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Thread: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I honestly don't remember the 2017 3 way, but the match at Wrestlemania was great I thought. Surely that's involved in this list if this one makes it in.


    Huh, I thought it was on SD where Bryan and Seth had a great singles match, but maybe they did it twice. Seth in 2013 was probably just behind Bryan as the best wrestler in WWE.


    They had a good one on SD a few months after this that was a very late cut for this list.

  2. #22

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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    #12.



    Monday Night Raw - 8/18/2014
    Falls Count Anywhere
    Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose

    Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam 2014 in their first high profile singles encounter. It was an out of control Lumberjack match, easily one of the better ones in WWE history, but it did not settle the issues between the two. Rollins won the match with some interference from Kane and the use of his Money in the Bank briefcase. Earlier in this edition of Raw, Ambrose interrupted a Rollins interview to pour ice water on him (during the time when the ALS ice bucket challenge was a big thing) which lead to Triple H somehow deciding that they would face each other in a match with the stipulation decided by the fans. Fittingly, after their SummerSlam match turned into a brawl all over the arena, the fans decided they should face off in a Falls Count Anywhere match here tonight!

    It took about 90 seconds for this match to spill into the WWE Universe. Why beat around the bush, right? Like the lumberjack match, this match plays into their Shield history pretty heavily. In this case, it is highlighted how well they know each other. The match is jam packed with dodges, counters and comebacks. The two men seem evenly matched in the ring throughout, though they’re strengths are quite different. Rollins uses cunning and speed, while Ambrose of course uses lunacy and brawling. There’s no shortage of punishing weapon usage. The standout hardcore moment comes when Ambrose tosses a bunch of chairs in the ring in a pile, and attempts to superplex Rollins onto them, only for Rollins to turn it around and hit a running powerbomb onto the chairs. Rollins then tries to set Ambrose up to curb stomp his head through a table, which I would have liked to see, but ends up taking the superplex through the table. Like the night before, Kane becomes involved to save Rollins’ skin. Ambrose manages to fight against the odds for a bit, but it’s all for naught. He gets caught by Kane who chokeslams him on the announce table. Rollins follows it up with a curb stomp on the announce table. Then Kane picks up a box or maybe a small table at ringside to reveal a pile of cinder blocks. No one cares to explain why there’s just a pile of cinder blocks at ringside, but fuck it I guess. Kane holds Dean there and Rollins plants him with a curb stomp off the announce table through the cinder blocks which are clearly about as solid as a water balloon because they crumple to bits despite obviously not receiving that much of an impact. It’s a good visual at least, I won’t fault them for trying to do something different here. Lil Naitch Charles Robinson comes over and ends the match, rewarding Seth Rollins with the stoppage finish.

    The biggest thing this match achieved was advancing each man’s characters. Dean got over as the lunatic he’s supposed to be and his valiant fight against both Rollins and Kane presented him as someone who was willing to fight to the death. Rollins, still early in his heel run here, got the guile treatment. He continued to rely on interference from Kane to defeat his arch nemesis, and they took his character a step further by having him curb stomp Dean’s skull through a stack of cinder blocks. An absolutely ruthless and malicious move for Rollins to pull out on his former brother in arms. This really felt like one of the more intense hardcore matches I’ve seen on WWE television this decade. I’ve said it already and I’ll say it plenty more before we’re done, but Dean and Seth are just two of the best at creating pandemonium. Whether it be as part of The Shield, in their tag team matches, or as opponents, they just know how to make chaos work. This was a great brawl that sold you on the hatred these two have for one another and so, in that sense, it was perfectly executed.

    ***½

    #11.



    No Mercy 2017
    Raw Tag Team Championship
    Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose © vs. The Bar


    This one has a pretty simple set up, honestly. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose reunited shortly before SummerSlam, despite some reservations from both parties. Ultimately, their problems with The Bar lead them to them resume their alliance, and they were given the chance to challenge The Bar for the Raw Tag Team Championship at SummerSlam. Ambrose and Rollins won the match. The Bar invoked their rematch clause for the right to challenge Ambrose and Rollins for their recently lost titles.

    This is four of the main roster’s best workers of the last five years, in my opinion. Both in terms of match quality and quantity. So it’s no surprise that they shine so bright here. The match starts with Ambrose being dominated until he can get Seth in off a hot tag. As always, Seth goes to town at a million miles per hour. His momentum doesn’t last though and the tide soon turns back in favor of The Bar who maintain control for the majority of the match. Rollins and Ambrose just refuse to die though. Midway through the match, we have Ambrose catapulting Cesaro into the turnbuckle which is the infamous spot where Cesaro gets his teeth bashed out. The fact he continues to wrestle for about 10 more minutes with no limitations is just stupid and makes me feel like an inferior being. Several exciting minutes later, there’s a beautiful spot where The Bar have Ambrose set up for the White Noise/double neckbreaker. Seth Rollins appears and attempts to Frankensteiner Cesaro off the top rope, but Cesaro blocks it, and catches him. Sheamus drives Ambrose down with the White Noise and Cesaro performs a top rope powerbomb to Rollins, onto the prone Dean Ambrose. Unfortunately that still isn’t enough to put them away! Ambrose is totally spent at this point though. Sheamus sets Ambrose up for the Brogue Kick, but Ambrose just collapses. Sheamus saunters over, only for Ambrose to throw him in a quick small package to get a two count. Sheamus gets up and tries for his Brogue Kick but Ambrose moves and Cesaro takes the blow. Sheamus turns back around and takes the Dirty Deeds from Ambrose who pins him and gets the three count!

    Two of my favorite teams of this decade going at it with no shenanigans or twists.. just a good, straight up, 15 minute tag match with everyone laying it on the line. The Bar are super entertaining and their chemistry is just so apparent. Ambrose and Rollins have a long history, of course, and they feed off each other in a way that few others can. There’s really no missteps in this match at all. There’s a great cohesion and pace to this match. You get the added bonus of seeing Cesaro lose his front teeth and continue to wrestle his ass off. Just a lot of fun, all around and the high point of a show that also featured John Cena vs. Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman.

