Just six days prior to its Battleground pay-per-view event, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is presenting an episode of Monday Night Raw from the Richmond Coliseum, July 14. Many big name WWE Superstars and Divas will be on hand to entertain the crowd. A man whose stock in WWE has risen as of late is Seth Rollins. A former member of The Shield, Rollins has since aligned himself with The Authority of WWE. Rollins took some time to discuss his career with me in a recent interview, starting with his appreciation for the military:
Seth Rollins: We appreciate what y’all do. We couldn’t do what we do without you guys doing what you do. It’s a mutual respect. I’m glad we’ve got fans that walk the lines.
Jonathan McLarty: Do you have any favorite memories from your time on the independent wrestling scene?
SR: The friends that I made there – now being able to see my friends here working with me. Guys like Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, and you’ve got Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville down in NXT – watching people grow and being a part of that. I enjoyed my time on the indies very much.
JM: Did someone put the thought in your ear to pursue working for WWE, or did (WWE) come after you?
SR: This is something I always wanted to do. I kind of had a timeline in my head about where I wanted to be (based on) years in my career. My contract was up at Ring of Honor and I was a Ring of Honor champion – strike while the iron is hot and make the jump. It turned out to be a smart move for me.
JM: Given your position now and your pairing with Triple H, you probably have a lot of time off camera with him as well. Does that open you up to a lot of learning opportunities?
SR: There is a wealth of knowledge in this company. Being side by side with the COO and (13-time) World Champion, the guy who has pretty much done it all in this business, having him as a mentor is something that you can’t buy. If you’re not learning something every single day, you’re messing up.
JM: With your character change, you’ve gotten new entrance music. I know whenever someone gets new music, it takes some time for the fans to adapt to it. How does that work for you, the wrestler?
SR: It took me a little while, even just walking down the ramp instead of through the crowd is a little weird at first. With the music, you have to find out how it flows with your entrance. I think now, after about a month or so, it’s starting to catch on and I kind of like the way it feels.
JM: With your entering from the stage now, does it put you at ease knowing that you don’t run the risk of tripping over the barricade anymore?
SR: Ha! Well, they fixed the barricade. That’ll probably never happen again. The one that I hopped over and ruined my night was a little faulty. They bought some new ones and fixed it up. But yes, it is nice to know I won’t have to deal with that anymore.
JM: Is there any significance behind the blonde streak in your hair?
SR: When I was down in NXT, there were a lot of guys with long dark hair – Roman Reigns, Adam Rose, Bo Dallas. I needed to do something to set myself apart a little bit. If you’re seeing the show for the first time and there are five guys with long dark hair, it’s going to be difficult to remember who is who.
JM: With your winning the Money in the Bank contract, is that briefcase something you have to carry with you when you travel, similar to a championship?
SR: Oh yes, that’s with me all over. It’ll be part of my carry-on luggage at the airport. I don’t know what I’ll end up putting in there to maximize my space. I don’t want to be carrying that big stupid thing empty. That seems like a waste, right?
JM: How exciting is it knowing that you’re the only man in WWE right now that can have a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at anytime, anyplace, for the next year?
SR: That’s very exciting. There’s no better position to be in, unless you’re the champ himself. It’s nice. You’d rather be the hunter than the hunted.