It took a couple of years, but WWE managed to ruin Seth Rollins. Or maybe he ruined himself.
Regardless of how you feel about the Monday Night Messiah, it’s obvious that his place on the card is not as strong as it was after his WrestleMania 35 win over Brock Lesnar. Seth was clearly the top guy in the company, at that time.
But after lot of off-putting Tweets, general overexposure, being surpassed by his significant other, and having the stench of WWE creative on him, he’s nowhere near a top guy. It’s not that Seth is an opening act. It’s worse. He’s just like everybody else – you may like him, you may not, but he’s essentially just another guy on the roster.
Is there something WWE could have done to capitalize on the momentum Seth had at the time, catapulting him to mainstream fame and bringing legitimacy to professional wrestling, even as fleeting as that is?
I think so.
Tonight, Mike Tyson will be presenting the new TNT Championship belt to the winner of a tournament final on pay-per-view for All Elite Wrestling’s Double or Nothing.
I’m sure Tony Khan and The Elite are hoping that the company, the show, and, not least of all, the winner of the match will benefit from the celebrity rub that Tyson can provide.
After all, there is a precedent for this: Mike Tyson helped make Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 14.
But where was Seth’s Mike Tyson?
You can make the case that every major WWF star of the Vincent Kennedy McMahon era had a celebrity encounter that helped launch them into a different stratosphere of stardom. Stone Cold had Tyson. Hulk Hogan had Mr. T and Cyndy Lauper. Becky has Ronda (stardom in progress). The Rock had…well, The Rock was the sun in his own solar system and we were all lucky to bask in his rays.
John Cena might be the exception to this idea. But you can make the case that he is Dwayne-like in his charisma. He also had better opponents than Seth. Kurt Angle, Big Show, JBL, Bautista, CM Punk, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, and The Rock all have a memorable place in making John Cena who he is today. Rollins has Lesnar. But who else? His Shield brethren? An aging John Cena?
Does WWE or any other wrestling company have the ability to believably take someone from being wrestling-famous to famous-famous on purpose?
In an empty arena in Jacksonville, Florida, AEW is hoping that they can.
Maybe if Seth had his Mike Tyson, he would be on Billions right now.