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When a WWE Faction Becomes an Army of One by Matt Corton

Psst…did you hear the rumour? Seth Rollins is set to split from the Authority and face off against Triple H! But you keep that under your hat, now and remember where you heard it…well, not first, but you get the picture.

If you don’t, let me paint you that picture, as I see it, of what could be Seth Rollins’s future. I could make a statue to show how I feel, but I also feel that might be a bit over the top and ridiculous.

It’s not with a light touch that the Authority has been painting their own picture of Seth Rollins. It’s a picture of him decked out with both titles, a picture of The Man, adorned with the moniker that could be the most significant thing said about him – the future of the WWE. Which he is – or rather, he’s part of the picture of that future and that’s an exciting picture given the current roster by the way.

What excites me most about the future becoming now and Seth finally seizing his part in that future is the idea that he’ll be seizing it on his own. Grabbing for that brass ring.

Before I carry on painting Seth Rollins, I’m going to take you on a short gallery tour of some previous work. It’s a short gallery, just three pictures. Our first dominates the room, running floor to ceiling. It’s an all-American picture if ever there was one – one of justice and truth. Three serious specimens, one who might certainly be a couple of pieces of fruit short of a basket, but you wouldn’t want to try and take any of that fruit. Another balls his fist valiantly in the knowledge his body armour will protect him from any harm. The third? Well he’s our future hero, the man I’m daubing in my own way.

This man, Seth Rollins, once he dropped the elbow on his brothers in the Shield, escaped the clutches of those former brothers and drove himself forward to become the guy who holds two belts at once…as part of another team.

Now, I’m not going to put more words into your mouth as, but I don’t think you’d want to be a villain escaping the law through a technicality in the Shield’s home town. I don’t think you’d want to have escaped a parking ticket in their home town. You’d think twice about facing them in a wrestling match too, because you’d likely lose but you’d particularly lose if you faced Seth Rollins in an important match, with the Authority by his side. Or J&J Security. Or, before that, the Shield. Whatever team he’s in at the time.

Let’s move on to another picture.

This picture is dimly lit, yet filled with tiny lights. You’re looking at a small picture on the wall of a family, but the figures in it seem to move in the corner of your eye, laughing at you. A mysterious presence which no matter from what angle you view the picture at you can’t quite see clearly, spreads her wings over the group. A black sheep mask hides the horror that lies beneath the lumbering, unquestioning enforcer. The second sports a knowing smile, showing he knows that whatever comes next isn’t what comes next until his leader says it is and that leader sports a disarmingly colourful shirt – the only splash of brightness in an otherwise dark scene. This is a picture of the Wyatt family.

Now I’m not going to put yet more words into your mouth, but I’d say that you probably wouldn’t go to high tea at the Wyatt’s household. You wouldn’t want to pass the Wyatts in the street. As Bray himself eloquently said on Raw this week – you’re not safe here. You would, however, probably want to face them in a wrestling match, because in all likelihood you’d win.

Bray once set his family free. Luke Harper – one of the most enjoyably watchable big men I’ve seen in recent years in the ring – went forth with his satchel and skipped happily off to school. He did well on his first day…joining another team to – and how quirky is fate? – face off against one of his previous brothers in the Wyatt family, Erick Rowan who had…joined another team.

The Shield and the Wyatt family were the biggest factions the WWE had seen for some time. When they faced each other across the ring, the fans chanted This Is Awesome before anything even happened.

Now, the Shield Shards are currently deep down and dirty in a feud with the reformed Wyatts, who had found life outside the family the true backwater. The Shield have had a very impressive year, headlining PPV after PPV and more importantly than that, giving us great matches to watch. One even almost reached for that brass ring himself, only a little thing called the WWE Universe got in his way. That said, this is a feud that, given Braun Strowman’s involvement, there’d have to be a very good reason for the Wyatts not to win in this writer’s opinion.

The pictures I’m showing you in my gallery tell me a story and it’s one beyond the boys down on their luck, and numbers, hiring a game changer.

The other thing the pictures tell me is that when a guy leaves a faction he ends up back in the middle – right in the middle of either another faction or in the middle of the card. Now, as I mention above, I’m not saying for one moment that the Shield members haven’t had great individual years, but it’s been Seth Rollins who’s been the news – The Man. It’s been Seth Rollins who had dealings with Jon Stewart. It’s Seth Rollins who’s had the title run. It’s Seth Rollins who now faces an uphill struggle to hold on to those titles and his place as the future of the WWE. He’s let the statue slip through his fingers, unfortunately.

And he’s done all that as part of another faction, not on his own.

What’s going to be the really exciting story to me – if they get this right – is how they paint Seth Rollins once he goes it alone. And I’m all about stories.

This guy has the ability to shut me right up with my cynicism in this article. This guy has the chance to take my ideas of what the pictures tell me and break them over my head to show me that you can leave a faction to make a successful, title-holding run, without that faction backing you up.

So we come to the last picture.

The last picture is really difficult to look at. Not because it’s disturbing like the Wyatts, but because it’s unclear. A vortex seems to swirl in front of it. You can see the main players, a 13-time champion and his wife, but there’s something clouding our vision of those standing by their side. It’s as if it they’re not fully formed, or decided upon, but that even with that uncertainty, it seems possible that it could be the same as what has gone before, no matter who stands by their side.

Only standing in the corner, lurking, there’s The Man. There’s the one who broke out of a faction, then another one, then made it on his own by being damn good at what he does – an army of one against them all. This guy is the one who is going to make the story interesting, not the Authority’s new stable mates.

That’s why if Seth Rollins loses to Triple H, or needs help to win, or does anything other than become The Man on his own when they finally face off, I’ll break my picture over my own head.