Seth Rollins cannot wait for Triple H to return to WWE television – so that he can “put his foot in his mouth”.
Rollins and his former mentor have seemed on a collision course since Triple H dashed The Architect’s Universal Title hopes in August – The Game’s Pedigree on Rollins allowing Kevin Owens to bag the belt instead. Triple H has not appeared on Raw since but a clash with Rollins could be edging closer, with the 14-time world champion’s entrance music ringing out on Monday night and costing Rollins his spot in Sunday’s Royal Rumble. Speaking before his Rumble hopes eroded, Rollins goaded The Game – and said the two could meet at WWE’s biggest show, WrestleMania, in April.
“I’ve been trying to find [Triple H] for two or three months now and if he shows up it will give me the opportunity to put my foot in his mouth!” said the 30-year-old on a conference call. “I have been calling him out on television and social media and can’t seem to get anything from him, so maybe he is comfortable in his suit and sitting in his penthouse. Maybe The Game, The Cerebral Assassin, the guy that wielded the sledgehammer is done and gone – we’ll see if he is the man and if he has the cojones to answer me and protect his legacy.”
“One way or another I am going to get my hands on him – whether it’s in the ring, backstage or at WWE headquarters. I am going to find a way to make him pay for what he did to me. He deserves everything that comes to him and more and I would like a no disqualification match because I don’t want anyone telling me what I can and can’t do when it comes to getting revenge.There is some unfinished business and sooner or later we are going to get around to it – whether it’s at WrestleMania, before or after.”
Rollins returned to action last May, having spent six months on the sidelines with a torn ACL, MCL and medial meniscus that he suffered while wrestling at a house show in Dublin in November 2015. The former Ring of Honor star was WWE World Heavyweight Champion at the time of his injury – and he admits he wondered whether he would be able to reach the same level on his comeback.Rollins beat Roman Reigns to win the WWE Title in June, only for Dean Ambrose to pinch the strap minutes later after cashing in the Money in the Bank contract he had claimed earlier in the night. The Architect has since been unable to nab Raw’s Universal Championship, losing to Finn Balor and Kevin Owens, but is determined to earn the belt and, eventually, become a WWE great. “It was more than just a physical struggle, because getting to the gym and rehabbing is easy,” Rollins – who also held the United States Title in 2015 – said of his knee injury.
Seth Rollins will battle Finn Balor at SummerSlam on Sunday for the newly created WWE Universal Championship. Rollins visited the ESPN campus and sat down for an interview on the match, that fan rushing the stage at Raw, and more.
Ben Houser: SummerSlam, what are we going to see from Seth Rollins?
Seth Rollins: Mostly what you can expect — a big match, Seth Rollins, WWE Universal Championship, first time against Finn Balor. Aside from him being a tremendous opponent, I just think you’re going to see me go out there and deliver in big match situations, so I’m looking forward to the energy and the crowd and the match itself.
Houser: It wasn’t that long ago that you came up; what is it like that you built the brand for yourself as Seth Rollins and you’re about to take on a younger talent in his first big match?
Rollins: It’s super-exciting for me, actually, to be on the other side of the coin. You know even last year, you go back to SummerSlam and look at my match with John Cena, and I feel like we’re in a complete role reversal. I feel like I’m in the John Cena position this year and Finn Balor is in my position, so it’s crazy, you know, how much can change in a year. I’m looking forward to that challenge because it’s a new challenge for me; it’s not something I’m used to. And now in the locker room, I’m almost a veteran at this point, which is just wild with all the new guys coming up and stuff like that. For me it’s a tremendous honor. It’s cool to be looked at that way, as a leader and as someone who’s going to help take this generation to the next level.
Houser: What are Finn Balor’s talents that you see?
Rollins: In the ring, Finn Balor is one of the most polished performers that we have. He’s got a uniqueness about him the way he moves; obviously, the Demon King side of his persona is very interesting and differentiates him from a lot of the other talent that we have right now on the roster. I just think there’s just something about him; he’s just one of those guys where you can’t put your finger on it. He’s got that, that “it” factor, that I can’t miss a Finn Balor match.
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.