We may finally be saying goodbye to the middling ripcord knee strike.
To the wrestling fandom’s overwhelming surprise and even more overwhelming delight, this week’s main event Rollins vs. Balor match ended with the return of Rollins’ brutal Curb Stomp finisher (now renamed the Blackout, as it was in NXT) after a nearly three-year absence. He picked up the Pedigree after Wrestlemania 31 and the unnamed knee strike after 33, but the reception to both of those changes has pretty roundly been “bring back the Curb Stomp.” It often eclipsed any other conversation about Rollins – whether talking about his character or his matches, somebody would always chime in about his finishers.
The thing is, sometimes ideas are really popular because they’re good.
It’s possible that the Blackout is going to become a super-finisher in the vein of the Punt Kick, but I sure hope it doesn’t. It fit Rollins like a glove, both his heel character because it’s brutal and slimy and mean-spirited and his face character because it’s really cool-looking. Which brings us to another point:
Is this the beginning of a moral crisis for the character of Seth Rollins?
Face Rollins only really started consistently clicking when he and Ambrose finally had their reunion storyline, and Dean may be the key to all of this. Jason Jordan, whose cheating enabled the Blackout in the first place, is a replacement for the injured Ambrose, and while Rollins has been less than patient with his new partner, he certainly didn’t hesitate to stomp Balor’s head into the mat under unsavory circumstances. It could be really entertaining to have Jordan slowly start enabling Rollins’ selfish weasel side again and have Ambrose’s return revolve around bringing him back from the brink. Or maybe Rollins goes full heel again, especially because the Shield reunion has been the most explicitly cursed-by-a-wizard storyline since Daniel Bryan’s 2014. Either way, the return of an old finisher definitely seems like a mechanism by which to twist Rollins’ character however far the writers choose to.
But that’s getting a little caught up in the future. The bottom line is that Seth Rollins is back to stomping dudes’ heads (very safely) into the ground like a stone cold killer, and that’s an essential piece of him that’s been missing for a long, long time.
Written by Bobby Murphy (@RobertJMurph)
Image courtesy WWE.com