HomeTelevisionMonday Night RAW in Chicago Review: Seth Rollins is Cool Again?

Monday Night RAW in Chicago Review: Seth Rollins is Cool Again?

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Since Wrestlemania 35, it has not been a good time to be Seth Rollins. His seemingly endless feud with Baron Corbin was atrocious. His teaming with real-life fiancee Becky Lynch was cringeworthy, and quickly dropped. His re-run angle with Brock Lesnar felt like thrice reheated leftovers. His social media presence turned fans off quickly as his comments towards Will Ospreay, Jon Moxley, and Kenny Omega made him look like someone trying way too hard to be a company man. Finally, in his program with The Fiend, Rollins looked like a coward, and was the final nail in the coffin for his crowd support.

Seth Rollins was not cool anymore. Think about how crazy that is? Hot off the heels of a run that began the year prior with his impressive Gauntlet Match performance on RAW, his exciting Royal Rumble win, and his red hot Wrestlemania victory over Brock Lesnar had him on top of the world. He was “the guy.” Now, seven months later people are just completely turned off by him.

At Survivor Series, Chicago boo-ed him unmercifully. They popped massively when Keith Lee eliminated him at the end of the Men’s Traditional Survivor Series Match. This officially cemented Rollins in a position his fellow Shield brother Roman Reigns found himself in a few years ago — no matter what he did the crowd hated him.

Then last night on Monday Night RAW in Chicago, WWE implemented an idea that audiences were begging them to use for Roman Reigns — they (basically) turned him heel. Now, the turn isn’t official yet, and WWE could easily screw this up by trying to keep Rollins a face, but last night was magic for Rollins.

WWE Creative seemingly turned Rollins into his social media presence, and let him be the guy who (obnoxiously) lives and breathes Monday Night RAW. A guy who is terrible at being a locker room leader. The guy who says the absolute wrong thing at all times. The guy who comes off like a complete jerk. In short, it’s the heel turn that Rollins needs to make. He needs to turn the audience’s boos into something. He needs to infusion realism into his character. He needs to have an edge. Since Wrestlemania he’s been the kissing babies, say the name of the city he’s in babyface. It’s dull. There’s nothing for a fan to grasp onto. You can’t emotionally connect to Seth Rollins. He’s a guy with good moves … and that’s about it. No one will ever question Rollins talent, commitment, or love for wrestling. But, what reason do we have to cheer this guy? What reason should we care about him?

Tonight, he gave you those reasons. Sometimes the best heel comes from a character that speaks their truth. And their truth is sometimes the actual truth. Truth from a heel, in my mind, makes for a better heel. There’s no grandiosity, there’s no cheap comments to incite a reaction, there’s eye-rolling mission statements. It’s the truth, and the truth is a powerful weapon.

And Rollins’ truth made him sound more realistic, more natural, and more believable than the lines he’s obviously made to remember by WWE creative. You could hear fire in his words. You could tell he had emotion, that he believed in what he was saying. That’s how you hook an audience.

Rollins’ match and apparent feud with Kevin Owens was really good. Rollins wrestled his normal style, which some have criticized. Why would a “heel” work a babyface style? Well, in Rollins’ mind he’s not a heel. He’s still the good guy The team captain. The face of the franchise. Why would he immediately change? Rollins and Owens was the first time in forever (maybe since Wrestlemania) that I’ve really cared about a Rollins match. This new persona is cool. It makes me care. It has me invested. And if things work out and Authors of Pain end up being Seth’s heaters, that’s even better.

Seth Rollins…for now…is cool again. Let’s hope WWE keeps the momentum going.

Also on RAW…

Bobby Lashley beat Titus O’Neal by DQ after interference from Rusev
Authors of Pain beat Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
Andrade beat Akira Tozawa
Buddy Murphy beat Matt Hardy
Humberto Carrillo and AJ Styles never happened
Rey Mysterio beat Ricochet, Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton for the #1 contendership for the US Title
Rey Mysterio beat AJ Styles for the US Title
Asuka beat Charlotte Flair
Erick Rowan beat Kyle Roberts
Kevin Owens beat Seth Rollins by DQ

Thoughts: Monday Night RAW in Chicago was a very good episode of RAW. The first half of the show was under-utilized talent putting over people who are getting pushed. The return of Matt Hardy was great, interesting to see what the future holds. The second and third hours featured some really good matches. Go out of your way to watch the four-way match, and then Styles versus Mysterio — that was nearly an hour of really strong wrestling.

In short, Monday Night RAW in Chicago is one of the better shows WWE has produced in the Heyman era. Go watch it.

Monday Night RAW in Chicago is now streaming on the USA website, and app.

Bill Bodkin
Bill Bodkinhttps://thepopbreak.com
Bill Bodkin is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break, and most importantly a husband, and father. Ol' Graybeard writes way too much about wrestling, jam bands, Asbury Park music, HBO shows, and can often be seen under his season DJ alias, DJ Father Christmas. He is the co-host of the Socially Distanced Podcast (w/Al Mannarino) which drops weekly on Apple, Google, Anchor & Spotify. He is the co-host of the monthly podcasts -- Anchored in Asbury, TV Break and Bill vs. The MCU.

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