Last night at “The Horror Show at Extreme Rules”, Seth Rollins competed against Rey Mysterio in the first ever, eye-for-an-eye match. After a brutal match full of various objects being thrust toward each competitors’ eye sockets, Rollins forced Mysterio’s face onto the steel steps, with Mysterio’s eye popping out of his skull. This will surely be addressed on tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw, and so as we look forward on the Road to SummerSlam, what is next for the “Monday Night Messiah”?
Rollins debuted this persona, its early stages anyway, on the Raw after Survivor Series in November 2019. With the focus of the previous night's PPV being brand supremacy, we saw Raw, Smackdown, and NXT face off to see which brand was superior. From the ten matches on the card, Raw came out with only 1 win and it was on the kickoff show. This led to Rollins opening the November 25 Raw with a “town hall” style meeting to let the locker room know exactly how he felt about them.
In the weeks that followed, Rollins would reveal that he had aligned himself with the Authors of Pain (AOP) and they started attacking wrestlers such as Kevin Owens, Rey Mysterio, and Samoa Joe.
Rollins would recruit a new “disciple” in Buddy Murphy and they went on a tag team run including becoming champions on the January 22 episode of Raw, holding the titles for a little over a month before dropping them to the Street Profits March 2. Since then, Rollins has flushed out his “Monday Night Messiah” persona, added another disciple in Austin Theory, and says he is compelled to do things “for the greater good”.
It has been a busy year to say the least, so, what’s next? Rollins is working so well in this persona that he could continue his cause and grow the following, continue feuding with a Mysterio, change his message, or challenge for a championship.
Covid-19 and injuries has made the active Raw roster a fraction of what it could be and that is taking its toll in more ways than one. In Rollins’ case, he has been missing his two enforcers in the AOP due to Rezar’s bicep injury in March and we haven’t seen the AOP since. That leaves Murphy and Theory as his two disciples, but we haven’t seen Theory since late June. Rollins can handle himself alone like he did at the PPV, but it would make his faction/movement look more imposing if we saw more members each week. Rollins could look into continuing to do things for the greater good, and look to spreading his message to new opponents or allies. He has tried recruiting members previously in Andrade and Angel Garza, but they turned on him. Maybe he goes about this another way?
It would be surprising to see (pun intended) Rey Mysterio active soon on WWE television, but there is another Mysterio on the red brand. Dominik Mysterio, Rey’s son, has played a large role in the storyline between his father and Rollins. Dominik has come to his father’s aid, has attacked Rollins and his disciples, but he hasn’t gotten into the ring in an official match. There have been many speculations about when Dominik would debut in the ring, and you would assume he is pretty mad at Rollins for what happened at the PPV. Maybe now is the time to pull the trigger and have Dominik take on Rollins. Kevin Owens and Aleister Black had previously aligned with Mysterio and so maybe they will align with Dominik to ease him into the ring. I think a great SummerSlam match could be Dominik vs. Rollins with a stipulation that if Dominik loses, he will become a disciple.
The match at Extreme Rules was intense. Rollins shoving down Mysterio’s face onto the steel steps will forever be ingrained into our minds. However, after he did this, Rollins went back to charge in for another attack, and when he saw what he had done, Rollins retreated. Rollins went to the plexiglass-lined guardrail with his demeanor completely changed. He began dry heaving and eventually threw up a little bit. He looked horrified at the result of the match and then the fans started hitting the barricades and booing him. For the first time in a long time, it looked like Rollins was thrown off. Gone was the confident leader, the Messiah, as he looked around frantically, getting startled by the fans hitting the plexiglass, and it seemed like everything that transpired started to sink in. Rollins solemnly made his way back up the ramp with a sullen attitude we haven’t seen from him. Could this cause Rollins to alter his message?
One of the best things about Rollins’ persona is that he doesn’t need a title belt. With his intensity and mentality, he doesn’t have to be in the title picture to be relevant. That being said, Raw experienced record lows in ratings and viewership last week. It was expected that Extreme Rules was going to shake some things up to try and increase viewership for tonight’s episode, but we didn’t really get that when it comes to the WWE title picture. Current WWE champion Drew McIntyre seemingly just wrapped up a feud with Dolph Ziggler, so he is going to need someone to face at SummerSlam next month. Rollins is easily one of the most entertaining aspects of Raw and is definitely a reason people are tuning in. He could work another feud with McIntyre leading to an explosive clash at the Biggest Party of the Summer. With two of the biggest names on the brand going at it, fans are sure to tune in, and it will create needed excitement for WWE’s second biggest PPV of the year.
WWE needed “The Horror Show at Extreme Rules” to create excitement for Raw to increase its viewers and I am looking forward to seeing which path they pick for the “Monday Night Messiah”. Tune in tonight to see what happens!
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