By John Napolitano
If you weren't a member of the all-time record-setting audience that witnessed WrestleMania XXXI, one of the 1.3 million subscribers of the WWE Network, or if you’ve recently awakened from a debilitating coma, you’ll be surprised to learn that the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion is Seth Rollins. Yes, the indie darling turned sports entertainment savant has effectively and ever so epically grabbed Vince McMahon’s invisible brass ring while punching his stamp on one of the most exhilarating WrestleManias ever.
Since the fated disbanding of the S.H.I.E.L.D. in June of last year, Rollins has worked tirelessly, night in and night out in order to prove that he is not only a main event player but also the undisputed future of this industry. His unparalleled rivalry with Dean Ambrose, solid program with John Cena, and masterful work with Randy Orton have cemented him as the top heel in the WWE for the foreseeable future. Seth Rollins’ youth and considerable locker room virginity is a booker’s dream in that there are so many fresh feuds to be had. With that being said, it’s time to dive into the five must-see feuds for the Davenport native, Seth Rollins.
5. Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler
Imagine these two workhorses in a best-of-five series over the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. If that comes across as too ambitious for your taste, there’s no doubt that these highly skilled combatants could work an amazing standard program over the strap. We’ve seen Rollins and Ziggler cross paths on a handful of occasions, which is why this feud ranks fifth on the countdown, but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t put on the best in-ring contest in WWE history.
Rollins is the perfect antagonist, and no one is more beloved than the “Showoff.” I’m confident that with high drama, high stakes, and the right amount of time, this rivalry could potentially go down as one of the greatest of all-time. If this feud were to come to fruition in 2015, I could envision it most likely taking place between SummerSlam and TLC.
4. Seth Rollins vs. The Rock
This may be the most farfetched feud on the countdown, but I don’t expect it to start up next week on Main Event. Ever since Seth Rollins destroyed his own creation, the S.H.I.E.L.D., he’s reminded me of a young “Great One.” Maybe it was the way he broke out from a dominant faction and pledged himself to a “Corporation-like” Authority. Maybe it was the way he fantastically feuded with a “Stone Cold-esque” Dean Ambrose. Whichever way you want to spin it, Seth Rollins is the undisputed future of the WWE, and it would be absolutely incredible to see him go nose-to-nose with the most famous pro-wrestler to ever lace up a pair of boots, The Rock.
Unlike Rocky’s previous feud with John Cena, and his current program with Triple H, I do not foresee this rivalry needing a yearlong build. It could start in February and simply entail a babyface Seth Rollins wanting to prove himself by beating The Rock on the grand stage. It certainly wouldn’t go down as Rock’s greatest feud, but a win over the “Great One” at, let’s say, WrestleMania XXXV could do wonders for Rollins’ legacy.
3. Seth Rollins vs. Daniel Bryan
The “G.O.A.T.” who walked out of WrestleMania XXX as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion versus the “Undisputed Future” who left WrestleMania XXXI as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Seth Rollins versus Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is a must-see match. Throw in the fact that Daniel Bryan never officially lost his world title, and this program might just be the most blatantly obvious route to take as for the creative of Seth Rollins.
If Bryan were to hold on to his Intercontinental Championship and challenge Rollins to a title versus title match, this would surely be a showdown for the ages. The most unfortunate aspect of Daniel Bryan’s return to the WWE in late 2014 was his return to the back of the line. Bryan worked tirelessly in 2013 and 2014 to get to the top of the mountain, and now he’s nowhere to be found. In my opinion, there would be no better way to welcome Daniel Bryan back to the main event scene than by giving him a program with Seth Rollins. This rivalry would be best served sooner rather than later. Maybe it could take place leading up to SummerSlam.
2. Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar
Of all the potential rivalries on this countdown, this is the only program I can assure is absolutely inevitable. The seeds for Seth Rollins defending his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Brock Lesnar were planted at WrestleMania when Rollins stole the strap from the “Beast Incarnate.” It appears that this rivalry will culminate with an epic encounter at SummerSlam. Seeing as though Lesnar isn’t a frequenter of WWE television, this program won’t be chock full of backstage encounters or in-ring skirmishes.
But anytime Lesnar is back, business is most certainly about to pick up. The match between these two forces could be phenomenally physical and steal the show on any card. Brock Lesnar enhances the standing of whomever he faces in the ring, and win, lose, or draw, Seth Rollins can only benefit from facing the “Conquerer,” Brock Lesnar.
1. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns
May I present to you the only match, in my opinion, that could possibly headline the biggest WrestleMania of all-time, WrestleMania XXXII. Seth Rollins taking on both Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns in the main event of WrestleMania for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is one of the biggest fantasy matches to ever be conceptualized. These men are three young and hungry bucks who came up through developmental, dominated the WWE as the greatest faction of all-time, and have since split to have highly successful runs as singles competitors. Put these superstars in a long-term program and have it culminate at WrestleMania, and the money prints itself.
Since the split of the S.H.I.E.L.D., I have been advocating to see this Triple Threat match at WrestleMania XXXII. The only challenge to seeing this program in the immediate future is the recent over-usage of three way dances in the closing spot of WrestleMania. WrestleMania XXX and XXXI both showcased Triple Threat matches to close the show. Whether it happens in Arlington, Texas, at WrestleMania XXXII, or on the Moon at WrestleMania L (50), the bond between these three men can’t be denied. Seth Rollins must face both Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns on the grandest stage of them all.