    ***½

    #10.



    Monday Night Raw - 10/14/2013
    WWE World Tag Team Championship
    Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns © vs. Goldust and Cody Rhodes


    What a wild ride this one is. Honestly, just looking back on this run from Goldust and Cody Rhodes, this is one of the great feel good stories of recent times. They had no right to be as good or as over as they got. This is the hallmark match of their memorable 2013 run in my opinion as well as one of Reigns and Rollins’ premiere matches as a tag team. The set up to this match saw the Rhodes family feuding with Triple H and Stephanie who fired Cody for insubordination and attacked Dusty. Goldust returned and teamed up with his half brother to win back their jobs in a match against Rollins and Reigns at Background. So, here on Raw, The Brotherhood were given a chance to face Rollins and Reigns in a match for the World Tag Team Championship, though it was also made a No DQ match in order to “punish” Goldust and Cody. That never backfires.

    This match is a lovely little brawl and whatever it lacks in technical greatness, it more than makes up for with fantastic booking and crowd investment. Rhodes and Goldust also make for a great unit, so they’re cohesive in their double team moves. Besides that, Goldust really turns back the clock and shows us all he still has the goods. His strikes are very believable, he takes some nice bumps and he’s plenty mobile so despite being a fossil compared to the other three in this match, he doesn’t bring it down one bit. In fact, he’s probably the best part of it. Most of the match is just trading control between the two teams, with Dean Ambrose getting involved when needed to derail The Brotherhood’s momentum. Though, it’s a No DQ match, so why not just jump in and destroy everyone with a chair? I guess that’s really a larger philosophical question about wrestling in general and I don’t feel like getting into it. Anyways, The Shield get the upper hand for a good bit and they build towards the hot tag for Cody which works like a charm. He comes in hot and starts using Goldust’s moves to dismantle Reigns and Rollins. It’s at this point that the fans become fully engrossed. Cody pulls out a moonsault onto Reigns which I don’t remember him using much, if at all, before. He takes out Dean when he tries to interfere with a beautiful disaster kick and then drops Reigns with a springboard dropkick. If Cody had committed himself to being an AJ Styles type he would have really gotten over a lot sooner. Anyways, Ambrose interferes and it becomes a three on one beating while Goldust is subdued. That doesn’t last long because Goldust slides in with a steel chair and cleans house while the fans go wild. On the outside, Rhodes and Rollins are brawling when Cody tries to do a disaster kick off the stairs, only for Rollins to catch him mid-air and powerbomb him into the barricade. It’s a sick spot. Goldust continues to fight and get the better of all three members of The Shield for a while until Reigns catches him with a spear through the barricade. Just when things are looking hopeless, the recently fired Big Show comes through the crowd to the biggest pops of his career and dismantles The Shield. The ending sees Roman and Cody in the ring. Roman notices Show on the outside and gets distracted. Rhodes goes for the disaster kick but Roman ducks, only to get clocked by the Show’s knockout punch which allows Cody to make the pin and win the titles. The crowd goes nuts as Triple H comes out livid at what just happens. Big Show stands in the crowd, leading them in “Yes!” chants which at the time was a little cringey but now that some time has passed, is an enjoyable moment. Raw ends on this very high note as The Brotherhood celebrate on their way to the back, as the new tag champs.

    This is basically just one of the best two on two tag matches that The Shield have had. For my money, it’s the best one that featured Rollins and Reigns as opposed to Rollins and Ambrose. Just looking at things in a vacuum, I don’t know if this would have made the list if not for the fans being so hype for this thing but since they loved the match so much, it made it feel like the stakes were super high. I also loved seeing Goldust back at his peak and as he was one of my favorite wrestlers when I was younger, I am probably a little bit biased in my rating of this. Still, objectively, it’s an awesome brawl with two teams who know how to work together and hit all the marks to make for a good, fluid match. This is arguably one of the hottest endings to Raw this decade. Rollins has certainly had better individual performances that didn’t make the cut over this one, but this is for sure one of the 25 best matches he’s been in.

    ***½

  3. #23

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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    #9.



    Backlash 2018
    Intercontinental Championship
    Seth Rollins © vs. The Miz

    Coming into this match, Seth Rollins was on one of the hottest runs of his career. He defeated Miz and Balor to win the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania, defended it in a ladder match at the Greatest Royal Rumble and was coming off another defense against Balor on Monday Night Raw. The story of this match was the fact that Miz was getting an automatic rematch despite being moved to Smackdown as part of the Superstar Shakeup. So, if he wins here, he’s taking the legendary belt with him to Tuesday nights.

    This match opened the PPV and got almost no mention on the opening video package but was the best match on the show by a landslide. It’s a good thing they put this on first, in a way. The crowd was super pumped as soon as Rollins’ music hit and were very vocal with their support throughout. Had they been exposed to the rest of this boring card first, this match may not have come off so well, either. But, anyways, this match is kind of just the perfect PPV opener. Intercontinental Championship on the line between two well respected wrestlers. One being an all time great heel, the other being a cherished hero, both playing their role to perfection. The action is fast and furious. There are great counters. Each guy pulls out some new or rarely seen stuff. Loads of signature moves. Some legit highlights, like the huge frog splash from Rollins, or Rollins with the flying knee into the post, followed by Miz putting him in the figure four and Rollins going nuts to reverse it. I think you can tell how good most matches are by how the fans react to the submissions. This crowd went crazy for the figure four leglock sequence. You would have thought this was a Flair match by how they ate it up. Great acting by both men there, as well. I also really love the part where Rollins slips out of the SKF, then rolls back into the wheelbarrow, slips out of that, sells the knee giving out, and then takes the SKF. Very well executed. They go back to it when Seth attempts the superplex/falcon arrow with his knee giving out. It isn’t as nice the second time around, but at least it’s some consistency and the crowd seems convinced that it’s the end of the match, only for Rollins to kick out again. The match ends on another brilliant sequence. Miz goes for the O’Connor Roll on Rollins, Rollins reverses it into a pin of his own, Miz gets out and rolls Rollins up with the school boy, Rollins rolls to his feet and plants Miz with the curb stomp for the pin!

