.
I am all but certain that Triple H vs. Roman Reigns will be one of the headline matches at SummerSlam. In the meantime, team program Rollins & Orton vs. Ambrose & Reigns tag team program would be a nice diversion. They could also do a Rollins vs. Ambrose singles program down the road. Batista’s exit leaves the door wide open for him to begin a feud with Triple H and Orton upon his return.
Batista was originally brought back to feud with Orton and defeat him for the title at WrestleMania. Unfortunately, his return coincided with the peak of Daniel Bryan’s popularity and Batista never took off the way he was intended to. His recent work with Evolution was the highlight of his recent run. Theoretically, coming back to feud with Triple H and Orton under the current circumstances (he’s off promoting Guardians of the Galaxy) should establish him as a top face in the company.
The execution of the turn itself was brilliant. The main event for the evening was Reigns vs. Orton. Triple H escorted Orton to the ring while talking about how he wasn’t finished with The Shield. As this was going on Rollins blasted Reigns in the back with a steel chair. Ambrose’s facials were unbelievable.
Before long, both he and Reigns were on the receiving end of a brutal beat down by their former partner. After he got his fill, Rollins let Orton join in on the action. The show ended with all three members of the new and improved Evolution standing tall over the carnage they produced.
Triple H was true to his promise to destroy The Shield. The only catch is that we had no idea their biggest threat would come from within.
WWE Championship Situation to be Resolved at Money in the Bank
In one of the stranger stories to emerge this week, Stephanie McMahon announced that the planned main event of the Money in the Bank PPV will be Daniel Bryan defending his championship against Kane in a stretcher match. But there is a catch. If Bryan is unable to return by that point then his championship will be up for grabs in the MITB ladder match.
While this scenario does play out like the traditional heel owner forcing the injured babyface to compete, it does raise an interesting point. There must be legitimate concern among management that Bryan may not be in condition to perform in time for the show.
I understand that every wrestling company needs a defending world champion, but Payback showed that WWE can do just fine without one. The MITB ladder match is always a big spectacle, plus a tag match pitting Orton and Rollins vs. Ambrose and Reigns would certainly be of main event caliber. As you can see, the lack of Bryan vs. Kane shouldn’t hurt this show in the slightest.
Although this ultimatum is being used to add more fuel to the Bryan vs. Stephanie storyline, there could be some very negative real world repercussions. With Bryan feeling the pressure to return as soon as possible, I can see him making a premature comeback. Recent history shows (think Edge) that years of accumulated neck damage can drastically shorten a career.
I love that Bryan achieved his lifelong dream of becoming world champion, but I’d much rather see him continue performing in a healthy physical state.
Main Roster Shines at Payback
The big talk in all of wrestling this time last week was the phenomenal NXT Takeover special on the WWE Network. For the second time this year the NXT crew proved they have what it takes to put on a show that rivals anything the main roster is capable of producing.
But must we forget the following equation: WWE+ Chicago = a freaking awesome night of wrestling.
Payback is one of the most unexpectedly great wrestling shows you will see this year. The undercard was largely good along with two very strong main events. John Cena beat Bray Wyatt in an incredible last man standing match. While their Extreme Rules cage match was criticized for being an overall lackluster affair, their LMS encounter more than made up for it. It featured liberal doses of interference from the Wyatt Family and Usos along with some of the most insane spots ever witnessed in a match of its kind. If this is truly the end of the Cena-Wyatt rivalry then at least they went out on a high note.
The Shield defeated Evolution in another tremendous match. When they went over on Evolution last month, I automatically assumed that Evolution would win the rematch. Much to my surprise, The Shield defeated Evolution in a clean sweep of an elimination match. Despite The Shield’s breakup the following night, their utter dominance in this match solidified their status as one of the greatest factions in wrestling history.
Go watch Payback now if you haven’t done so!