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Posted in: Just Business
Just Business: The Preview Side of the Pond – Royal Rumble 2018: The Performance Art Review Part II
By Samuel 'Plan
Feb 2, 2018 - 8:06:58 PM




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Don’t forget to pick up your copy of my book, 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die, from the LOP Store or Amazon today! Simply click here to find mine and a host of other books and merchandise on offer, all courtesy of LOP, or on the icon to the left to be taken directly to Amazon!




Just Business: The Preview Side of the Pond – Royal Rumble 2018: The Performance Art Review Part II


This week on The Right Side of the Pond, Mazza, Maverick and I sit down to comb over our thoughts on an excellent weekend of wrestling offered up by WWE in the form of NXT Takeover: Philadelphia and, of course, Royal Rumble 2018. You can hear that live in just a couple of hours only on LOP Radio, and while we wait I figured it was a perfect opportunity to finish off the thoughts I started to share last Wednesday in my Performance Art Review – you can check out that Performance Art Review, and the podcast tonight, for all my thoughts on the two Royal Rumble Matches!

Primarily, I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss my favourite wrestler of all-time, the Architect and Kingslayer himself, Seth Rollins. While I have absolutely adored everything WWE have done with The Man since his reunion story with Dean Ambrose kicked off early last summer, last Sunday was nevertheless my favourite night as a Seth Rollins in a long time, standing as it did as a reminder of what the Kingslayer can achieve when flying solo.

That’s an odd statement to make, considering Rollins was only a part of matches featuring an ensemble cast. His achievements, from a physical stand point alone, shouldn’t go unnoticed though. Not only did the man go out and wrestle for 25 minutes as a notable and welcome presence in the Men’s Royal Rumble Match, he went out shortly thereafter for another fifteen minutes to endure an absolute pasting from the number one tag team contenders, and now newly crowned champions, The Bar. So too, however, did I thoroughly enjoy the underlying theme that linked those two performances together.

Jason Jordan’s absence from the Royal Rumble Match was undoubtedly, in real world terms, a result of the injury he is currently battling, as was, I’m sure, his minimal role in the Monday Night Raw (MNR) Tag Team Championship Match. Regardless of the why, though, as ever I’m interested more in the what, and Jordan’s lack of interaction with his tag team partner last Sunday positioned Seth Rollins as a partner without a partner; a lone Hound on a hunt he started in pack and now was forced to try and finish alone.

Alone, he very much was. Despite a brief double-team on the Intercontinental Champion The Miz alongside Roman Reigns in the Men’s Royal Rumble Match, Rollins soon found himself undercut by the Big Dog who quickly capitalised on the distraction to throw a major threat to his chances of victory over the top rope. Rollins would respond with a knowing smirk; a sense of gamesmanship that he probably should have seen that coming. His affable reaction, however, does not change the facts of the situation. It was a moment that cast in further stark contrast the diverging, if fatefully entwined paths of both men more than ever; I have long said that as Rollins has clambered his way back to redemption, Reigns has steadily slid further into a more amoral version of himself, threatening to become what Rollins had been before him. Their brief interaction in the Royal Rumble Match underlined that divergence.

Most fascinating was considering whether Dean Ambrose would have done the same as Roman Reigns in that exact situation following on from the emotive reunion he had with Rollins back in the summer. Some might say he would; indeed, in 2014 he did. But this is not 2014, and that I found it hard to envision Ambrose stabbing Rollins in the back in the same situation because of the strengthened bond between them now only served to further promise an enticing, furious confrontation between the three once again sometime in the perhaps not-so-distant future.

Regardless, Seth Rollins was not only a partner without a partner last Sunday but, it seems, so too was he a brother without a brother. Never clearer was that than when Jason Jordan attempted to relieve Rollins of his battering at the hands of The Bar only to immediately tag back out because of his dizziness. The brilliance of the moment was in knowing that, had it been Ambrose in that situation, like in the Rumble with Reigns he would have likely done the opposite and thrown himself, regardless of personal injury, into the fray to help his brother. Such actions were the very sacrifices that carried both the Hounds to the tag team silver several months ago in fact, and that Jordan was unable – or, as is more likely, unwilling – to do the same sentenced Rollins to borrowed time.

The stinging irony of last Sunday night for Seth Rollins was the fulfilment of a line Dean Ambrose spat at him during their tumultuous reunification: “welcome to being alone.” Indeed, the Lunatic Fringe once warned the then-villainous Rollins that he would “die alone.” It seems, last Sunday, surrounded by opportunists at every turn prepared to indulge the vices he has since tried to confine to his haunted past, he did; twice. Little wonder it drove the Architect to proclaim on Twitter following the show that something had to change.

It seems last Sunday’s story for the Kingslayer was once more a stirring of the sheer force of will that has proven itself unstoppable many times before when focused on the chase of a single success, and his Road to WrestleMania – regardless of where it might end up for him come the night of the Showcase of the Immortals – might prove to be the closing chapter in his year-long odyssey to redesign, rebuild and reclaim his soul; not just by rising above his worst vices, but succeeding in the face of those same vices being indulged by others about him.

Although he was in a supporting role for the most part at Royal Rumble 2018, it was a fantastic night to be a Seth Rollins fan, reminding of what he can do when flying solo and called upon by the company to bear a load. He rose to the occasion, as he so often has, and I am sure he will do so again as we now turn to the Elimination Chamber and the quest to challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship.

But of course there was plenty of other good going around last Sunday (and Saturday!) night and what I haven’t covered here or in part one of my Performance Art Review from Wednesday I will be sharing my opinions of in just a couple of hours on the next instalment of The Right Side of the Pond, airing only on Lords of Pain Radio to kick your weekend off right! The Right Side of the Pond airs only on LOP Radio every Friday night, 9pm GMT / 5pm EST, or can be listened to on demand at any time via BlogTalkRadio or on iTunes, so be sure to check it out!

Until then, if you have any thoughts on the night Rollins had last Sunday, or any opinions about any of WWE’s offerings last weekend, let them be known in the comments below, over on social media or even by signing up to our own LOPForums, where TRSOTP and every other LOP Radio show has its very own discussion thread for you to throw some responses our way without the limitations of Twitter or Facebook; just click here to sign up!



LOPForums’ Columns Forum has seen a recent injection of new signees all try their hands at their first columns. There’s a whole load of potential on show, and you can come join in too! If you’ve got thoughts and feelings to share on any kind of pro wrestling that social media or the like simply won’t do in sharing, sign up to our Forum and work to become LOP’s next great contributor! Just click here to sign up: The Columns Forum!




Don’t forget to pick up your copy of my book, 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die, from the LOP Store or Amazon today! Simply click here to find mine and a host of other books and merchandise on offer, all courtesy of LOP, or on the icon to the left to be taken directly to Amazon!





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