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Why is Seth Rollins fighting a mystery opponent at Wrestlemania?

Seth “Freakin” Rollins will facing an opponent TBA on Night 1 of Wrestlemania. How did we get here?

Wrestling: WWE SummerSlam 2021 Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Seth Rollins has put together a highlight reel of Wrestlemania performances over the past decade, from pulling off the “heist of the century” by cashing in his Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania 31 to defeating Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 35.

This year, Rollins is in an interesting position as he’ll be facing an opponent to be announced by Vince McMahon on Night 1 of the big show. Just a week ago, he surprisingly didn’t even have a match for the card. So how did we get here?

Backstory for the match

Seth “Freakin” Rollins has been on an interesting journey over the past couple of months. Tag teaming with former blood enemy Kevin Owens, the duo were chasing after the Raw Tag Team Championship and were seemingly a lock to be a main feature on the Wrestlemania card. They were so assured of their spot that they would regularly cut promos boasting about starring at the big show.

Those dreams, however, were dashed last month when the duo lost a triple-threat match for the tag belts, muddying their paths to Wrestlemania for the time being. Owens ended up stunning the world later on that night by challenging Stone Cold Steve Austin to a fight, leaving Rollins out in the cold. The “Architect” spent the next few weeks desperately trying to wiggle his way onto the card, but to no luck.

That was the case until this past Monday, when Vince McMahon summoned the superstar to his office in Stamford, CT, to inform him of his Wrestlemania fate. The CEO of the WWE declared that he would personally handpick an opponent for Rollins and introduce him right before the match on Saturday.

Who will Rollins face at Wrestlemania?

If months of rumors and speculation are to be true, a returning Cody Rhodes will most likely be revealed as the big surprise. Rhodes departed AEW in February and not only was it immediately speculated that he’d be returning to the WWE, reports started to link him to Rollins as a possible Wrestlemania opponent.

The WWE itself has subtly leaned into the rumors over the month and even dropped hints. During an episode of Raw coincidentally taking place in the Jacksonville, the home base of AEW, the Raw commentators mentioned how Rollins’ Wrestlemania dreams have turned into a “nightmare”.

If the Rhodes rumors are indeed not true, then it’s anyone’s guess as who the mystery opponent could be. At the Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday, the Undertaker ended his speech by putting on his hat and coat and declaring “never say never”, which could be a possible tease. However, it could be another red herring.