The WWE’s run with Brock Lesnar as world heavyweight champion was successful, but the move to put the title on Seth Rollins has transformed him into the old-school heel the company needs on top.
Rollins is on Raw and SmackDown almost every week, and that is a pleasant change of pace from seeing the champion once every three months. With the champion’s heel tactics each time he is on television, he is slowly building his legacy as a weasel who will do whatever it takes to retain the title.
There is a vocal minority of the WWE Universe that does not like Rollins as champion due to his willingness to take the easy way out, but there were many top stars in the industry who made a living doing the exact same thing.
From Ric Flair to Jake “The Snake” Roberts and even Triple H, some of the best heels in the history of the business have made an impact by portraying the bad guy who uses cheap tactics to earn victories and draw heat from the fans.
Being the weasel heel allows Rollins to retain the championship and hold on to it for an extended amount of time. Wrestling fans know Randy Orton will not win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules, but they also know Rollins will use heel tactics to help himself retain, even if that means infuriating the No. 1 contender enough to force him to hit the RKO.
Using The Authority as a way to ensure he remains the top star in the company—few steel cages in the past have stopped interference—makes him the reliable Superstar who can carry the title throughout the period heading into SummerSlam. While the time between WrestleMania and SummerSlam is usually considered a down period, Rollins being the face of the brand right now is the ideal booking. Continue Reading
How long had you been planning to cash in your Money in the Bank during Brock Lesnar v Roman Reigns?
Rollins said: It was something I had been carefully considering. I had to look at the magnitude of the match, and how infrequently Lesnar is around. I’ve always had my eye on that guy, I’ve always been watching and paying attention.
The moment was right to take my shot and it worked out as well as it could have.
But you lost to Orton earlier in the night – so didn’t that change your plans for interfering in the ‘Mania main-event?
Rollins said: My plans didn’t change because I lost to Randy. They are two different matches, two different situations. I obviously wanted to beat Randy which didn’t work out but the second part of my night made up for that.
Did you enjoy the ‘Mania moments featuring DX against the nWo, and UFC champion Ronda Rousey?
Rollins said It was such a blast to see DX and the nWo at WrestleMania together, it looked like they were having such fun. What an awesome moment, I’m glad it all came together and it’s something you never expected to see when the Monday Night Wars were happening all those years ago.
It was cool to see Ronda in the WWE ring, she’s a sweetheart of a girl and I’m a huge fan. I’m hoping we see her back next year…
Have you achieved a lifelong dream by becoming champion? Who inspired you?
Rollins said: It’s something surreal and special – very few people close out WrestleMania as WWE champion. This is my first title which puts me on top of an even smaller list.
It’s humbling and something that I’ll keep with me for the rest of my life.
I was a fan of Hulk Hogan growing up – he was the real-life embodiment of a super hero. He’s who I wanted to be as a little kid. Then I began to admire Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect. They showed that guys who were a different size with different athleticism could reach the top.
Then Stone Cold and The Rock, obviously, who doesn’t like them? Then Sting and Rey Mysterio were my favourites.
Your ex-WWE rival CM Punk is starting a new career in the UFC – can he be a success? And would you do it?
Rollins said: I’m a fan of the UFC and I’ll be watching CM Punk with interest. I think it’s the type of thing that a pro wrestler can cross over and do. Brock showed everyone that it’s possible, but whether Punk can be successful remains to be seen. He’s got big shoes to fill.
Fighting in the UFC is not something I’d consider at this stage of my career because I’m very happy – but I’d never say never.
Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao is the second biggest upcoming scrap behind Rollins v Orton but do the WWE lads plan on running to the ring during the boxing?
Rollins said: Boxing could benefit from having Money in the Bank but I’ve not heard anything in the WWE locker room about someone running out during Mayweather v Pacquiao and taking the ref out…
I’ve got involved in the WrestleMania main-event already so they don’t have to worry about me running to the ring during their boxing match.
I don’t think Big Show has the secret of how to defeat Floyd – he didn’t fare so well when they fought at WrestleMania XXIV. Floyd had a lot of tricks up his sleeve and was too quick for the Big Show.
Seth Rollins’ first defense of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship will come at Extreme Rules against the very Superstar who pinned the self-proclaimed “Future of WWE” at WrestleMania, Randy Orton.
Orton, a 12-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, was named Rollins’ challenger on the April 6 Raw, after defeating Roman Reigns and Ryback in a No. 1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match. Now, he looks ahead to his opportunity against the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at Extreme Rules.
The WWE Universe is still raving about Orton and Rollins’ last encounter at WrestleMania, where The Viper ignited The Show of Shows by inconceivably countering Rollins’ Curb Stomp into a high-elevation, highlight-reel-worthy RKO. Whereas Rollins and Orton’s deeply personal and longstanding grudge was the foundation for that bout, their rematch at Extreme Rules will be not only emotionally charged, but also for the grandest prize in sports-entertainment.
