After the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time at the hands of my New England Patriots, we are knee deep in the road to WrestleMania. Knee deep in a road? Does that metaphor make any sense? Does life make sense? What is life?
Philosophy aside, all wrestling mark eyes seem to be on the well-being of a certain architect. An architect who was very recently rebuilt in rehab fell victim to a karmic return of the injuries he doled out to the likes of Sting and Finn Balor. Yes, Seth Rollins appears to have reinjured his knee, though the timing is suspicious.
With the debut of Samoa Joe as Triple H’s new assassin on last week’s Raw, Rollins was beaten down by the Samoan submission machine. The Architect was thrown from barricade to barricade and choked out, presumably injuring that very same knee in the process; an injury that was the subject of a highly promoted WWE Network special. And the same injury that Triple H was mocking in his promo right before the Joe/Rollins interaction.
In a year riddled with the injuries of Balor, Sting, Tajiri, and Shelton Benjamin even before his return; it wouldn’t be too far fetched to believe that Rollins could be put out of commission again. Either that, or ... it’s a total work! Since Rollins’ rehab and return was so well advertised, it wouldn’t be uncommon for WWE to take advantage of a sympathetic weakness. Plus, Samoa Joe is billed as a “Destroyer,” a merciless hitman for Triple H. To target Seth’s injured knee would be in perfect step with Joe’s ruthless character.
What’s more, Raw is booked for Seth Rollins to address said injury tonight on Raw. The fact that there is so much to be gained by “The Man” having a fake injury going into WrestleMania leads me to think that it’s a storyline. While WWE is no stranger to writing in a real injury, looking back on Joe’s beat down, I can’t spot any moment where the knee could have been injured. He wasn’t favoring his knee and he was able to stand on it right up until Raw went off the air. It’s suspect to be sure.
While someone as captivating and talented as Seth Rollins shouldn’t need the aid of an underdog story against The Authority (a la Daniel Bryan) to get over, he hasn’t exactly won the hearts of the WWE fans as a face. He still has a long way to go to transition from his heel run, and reeling back from being injured by Samoa Joe, defeating Samoa Joe (probably at Elimination Chamber), and then battling Triple H at WrestleMania, looks to be in the works. It’s a perfect story arc for a guy who needs that extra boost of sympathy as a main event hero.
But while I expect Rollins’ injury to be an aptly written work, we are still expecting the return of Finn Balor. It’s about time the Demon King returns, just as long as we never have to hear Seth Rollins saying “Demon King” again (or was he saying Demon Kane?). Since Rollins will be occupied with Joe and Triple H, Balor will need someone to feud against upon his return. Unless, of course, we see a Finn Balor heel turn, joining the ranks of Triple H’s NXT golden boys alongside Joe. There are a lot of possibilities going into WrestleMania, with so many superstars expected to return from injury.
So, despite Seth Rollins’ (hopefully) work injury, there is still the very real problem of injuries in WWE. With the absurd schedule that these wrestlers maintain, injuries are bound to happen. And the placement of a dangerous stipulation like the Elimination Chamber right before WrestleMania boggles my mind. The Elimination Chamber shouldn’t be an annual event, as it takes away from the importance of such an ominous structure. Considering the outside of the chamber has no give, it’s prone to injury. There aren’t many noteworthy chamber matches in history, so to subject such talent to an insignificant danger like the chamber match is just begging to put the upper card of WrestleMania in jeopardy. Athletes should be relatively protected until Mania, so if you absolutely must have The Elimination Chamber event, why not put it in the Summer or Fall? It’s this kind of reckless scheduling that leaves you with a main event like Roman Reigns vs. Triple H, leaving everyone wanting more.