The name of local Black and Brave Wrestling Academy has an even bigger ring to it with one of its operators making it to the big-time of the World Wrestling Entertainment. Black and Brave Wrestling Academy is run by Colby Lopez, who wrestles in the WWE as Seth Rollins and wrestled in local Scott County Wrestling as Tyler Black. Lopez in joined by Marek Brave in the academy’s operation. The wrestling school is two weeks from finishing its sixth session and has graduated between 40 and 50 wrestlers, who train at QC Crossfit in Moline and wrestle with SCW at the Walcott Coliseum. Some of the school’s students wrestled during Thursday’s Quad Cities River Bandits game in a ring set up on the concourse in left field at Modern Woodmen Park. Lopez and Brave started the school as a way for people who were interested in wrestling to get their start.
While other professional wrestlers have wrestling schools, Black and Brave is the only school run by a WWE star. “I am partial to the way I came into the industry, as a fan from the Quad-Cities to being able to work my way from ground zero all the way to becoming WWE champion,” Lopez said. “I find that historically it has created the best superstars. It’s the way I did things, and this is how I know how to teach kids how to do things.” The school teaches the rigors of the business and introduces students to the life of professional wrestling. “It’s a nice punch in the gut with physical fitness,” Lopez said. “I think it’s a great avenue for people to get their feet wet in the independents before jumping into the WWE.”
The gym also gave Lopez a place to rehabilitate after tearing his ACL, MCL and meniscus in early November. He returned to the WWE ring in late May, just over six months after the tear. “I spent some of my rehab in Birmingham, Ala., some of it at Plaza Physical Therapy in Davenport. But, it was nice to have the school in session during the time I was off to be around the industry without having to be a huge part of it,” Lopez said. “I had my own space to do my own thing when I wanted to. It was nice to have home time to be able to sleep in my own bed and cook my own breakfast and do Quad-Cities things.” The average recovery time for athletes with a torn ACL is six to nine months. Lopez originally wanted to return by WrestleMania in Dallas, which was four months after his injury.
“My target was always to be back by WrestleMania; that was always ambitious, but it set the wheels in motion. It really pushed my work ethic,” Lopez said. “Anyone who watched my rehab knew I wanted to get back as soon as possible. That’s just how I do things. Six-and-a-half months is pretty good for that surgery.”
Seth took over the official Black and Brave Wrestling Twitter this evening for an entire hour where he answered a variety of questions from the fans. You can see the questions and answers below in case you missed it.
Q: When was the point in your career when you had the 1st thoughts of opening a wrestling school?
A: Good question. Right after I got called up to the main roster, I texted @mbrave13 to see if he’d be interested.
Q: Favorite theme song ever used?
A: End of Heartache by @kseofficial.
Q: What’s been the best thing about teaching at your own wrestling school?
A: Watching young men and women get a chance to live their dreams.
Q: Would you ever shave your beard?
A: How much you paying?
Q: If given the chance, what female superstar would you like to team up with in a match?
A: The boss. @SashaBanksWWE
Q: Favorite city to do a show or signing in?
A: There’s so many, but if I had to pick one, I’d go with NYC.
Q: If you could have any song possible as your theme, which do you choose?
A: Wild Eyes by @parkwayofficial
Q: Favorite wrestler right now?
Q: Who is your favorite WWE legend?
A: HBK @ShawnMichaels
Q: How you feel about Enzo and Big Cass? You like them?
A: Love em #HowYouDoin
Q: What do you think of the fans/crowds in Australia? Would you come back?
A: Can’t wait to come back. Hopefully later this year.
Q: What is your opinion on Nikki Bella’s road to recovery?
A: I can’t wait to see her come back stronger than ever.
Q: If you can have a match in NXT, who would your opponent like to be?
A: Would have to be @ShinsukeN
Q: Guacamole or Cheese dip?
Q: Where is your favorite place to eat in the Quad Cities?
A: Barley & Rye
Q: How involved are you at your wrestling school with new students?
A: As involved as it gets. I’m here from start to finish. At the facility 90% of the time.
Q: A person you’ve never met but would love to?
Q: If you could be any mythical creature what would you be?!
Q: What’s your favorite song from PVRIS?
Q: Do you think you’re able to provide a wholly unique experience for your students by being on the main roster?
A: Yes. No school in the world offers what we can. http://www.blackandbravewrestling.com
Seth stopped by the 97x studio this morning to get everybody pumped up for WWE Smackdown tonight at the iWireless Center. You can check out clips of his interview as well as photos below: