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.
Before SummerSlam, Seth Rollins talked to SB Nation about his CrossFit program, his feud with Jon Stewart and who will be the next NXT champion to win the world title.
Let’s not mess around. These are the five greatest SummerSlam matches of all time. You might as well just copy and paste this into Wikipedia when you’re done reading.
5. Bret Hart vs. The British Bulldog (Wembley Stadium, 1992)
Bulldog beating Bret in his home country is what sets this match apart. We very rarely run pay-per-view shows in London, but the crowds are great there. And SummerSlam 1992 had one of the best ever: 80,000 people, screaming, inside Wembley Stadium, for a hometown guy — totally electric. And then on top of that, you had the family angle, with Davey’s wife, Diana, being Bret’s sister — and her watching from ringside. The emotion going on there was unlike anything I’d ever seen in a WWE match. It was wild. When you see the way Davey reacted after he won the title … people talk about our industry all the time, real or fake or what have you. But that’s as real as it gets. Not entertainment or television real — human real. That match had raw, human emotion, grounded in a story about a family. You can try to fake that sort of stuff — but good luck making 80,000 people scream.
As for the match itself: It’s probably the best match Bulldog ever had. From reading Bret’s autobiography, I know that a lot of time went into that match, from a technical perspective. He wanted to make it special for Davey Boy — and came up with a pretty sweet finish in the sunset flip. Looking back on it now, considering all of the stuff we do in the ring in 2015, it’s a move that might not pop out at you. But at the time, man, it was super-revolutionary. WWE had never seen that crazy of a reversal before. The way that Bulldog sort of sits on Bret and ties him up, in one fluid motion — incredible. Bret and Bulldog made an Intercontinental Title match at the end of August feel like the main event of WrestleMania. It was just a really cool match and a really cool moment — for our industry as a whole; for SummerSlam as an event; and for me as a fan. Simply put, it’s a classic.
4. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H (Nassau Coliseum, 2002)
Another one that stands out to me is Shawn Michaels’ return match in 2002. Shawn retired in 1998 with a pretty bad back injury, after losing to Steve Austin at WrestleMania 14. If you go back and watch that match, you can see how much pain Shawn’s in — though he still somehow guts it out and puts on a show.
Of course, 1998 was before the Internet was a huge presence in the WWE world. And so when Shawn retired, you just didn’t know a whole lot of information.
This meant that his comeback — at SummerSlam 2002 — was pretty much shrouded in mystery. Like: How hurt is this guy? What sort of physical shape is he in? Shawn was my favorite WWE Superstar, so as a fan I was excited and nervous at the same time. And he was very upfront about it himself, leading up to the match: Talking on television about the honest fear he had that he wouldn’t be the same guy he once was. I think a lot of his old confidence, that famous swagger he was known for in ‘96, ‘97, ’98, when he was The Man, was gone now. “I don’t know if I can still wrestle,” I remember him saying. “But I know I can fight.”
The match was billed as an “unsanctioned street fight.” You really just didn’t know what was going to happen. You were holding your breath. As it turns out, Shawn was right. He wasn’t the same. He was better. Continue Reading