During a time where Roman Reigns is killing it as the top heel on Friday Night SmackDown, it would be easy to overlook other stars currently doing their best work to date. Apollo Crews has become a rejuvenated, motivated, completely transformed man from where he was just last year. With his new heel character, he has, at last, received some of the booking treatment his immeasurable talent clearly demands. Cesaro has become the explosive, white meat babyface he should have always been – even in defeat, he has remained strong. Bayley, as the gradually descending-into-insanity “Role Model”, has become a staple of the brand. Sami Zayn, also, as the conspiracy-obsessed heel against the world, has been excellent. Right now, SmackDown is doing a tremendous job with some of its top workers and long may it continue. Among the list of people doing some of their best work is Seth Rollins.
Seth Rollins: the Unsung Hero of 2020
In fact, the one who arguably deserves the most praise is Seth Rollins. Over the past two years, he has completely transformed his character. Booked as the babyface, husband of Becky Lynch who eventually lost the audience’s support in 2019, he became the “Monday Night Night Messiah” – a cult-like televangelist with deep-seeded hatred for all but those who accept him as their Messiah. Invoking the Old Testament/Torah with Leviticus 24:19-21, “an eye for an eye”, he proceeded to mercilessly terrorize the Mysterio Family – going so far as to gouge an eye from Rey Mysterio and, also, Aleister Black. Yes, the character became an over-the-top, over-exposed feature of Raw, but this was no fault of Rollins, who clearly put time and effort into the character. It transformed his fortunes, also. It is a near-certainty that had fans been in attendance throughout the middle of 2020, Rollins would have had them on side once more. Eventually, with this version of the character having grown tiresome – with thanks to a seemingly never-ending feud with the Mysterios – he took a short paternity leave, with Seth and Becky having become parents for the first time.
The Current, Refined Version of the Character
In February of this year, after being off screens since November, Rollins returned to SmackDown. Many believed that he would return a babyface, especially given SmackDown already had its top heel in the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns. Instead, he returned as a refined version of his character. He preached to the WWE locker-room – spread around and outside of the ring – about the successes of the Messiah. How that, should they embrace him as their leader, he would make their lives better. All of them, of course, walked out. The last to do so was Cesaro, who Rollins would proceed to ambush; beat down and then have a lengthy feud with – a feud still going today. Their match at WrestleMania 37 was a fine display from both men, which really elevated the two of them. In that time, he has evolved as a character – far less “preachy”, though equally sadistic and, somehow, even more ridiculous. Ridiculous in a good way, too. Gone are the all black and all white suits which he wore as the “Messiah” last year. Instead, his wardrobe seemingly possesses nothing but varying levels of colorfully ridiculous and – often hilarious – suits. Whether it be the black suit with flames; or the purple suit with nebulae; or the suit depicting colorful leaves; or this week’s suit, which looks like it is made from grandma’s table cloth, Seth Rollins has crafted his own, unique style. The term “drip” gets thrown around a lot these days (and arguably far too often) and whereas one would deny Seth Rollins possesses “drip”, one can recognize the arguments in favor.
A Feud With Big E Should Happen
As mentioned earlier, SmackDown features numerous talents currently operating at their zenith. Unfortunately for Rollins, it is mostly heels. With Roman Reigns dominating as Universal Champion and Apollo Crews deviously plotting new ways to keep hold of his Intercontinental Championship, Rollins is seemingly unable to capture a championship to justify his work as a great heel. Whereas he does not necessarily need the championship, once the feud with Cesaro ends, he is going to need a new opponent. Unfortunately, most of the babyfaces on the roster have already been involved in lengthy feuds with Rollins recently. He feuded with Kevin Owens just last year, with Owens beating him at WrestlemMania 36; he feuded with the Mysterios for much of last year and with Daniel Bryan seemingly gone from SmackDown, Seth really only has Shinsuke Nakamura left to feud with and even this match has been done numerous times. Unless, of course, he feuds with Big E; a throwback to their NXT rivalry, which saw E dethrone Rollins as NXT Champion. This would not only elevate Big E to so far unseen levels, but would further cement Rollins as one of the top heels in the business today.
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