Roman Reigns (c) vs. Seth Rollins
WWE World Championship match
The world night match between Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins is kind of weird.
Not the guys in the game. They are both top players in WWE and this definitely isn’t the first time they’ve been standing across the ring from each other. The confrontation between former players of Shield is something that has happened a lot in WWE in the past decade. What makes this uncommon is the fact that they are both in high heels at the moment.
Generally, professional wrestling avoids booking matches with two bad guys fighting each other. Crowd involvement is too great for this business, and two bad guys can lead to a crowd that doesn’t want to cheer either guy up. It runs the risk of “don’t they both lose?” interaction. Without the crowd investing in one man’s victory, even a good match can be useless.
Because of these reasons, WWE usually avoids this type of match. Rather, strangely enough, they do this multiple times on this show. (Becky Lynch and Doudrop are both high heels.) But in the case of Rollins & Reigns, the dynamic still works for several main reasons.
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns may both be heels, but they are characters who have been around for years. And in those years, they developed a fan base. Wrestlers who have been around for a decade like these two will have amassed a following. There are people who will cheer for Roman no matter what (maybe now it’s a cool heel instead of a forced lover’s face). Same thing with Seth. There is less concern about public indifference when both sides have followers, no matter how treacherous their current iterations.
It also sure doesn’t hurt that both men are doing the best work of their careers at this moment. a few weeks ago, Smackdown Scattered history videos between hero and challenger in days of the shield. These short videos showed how much both men’s personality has grown in this match in character and promotional work. Nowadays fans appreciate it. Even if you’re not supposed to like either of them, it’s not hard to put that aside and encourage the work of the man behind the character.
The other thing in this controversy in his favor is a powerful story based on a shared history.
If you’re reading this site, I don’t need to tell you that Rollins and Reigns have a long history going back to their armor days. The story they tell tends to do so. Seth claims that Roman needs help to be the man. Whether Seth and Jon Moxley are in The Shield to the Usos right now, Roman hasn’t done it alone.
And he has a point. Roman was not interested in business alone. He wasn’t ready at the start of his career. The shield was supporting him. Now, although it can He does it alone, he does not do it. Usos helps out at every turn. Rollins may be a donkey, but he’s not wrong.
Then last night they threw a wrinkle that Roman Reigns was still being betrayed by Rollins by the steel cheer that finished the shield. It was a rare hole in the armor of the tribe leader, who was living with an aura of invulnerability. Roman usually controls everything, but Seth Frickin’ Rollins is the wild card that knows how to hit the right buttons. How to get Rains skin.
The story is good enough and the characters are strong enough that the fact that they’re both villains doesn’t really matter. This is sports entertainment and sometimes, they can focus more on the recreational aspect. You can have a thrilling story where two unloved people are rocking.
WWE shouldn’t go heel versus heel very often. But they also shouldn’t prevent them from running a powerful program when the opportunity presents itself. That’s what they’re doing here between Rollins and Reigns and despite their alignment, it worked.
Seth Rollins will attempt to win the world title from Roman Reigns tonight at the Royal Rumble, broadcast at 8 PM ET on Peacock in the US and WWE Network elsewhere. keep it here CagesideSeats.com For all Royal Rumble coverage.