@JoeyStyles: What can Seth Rollins do to keep the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Lose by disqualification! If I were Rollins I would punch the official as soon as the bell rang and run like my life depended on it, because it might. If I’m smart enough to have thought of this escape plan, then so is The Architect. WINNER: Brock Lesnar
@HowardFinkel: There’s no doubt in my mind that Seth Rollins has withstood the pressures that come with being at the top of the WWE mountain, and he has done it extremely well. Yet, I feel that The Beast Incarnate is primed like never before. Quite simply put, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship goes to Brock Lesnar. WINNER: Brock Lesnar
Anthony Benigno: You’d think Seth Rollins is a dead man walking, but The Architect isn’t just any old titleholder. He’s the handpicked protégé of Triple H, and lesson No. 1 at The King of Kings’ knee is that there’s always a Plan B. So Rollins will take the all-access tour of Suplex City, but he’ll survive this and keep his title. I have no idea how, but he’ll do it. WINNER: Seth Rollins
Jeff Laboon: Seth Rollins has tried to pin Lesnar three times since Night of Champions 2014. The fourth time is the charm. The Architect will somehow construct a way to leave with his prized championship in a career-defining win. WINNER: Seth Rollins
Bobby Melok: Seth Rollins has shown that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to hang onto his WWE World Heavyweight Championship. However, Brock Lesnar has shown he’s more than capable of doing the same to win it. Though he won’t have a pair of axes during the match, Lesnar’s hands can do just as much damage on the way to grabbing WWE’s top prize. WINNER: Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar: 3, Seth Rollins: 2
#9 Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose — WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match; WWE Money in the Bank
Without a doubt, the best match of 2015 so far has been Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose at WWE Money in the Bank. Without The Authority in his corner, The Architect battled one of his greatest adversaries in a brutal WWE World Heavyweight Title Ladder Match. The contest was complete carnage from start to finish, as the two competitors made weapons out of ladders, chairs, ring ropes and anyything else in reach. Every moment was more explosive then the next, leading up to the unbelievable finale when a literal Tug O’ War for the title atop the ladder led to both Superstars falling to the canvas with the coveted prize in their hands. The Lunatic Fringe lost his grip as they hit the floor, allowing Rollins to walk away with the victory by the narrowest of margins.
#1 Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins — WWE World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat Match; Royal Rumble
The whole “past, present and future” thing gets tossed around a lot. But in the battle between former, current and future WWE World Heavyweight Champions at the Royal Rumble, the WWE Universe got to see just what happens when a battle across time unfolds in the ring. The answer is unmitigated carnage from Brock Lesnar, a gritty performance by John Cena that showed he’s not quite done with WWE yet, and some conniving work from Seth Rollins that proves we probably should have seen the cash-in coming. It was no surprise that The Beast kept his title — it takes astounding circumstance to beat him in any scenario — but the chemistry with which these three performed was something to behold. And that Phoenix Splash, though.
“If you ever wanted to see a clear demonstration of The Beast in action, watch how Brock Lesnar handles not only a 15-time World Champion in John Cena, but the alleged ‘Future of WWE,’ Seth Rollins, and he handles both of them with ease.”
@JoeyStyles: Thanks to Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins’ former de facto bodyguard Kane, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion was humiliated on Raw when he lost to his own security team of Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. It even seemed that The Authority left Rollins to fend for himself and prove that he is indeed the present and future of WWE. That said, there is no way that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are going to let their investment in Rollins devaluate and watch the uncontainable Ambrose control their company’s WWE World Heavyweight Championship. WINNER: Seth Rollins
@HowardFinkel: Can we please have no outside entities whatsoever appear at ringside on Sunday? If that holds, then I once again will go with The Lunatic Fringe to emerge victorious. To me, stamina and endurance will play a big part in this match, which gives the advantage to Ambrose. I look for “Mr. Perpetual Motion” to prevail by scaling the ladder and gaining the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. WINNER: Dean Ambrose
Jeff Laboon: How many aces can Seth Rollins realistically have up his sleeve? His gear doesn’t even have sleeves! Sadly for Dean Ambrose, The Architect likely has a least one more trick in mind. Ambrose will arrive with Rollins’ title, but he won’t leave with it. WINNER: Seth Rollins
Matthew Artus: When all eyes are on him, Seth Rollins tends to elevate his game and endanger the wellbeing of his opponents. Given how much he has been tormented lately by former Shield cohort Dean Ambrose, Rollins will be especially motivated to rise to the occasion. WINNER: Seth Rollins
Bobby Melok: Dean Ambrose has proven that he has what it takes to carry the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and hang onto it by any means necessary. The chaos of a Ladder Match is perfect for The Lunatic Fringe to officially become the champion. WINNER: Dean Ambrose
Seth Rollins: 3, Dean Ambrose: 2
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins has had quite the journey, to becoming the figurehead of the biggest wrestling company on the planet. While visiting St. Louis, for Wizard World’s annual Comic Con, Rollins posed for pictures, signed autographs, and had a very informative Q&A with fans. During his sit-down, many topics were broached. Rollins harkened back to his humble beginnings, camping out for an entire week, as a teenager, to get tickets to a Smackdown taping, and the disappointment in his parents’ eyes, when he announced that he was pursuing his dream of becoming a pro wrestler. “I knew I had to prove them wrong,” Rollins added.