    Not a whole lot to say, other than this is an excellent match. It helped cement Rollins as one of WWE’s best wrestlers of 2018, arguably the very best of the first half of the year. This is one of those matches where even the most ardent Rollins haters seem to have no choice but to tip their hat to the guy. And a lot of credit has to go to The Miz as well, of course. He was fantastic in this match as well, and on this night they just clicked and had themselves a great match in front of a great crowd. Matches like this make for great rewatching because they didn’t over complicate it and they didn’t drag it out. It’s a match you can just throw on and have a good time watching.

    ***¾

    #8.



    WrestleMania 31
    Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton

    I was a really big fan on the storyline leading into this. It was simple for the most part, but it showed that Seth had the backing of WWE management. He got nicknamed “The Undisputed Future of WWE” and they backed it up with his booking. Sure, there was a lot of chicken shit antics that protected him and lead to many of his wins, but he wasn’t the first nor the last top heel to be elevated by that route. That includes his opponent here, Randy Orton. The lead up to this match started months earlier as Rollins ascended up the ranks in The Authority after turning on his SHIELD mates. Orton was previously dubbed “The Face of WWE” but since losing the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XXX, his place as the guy was coming into question. After a string of setbacks for The Authority, Seth Rollins would ultimately usurp Orton for the top position and take him temporarily out of action. Orton came back at Fastlane, just weeks before WrestleMania, to exact his revenge and challenged Seth to settle the score at WrestleMania.

    So, that’s what this match was about. Orton was facing a man who, in many ways, resembled him and was on a similar career trajectory. The difference in this match was largely that Orton was the more mature competitor who was driver by revenge, while Rollins was still looking for shortcuts to get over on Orton. J&J Security got involved quite a bit of course, but this isn’t Orton’s first rodeo, so he dispatched them with relative ease. He even dropped the two of them with elevated DDTs onto the floor, in a pretty nasty spot. As a whole, Orton is the general of this match. He is determined to deliver a beating on Rollins and controls a majority of the exchange. However, Rollins refuses to go away, kicking out of a clean RKO. This leads Orton to line Rollins up for a punt, only to be cut off by Jamie Noble who he serves an RKO, followed by Joey Mercury who he a serves a mid-flight RKO. This allows Rollins to catch him by surprise and hit the Curb Stomp which Orton astonishingly kicks out of.The finishing sequence is really smooth and capped off by one of the single greatest visuals in WWE history. Rollins goes for a Phoenix Splash, but Orton moves and Rollins lands on his feet. Orton goes for an RKO, but Rollins pushes him off, delivers a heel kick and doubles him over for the Curb Stomp. Seth goes for the Curb Stomp but Orton doesn’t give, and instead launches Rollins up and catches him on the way down with an RKO for the win. That is the definition of a picture perfect finish.

    Interesting decision, no doubt, to give Orton the win here. He isn’t even someone I consider overly protected, so I’m not sure what motivated WWE to give him the W in this case, other than it was a sensible and fan pleasing finish to the feud. I guess that’s enough.

    As we know, that would be the last we saw of Seth Rollins for the night.

    PSYCHE!



    WrestleMania 31
    WWE World Heavyweight Championship
    Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar ©

    Can’t call it a match, so much, but we can’t leave off arguably the biggest moment of Seth’s career, so I’m going to lump it in with his other match and call it a day.

    Later that night as Lesnar and Reigns were waging war over the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, the unthinkable happened as Seth’s theme song pounded on the speakers and the future “Architect” came sprinting down to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase IN THE MAIN EVENT OF WRESTLEMANIA! Now that’s metal.

    Seth comes in after Brock and Roman have just beat the holy hell out of each other and cashes in. He rolls Reigns out of the ring and gives Lesnar a Curb Stomp. He measures Brock up for another, but gets scooped up in place for a F5. Reigns comes in and splits Lesnar in half with a Spear, saving Seth’s ass, and Seth returns the favor by drilling Reigns with a Curb Stomp for the pin and three count! Rollins leaves WrestleMania 31 with the WWE Championship in the HEIST OF THE CENTURY!

    ***¾

    #7.



    Hell in a Cell 2018
    Raw Tag Team Championship
    Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler ©

    The whole Shield vs. Dogs of War thing was pretty bad, but it did yield us this absolute gem. With The Shield reforming in mid-2018 after the return of Dean Ambrose, a heel alliance was formed between Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre to take down the reformed Hounds of Justice. Strowman was pursuing Reigns and his Universal Championship, while Rollins and Ziggler had an ongoing feud over the Intercontinental Championship. Ambrose and McIntyre began to have their own little rivalry, really just by virtue of the feud between the two alliances.

    Dean Ambrose was still kind of finding his footing since returning from injury with a new look and a bit of a tweaked character. Luckily any ring rust he might have had did not hold back this match one bit. I might be in the minority here, but I like the alliance of McIntyre and Ziggler. I certainly like it better than McIntyre’s current union with Corbin and Lashley. It gave Ziggler a new and improved attitude and I think they just gelled so great as characters. Ziggler the out of control loudmouth and McIntyre the brute of few words. At the very least, it was good for Ziggler to have someone to make up for any of his shortcomings. I have to say, though, he is great in this match. His bumpin doesn’t get too bad. He’s constantly taunting his opponents, knowing that McIntyre can bail him out when things go and get tough. He plays the role of strategist as well. One example would be the really well done spot where Rollins makes a desperate tag to Ambrose by jumping over McIntyre’s shoulder, but Ziggler rolls in the ring to distract the referee for just long enough so that he doesn’t see the tag and forces Ambrose back to the apron. Some of the spots in this match are just fannntastic. McIntyre belly-to-belly suplexing Ambrose into the corner was pretty nasty. Rollins countering the jumping DDT of Ziggler into the falcon arrow and then countering his Famouser into the buckle bomb was really dope. The finishing sequence saw McIntyre and Ziggler set Dean up for what looked like a Doomsday Device, but Dean fought out by clocking Ziggler and hanging him up on the top rope. He then broke free and tagged Seth in before spearing McIntyre out of the ring. Rollins went right for Ziggler and superplexed him into the ring. He rolled through to attempt the falcon arrow and got Ziggler up, only for McIntyre to catch him by surprise with the Claymore. Ziggler fell into the cover and that was all she wrote. McIntyre and Ziggler won to retain their titles.

