Title: Seth Rollins ‘perfect’ turn takes its place in history and saves WWE for the Summer
Date: June 5, 2014
Original Source: Cageside Seats
Synopsis: This article looked at one of the seminal heel turns in recent WWE history, specifically how the timing and execution were perfect.
The stage had been set perfectly.
The Shield, booked dominantly all through their run but especially so in their feud with Evolution, stood tall in the ring, awaiting yet another challenge from a duo who couldn’t beat them when they were still a trio. Triple H, ever terrific at pacing a moment on the microphone, made it plain he had a Plan B.
For seconds that, for obvious reasons, felt like much longer, there was an expectant silence.
Batista could emerge from anywhere. He had quit earlier in the show, sure, but it’s not as if that swerve has been used plenty in the past. Even if a smark knew he was headed off to promote Guardians of the Galaxy, that timeline wasn’t necessarily set in stone, and they could still use him to keep the angle hot for a later return.
It could have been others, too. The Big Show is inserted in main event angles without care for recent history all the time; Brock Lesnar, perhaps a pipe dream, could have been on his way back as a mercenary with a title shot promised in return (feed him that “crap,” you know?); it could have been a locker room clear-out, Rusev, or the elevation of another talent.
And so we waited.
And maybe a breakup crossed your mind – it had been teased and rumored ad nausem over the past four months or so – but if that were the case, your eyes surely shifted toward Dean Ambrose. Ambrose is the natural heel in the group, an unhinged hot-head who doesn’t seem like one to be trusted, and for my money he’ll still be the company’s top heel at some point in the next few years. As I watched on TV, I was focused firmly on Ambrose.
And then it happened.
A chair to the back, a disbelieving silence, a heartbreaking realization. The end of a brotherhood, and the end of a group that has had the best 18-month run imaginable. That bastard.
Of course, it was easy to be upset, but staying so after a moment would miss the greater point: that this was perfect.
Seth Rollins turning on his brothers in The Shield made no sense on the surface and surprised the hell out of everyone, which is kind of the formula for a major shock-turn. Most importantly, it actually does make sense from a storyline standpoint, and there’s nothing more powerful for a heel than having the truth on his side.
Rollins was The Architect; Rollins kept the group together through in-fighting; Rollins turned the tides in both six-man matches against Evolution. It’s also hard to call it a change in morals, because The Shield began as guns for hire. If Rollins was sick of being the glue and got a better offer, well, that fits with The Shield origin story, if not the recent group love-ins.
The why, however, isn’t all that important. When it comes to big moments, we remember the how far more often. Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty wasn’t exactly the most justified turn, but it resonates to this day. Hulk Hogan joining the nWo, while obvious in retrospect, is one of the iconic moments in wrestling history. Stone Cold’s heel turn was entertaining but not all that effective, but the Wrestlemania X-Seven turn was one of the best of all time. It’s going to be the turn that we remember, because the execution was perfect.
Further, the fall-out has the potential to be incredible. Rollins can now feud with his stablemates, and the Shield-Evolution story has new legs. To a person, everyone surely wants to see Rollins get his from both of his brothers, but their path to vengeance seems arduous. And now, after being defeated twice convincingly, we have further reason to want to see Triple H get his, because he was right in the end, and he won, that smug prick. The summer is set from the turn alone, and here’s guessing there won’t be a single bad match in the fallout.
Even then, that matters little. What matters is that moment. The GIFs, the still frames, the tweets and, most importantly, the feels. We all marked out on Monday night, and whether you agree with what happened beyond the fourth wall to get to that point, you’ll surely remember the segment for a very long time.
And, of course, you’ll be tuning in to see where it all goes.