2019 was quite clearly the Year of Seth Rollins in WWE. For better or worse, he was essentially the main character of the promotion all year long. He won the Royal Rumble, he beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, he was publicly revealed to be the boyfriend and eventual fiance of Becky Lynch. Then he found himself in a feud with Bray Wyatt that was so bad it undid all the heroic babyface things he did and forced him to lean in to his natural heel charisma.
As the calendar turned to 2020, what was Seth hoping to do for a follow up? Was it to win the RAW Tag Team titles with “I’m not your Buddy” Murphy? I hope so, because that’s where Rollins found himself heading into the Royal Rumble, which he would enter 30th and be eliminated by the eventual winner, Drew McIntyre.
From here, we saw the first real gimmick change for Rollins since splitting with the Shield and joining the Authority way back in 2014. Granted, I’m not sure what his gimmick was besides having Freakin’ as his middle name, bad moshing, and jumping around like a mad man. No, now he was “The Monday Night Messiah,” an evangelical grifter leading a stable consisting of
himself, the Authors of Pain, a brief cameo from Austin Theory, and the aforementioned [REDACTED] Murphy. “The Greater Good,” as they were loosely referred to, would work with and eventually lose the titles to the Street Profits.
I’m just going to say it: that feud with Bray Wyatt was SO BAD that I think Rollins is still kind of reeling in terms of fan legitimacy over a year later.
Then, the pandemic happened. Rollins was involved in a program with Kevin Owens at the time and their scheduled match at WrestleMania 36 would go ahead as planned at the Performance Center in front of no one. What felt lost in the chaos of a major show being reshuffled was that Rollins and Owens very likely had the most exciting match of both nights, non-cinematic division. I personally would put it ahead of both the Boneyard match and whatever bollocks Bray Wyatt and John Cena were doing, but your tastes may vary.
Naturally, after losing a major singles match at WrestleMania, Rollins immediately entered a program with new WWE champion Drew McIntyre. He would lose their match at Money in the Bank.
And then, he started his feud with the Mysterio family.
At the time of writing this, he is still working a program with Rey Mysterio, Dominik Mysterio, and now Rey’s daughter Aaliyah Mysterio. It all started when Rollins attacked Rey and attempted to remove his eye with a stomp on the ring steps. It would lead to the first “Eye for an Eye” match, where the winner would not be declared until the loser, quite literally, lost an eye.
Rollins would win said match at Extreme Rules: The Horror Show and “remove” Rey Mysterio’s eye with some special effects that would seem right at home in the original Evil Dead films.
This would ultimately lead to the introduction debut of Rey’s son Dominik on WWE television, who went after Rollins for said eye removal. Dominik, while impressive in short bursts on WWE television in 2019, was still a rookie wrestler. Rollins would defeat Dominik at SummerSlam. The Mysterios would get their revenge in a tag match, but Rollins let Murphy take the fall.
After that, Rollins would be drafted to Smackdown … along with the entire Mysterio family in order to continue their feud, which started back in June! The focus has turned to some soap opera level drama involving “No Buddy” Murphy and Aaliyah Mysterio. Rollins is kind of just, involved? With reports his fiance Becky Lynch is pregnant and Rollins planning to take time off following Survivor Series, it seems unlikely we’ll see much more out of him in 2020.
I’m just going to say it: that feud with Bray Wyatt was SO BAD that I think Rollins is still kind of reeling in terms of fan legitimacy over a year later. Rollins was eviscerated as a heroic babyface by literally cowering from a man in a clown mask, bathed in red lights. It’s unclear if his 2020 would have been much different in front of crowds, but it couldn’t have been much worse.