    This match is almost a masterclass in timing and sequencing. It starts off pretty standard. Heels in control, methodically beating Rollins. As things go on, the match gets more and more hectic as the teams become more desperate to put things away, building up to a huge climax. All the counters, team work, kick outs and sequences are just perfectly on point. If you rewatch this PPV, the crowd isn’t super electric through the first few matches. In this match, they are totally electric and hanging on the edge of their seat with every pin attempt. This thing goes for 25 minutes but you’d never know it by watching it. The match never drags or feels like it’s overstayed its welcome. All four guys play their roles superbly. The booking was a smart choice as well. If Ambrose and Rollins won this match, The Shield would hold every male title on Raw by the end of the night. That would pretty much be the end of this program as well, which still had legs to continue for a couple months. Plus, McIntyre gets to looks like the hoss that he is, and secure the win for his team, reaffirming his status as the actual leader of this team. This is one of my favorite tag team matches to rewatch and hands down one of the best WWE matches of last year.

    ****

  4. #24
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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    I don't remember anything about the FCA match other than the finish.

    The No Mercy tag against the Bar is great, as is the Summerslam match. I give the edge to No Mercy for Cesaro's stunning performance through pain.

    Honestly don't remember the Raw tag against the Rhodes brothers, but it was 2013 so it had to be very good.

    The Backlash Miz match was great, easy MOTN and one of the best matches in the company that year.

    I felt like the Orton match was good with a GOAT finish that overshadowed everything else. WM31 was such a fun mania.

    oh come on man you can't call the WM31 main event one of Seth's top ten matches ever, he's in it for a minute

    I like the HIAC tag match, but it's not the best of the Seth and Dean tags.

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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I don't remember anything about the FCA match other than the finish.

    The No Mercy tag against the Bar is great, as is the Summerslam match. I give the edge to No Mercy for Cesaro's stunning performance through pain.

    Honestly don't remember the Raw tag against the Rhodes brothers, but it was 2013 so it had to be very good.

    The Backlash Miz match was great, easy MOTN and one of the best matches in the company that year.

    I felt like the Orton match was good with a GOAT finish that overshadowed everything else. WM31 was such a fun mania.

    oh come on man you can't call the WM31 main event one of Seth's top ten matches ever, he's in it for a minute

    I like the HIAC tag match, but it's not the best of the Seth and Dean tags.
    I just grouped his Mania 31 matches together as #8. The Orton match alone would have been high anyways but I had to mention the cash-in so they shared that spot.

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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I don't remember anything about the FCA match other than the finish.

    The No Mercy tag against the Bar is great, as is the Summerslam match. I give the edge to No Mercy for Cesaro's stunning performance through pain.

    Honestly don't remember the Raw tag against the Rhodes brothers, but it was 2013 so it had to be very good.

    The Backlash Miz match was great, easy MOTN and one of the best matches in the company that year.

    I felt like the Orton match was good with a GOAT finish that overshadowed everything else. WM31 was such a fun mania.

    oh come on man you can't call the WM31 main event one of Seth's top ten matches ever, he's in it for a minute

    I like the HIAC tag match, but it's not the best of the Seth and Dean tags.
    I just grouped his Mania 31 matches together as #8. The Orton match alone would have been high anyways but I had to mention the cash-in so they shared that spot.

  7. #27
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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    If it means anything I think that the Roman vs Brock match is comfortably the best match that Rollins has ever been in.





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  8. #28

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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    If it means anything I think that the Roman vs Brock match is comfortably the best match that Rollins has ever been in.
    I'm going to have to disagree with ya there bud.

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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    If it means anything I think that the Roman vs Brock match is comfortably the best match that Rollins has ever been in.
    I love it as well but I may be inclined to put the Rumble triple threat with Cena and Brock or the Shield/Wyatt’s tag ahead of it. Possibly the first TLC match as well.


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  10. #30
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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    Roman vs Brock w/ Seth coming in is arguably one of the best WWE matches of all time so I definitely agree with Shock that it's Seth's best match .

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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuji Vice View Post
    I love it as well but I may be inclined to put the Rumble triple threat with Cena and Brock or the Shield/Wyatt’s tag ahead of it. Possibly the first TLC match as well.


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    The rumble 3 way was the match I mentioned in my first post that I thought was far and away the best Seth Rollins match.

  12. #32
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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    We still talking purely WWE, right? Because even if he's grown as a performer over time, I'd still say he was carried to some superior matches in his ROH run. And I remember a couple awesome FCW matches with Ambrose.

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  13. #33

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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    #6.



    Monday Night Raw - 2/19/2018
    Gauntlet Match
    Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. John Cena vs. Finn Balor vs. The Miz vs. Braun Strowman vs. Elias

    One of the longest matches in WWE television history, this seven man gauntlet took place over the course of the first half of a February Monday Night Raw and featured the seven guys who would compete in the “historic” seven man Elimination Chamber match six days before the namesake event. Seth Rollins at this time was in a weird and already easily forgettable period of his career, teaming and feuding with Jason Jordan before he got injured. Coming into this match, the commentators note the desire of Rollins to get back to the top of the heap and turn this show into “Monday Night Rollins”. Over a year later, we might finally be watching that truly come to fruition.

