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Thread: 205 Clive - Rollins & Jordan: When Opposites Attract and Worlds Collide

  1. #1
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    Smile 205 Clive - Rollins & Jordan: When Opposites Attract and Worlds Collide

    Rollins & Jordan: When Opposites Attract and Worlds Collide

    The Spring and Summer of 2017 in WWE gave fans what could be considered the polar opposite of compelling and successful storytelling.

    On one hand, you had a young athlete in Jason Jordan with potential abound as one half of the exciting tag team, American Alpha, on Smackdown Live. Then for the sake of sensationalistic creative, that tag team was ripped apart with the intention of shoving Jordan under the spotlight on Monday Night Raw as the illegitimate son of Kurt Angle. The weeks that immediately followed this reveal were bizarre viewing to say the least. However with hindsight in mind, I began to see the bigger picture in Jordan’s journey on Raw, which can be looked at more in depth here.

    At the very least, it should have been clear to a keen eye that fans were supposed to moan and groan whenever a Jason Jordan segment was gifted to us. Despite my retrospective praise of Jordan’s character as a whole, I reiterate that the initial presentation was hard to accept as credible or even entertaining.

    On the other hand during this time, you had Seth Rollins. A man who, despite being the ultimate victor in the feud with his mentor turned nemesis in HHH, was struggling to find himself even after such a career affirming start to the wrestling calendar. The one thing still standing in his way, however, was Dean Ambrose. Former partner, former brother. The stars aligned as far as creative was concerned. The will they / won’t they story that was told over a number of weeks culminated in an emotionally rewarding pay off, with a victory in a Tag Team Title match as a very happy bonus.

    With Roman Reigns taking little time to realise that being on Seth and Dean’s side was a win-win for everyone, The Shield reformed. All the heartache and bitterness ever felt from Seth’s betrayal three years prior was forgotten. Seth Rollins was a new man; his demons were a thing of the past. This was a good time to be a WWE fan. More specifically, a Seth Rollins fan. He could now proudly boast having no insecurities to his character.

    This was in stark contrast to Jason Jordan who, over the same time period, would show a maturity and enthusiasm in the ring against some of WWE’s biggest stars, yet in the same breath wear his emotional immaturity and insecurities on his sleeve. The ongoing battle within himself to emulate his father was not proving popular with the WWE Universe.

    As fate would have it, due to Jordan’s insistence on sitting at the grown up’s table and Kurt’s thinly veiled nepotism, Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan became a tag team.

    This is a case of opposites attracting, in that although it might not be happy times for Seth Rollins in all of this, it makes for an interesting trope in professional wrestling that isn’t used as much as it could be anymore. Or perhaps the story is so interesting due to its natural pacing in a world where such attention to long term creative direction is rare for one wrestler, let alone two.

    They are opposite in that Seth is noble and a smart champion, whereas Jason is childish and easily excitable. Rollins, as proven with his telepathic chemistry with Dean Ambrose, is very much a team player and understands the stakes and risks involved in tag team wrestling, unlike Jordan, who is selfish and too eager to impress at the cost of victory.

    Seth has also shown, especially in his feud with HHH, that he is willing to fight through the pain barrier, even to the detriment of his overall well being. Jordan plays up his injuries whenever he feels like it, unless he believes a standout performance would impress Kurt Angle.

    Take the recent Tag Team Championship defeat to The Bar at Royal Rumble. You could understand if Jordan was unable to compete again after his head knock; this makes sense, especially in today’s sensitive world. But for him to then tag himself in blind for a shot at glory was naive. Seth may have fallen to Cesaro and Sheamus eventually if he was left to his own devices throughout the match, but Jason’s greed being followed by deserting Seth altogether shows that he isn’t a team player at all and was ultimately the key factor in his and his teammate’s loss.

    When you think about it, this wasn’t the Jason Jordan we saw when he was paired with Chad Gable. Yes, they were both young. Yes, they were both inexperienced. But there was a unity and cohesion between the two. A real sense of togetherness. Any humility and personability that Jordan had in this time is gone as the ego stroking that came with being revealed as Kurt Angle’s son has went to his head.

