When news broke that WWE Champion Seth Rollins was injured during a live show in Dublin, Ireland on Wednesday, fans feared for the worst. It turns out those assumptions were right.
Rollins is expected to miss 6-9 months due to a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus in his right knee, ESPN’s Jonathan Coachman confirmed on Thursday.
A look at how @WWERollins tore ACL/MCL/medial meniscus
— Jonathan Coachman (@TheCoachESPN) November 5, 2015
It’s difficult to put into words how valuable Rollins is to WWE. Obviously, he’s the champion, so that speaks for itself.
But as a worker, he’s second to none. Rollins has a rare combination of “it factor” and in-ring ability that’s helped him reach the pinnacle of sports entertainment just before turning 29.
His track record is flawless having cut his teeth in every major independent wrestling promotion before signing with WWE. He laid the foundation for NXT’s expansion from developmental brand to a weekly, must-see television show as its inaugural champion.
Rollins went on to achieve monumental success on the main roster. He debuted as a member of The Shield, one of the most dominant groups in WWE history, before joining The Authority, winning the Money in the Bank ladder match and capturing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 31.
Rollins is an A-plus player by every sense of the phrase. His gimmick as the “undisputed future” of WWE is nothing short of a shoot.
That’s why he was given the title at WrestleMania and has held it since. It’s also why he was the first superstar to be featured on SportsCenter’s weekly segment “Off the Top Rope.”
He is already one of WWE’s franchise players and part of the nucleus of talent that will carry the company through the next decade. Still, his status moving forward remains in question after suffering a gruesome knee injury.
Though its a slow process, Rollins should make a strong comeback. He is a world class athlete with an impressive workout regimen — and trust me, in most cases I think CrossFit denounces all logic of weight lifting but his routine is legitimate — and should make a successful return.
But what will his role be once he’s cleared? The internet has speculated that Rollins will eventually turn babyface, which now seems even more likely.
It’s hard not to cheer for a returning superstar. Rollins has drawn comparisons to Triple H since joining the Authority and that’s the best example of how he’d return as a face. When Triple H returned in 2002, fans cheered, regardless of the fact that he left as the most hated heel in pro wrestling. Rollins, who’s already over with smark fans, would have a similar transition upon his return.
It doesn’t hurt that he’ll be stripped of his title — presumably by the Authority — rather than have a chance to defend it. In Rollins’ case, time off shouldn’t force him out of the title picture, rather give him an incentive for a rematch against whoever is the champion once he returns.
Still, it’s a shame that WWE programming will be without the presence of “SETH FREAKING ROLLINS” for at least half a year. His character development into a conniving heel champion has been outstanding and has deservedly been the main focus of Raw and SmackDown throughout 2015.
It’s disappointing that we won’t get to see a Rollins vs. Reigns championship match at Survivor Series — which further illustrates The Shield’s impact on the future of WWE. But Rollins’ health is more important and fans should hope for a speedy recovery to one of pro wrestling’s brightest stars.