WWE Stomping Grounds 2019 Results: Yet Another Seth Rollins Match Was Hijacked By Fans

Seth Rollins battled through rough crowd reactions to retain the WWE Universal Championship as Lacey Evans was named the special guest referee.

Credit: WWE.com

Seth Rollins was victorious in another WWE Universal Title defense Sunday night at WWE Stomping Grounds, but not without overcoming a rebellious crowd in what is strangely becoming old hat for the top star.

Rollins—despite being the cookie-cutter indie wrestling prototype in an era where hardcore fans are the only demographic left standing—has been saddled with countless scenarios, both in and out of his control, that resulted in him battling against both an opponent and the crowd. It's getting to the point where the next WWE playlist should feature all the Seth Rollins matches ruined by a rogue crowd. To recap, here's a rundown:

  • At WWE SummerSlam 2016, the inaugural WWE Universal Championship match between Seth Rollins and Finn Balor was overtaken by negative crowd reaction in the Barclays Center. Fans were upset with the red design of Raw's newest world championship and decided to take it out on the match itself. Chants of "delete," among others, compromised the integrity of Rollins'vs. Balor, compelling Rollins to respond on Twitter by noting the crowd "really let [him] down."
  • At WWE SummerSlam 2017, once again inside Brooklyn's Barclays Center, the always obnoxious "Beach Ball Mania" threatened to overtake a WWE Raw Tag Team Championship match pitting Rollins and Dean Ambros against Cesaro and Sheamus. Cesaro was having none of it and promptly ran into the crowd to memorably tear a rogue beach ball to shreds. The match got back on track shortly after.
  • At WWE Extreme Rules 2018, Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler's otherwise strong in-ring feud culminated in an Iron Man Match. The match was so heavily anticipated, it main evented the pay-per-view despite being competed for the secondary Intercontinental Championship. Unfortunately, fans inside the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh quickly became more interested in singing along with the countdown during the last ten seconds of every minute in the timed 30-minute match. When WWE tried to control the situation by removing the clock from the Titantron, fans began to revolt, demanding the clock return. Both Ziggler and Rollins could be heard complaining about the countdown meltdown midway through what turned out to be a disaster.

  • At WWE TLC 2018, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose worked an underwhelming match as a culmination to a controversial storyline where Ambrose was scripted to mock Roman Reigns' leukemia. Despite being set up as a deeply personal blood feud between two former best friends, the match heavily relied on wrestling rather than an all-out brawl, leading to loud chants of "this is boring" inside the SAP Center in San Jose.
  • At WWE Stomping Grounds 2019, Baron Corbin introduced Lacey Evans as his much-hyped special guest referee. Fans in Washington's Tacoma Dome were upset, as they should have been in storyline with the heel attempting to gain an unfair advantage. Unfortunately, storyline frustration quickly became real and ugly as fans engaged in taboo chants for CM Punk, AEW and NXT in addition to chants of "this is stupid." In the end, fans got back on the same page with the match as Becky Lynch saved the day, assisting Rollins in a successful Universal Championship defense.

The most recent fan meltdown at WWE Stomping Grounds is particularly bothersome. Baron Corbin's decision to select Lacey Evans as a special guest referee is one of the soundest booking decision WWE has made in months.

Rollins spent all week attacking any potential guest referees with a steel chair. In the end, not only did Corbin—ever the wily heel—shrewdly chose a woman, whom Rollins could not attack, he chose the very woman who is the chief rival to Rollins' girlfriend Becky Lynch.

If there was any more storyline continuity in such an angle, the Being the Elite theme music would begin playing.

For a company that has such well-documented storyline and creative issues to deliver a gem of a payoff only to be vilified by an otherwise hot crowd was baffling if not maddening.

If this rare brand of strong storytelling from WWE isn't good enough for some fans, nothing is. At that point, AEW isn't the answer and perhaps they should take cues from CM Punk and quit wrestling altogether.