    Another opposing character trait in both men is the respect and treatment they give their mentors as they make a name for themselves in the early stages of their main roster career. Although at the time, Seth was a cowardly heel who would take any shortcut available to him to win, he always did the bidding of his mentor, HHH. Inevitably, he was loyal to a fault. However Jordan’s treatment of his mentor is outright disrespectful. His refusal to take on board the advice of Seth, a man who’s seen and done it all, is a slap in the face to a wrestler who has been on the other end of such a relationship.

    With the most recent developments on Monday Night Raw, Jordan’s petulance and inability to commit to a cause reared their ugly head yet again. His insolence is so intense that his behaviour has started to rub off onto Rollins himself, to the point where he is unable to rise above these playground games. Rollins cut a frustrated and erratic figure on Raw, just like his counterpart in this piece.

    Jordan's pettiness reached a peak when he interfered and influenced the outcome, yet again, of a match involving members of The Shield. What this boils down to, for me, is sheer jealousy on Jordan’s part. Unable (and unwilling) to wrestle properly until he is medically cleared, he takes out his frustrations on those whose side he is supposedly on, just so they can't prosper in his absence.

    What Jordan's problem ultimately is, in conjunction with the emotional struggles brought on by the relationship with his father, is that his bull-headed obsession with being as equally successful as the Olympic Hero was in his early WWE days is causing him to behave more irrationally as the weeks go on, to the point where it has come to a head, what with him having to take time off for neck related injuries. Talk about irony.

    What is Seth’s problem? What is causing him to struggle to gain his footing on a TV show full of highly talented wrestlers, when he is arguably one of the most talented and popular? The answer, simply, is Jason Jordan. He is a thorn in Seth’s side. One could argue that Jordan is bringing Rollins down to his level, that of an also-ran who should be at the top of the mountain that is Monday Night Raw if he was more focussed. Seth is lumbered with an inexperienced and immature man who has ideas above his station. Until Jordan gets a reality check, whether in the form of medical examinations or Seth finally losing his cool, he will continue to wreak havoc. Even with the real worry of Jordan’s neck injuries, that’s not to say he still won’t make Seth’s life a living hell over the next few weeks in some form or another.

    As far as storyline goes, Jordan has landed yet another blow to Rollins’ competitive credibility. With Jordan seemingly out of the way for now, Rollins can reassess his goals, and maybe climb the singles mountain that he looked so good on three years ago. The issue with that however, is if he becomes a main event player again, then Jason Jordan will be sitting at home and watching this take place. His injuries may heal over time, but his envy won't. His jealousy will fester until it rots. This could be the end of the Rollins and Jordan chapter at present, but this story is far from over.

    --------

    What are your thoughts on the Rollins and Jordan relationship? Is Jordan's personality too insufferable to appreciate? Has Rollins’ being dragged into the circus of Jordan's selfishness stunted his credibility as a main event star? Feel free to drop your comments here or wherever you read this over social media.
    Last edited by 205 Clive; 02-07-2018 at 02:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    Digging this, as you say this story has evolved from an eye-roller to something that actually seems pretty interesting, though it still took it's sweet time to get there. Was it always the plan to go this way? I'd like to think so, though history tells us this might not be the case. But we're here now, and the Jordan storyline now has some meat on it's bones that WWE can definitely build off of. Nice run down here, some interesting points on the feud.

    I have to admit though, I was confused by your opening line. I feel like maybe you put down the wrong year, or the wrong seasons? I also didn't quite follow the idea that we have seen the opposite of good storytelling, as your column went on to cover what actually does seem to be reasonably good storytelling. So I think maybe something was missed there. Still, good piece overall Clive.

  3. #3
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    Oops! I've changed the year in the opening line.

    The rest can't be changed unfortunately haha but thanks for the feedback!

    I think I was trying to get across the point that the early days was hit and miss in the spring time, but after a while WWE found their groove with it. I'll try and pay attention for next time though. Thanks.
    Last edited by 205 Clive; 02-07-2018 at 02:02 PM.

