Should Seth Rollins, Finn Balor Be Worried About Their WWE Futures?


Seth Rollins and Finn Balor are two of RAW’s top stars. But given their recent histories, they risk losing those spots.

What do Seth Rollins and Finn Balor have in common? Both of them are world-traveled wrestlers with immense in-ring experience. Both of them are excellent technicians that can put on an excellent match. Both of them have legions of loyal fans and constantly get among the loudest reactions on any show.

But most importantly, both of them have experienced major injuries.

Rollins and Balor spent extended periods on the shelf with severe injuries. Rollins had to forfeit his WWE Championship after his knee got damaged back in 2015. This left Rollins off the card for WrestleMania 32, which prevented him from having his dream match with Triple H at the time.

Balor, meanwhile, was pushed to the top of the RAW roster from the moment he first debuted there. He’s the inaugural Universal Champion, but he had to forfeit his championship 24 hours later due to a devastating shoulder injury (which was caused, allegedly, by Rollins, no less). He returned only recently, and is slowly being rebuilt to retake his top spot on RAW.

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These things might’ve been ignored if they were the only injuries for both Balor and Rollins. After all, many wrestlers get injured all the time, even the top stars like Cena and Orton. But Rollins and Balor’s recent injury announcements might be putting their long-term carriers at risk.

After making his triumphant return from injury last summer, Rollins entered into his big feud with Triple H. That rivalry started to reach a fever pitch around the Royal Rumble weekend, but it took a horrible turn the RAW afterward. Rollins was attacked by Samoa Joe, and Rollins re-injured his surgically-repaired knee in the process.

Just like that, a dream match WWE had been building for the better part of two years was once again in question. The entire storyline had to be reworked around this new injury, rendering the build-up somewhat less interesting.

Instead of the feud being centered on whether Rollins would defeat Triple H, the bigger question was, ‘will Rollins even make it for WrestleMania?’ That damaged the feud in a major way, ruining some of the build-up for it. Furthermore, the match itself could’ve been so much more with a 100 percent healthy Rollins.

Balor’s next injury wasn’t as serious as Rollins’, but was a problem nonetheless. In his first match on RAW after returning from injury, Balor was concussed by Jinder Mahal. Balor was then pulled from live events, and has since wrestled only in squash matches and multi-man matches, all while putting in far less work than what has become expected of him.

What these two men now have is the beginning of a long list of injuries that might have an adverse effect on their WWE careers. If you develop a reputation for being injury prone, you risk losing your top spot in WWE and any major championships and payoffs that might come with it.

After all, when WWE gives someone a top push, they’re investing a lot of time, money and effort into that person’s long-term success. To that end, WWE wants to see a return on their investment by having that wrestler perform for as long as possible, at the highest level of quality possible. If they keep getting injured at the worst possible times, WWE will give up on them and relegate them to lesser positions on the card.

There have been several examples of this occurring that should act as warnings for Balor and Rollins. Dolph Ziggler is one of the finest examples. Ziggler won the World Heavyweight Championship after cashing in his MITB briefcase the night after WrestleMania XXIX. It was a monumental victory for him, and it was a signal that he was finally getting a major push.

However, he suffered a concussion shortly after winning the title. Since concussions have become the subject of major scrutiny and concern in recent years, WWE took extra precautions to prevent Ziggler’s concussion from turning into something worse.

As a result, his World Title reign was cut short. Add to this Ziggler’s propensity to take crazy bumps and fly around like a rag doll, and you had a guy they must’ve seen as too risky to invest in.

Wade Barrett was another such wrestler whose injuries prevented from becoming a bigger star in WWE. By the beginning of 2014, he developed a solid gimmick in Bad News Barrett, which everyone was enjoying. Unfortunately, his push, however substantial it was at the time, ended when he suffered an injury that sidelined him for at least five months.

By the time he had returned, WWE had moved on without him and he didn’t get as many chances to reclaim his former popularity. It seems, in this case, that getting injured at the wrong time cost him dearly.

But no case is more glaring than that of Hideo Itami. Once one of the most important of NXT’s outside signings, Itami was given a monstrous push from the beginning, including an appearance in the 2nd Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Shortly thereafter, however, Itami suffered a devastating shoulder injury that sidelined him for over a year.

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Then, when he finally returned, he got injured again later in 2016, this time with a neck injury. On two occasions, Itami lost the chance to become a big star. Since he got injured, he has fallen greatly in terms of importance on the NXT roster, as many other stars like Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura have arrived later than him and have also eclipsed him in terms of popularity and importance.

These three cases are important anecdotes for Rollins and Balor. In all three, a promising wrestler was given a critical push and was being featured prominently. Then they all got injured, and their careers have floundered as a result (and in one case, the wrestler no longer works for WWE). Thus, Rollins and Balor have much to worry about.

Vince McMahon, despite being hit-or-miss with creative decisions, understands the business side of wrestling without a doubt. He knows that the biggest pushes go to those wrestlers who are more likely to work the longest and most consistently without risking injury. Because injury costs him money instead of bringing more of it in.

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Rollins getting injured in 2015 prevented WrestleMania 32 from being more profitable. Balor’s injury threw a monkey wrench into the Universal title plans for the fall of 2016. If Vince starts thinking of Balor and Rollins as ‘injury prone’, it’s one of the worst labels one could get in WWE.

Just like being labeled an unsafe worker, being considered ‘injury prone’ would prevent Vince from booking someone in a major role in the long-term because it wouldn’t be a good return on his investment.

Thus, both Seth Rollins and Finn Balor should be worried about their careers. While both of them are still being pushed as top guys on RAW, they should do whatever possible to avoid any further injury of any kind.

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If either Balor or Rollins gets injured again, Triple H might not be able to protect them. They’ll be at the mercy of an angry Vince McMahon, who’ll refuse to push them again due to them developing a propensity for frequent, and disappointing, injuries.