Cleat Geeks

Owens vs. Rollins; Who is the Better Champ?

Champ vs Champ

What do WWE and NXT fans look for in their champions?  Talent and ability, charisma, and a connection to the crowd.  Someone who stands out among other capable gladiators as a superstar.  We look for the best.  And that is what we get in both our NXT and WWE champions, Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins.  But arguably, one champion comes out even stronger than the other.  In theory, this should be WWE Champion, Seth Rollins, but after analyzing the two championship runs, it is not so black and white.

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There’s no denying that despite a physical difference between Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens, their personas and championship runs have more parallels than divergences.  Both came up through the indies and became noteworthy athletes in NXT, both winning the coveted NXT championship.  Their roles of being both loved and loathed simultaneously boggle the minds of traditional babyface fans.  We should be booing these two heels, yet the roar of the crowds during Rollins’ Wrestlemania cash-in and Owens’ clean victory over John Cena were undeniable.  What keeps them in the heel category is their arrogance (which both are legitimately entitled to), their use of shameless tactics to gain the upper hand, and their tendency to run away from confrontations they cannot manipulate their way out of.  d8f2c7a3f3d26e069fb83587d4d7f7d8_crop_northBoth men show the personality of someone who knows they’re the best and aren’t afraid to tell the world.  If these are all heel tactics and both Rollins and Owens fulfill this role, why then would anyone suggest the “minor league” champion be viewed as the more successful champion?  Simple.  Owens championship has been won on his own merit and lone-wolf mentality.

From the beginning of Seth Rollins’ career in the WWE, he has been part of a team.  Fans loved his role in the now defunked Shield.  He was a partner, a teammate, even a brother.  During his time in the Shield, Rollins had his share of one-on-one matches, but it was Dean Ambrose that truly came out on his own, winning the WWE US Championship.  Even after taking the credit for building the Shield, Rollins never had his time to stand alone in the spotlight of the Authority.  Throughout his time as the newest Future of the WWE, Rollins has been made to look a fool, weak without the assistance of his fatherly figure, Triple H, and associates/frenemies Kane and J&J Security.  e4f3221569500c018dcf207458d802ddIt’s taken Seth Rollins up until his victory over Dean Ambrose at this year’s Money in the Bank to have an independent, clean win to make him look strong.

Kevin Owens’ short time on the main roster has done the complete opposite to his character.  There’s no bigger name in the current professional wrestling game than John Cena.  Even before making his WWE debut, Owens could be seen mocking Cena’s “You can’t see me” assertion.  The first time viewing this, I immediately questioned it, thinking, “there’s no way that Owens will get a feud with Cena this soon.”  Much to my surprise and enjoyment, I was wrong.

kevin_owens_and_john_cena_0The boldness that it took for Kevin Owens to come out against John Cena is not a new tactic.  Cena has had his fair share of opponents that have questioned his character, even wanting to help unveil his true colors.  The confrontations on Monday Night Raws that fueled possibly this year’s number one feud and contenders for the Match of the Year (Elimination Chamber and Money in the Bank), added hype to Owens’ intensity, and left fans decidedly more excited for what was next for Owens, not Rollins.

The question of who is the stronger champion is up for debate.  What is not is the fact that Rollins has more ground to makeup in the WWE than Owens to stay on top.  Where does Rollins go from here?  A match against Brock Lesnar never hurts.  This is the prime opportunity for Rollins to show that he’s strong and the right choice as the man to lead the WWE into the future.

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