Even World Wrestling Entertainment's not cavalier enough to contrive an injury to its marquee main-event superstar and long-tenured World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins, just to drive an audience toward a winner-take-all open tourney for his belt at its Nov. 22 Survivor Series event on the WWE Network. Although when you let the scenario play out in your head, you can start to consider affixing a, ".... right?" at the end of that statement. But lo, it appears to be all too real that the charismatic former Shield leader and breakout solo performer was felled with a knee injury while on tour in Ireland, and a pretty brutal one at that (think of every three-letter medical acronym you can tear, and that about sums it up).
It's unequivocally devastating news for a company whose ratings have ebbed and flowed over the past few years and has been looking to further insinuate themselves with mainstream sports media to help offset the challenges of launching the aforementioned, subscriber-based WWE Network and satisfy stock holders. But of all the top talent who've been sidelined due to the job's inherent risks of late (crossover pop-culture phenomenon Daniel Bryan comes to mind), losing Rollins really stings. At just 29 and, up to this point, relatively healthy, he teemed upside as the future face of the company both athletically and -- as his high-profile "feud" with Jon Steward demonstrated -- a media-friendly ambassador.