By coupling the Donnell–Mushtari shell equations to an analytical inviscid fluid solution, the linear dynamics of a rotating cylindrical shell with a corotating axial fluid flow is studied. Previously discovered mathematical singularities in the flow solution are explained here by the physical phenomenon of blocking. From a reference frame moving with the traveling waves in the shell wall, the flow is identical to the flow in a rigid varicose tube. When the ratio of rotation rate to flow velocity approaches a critical value, the phenomenon of blocking creates a stagnation region between the humps of the wall. Since the linear model cannot account for this phenomenon, the solution blows up.