RAW Superstar Seth Rollins was today’s guest on E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness. The former WWE Champion opened up about his relationship with WWE CEO Vince McMahon, as well as his successful WrestleMania 31 Money In The Bank cash in against then WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and his scheduled opponent Roman Reigns. Highlights appear below
(Transcription Credit: Michael McClead, WrestleZone)
On Splitting With The Shield & Becoming A Heel WWE Champion:
I wasn’t ready for it. That was not the role I expected coming out of it. When they said it was gonna be me that pulled the trigger, I was almost like, ‘No, I was a babyface in NXT. I’m the babyface; [Dean] Ambrose is the heel. It’s not the other way around. It doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know how to do this.’ Honestly, it took some learning from me. I’d been a heel in Ring of Honor, but it’s just a different world here. It’s a different animal and you’re working with different guys. The style is different. It’s a little more cutthroat and people are looking out for themselves a little bit more. They’re smarter. It’s a whole different world. When we did the turn, it was excellent, but it took me a little while to get in my groove trying to figure out who is Seth Rollins? What is this character when he’s not in The Shield? It took me a little while to grow into who that person was, and figure him out, and try on different skins, and sometimes they didn’t work, and Vince [McMahon] would get mad.
More On Vince McMahon Getting Angry:
One time on SmackDown, I had this match with Kofi [Kingston] when we were still taping SmackDown. It was meant to be a get over match for me. Now Kofi’s someone who I have a lot of respect for. I would never – even in a match that’s meant for me to look good in – I would not want to just squash Kofi. I wouldn’t want to do it. I would want to give him something. That’s just my nature.
It was literally three minutes long probably, start to finish, bell to bell. I gave Kofi a little bit and made him look good and then beat him. I remember coming to the back and thinking, ‘OK, that was alright.’ Vince was furious about it, furious. He was like, ‘Get over here,’ and he was yelling at me. He was like, ‘If you’re gonna be my guy, that’s not what I want,’ and he shooed me out of Gorilla. I didn’t understand. I didn’t get it and Michael was trying to explain to me what Vince wanted out of the situation, and they ended up making me and Kofi go back out and re-do the match.
I remember the feeling when they told me that. I was so angry and embarrassed. I was ready to walk out and not do it. Never in my life, this should never happen to me, but it was such a learning experience in retrospect that it’s OK to screw up sometimes. It’s OK to try things and fail, and learn from your mistakes, and as long as you improve your second time around, and don’t make the same mistake twice, you’re gonna be alright. Little things like that for 6-8 months before I really started to figure out who I was.
On The WrestleMania 31 Money In The Bank Cash-In;
I ended up winning Money in the Bank in June, after the turn. Going into WrestleMania the next year I had that briefcase and there were no plans for me to use it, so I came up with one. Yep [I pitched that]. That was my idea. I had the idea in my head, almost, ‘Why the hell not? Its never been done.’ Strangely, I had a little bit of foresight in the sense that I sorta saw how the momentum with Roman [Reigns] was shifting going into that WrestleMania, but I remember going into that Royal Rumble. This was the beginning of the, ‘We hate Roman,’ thing. I felt the tide starting to turn and I remember – not politicking – but working my way into this Triple Threat Match with Brock Lesnar and John Cena at that Royal Rumble.
It was in Philadelphia. Lesnar and Cena had done a couple of matches earlier in the year and they wanted to do a third one. I didn’t have anything going into the Rumble and I knew that being in the Rumble didn’t really mean much to me because I had the briefcase. I was talking to John and he and I had become friends a little bit and I was asking him, ‘Do you think people really want to see this Lesnar vs Cena 3?’ He didn’t think they did and I was like, ‘What do you think about throwing me into the mix and making it a little different?’ He was like, ‘I don’t hate the idea.’ The next thing you know the idea comes to fruition, so I can only thank John for probably putting in a word on that one and giving me an opportunity.
So, we’re at this Royal Rumble and I knew we had a decent match. There was a lot of energy in Lesnar matches and John, obviously as well. I just wanted to hang with those guys. I thought it would be good to be in their company. They were on a different echelon, at that point. I wanted to be seen in their company. If I could be seen as equal to those two, even for one night, that’s gonna put my stock through the roof. We went out in the middle of the show and just killed it. The match was way better than I even could have expected. The crowd was on another level. I was very satisfied coming back. Again, that was sort of the time the crowd was starting to do what they were doing with Roman and I just felt this thing – this energy – I thought coming. I knew they were gonna kind of take a dump on him when he won the Rumble and they did.
I remember the next day having the conversation with Hunter for the second time because I had pitched the idea at the end of the year before and I just wanted to remind him that I had this idea on the table and I think it’s a pretty good one. ‘Even if it’s not the idea it can easily be a contingency plan, if the main event of WrestleMania doesn’t come together how you see it, so just keep it in the back of your head.’
I pitched the idea. I strongly felt like it was a good one. I felt like I was the guy. Again, I went to him and said, ‘I want the ball.’
Seth Rollins On Invoking Vince McMahon’s Fury, WrestleMania 31 Cash In