    Seth begins the match against Roman Reigns. Interestingly there’s not so much of that Shield stigma. Roman is more concerned with Braun at this point in time, so they don’t really beat around the bush doing the whole “these two are brothers” staredown bit that they’ve done many times before. The match begins at a surprisingly slow pace. A lot of that just has to do with Roman punishing Rollins methodically. Once Rollins gets freed up, he turns up the tempo a little. He foolishly hits the buckle bomb on Roman, because Roman of course just bounces out of the corner with the superman punch… a sequence they’ve done in literally every match I’ve seen them wrestle against each other… Nonetheless, Rollins is able to score a surprise win, countering an O’Connor roll into a small package for a clean win after about 30 minutes. After his elimination, Reigns goes to shake hands with Rollins, but Cena’s music hits and The Doctor of Thuganomics enters the match. Cena controls the action, and grinds Rollins down until we’re all convinced that his elimination is a foregone conclusion. But nope. Rollins hangs in there through it all, even surviving the STF. For some strange reason, Cena charges Rollins out on the floor, but Rollins moves and Cena shoulder blocks the steel steps. They then roll in just in time to break the 10-count. Seth Rollins breaks out a rare crippler crossface as a counter to a Cena clothesline, but it’s not enough to do the trick. Cena powers through, and heaves Rollins up into the Attitude Adjustment. Rollins lands it though and then lays Cena out with the enziguri before soaring for the frog splash! Cena survives and is able to once more get Rollins up for the Attitude Adjustment and hit it this time. Rollins manages a kick out when no one saw it coming and gets the fans chanting “Burn It Down!” (I think?). Cena goes high risk, presumably for his leg drop, only for Seth to rise from the dead and hit his superplex/falcon arrow combo. Still not enough. He measures Cena up for the curb stomp, but gets caught in another STF! He gets a rope break to be released. He goes for the enziguri again, misses, and ends up in the STF for a third time! He still manages to break free. John Cena takes Rollins to the top for a super Attitude Adjustment, but Rollins frees himself. Cena crossbodies Rollins, but Rollins rolls through and lifts Cena, heaving him up to land an Attitude Adjustment of his own. I don’t get tired of seeing him do that. Cena kicks out, but he soons trips up. He lands the Attitude Adjustment on Rollins, and then does his roll through to try a second one. Rollins wiggles frees, hits the ripcord knee strike, superkicks Cena in the abdomen and finishes him off with the curb stomp! Elias is next and wastes no time getting to the ring. He immediately goes for the pin on Seth who is obviously just spent at this point. Seth manages to kick out, but he won’t last too much longer in this bout. Elias focus his attack on the knee of Seth Rollins and ultimately dispatches him with the Drift Away. The rest of the gauntlet is good, but not relevant to this thread. Braun ultimately wins by bouncing Miz as the last two competitors.

    This is, of course, one of the great performances of Seth Rollins’ career. In one night, with this one match, Seth Rollins commanded the respect of so many who refused to acknowledge him. Besides the fact he wrestled over an hour and earned a “thank you” chant from the fans for his efforts, he got clean victories over Reigns and Cena consecutively. That’s an unheard of feat. That’s a bigger feat than Jericho defeated Rock and Austin in the same night, because that was pure shenanigans and no one walked away from that one thinking about the fantastic showing Jericho just put on. I’m kind of torn on saying this match progressed brilliantly or that the second portion of the match was just much better than the first. To me, Rollins and Reigns are just not good opponents. On the other hand, Rollins and Cena are excellent opponents. Either way, the endurance of Rollins was great to see and created a spectacle you rarely see on Raw these days. The Elias stretch was pretty much a non-factor in the end, but if I’m taking the whole thing into consideration, it’s a negative because it was relatively short and uneventful. I would have much rather had Finn eliminate Rollins than Elias, but ah well, you can’t have it all.

    ****

    #5.



    Elimination Chamber 2014
    The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family

    The conflict between The Shield and The Wyatt Family was rooted in the Elimination Chamber qualifying process. The Shield would face Daniel Bryan, John Cena and Sheamus in a match where the winning trio gained entrance to the Elimination Chamber. During that match, The Wyatts interfered to attack Cena, causing a DQ loss for The Shield. Thus, The Shield were out to gain some revenge and would look to do so at Elimination Chamber. This match was super interesting at the time. We had two of the hottest trios to arrive in WWE in quite a while meeting for the first time. Both were hot, so it was anyone’s guess who would win.

    This match gets a “this is awesome!” chant before the bell even rings. Before The Wyatts ever even step foot in the ring for that matter. Watching this back is kind of jarring because the fans actually like Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns. The expectations were no doubt sky high and these two top flight factions came through. A brawl breaks out before the match can officially begin where The Shield clear the ring of The Wyatts. After a moment, things get officially started. The stables really just trade control for the majority of the first half, making quick tags whenever one trio gets advantage. One highlight of the early goings is Harper’s selling of a punch by Roman where he hits the ground and sits back up, stares straight ahead with a blank expression and his hand held out, as if to say “what the fuck did I just get hit with?”. Rollins lands a beautiful backflip out of a top rope German suplex and then goes ballistic on Harper for a bit, which kicks the match into another gear until Harper stops his roll with a high impact Bossman slam. Eventually Reigns gets the hot tag and comes in guns blazing in a super exciting sequence where he takes the fight to all of The Wyatts. As things go off the rails, bodies start flying everywhere. Harper hits his suicide dive onto Dean and Bray, and Rollins takes it up a notch with the top con hilo onto Harper. As part of a theme of this match, Dean tackles Bray into the crowd, because he is completely unhinged and fighting with emotion instead of logic. It doesn’t show us what happens, but Dean never returns to the match, leaving Rollins and Reigns outnumbered. Then, Harper and Rowan double chokeslam Rollins through an announce table from the other one, so it effectively becomes Reigns vs. The Wyatts. He manages to keep them at bay for a while, but takes a Sister Abigail from Wyatt which finishes him off.