Since then, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion has appeared less-than-eager to again cross paths with The Viper, but he will have no choice on Sunday, April 26, when Extreme Rules airs live on WWE Network.
Can The Authority’s boundlessly athletic poster boy — a CrossFit-conditioned machine who is arguably the most dynamic in-ring competitor to wear the WWE World Heavyweight Title — silence the doubters and cement his first championship reign with a pivotal victory over the more seasoned Orton, a third-generation Superstar who was pegged as a Legend-in-the-making his rookie year? Or will The Viper, who craves the opportunity to tap into his extreme and most sinister instincts, remind Rollins why he is the master of the RKO “outta nowhere,” and return to championship glory at Rollins’ expense?
Watch this gigantic WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match live when Extreme Rules takes over WWE Network Sunday, April 26, starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
@ShawnMichaels: This one’s really tough because they’re both very talented and really good at what they do. I think Seth Rollins has to win in order to prove that he’s not just a flash in the pan. And I think he will. WINNER: Seth Rollins
@HowardFinkel: Will this contest be a strict singles meeting, or will J&J Security have a presence outside the ring? In the interest of fairness, I believe Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble should not be at ringside. Let bitter rivals Randy Orton and Seth Rollins battle it out, one-on-one. Rollins has blossomed into a major player in WWE over the past year, while Orton is consistently cunning and methodical. Orton’s break from The Authority was the best thing he did in recent memory, and The Viper will emerge victorious, no matter where J&J Security will be. WINNER: Randy Orton
@JoeyStyles: What a butt-kicking! The Viper gave the self-proclaimed “Future of WWE” payback with interest when he battered and beat him all over the arena, then RKO’ed him through the announce table on Raw. Though an awesome athlete and a Money in the Bank winner, Rollins has been unable to win big money matches without The Authority in his corner. However, it’s safe to assume that Big Show, Kane and J&J Security will indeed be running interference for Rollins. I see Orton having Rollins ready for a match-ending RKO several times, only to be thwarted by Authority interference. Sooner or later, though even a myopic Cyclops in a referee shirt is going to catch them in the act and disqualify Mr. Money in the Bank. WINNER: Randy Orton
@Apter1wrestling: Seth Rollins has plenty of insurance to destroy Randy Orton. With J&J Security, and possibly Kane and Big Show, in his corner, it will be tough for Orton to gain a victory. However, as we have learned from the past, The Viper has a highly unpredictable, combative persona. That, coupled with his deep hatred for the entire Authority, will see him RKO his way to victory against Mr. Money in the Bank and his henchman. WINNER: Randy Orton
@MichaelPSHayes1: Seth Rollins seems to always figure out a way, but he hasn’t faced The Viper in a singles match. Nonetheless, I’m going to go with the ever-resourceful Seth Rollins. WINNER: Seth Rollins
Randy Orton: 3, Seth Rollins: 2
With both men fueled by bitterness and a mutual disdain for one another, Randy Orton and Seth Rollins prepare to do battle on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
The animosity dates back to November, when Orton was not only kicked out of The Authority, but also ambushed by Rollins, who drove The Viper’s head onto the steel steps with a vicious Curb Stomp. That attack cost Orton four months of his career, while Rollins continued to flourish, with Mr. Money in the Bank even challenging for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Royal Rumble. Orton sat at home biding his time, planning his retribution against those who had done him wrong.
At WWE Fastlane, Rollins’ worst fear came to fruition, as Orton returned to WWE, landing RKO after RKO on members of The Authority as The Architect fled the building. In the ensuing weeks, however, Orton — despite the skepticism of some Authority members — won the trust of Rollins, even aiding Mr. Money in the Bank in a victory over Roman Reigns. For a while, it seemed as if all was forgiven, and Orton was ready to pick up where he left off as a member of The Authority. Yet as Rollins would find out, you can never trust a snake.
On the March 9 edition of Raw, Orton’s true motives became known as he unleashed a brutal assault on Rollins, even driving him through the announce table with a thunderous RKO. The next week on Raw, Orton and Rollins’ WrestleMania showdown became official, though not until after Rollins attempted to play his own mind games against WWE’s Apex Predator.
Orton has racked up a string of legendary accomplishments since making his WWE debut nearly 13 years ago. At WrestleMania, Orton looks to decimate Rollins, showing no mercy for his past sins. Rollins has been called the “Future of WWE” since he joined The Authority last summer, and winning the Money in the Bank Ladder Match did nothing but fuel the belief that he is destined for greatness. Now, Rollins looks to finish what he started last fall, taking out the 12-time World Champion once and for all.
Will Orton’s thirst for payback be satisfied at WrestleMania? Will Rollins be able to de-venomize The Viper? And will the course of history change as the “Future of WWE” is determined?
Find out which Superstar will be victorious in their showdown at The Showcase of The Immortals when WrestleMania 31 takes place live on WWE Network Sunday, March 29!