OR, How to turn yourself heel in four days.
On Saturday, June 22, Seth Rollins tweeted something that was bound to invite scorn. In fact, if he wasn’t currently the reigning WWE Universal Champion, it may have been interpreted as the sort of ironic burial now customary among his disenchanted colleagues.
“Best pro wrestling on the planet. Period,” he tweeted, a day ahead of WWE Stomping Grounds—a show that seemed to define WWE’s rampantly unpopular, repetitive formula. As a tweet in and of itself, it was widely-received not as the puffed-chest mission statement intended, nor even a means of promoting the show. Many took it as a self-own, loaded in delusion, and uncoiled with the daftest possible timing. WWE, as the objective metrics of popularity and growth indicate, is far from the best pro wrestling on the planet.
This was backwards.
Rollins, in his own words, “doubled down” during the show itself. “See that Cruiserweight Triple Threat? And that’s just one night, one match amongst the many.”
This, if he’d stopped there, was the stuff of a proper locker room leader. He backed up his guys, his team, promoted his show. But he didn’t stop there. He doubled down.
“Find anyone else alive who does what I can do as well as I do it as often as I do it. Ya can’t.”
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay, fresh off his Best Of The Super Juniors tournament win—which doubled as his critical bow as the best wrestler on the planet—entered the conversation. He said, enterprisingly, “I’m alive.”
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