    This match was great. It had an atmosphere, it had two stables that you care about, it has some of the best sequences in Shield history, it has Luke Harper being awesome, it has carnage, drama, suspense, intensity, sensible booking… basically all the ingredients you would want in a big time six man tag match. The member of The Shield got to shine at what they do best. Ambrose was the unhinged one who never put on the breaks, Rollins brought the fire and provided several highlights, while Reigns got to be the last guy and put up a valiant fight at the end of the match. It’s just a shame these two stables didn’t match up more often, because every match they did have was just perfectly on the money.

    ****

    #4.



    Survivor Series 2014
    5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Match
    Team Authority vs. Team Cena

    You know the background of this match by now. Most likely, at least. The Authority formed in 2013 and were lead by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, who used their strike by elevate the people who they favored or who were willing to sell out to them. Most notably, they oppressed Daniel Bryan from SummerSlam 2013 until he took off time for his injury in 2014. They also manipulated Big Show and abused the Rhodes family. In the lead up to this event, John Cena challenged The Authority, prompting a big Survivor Series match where if Team Cena won, The Authority would be out of power and if Team Authority won, all the members of Team Cena would be fired. At the beginning of the show, Mr. McMahon added the stipulation that if Team Cena won, the only way Triple and Stephanie will ever get their power back is if John Cena brings them back. This was most definitely the highest stakes match in 2014 and the most anticipated one since WrestleMania XXX where we awaited to see the fate of Daniel Bryan.

    Team Authority was captained by Seth Rollins, with the inclusion of Corporate Kane, Rusev, Mark Henry and Luke Harper. Team Cena was of course lead by John Cena himself and featured Big Show, Ryback, Dolph Ziggler and Erick Rowan, all past victims of Triple H and Stephanie’s power trip.

    This thing is much too long to detail all the action, but the big things to note is the swinging of momentum and attention to details. Like I said, this is a long match, so at times you start to drift. But then they throw a curveball at you and get you invested again. Highlights of the early part of the match are Big Show’s knockout punch on Henry to eliminate him in seconds, Rusev missing a splash on Ziggler and crashing through the announce table and Big Show betraying his team and getting Cena eliminated because of course he does. Once Show knocks out Cena, he walks out and that leads to Ziggler being the last man standing on his team, against Kane, Harper and Rollins. Ziggler ragdolls it up for a good while, taking a nice little beating from all three of the remaining members of Team Authority. He does finally snap out of it, and manages to superkick and Zig Zag Kane, making it two on one now. Harper steps in to try to finish “The Showoff” but ends up falling to a surprise school boy. Now things are all even, and it’s Rollins and Ziggler for all the marbles. The final stretch is fun, as Ziggler and Rollins actually have a pretty good little mini-match before the thrilling conclusion. Triple H clobbers two referees to save the match for himself and his team, and then takes the attack to Dolph Ziggler. A third ref comes out to come the final fall after Triple H has mangled Ziggler but his count is interrupted by the debut of Sting! There’s an incredible standoff between Sting and Triple H that ends with a Scorpion Death Drop. Sting then pulls a napping Dolph Ziggler onto a napping Seth Rollins and the referee finally recovers at just the right time to count the three and give the win to Team Cena!

    The MVP of the match is Seth Rollins, bar none. Dolph Ziggler is over as hell already, and he gets the huge reactions, but Rollins has to shoulder the load for his team and plays the villain to perfection. He really comes into his own as “The Future of the WWE” and lives up to the “The Architect” moniker by orchestrating his team’s attack and being the guy who constantly runs interference and distraction. Since he’s on a team of super heavyweights, he has to be the one to do the athletic feats and take the most impact. This match is obviously mostly remembered for Sting’s WWE debut, and rightfully so, but it was a great match in its own respect. There are certainly some questionable aspects. Such as why did John Cena, who puts his entire team’s careers at stake, not come out to stop Triple H from stealing the match and are we really meant to believe that Rollins and Ziggler were out cold for a solid five minutes while the whole Sting/Trips played out? Of course, the shine of this match is also dimmed by the follow-up which was just atrocious. But at its core this was an awesome match with some awesome moments. It’s a turning point in Survivor Series history and reinvigorated the match type that has been featured very heavily and treated as a big deal in the years since. With nearly 50 traditional Survivor Series matches in the company’s history, it definitely says something that this is one of the most memorable to ever take place.

    ****

  14. #34
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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    Yeesh, I totally forgot the gauntlet match existed.

    I'd probably have ranked the Wyatt's tag higher than the SS match if only because I hate Dolph, but I can't really argue the placements too much.


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  15. #35

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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuji Vice View Post
    Yeesh, I totally forgot the gauntlet match existed.

    I'd probably have ranked the Wyatt's tag higher than the SS match if only because I hate Dolph, but I can't really argue the placements too much.
    Ranking matches is tough business. As I mentioned in the first post, I weighed several factors. I gave them all the same rating but I sorted them out from there by breaking down what made them great. The gauntlet ends high because of Seth's standout performance and the fact it won over a lot of doubters. The Wyatts match is just straight up entertaining. An awesome match. The Survivor Series match won out because it was a great match, Seth was a star, and it's one of the most memorable matches of the last decade.
    Last edited by The EC; 04-06-2019 at 05:41 AM.

  16. #36

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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    #3.



    SummerSlam 2015
    WWE World Heavyweight Championship / United States Championship
    Seth Rollins © vs. John Cena ©

    This is arguably the defining match of Seth Rollins’ title reign. In the lead up to this match, John Cena called out Rollins as part of an overarching issue he had with The Authority. Rollins challenged Cena for the US Title on Raw, but lost the match, however he did land a high knee that broke John Cena’s nose. Cena would then lay down the challenge to Rollins to defend his title, calling him a weak champion who betrayed the legacy of great champions like Ric Flair, which of course tied in with Triple H being Flair’s protege and Rollins’ mentor, as well as the fact that if Cena won this match, he would become a 16 time champion. So, this match would be a title vs. title match with Rollins walking in as WWE World Heavyweight Championship and John Cena the United States Champion.