  4. #4
    Broken Kleck Kleckamania's Avatar
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    I'd love to believe this is the depth of character WWE is booking, but after watching them for 3+ decades, to say I have my doubts is an understatement. I did think they were planning a rather big heel push for Jordan, until I heard he is actually injured, and may need surgery? That could turn thin booking into no booking, like Finn when he came back- dangerous tine to be Jason Jordan. Which is a shame, as I do think he has a hell of a lot of potential. I always thought he was a good in-ring worker, but his character work of recent has impressed me the most.

    My only advice here is to consider the flow of your column from paragraph to paragraph. Always look for ways to make your columns as smooth as possible.

    Good column

  5. #5
    I'm with Kleck - I don't believe WWE are capable of this type of in-depth booking these days.

    As much as I admire your attempts to find justification in the pairing of Rollins & Jordan, the truth is the Creative Department are relying on their old crutch of not having anything for them so they throw them in a tag team together.

    I do think the concussion storyline is a dangerous place to go though. Given all that has happened with concussion related court cases in recent years, both in and out of WWE, they are potentially hitting a creative dead end which either forces a storyline retirement (which benefits nobody) or belittles all those who have had genuine medical issues as a result of the concussions.

    For me, the whole booking of Jason Jordan since his call up has been a joke. They had potentially one of the best tag teams ever in American Alpha, and what did they do? They split them up only to recreate the exact same dyunamic with Shelton Benjamin. The storyline with Kurt Angle is a joke, especially in this day and age. Maybe 20-30 years ago it could have worked, but we know better now.

    For me, the only way to rectify the situation is to get Rollins out of the story altogether, then start a feud between Angle/Jordan and Gable/Benjamin, which eventually leads to the reunification of American Alpha in a feud against a version of Team Angle - maybe they even get Charlie Haas back? No idea what he's up to these days!

  6. #6
    Broken Kleck Kleckamania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DynamiteBillington View Post
    I'm with Kleck - I don't believe WWE are capable of this type of in-depth booking these days.

    As much as I admire your attempts to find justification in the pairing of Rollins & Jordan, the truth is the Creative Department are relying on their old crutch of not having anything for them so they throw them in a tag team together.

    I do think the concussion storyline is a dangerous place to go though. Given all that has happened with concussion related court cases in recent years, both in and out of WWE, they are potentially hitting a creative dead end which either forces a storyline retirement (which benefits nobody) or belittles all those who have had genuine medical issues as a result of the concussions.

    For me, the whole booking of Jason Jordan since his call up has been a joke. They had potentially one of the best tag teams ever in American Alpha, and what did they do? They split them up only to recreate the exact same dyunamic with Shelton Benjamin. The storyline with Kurt Angle is a joke, especially in this day and age. Maybe 20-30 years ago it could have worked, but we know better now.

    For me, the only way to rectify the situation is to get Rollins out of the story altogether, then start a feud between Angle/Jordan and Gable/Benjamin, which eventually leads to the reunification of American Alpha in a feud against a version of Team Angle - maybe they even get Charlie Haas back? No idea what he's up to these days!
    In bold/underline- I marked out just reading that. Make it happen, WWE!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Kleckamania View Post
    In bold/underline- I marked out just reading that. Make it happen, WWE!


    Unfortunately, it would need that in-depth booking we both mentioned....

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the feedback chaps.

    This one produced more of a debate than quality of the piece, which I suppose is what I wanted anyway as I understand the Jason Jordan "experiment" is quite divisive among fandom.

    I'll take on your feedback though. Will work on the flow of paragraphs (Kleck), as well as trying to tie in the main body of the column with the actual column title.

    Will be back soon, peeps!

  9. #9
    Senior Junior SirSam's Avatar
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    I'm so bummed this isn't going to result in a match at Mania, those two could have torn the absolute house down and it also all happened just when Jordan was really starting to inject some character into his presentation. We knew the guy could wrestle but this side of him truly has been a revelation, you have to wonder how much of an influence hanging around Rollins, such a character driven performer, has been on him. If he keeps this up on his return then he could be on the way to something very special.

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