Hurt pride could be the source of a fall for WWE World Heavyweight champion Seth Rollins – with ‘The Future of WWE’ perhaps living a little much up to his moniker and looking past his SummerSlam clash with John Cena to a Wrestlemania date with retired legend Steve Austin.
Speaking to talkSPORT at a glitzy WWE 2K16 press event in New York City, Rollins admitted he was furious with Austin stealing his ‘slice of pie’ and being revealed as the video game’s cover star.
He said: “I don’t like anyone coming in and stealing my thunder, man.
“I put in the work every single day, I want to be on the cover of the video game, I want to headline all the events. I don’t want anyone coming in and taking a cut of my pie.
“This is my pie, I baked it from scratch. I went out and picked the pumpkin, mashed it up, put in the sugar, made the crust, put it in the oven and someone else has taken it out of the oven and is presenting it as their pie.
“This is my pumpkin pie. ’Tis the season – almost… I mean, if you’re a white girl in America it is pumpkin season already. But absolutely, it is my pie – I want it all.”
And although ‘Stone Cold’ has ruled himself out of any future forays into the ring, Rollins continued unabated.
“I would absolutely love to take Stone Cold Steve Austin down, in his home state of Texas, at Wrestlemania 32 in front of 100,000 people in the AT&T Stadium,” he fumed.
Rollins also insisted he wasn’t sweating US champ Cena – his opponent and challenger in a title vs title, winner takes all clash tonight – lightly, despite the match up being one of the most high-profile bouts in his career.
“Definitely, it ranks up there,” he concurred.
“But I thrive under pressure. I’ve come through a lot of other big match, high-pressure situations so I’m looking forward to SummerSlam and the hot Brooklyn crowd.”
One of Rollins’ most prominent rivals also reckons he can secure the win in the Barclays Center.
Asked at the same WWE 2K16 bash who he was backing to take all the gold, former Shield partner Dean Ambrose plumped for the man who has frustrated his own championship challenges.
Shaking his head as he considered the options, Dean said: “Being a bit of a betting man… to go against John Cena in a championship match? That’s tough.
“I will put my money on Seth Rollins,” he decided.
Seth Rollins should have been finished. Done. Over. Kaput. Toast. During WWE Battleground, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion had taken up residence in Suplex City, enduring a career-threatening 13 of the disc-herniating heaves. After Brock Lesnar hoisted Rollins atop his shoulders and sent him airborne with an F-5, condolences seemed imminent. But then, by demonic intervention, he was saved by the shocking appearance of The Undertaker. And so it goes. Rollins has become, arguably, the most vexing escape artist in WWE history. Whether slipping past Randy Orton during a Steel Cage Match at Extreme Rules or through Orton, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns in a Fatal 4-Way Match at Payback, the man — with help — always seems to find an out. Unfortunately for Rollins, death will always find an in.
The Authority, through intimidation and trickery, has managed to keep Rollins on top. But The Deadman will never relent, come hell, high water or two men in matching 38/Short suits. Which is not to say Rollins’ athleticism and in-ring intellect are anything short of remarkable. But could he truly hope to outmaneuver and outthink a Superstar with more tenacity and knowledge than any before him? And yes,any. The WWE Universe may never know, but if it ever did, we could all thank heaven for one hell of a match.
@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