The move is now being called the Blackout, which is what Rollins called it when he was in NXT, but whatever they’re calling it now, the fact that it’s back is huge news.
The Curb Stomp was done away with, Rollins has said in podcast interviews over the past couple of years, because WWE chairman Vince McMahon didn’t like the visuals with his then-top guy finishing off opponents with a move that involved stomping their heads into the mat, with a key concern being fears that kids would ignore the constant reminders not to try it for themselves at home.
Which, of course, is absolutely silly. Not the part about kids not trying the move on each other at home, because kids have never heeded those warnings.
I know, for example, full well that a Figure Four leglock, applied properly, hurts like unholy hell, as does a well done Boston Crab.
The Torture Rack backbreaker that Lex Luger used to use as a submission finisher, on the other hand, meh. Looked impressive, but there was nothing to that, or to the over-the-shoulder backbreaker that Superstar Billy Graham made famous.
Point being, kids try a lot of what they see on TV on their friends, but not just what they see on Raw and Smackdown. We were all dumb kids once out in the backyard practically killing each other playing tackle football without helmets or pads, riding dirtbikes 50 mph in the backyard and the rest.
The Curb Stomp, Blackout, whatever, isn’t a move that I foresee too many kids trying out on their buddies, or at least any more than any other devastating impact finishers.
If you’re concerned about a Curb Stomp, why not ban Brock Lesnar’s F-5, John Cena’s AA, for that matter, Roman Reigns’ Superman punch, which is by far the easiest move that kids could mimic in the backyard or basement?
I don’t think it’s even arguable that the Curb Stomp ban had a role in the steam being taken away from the push that Rollins had gotten on his way to the WWE title, in concert with the decision to replace the finisher with the Pedigree.
Having Rollins use the Pedigree cemented his demotion to being a lackey of Triple H, and made it easy to push him back down the ladder after the knee injury that put him on the shelf for several months at the end of 2015 and into 2016.
Rollins fans, and I’m among that group, can maybe look at the return of the Curb Stomp, now again Blackout, as a possible sign that WWE is looking at re-elevating him to main-event status.
Story by Chris Graham