During a recent interview with Yahoo Sports, former Universal Champion Seth Rollins discussed everything from RAW Reunion to Extreme Rules and beyond, as he prepares to once again challenge Brock Lesnar for the title at SummerSlam. Rollins is coming off the back of his first run with the belt which, all in all, received mixed to negative reviews from the WWE Universe.
Check out highlights below:
With Raw Reunion coming up this Monday, who are you most excited to see backstage?
Kelly Kelly. No, I’m just kidding. Kelly Kelly is great, don’t get me wrong.
I grew up watching Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold. It’s always good to have those guys around because they really add a good bit of energy to the locker room, backstage area and with the boys. It eases the tension a little bit. I’m looking forward to having a fun afternoon.
What do you view as they biggest change from their era and what you’re doing in WWE now?
I think the microscope is different. With social media, information travels so quickly, so the level of intelligence of our fans is so much different. The level of information that they are privy to with just a simple Google search is so different than what it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago. The microscope becomes so tight on all of us.
It’s a different world we’re living in and the adaptation, what we have to deliver all of the time, the expectation is a lot higher than what they were doing. Hogan had “Saturday Night Main Event,” he didn’t have a TV show until Raw and Nitro. There’s a lot more expected of us and we work for a publicly traded company, so we have to be even more buckled down as far as our performances and our personal lives are concerned.
Is that why you think there’s become somewhat of a sentiment online where it’s “cool” to hate WWE?
We’re the New York Yankees. It’s easy to hate the New England Patriots. We’re those teams, we’re the dynasty. It’s easy to hate us, but we’re still the most popular company in the world at what we do. We’re so far beyond being a wrestling company that it’s very easy to point the finger and hate on us. That’s the cool thing to do, it makes perfect sense to me, it’s how it’s always been in sports and entertainment, you always hate the big guy. It’s fine, I’m not upset about it at all.
I just want people to understand and appreciate the things we go through and the fact that we’re always trying to do our best. Nobody is taking it easy, nobody is just getting by. Everybody from top to bottom, every department in the entire company is putting in as much work as they possibly can to make this the best.
My anticipation is that you’re going to get Seth Rollins versus Brock Lesnar in a hotly contested match over the richest title in the industry. I say that because if you look at our past encounters, especially this year, Brock highly underestimated me. I don’t think he thought heading into WrestleMania that I was capable of what I was and I caught him. Then you look at Super Showdown and our interactions after that, we have never really seen the match that people want to see. Now I think he’s going to be more prepared, a little less aggressive out of the gate, a little more careful. I know what to expect and I think you’re going to see the match you’ve wanted to see for a long time.
Extreme Rules was among the best pay-per-views of the year. What was it like capping off that night of wrestling?
It’s a lot of pressure. That card was deep. There were 12 matches and it was a four-hour show, not including the pre-show. You’re looking at nearly five hours of wrestling, which is just crazy, especially when you have Finn Balor versus Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship on the pre-show. That’s how we started the night.
To have to go after Undertaker and Roman Reigns, Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman, Aleister Black and Cesaro, the surprise of the SmackDown Live Tag Team Championship triple-threat and how awesome that was. To have to cap that night off, it’s a lot of pressure, especially with two chumps that people don’t want to see in Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans. The fact that we went out there and killed it, gave the crowd something they haven’t seen in a long time with the inter-gender wrestling. I was really proud of it. I think it will go down as one of the best pay-per-views of the year.