    Rollins debuts his crisp all-white attire in this match, and while he may look a little bit like a Power Ranger, it’s a pretty sweet look, imo. The match has a good pace, and they allow the anticipation to build. Once things kick into full gear, things get really good. Cena brings that signature “big fight feel” to this match, but this is really a showcase of what makes Seth Rollins such a tantalizing prospect. His athleticism is on full display in this bout, and I’m talking speed, stamina and power. Rollins delivers a series of suicide dives and a tope con hilo, he hits a standing shooting star press, he delivers a beeeeaaauuutiful frog splash, he lands the flip out of the Attitude Adjustment which many have tried and failed and he even pulls out the Attitude Adjustment himself in an impressive feat of strength. Cena for his part is the perfect guy to have this match with Rollins because his raw power and dexterity aids Rollins in pulling off many of his stunts. Cena, as he is one to do in these situations, digs deep in his bag to pull out some of his less common moves, which is always pleasant to see. As this is a clash of the clear number one guy and the guy who seems poised to be knock him off that perch, plus the implications of the titles being on the line, the crowd are very much into it and help put things over the top. God bless Brooklyn crowds.

    The ending of the match sees Cena inadvertently take out the referee while hoisting Rollins up for the AA. Rollins goes for the knee, which is a callback to when he broke Cena’s nose a few weeks back. Then, John motherfucking Stewart, who has beef with Rollins, shows up with a chair. He swerves everyone and hits John Cena instead, followed by Rollins landing the Pedigree on the chair to pin Cena. It’s a finish that is very much out of WCW’s playbook and equates to a screwy finish that does tarnish the moment a bit for “The New Face of WWE”. Still, Rollins more than held his own through most of the match and walks away with both belts, seeming, for a moment, to be the top of the food chain in WWE.

    ****¼

    #2.



    TLC 2012
    Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match
    The Shield vs. Ryback and Team Hell No


    The Shield’s in ring debut. This one qualifies for the significance of the match, of course, as well as just how damn good the match is. I think it’s been explained enough over the years, but Rollins debuted at Survivor Series 2012 as part of The Shield, a short lived group that consisted of Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and of course Seth Rollins himself. They were mercenaries who arrived through the crowd and would lay waste to people in the name of an unspecified justice. Their first match in WWE would be this one, a six man TLC tag match match against Ryback and Team Hell No who they had attacked in the prior month since their debut. Think about the pressure of debuting (on the main roster at least) on pay-per-view in a TLC match against three main eventers. That’s pretty damn intense.

    The booking and execution of this match is nearly flawless. Knowing these three newcomers are savages who will do anything to win, Ryback, Bryan and Kane go right at The Shield as soon as they cross the barricade. What follows is just an exquisite brawl that highlights The Shield's strength, which is their fernetic offense and teamwork. There’s no shortage of weapon usage in this match. The double superplex off the table positioned on the top rope is a great spot. So is Dean Ambrose performing the scoop slams with the chair held to Bryan’s back. And Reigns spearing Kane through the barricade was fucking awesome since they hadn’t spammed that spot at this point. They divide and conquer their opponents and ultimately get the win simply because they are the better unit. There are so many factors that play into making this match great. At the top of that list, I would say, is the straightforward booking of the match, followed by the fact the fans are so into every competitor in this match. Even though this is The Shield’s first match, I think they could have easily gotten away with making this match the main event.

    This is, in my mind, the perfect way to use the TLC stipulation. So many brutal looking spots, and they mix up the uses of the weapons well with innovative attacks rather than depending on the usual tropes.This isn’t a spot fest with a bunch of dives off ladders, it’s just a plain old fight, which is refreshing after we’ve seen so many of these matches at this point that they start to run together. The Shield couldn’t have had a better debut match. It set the tone for this group which would come to define WWE for the next several years and established the formula they would use to run roughshod over the company. Management had to be feeling pretty good about their decision to invest in this trio after this one. What a match.

    Side note: I was shocked upon rewatching this match to see the next match was for the Diva’s Championship. A match between Naomi, who was still a Funkadactyl, and the champion Eve Torres. The revolution couldn’t come soon enough.

    ****½

    #1.



    Spoiler:



    Royal Rumble 2015
    WWE World Heavyweight Championship
    Seth Rollins vs. John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar ©

    Surely no one is too surprised about the placement of this match?

    The origins of this bout go back to SummerSlam where Brock Lesnar demolished John Cena. Cena got himself a rematch that was interrupted by Mr. Money in the Bank Seth Rollins, causing a distraction finish. Cena then won himself another shot by beating Randy Orton at Hell in a Cell in October. In November, he was able to oust The Authority at Survivor Series. In December, at TLC, John Cena beat Seth Rollins in a tables match to remain number one contender. Later that month, though, Seth Rollins would hold Edge hostage and force John Cena to reinstate The Authority to power. He did, and when The Authority returned, they rewarded Seth Rollins by adding him into this match, setting up a triple threat match. The big theme going around this contest is that Rollins is still Mr. Money in the Bank. If he loses here, he could just cash in and have himself another shot.

