It’s been a bad week for Seth Rollins.
On Wednesday, on the first stop of the WWE’s European tour, Rollins tore his ACL, MCL, and medial meniscus. Thursday, the WWE stripped Rollins of the WWE World Heavyweight title. They announced on their website that a new champion would be crowned at the Survivor Series. But rumors are swirling, and things are moving quickly; there’s even rumors that there might be a title change at the upcoming Monday Night Raw.
For WWE Creative, this is, no doubt, a complete and unmitigated disaster. Rollins is expected to be out for up to nine months (you don’t want to mess with knee injuries), and that means no Royal Rumble. No WrestleMania. The writers will have to chuck half of their storylines directly into the garbage. All the buildup over the last few months—of The Authority’s handpicked champion, of Triple H and Rollins’s weird father/son relationship, of Roman Reigns getting revenge on his former Shield brother—will have to be rewritten and rethought.
But as unexpected as this may be, and as terrible as this is for Rollins, there may be a silver lining after all. The WWE has been criticized (especially in the last several years) as being too predictable; the same people always seem to win, the old veterans still dominate the main event, and the champions are obviously hand-picked. Rollins’ unexpected injury creates the opportunity for spontaneity, and to create a new main event star—someone who can step up and “grab the brass ring.” Will the WWE do something predictable and safe, or will it be someone more unexpected?
Let’s handicap the field of main event stars, and predict who’s likely to be the next WWE World Heavyweight Champion.