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Seth Rollins battled through rough crowd reactions to retain the WWE Universal Championship as Lacey Evans was named the special guest referee.

Credit: WWE.com

Seth Rollins was victorious in another WWE Universal Title defense Sunday night at WWE Stomping Grounds, but not without overcoming a rebellious crowd in what is strangely becoming old hat for the top star.

Rollins—despite being the cookie-cutter indie wrestling prototype in an era where hardcore fans are the only demographic left standing—has been saddled with countless scenarios, both in and out of his control, that resulted in him battling against both an opponent and the crowd. It's getting to the point where the next WWE playlist should feature all the Seth Rollins matches ruined by a rogue crowd. To recap, here's a rundown:

  • At WWE SummerSlam 2016, the inaugural WWE Universal Championship match between Seth Rollins and Finn Balor was overtaken by negative crowd reaction in the Barclays Center. Fans were upset with the red design of Raw's newest world championship and decided to take it out on the match itself. Chants of "delete," among others, compromised the integrity of Rollins'vs. Balor, compelling Rollins to respond on Twitter by noting the crowd "really let [him] down."
  • At WWE SummerSlam 2017, once again inside Brooklyn's Barclays Center, the always obnoxious "Beach Ball Mania" threatened to overtake a WWE Raw Tag Team Championship match pitting Rollins and Dean Ambros against Cesaro and Sheamus. Cesaro was having none of it and promptly ran into the crowd to memorably tear a rogue beach ball to shreds. The match got back on track shortly after.
  • At WWE Extreme Rules 2018, Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler's otherwise strong in-ring feud culminated in an Iron Man Match. The match was so heavily anticipated, it main evented the pay-per-view despite being competed for the secondary Intercontinental Championship. Unfortunately, fans inside the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh quickly became more interested in singing along with the countdown during the last ten seconds of every minute in the timed 30-minute match. When WWE tried to control the situation by removing the clock from the Titantron, fans began to revolt, demanding the clock return. Both Ziggler and Rollins could be heard complaining about the countdown meltdown midway through what turned out to be a disaster.

  • At WWE TLC 2018, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose worked an underwhelming match as a culmination to a controversial storyline where Ambrose was scripted to mock Roman Reigns' leukemia. Despite being set up as a deeply personal blood feud between two former best friends, the match heavily relied on wrestling rather than an all-out brawl, leading to loud chants of "this is boring" inside the SAP Center in San Jose.
  • At WWE Stomping Grounds 2019, Baron Corbin introduced Lacey Evans as his much-hyped special guest referee. Fans in Washington's Tacoma Dome were upset, as they should have been in storyline with the heel attempting to gain an unfair advantage. Unfortunately, storyline frustration quickly became real and ugly as fans engaged in taboo chants for CM Punk, AEW and NXT in addition to chants of "this is stupid." In the end, fans got back on the same page with the match as Becky Lynch saved the day, assisting Rollins in a successful Universal Championship defense.

The most recent fan meltdown at WWE Stomping Grounds is particularly bothersome. Baron Corbin's decision to select Lacey Evans as a special guest referee is one of the soundest booking decision WWE has made in months.

Rollins spent all week attacking any potential guest referees with a steel chair. In the end, not only did Corbin—ever the wily heel—shrewdly chose a woman, whom Rollins could not attack, he chose the very woman who is the chief rival to Rollins' girlfriend Becky Lynch.

If there was any more storyline continuity in such an angle, the Being the Elite theme music would begin playing.

For a company that has such well-documented storyline and creative issues to deliver a gem of a payoff only to be vilified by an otherwise hot crowd was baffling if not maddening.

If this rare brand of strong storytelling from WWE isn't good enough for some fans, nothing is. At that point, AEW isn't the answer and perhaps they should take cues from CM Punk and quit wrestling altogether.

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I've been a pro wrestling columnist and video blogger for a leading national sports website since 2010. I graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara wit...