    This match is a banger out of the gate. Rollins gets out of dodge to begin, as Lesnar dominates Cena. Once Rollins does decide to get involved, he immediately regrets and gets mauled by Lesnar as well. It’s a masterclass in ass whooping for the first few minutes as Lesnar just thrashes Cena and Rollins who both take some sick bumps off the suplexes, especially Rollins. Lesnar pulls out his first kimura, locking it in on Cena who is able to lift Lesnar up, only for Rollins to come in with his flying knee to take both men out. It gets to the point where Rollins and Cena must unite to try to eliminate Lesnar from the equation which really… still doesn't get the job done. The Beast does at least get slowed down which lets this match become a little more like your traditional triple threat. For a second, you think Lesnar might be toast after three consecutive Attitude Adjustments, but Rollins makes the save and takes Cena out. Then, Rollins impales Lesnar with the curb stomp, which has to end the match. Except it doesn’t because Cena makes the save this time. Lesnar, who can not die, is walking on the outside shortly after this, and gets speared right through the barricade and then thrown into the steel steps by Cena. He’s still not staying down… Cena takes the steps and blasts Lesnar, knocking him onto the announce table. Rollins then flies in with the most incredible elbow drop to drive Lesnar and himself through the announce table. This allows Cena and Rollins to square off which is chock full of highlights in itself. Cena’s pop up powerbomb, Seth’s huge buckle bomb, the double Attitude Adjustment on J&J and Seth’s Phoenix Splash. Lesnar, who was being tended to by paramedics after the elbow through the table, rises from the dead to break up the pin off the Phoenix Splash with another German Suplex on Rollins. He snatches up Cena and gives him a German Suplex too. He grabs Rollins and again goes for the suplex, but this time Rollins lands on his feet, grabs the Money in the Bank briefcase and nails Lesnar with it. He then sets Lesnar up for a curb stomp onto the briefcase, but he gets caught and planted with the F5 for the uno, dos, tres. It’s sad but the ride has to end sometime.

    This is a career making performance if ever there was one. Rollins was in this match against Brock Lesnar and John Cena, two men who need no introduction. To be a guy who came from ROH not even even three years before this to not only competing against, but outshining, those two megastars in this high stakes match is just an unbelievable accomplishment. Any doubt in Seth’s ability to swim with the sharks was laid to rest immediately with this match. He may have only been added to revitalize this feud and/or to take the pin, but he hit a fucking home run with his performance in this match. The crowd was fully engrossed from the outset and by the end of this thing, they were all but unglued. It’s one of those matches that just captivates you and Rollins gets to take a lot of the credit for that. Does he cash in at WrestleMania if he doesn’t put in the performance he did? I certainly don’t think there’s any guarantee. The only problem I have with this match is that they don't let him wrestle Cena and Lesnar more often. I rewatched about 40 of Seth Rollins’ matches to come to this obvious conclusion - this is his greatest match in a WWE ring.

    ****½
    Last edited by The EC; 04-06-2019 at 06:58 PM.

  17. #37
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    Re: Burn It Down!: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    I think the Summerslam match with Cena is where I really began to detest Cena as a wrestler. Just not my style at all.

    The top two are the top 2 for Rollins for sure. In any company for that matter as I don't think the ROH matches with Bryan hit those heights. And Rollins was brilliant in both matches.

    The Rumble triple threat is my go to for matches I would show to a non wrestling fan to get them into it.


    Superb work as always EC. Obviously we are very different in terms of what we like but the effort and write up and reasoning was top class as always.

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  18. #38
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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    You have the top two right I'd say, and I'd of had Shield/Wyatts in at 3rd. The Rumble match for me is Rollins' finest performance ever and after all the nonsense of 2014's rat faced chicken shit heel stuff, it was a statement performance showing off his main event credentials and he really has never gotten back to this standard.

    Cena/Rollins I really didn't like as a feud, and the Summerslam match is their worst match! I hated that Jon Stewart stuff.

    I don't think I'll ever watch that Survivor Series match again. Lasted forever and then none of it mattered because the Authority just came back weeks later and it was all about Sting's debut.

  19. #39

    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Lasted forever and then none of it mattered because the Authority just came back weeks later.
    I don't know why the WWE even bothers with this stipulation any more. It never matters.

  20. #40

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    Re: Burn It Down: The Top 25 Matches of Seth Rollins' Career

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Honestly don't remember the Raw tag against the Rhodes brothers, but it was 2013 so it had to be very good.
    I find that surprising. Give it a watch, it's absolutely painless. A good showing for all involved and a very hot crowd.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    The Backlash Miz match was great, easy MOTN and one of the best matches in the company that year.
    Low bar to be MOTN at Backlash but I obviously agree!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I like the HIAC tag match, but it's not the best of the Seth and Dean tags.
    What would you consider their best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    I think the Summerslam match with Cena is where I really began to detest Cena as a wrestler. Just not my style at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Cena/Rollins I really didn't like as a feud, and the Summerslam match is their worst match! I hated that Jon Stewart stuff.
    Shocking stuff to me. Admittedly, I didn't see it live so the ending wasn't tarnished as much for me, I guess since I knew what was coming. The match felt like a thrill ride to me. Very impressed with both men's athleticism but Rollins particularly looked like a freak in this environment. Up until literally the end it was nothing but fun to watch. Once more, Ed, what would be the best Rollins/Cena match to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    The top two are the top 2 for Rollins for sure. In any company for that matter as I don't think the ROH matches with Bryan hit those heights. And Rollins was brilliant in both matches
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    You have the top two right I'd say, and I'd of had Shield/Wyatts in at 3rd. The Rumble match for me is Rollins' finest performance ever and after all the nonsense of 2014's rat faced chicken shit heel stuff, it was a statement performance showing off his main event credentials and he really has never gotten back to this standard.
    Well that's good. I felt confident in pretty much all of my top 5 or so. Cena/Rollins was clearly the black sheep of those choices. The top two particularly were no brainers though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    The Rumble triple threat is my go to for matches I would show to a non wrestling fan to get them into it.
    It's a great choice. I think the Summerslam fourway with Brock, Braun, Roman and Joe is something that literally anyone could enjoy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    Superb work as always EC. Obviously we are very different in terms of what we like but the effort and write up and reasoning was top class as always.
    I think I like most things you'd like. I just think I like a lot of other things that aren't your cup of tea. I agree with most of your "30 Days of" analysis. I'm pretty easily pleased though tbh. Like I said, if I can find some entertainment in something, I don't judge it too harshly.

    I appreciate the kind words. Fortunately I had a lot of free time to watch and review the roughly 40 Rollins matches I did for this.

    If I do this again, which I think I will, I'm expecting it to be much more of a grind. I have a few people in mind though that I am giving consideration to. If anyone has suggestions, feel free to let them fly.

    Thanks once more to everyone who read along.

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