Seth Rollins and Finn Balor fought in a match at WWE SummerSlam that I enjoyed immensely last night. Both are just unbelievable athletes, and are on the shortlist for best storytellers in the company. However, instead of reacting to the incredible things they were seeing in the ring, the crowd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn collectively decided that the new Universal title belt they were fighting for looked stupid, and spent much of the match chanting about it.
Rollins, who is a favorite of engaged WWE fans despite the fact that he is an onscreen heel, later used his platform to admonish the crowd:
It should be noted that the WWE crowd was not just rebelling against the belt, but a) that WWE felt a need to add another belt, when there are already approximately 34, and at least another one is coming in the form of Smackdown women’s champ, and b) that this match was in the middle of the card while Randy Orton versus Brock Lesnar, a match featuring no title implications and a part-time mercenary performer who was allowed to participate in the evening despite just having failed two UFC drug tests, closed the evening. (Gasoline was poured on the fire when the ending to this main event was wholly unsatisfying to the live audience.)
Still, the crowd should have showed more respect to Balor and Rollins, who have certainly earned it. Taking out your frustration with Vince McMahon and his underlings on the performers you actually like is not the smartest way for wrestling fans to go about their business.