Seth Rollins punched his ticket to Night of Champions on this week’s Monday Night Raw by winning two rounds of the World Heavyweight Championship tournament. “The Visionary” was believed by many to be the frontrunner to win the tournament and managed to advance by winning a triple threat match to open the show followed by a singles win over Finn Balor in the main event. The latter of those two matches was particularly poetic, as it was the same match that determined the inaugural Universal Champion back in 2016.
Rollins will now face the winner of the SmackDown side of the bracket, which will take place this Friday. The Blue Brand’s opening round will feature Austin Theory vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Sheamus and AJ Styles vs. Edge vs. Rey Mysterio.
Winning at Night of Champions would give Rollins his first world championship reign since 2019. In the years since then, he’s managed to reinvent himself as “The Monday Night Messiah” and later as “The Visionary.” And while the latter saw him become a two-time Grand Slam Champion, Rollins has openly talked in interviews about not being viewed as the top guy in the company while Roman Reigns remains atop the card.
“I just feel like I’ve never, in some ways, I’ve never gotten my just due. There’s always like… I’ve never been the guy, you know? I’ve never been the one on the marquee at WrestleMania,” Rollins told Ariel Helwani last year. “It was John (Cena), it was Roman (Reigns). In some regards when I was at Ring of Honor it was Nigel (McGuinness), it was Bryan (Danielson). And I was always the guy on the come up, or underneath. I was kind of the second or the next big thing type thing, you know? That always just eats at me. It eats at me so much. I don’t know where that competitive spark comes from but it drives me insane. The thing is if I was that guy I don’t know if it would just go away. I would always find some way to put the chip there. It’s just the way I operate best. I have to have it for some reason, in everything. For better or worse sometimes.”
“I don’t know, man,” he later added. “I wonder often if because I live in the Roman Era that that’s just never going to happen. The only time I was even considered, I think, for the main event of WrestleMania was when Roman got leukemia and he was out from August until January whatever or February it was. I was kind of second behind in the little babyface column there and, you know, I got slotted in. I feel like it’s one of those things, I’m like the… the best I can hope for is to be the Edge to his Cena, or the Savage to his Hogan. Sometimes I just feel like that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think I’m better than he is, or that I can perform, or that I can draw at that level. I certainly think all those things, but it’s not my sandbox. I don’t make those decisions.”