Despite traveling all around the world with World Wrestling Entertainment, Colby Lopez, better known as the professional wrestler Seth Rollins, has not forgotten where he came from. The 30-year-old wrestler is billed as being from Davenport when he approaches a WWE ring, and that is no gimmick. He was born and raised in nearby Buffalo, Iowa, and now lives in Davenport. Even after reaching the top of the wrestling mountain, he hasn’t been drawn to the bright lights that big cities around the country offer. That fact sometimes prompts strange looks from fans who question why he lives in Iowa.
“I always tell them it’s a great place to live. … Everyone’s very polite; there’s just enough to do; and traffic is at a bare minimum, aside from when the bridge is being worked on,” Mr. Lopez said. “It’s easygoing, chill Midwest life. And that’s kind of what I grew up with, and that’s what kind of keeps me grounded, keeps me balanced when I’m off the road.”
Mr. Lopez is fresh off six months of rehabilitation after tearing his MCL, ACL and meniscus in his right knee at a live WWE event in November. He was able come home and do a lot of things he wouldn’t have been able to do while on the road, but it came at a price. He was forced to give up the world title that he won at Wrestlemania 31 without officially losing it. He returned to work in late May and last Tuesday, during the WWE draft on “Smackdown Live,” he was selected as the first overall pick by WWE’s flagship show, “Monday Night Raw.” The draft allows the WWE’s two main weekly shows to recruit separate rosters of superstars as part of “the new era,” as WWE bills it.
“Over the years of the WWE drafts that we’ve had, there’s been less than a handful of No. 1 picks, so to be included in that group is very nice,” said Mr. Lopez. “The top echelon of the roster, there’s a plethora of guys to choose from — Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Randy Orton, all those guys. None of those guys went ahead of me, so to be able to have that feather in my cap is very nice.” Mr. Lopez will jump into the Rollins persona again tonight, when he squares off with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose in a triple-threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, being broadcast live on the WWE Network’s Battleground Pay-Per-View at 7.
After putting in time with Scott County Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and Florida Championship Wrestling (now known as NXT, WWE’s developmental brand), Mr. Lopez broke onto the WWE’s main roster at Survivor Series 2012 as a member of The Shield with Mr. Reigns and Mr. Ambrose. That group was the most dominant force in the industry for over a year and a half before Mr. Lopez went out on his own in early 2014. The pinnacle of his career so far has been Wrestlemania 31 in 2015, when he won the world championship. Sunday, he will compete with the hope of capturing the world championship for a third time. This will be the first time that the former Shield members will square off in the same ring in a triple-threat match.
“When we started The Shield, this was the goal — to fight each other for the WWE title and the top spot,” Mr. Lopez said. “So we’re right where we wanted to be three years ago. It might not have all happened like we planned it, but the fact of the matter is, we’re all right where we want to be.”