Rollins then spoke of the life on the independent wrestler, taking bookings wherever he could find them, crashing on strangers’ couches to save money, and working for pennies, just hoping to get ‘discovered.’ Rollins’ high-octane attack eventually caught the eye of Ring of Honor booker (and co-founder) Gabe Sapolsky. Rollins was brought into ROH, under the name Tyler Black, and was entered into a group called Age of the Fall, with the notoriously insane Necro Butcher.
“Some of the stuff he (Necro Butcher) did was just insane. Sometimes I thought, ‘this isn’t wrestling’, but I wanted to play ball, and didn’t want to lose my opportunity with Ring of Honor.”
Rollins bided his time, and eventually ascended to ROH Champion. Though, when fans caught wind of his developmental deal with WWE, their support turned sour. “At first, it hurt. I felt like Roman (Reigns). But after that, I embraced it, and ran with it.” Rollins talked about appearing on ROH television, and not-so-subtly threatening to take the ROH Title with him to Raw. Instead, Rollins was destined for Florida Championship Wrestling, which would eventually become NXT.
WWE Superstar Seth Rollins strutted out from behind a Jumbotron playing his highlight reel and into controlled bedlam.
Through blinding flashing lights, the screams of more than 5,500 people muffled both a drum solo throbbing from the loud speakers and the announcer’s attempts to declare that Rollins hails “from Davenport, Iowa.”
But the audience at the Quad Cities’ iWireless Center knew where Rollins is from…because it’s where they’re from, too.
Countless handwritten signs read, “Welcome Home, Seth!” while an especially bright one sparkled, “Will you go to prom with me, Seth?”
Standing in the ring, his chest bare and his wet hair hanging below his shoulders, Rollins, 28, snarled like Mick Jagger as he held up the World Heavyweight Championship title, a big gold belt won at WrestleMania, WWE’s marquee event.
He’s the only Iowan to ever win that title.
For Rollins, who grew up in Davenport, this was a heavyweight homecoming.
The Davenport West grad fell in love with wrestling during a show at the Wharton Field House, just two miles from the ring he stood in. He’d honed his skills scrapping with his brother and scraping by in the local independent wrestling scene. Now, he’s the champ, and this was the first time he’d taken a Quad Cities’ stage since winning the title.
“It will be emotional,” Rollins said as he sipped coffee earlier in the day. “This is my place. I’ve lived here my whole life basically, and my family is here, and now I get to walk in as the WWE Heavyweight Champion. It’ll be different than any other (performance).”
But being a champion is more than just flash bulbs and champagne. It’s hours at the gym, nights in far-flung hotel rooms, days away from friends and family and months of plotting to stay on top.
The Register spent time with Rollins, whose legal name is Colby Lopez, while he was in the Quad Cities for a taping of WWE’s weekly show “SmackDown,” consistently the top-rated regularly scheduled program on SyFy, according to WWE.
Between hours of media appearances, workouts and preparing for the show, Rollins barely had time to sit down, let alone to answer all the calls, texts and Facebook messages from friends hoping to grab a moment with the champion.
This is a day in the life of Seth Rollins.
6 a.m. — Media Begins
Rollins hadn’t slept. He and a bunch of guys drove straight into town after taping WWE’s Monday-night wrestling program, “Raw,” in Green Bay, Wis. He got to his home in Davenport at 5 a.m., too close to his first appearance to get meaningful rest.
“The joke we always say is that WWE doesn’t pay us to wrestle, they pay us to travel,” Rollins said. “Once you step out (in the ring) and you are doing your thing in front of people and just living in that moment, that is great. I could do that for free for the rest of my life.”
Bouncing from a morning TV show, where they made him do the weather, to what felt like never-ending radio station interviews, Rollins kept up his wit.