Rollins, real name Colby Lopez, made his professional wrestling debut at the age of 17 in 2003 for Scott County Wrestling
(SCW) - he competed under the name Gixx. As Tyler Black, he went on to run the ropes for All-American Wrestling in Chicago,
Illinois, Independent Wrestling Association (IWA) Mid-South, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (alongside Jeff Luxon, Black fell to
Hernandez and Homicide at the September 25, 2006 iMPACT! taping) and even MTV's bizarre Wrestling Society X
experiment. (Continue Reading) |
(Seth Rollins Was Close To Being Released By WWE)
|SETH ROLLINS FEATURES|
On September 15, 2007, Black made his Ring of Honor debut as a member of heel faction The Age of the Fall. He recieved
a credibility boost on March 16, 2008 when, aged just 21, he a stunning super-competitive match with ROH World Champion
Nigel McGuinness. More stature-enhancers with Bryan Danielson (now Daniel Bryan) and the Briscoes combined with his
advancement as a worker convinced ROH bigwigs that he was heavyweight title material. The decision was made. On February 13, 2010,
Black beat Austin Aries for the ROH World Championship at the organization's eighth anniversary show in New York City.
Some ROH supporters disagreed with management's selection of Black as Aries' successor and booed the 23-year-old in
matches against Roderick Strong and Davey Richards. When it was confirmed in August of that year that Black had signed a
developmental contract with WWE, while still recognized as champion, he was officially named public enemy number one in Ring
of Honor. He reported to WWE's developmental program in Tampa, Florida after dropping the ROH World Championship in a No
Disqualification match to Strong.
For Black, Ring of Honor was just a stepping stone to a larger league, as it is for many professional wrestlers.
Incidentally, Black was offered a contract by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2010, but declined because he aspired to
work for the premiere wrestling organization in the United States. He didn't take the jeers personally. Even at such a
young age, he was cognizant of the big picture many fans and even some wrestlers either cannot or do not wish to see.
Speaking to a wrestling publication on March 31, 2010, less than two months into his reign as ROH World Champion, Black
remarked, "Some fans don't understand [the financial] part of wrestling: they think wrestlers sell out when they go to work
for a bigger company. But we don't get retirement plans. We've got to make our money when we can."
On February 23, 2012, Rollins defeated Leo Kruger to become the Florida Heavyweight Champion. Months later, he was
promoted to the main WWE roster.
After biding his time in Florida Championship Wrestling for a little over two years, Rollins, alongside Dean Ambrose and
Roman Reigns, debuted for WWE in the closing moments of the main event of Survivor Series on November 18, 2012.
Attacking one third of the Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship, Ryback, their motivations were initially unclear.
Declaring themselves as The Shield, they explained themselves as as not being associates of WWE Champion CM Punk, but as
some sort of balancing act that went about righting wrongs.
Positioned as villains, The Shield immediately felt more significant than the average newcomers in WWE. Eventually, it
was revealed that they had been paid to do Paul Heyman's dirty work, but crucially, had no allegiance to him. Their goal was
self-service, and their pay-off to simply make their mark.
Entering through the crowd, from high up in the bleachers, was a fine way to distinguish the act, adding an element of
danger and rebellious edge. The apparently self-filmed backstage vignettes, during which the camera would often be left on
the ground following a well-spoken onslaught of threats, also felt contemporary. Their black protective vests and militant
garments made The Shield feel like a splinter group who could rock the establishment.
In the ensuing months, The Shield has maintained this aura by keeping up the organized chaos. The group has appeared
different to previous heel factions in WWE, and has remained novel despite dozens of matches on television and
Those familiar with Rollins' work as Tyler Black, particularly as he was en route to the ROH World Championship. will be
all too aware of his potential as a top-tier babyface in WWE. Dynamic, innovative and unpredictable, he has always been
capable of playing an underdog, too. Of late, WWE has really allowed him to flourish in the ring: on the March 24 edition
of Raw, for example, Rollins was the star of a fearsome Shield contest with Jack Swagger and Cesaro. Mixing up his
usual high-spots, he delivered his dives seamlessly, raising the crowd to its feet. It was apparent that while Reigns is
being groomed as the star attraction, and Ambrose has something unique and intangible, right now Rollins is the one
exploding out of the gate.
"Seth has all the tools to be the WWE World Heavyweight Champion," enthused "Sugarfoot" Alex Payne, who first met Rollins
around the age of 17, when both grapplers were working independent shows in the Midwestern United States. "I think a build
for him, one day as the Intercontinental and/or United States Champion would be good. He's a creative guy in terms of the
moves he can perform, and the knowledge he has inside of the ring. I can see him doing a few more daredevil matches, like
TLC or Ladder matches, that would steal the show. He's got youth and time on his side. I'd love to see him have a
WrestleMania moment of capturing gold there."
Social Media: Seth Rollins has
made his presence known on social media with accounts on Twitter and Instagram. Fans can keep up with the Iowa native on the
microblogging at WWERollins. Fans can also find Rollins on
Instagram at wwerollins. He does not have a personal account on Facebook.
As surprising as it may be today, one of the members of The Shield was at one point close to being wished well in his
future endeavors by WWE.
Last year, rumors circulated that all three members of the group - Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns
and Seth Rollins - had developed a degree of backstage heat that could hinder their progress in WWE. Like so many young wrestlers
before them who were fast-tracked to WWE stardom, the trio was accused of developing egos and forgetting proper professional
wrestling locker room etiquette.
Former WWE creative writer Court Bauer claimed on Live Audio Wrestling in July that various employees in the
sports-entertainment organization had complained to him about the group "taking themselves and their gimmick too seriously."
The group, which debuted eight months prior at the Survivor Series, was actually close to not coming into existence
at all due to a similar mindset. Rob Naylor, who worked as a creative assistant for WWE's NXT division from 2011 through
2013, recently revealed that a member of the group was on the bubble to be wished well in his future endeavors a few months
prior to the angle coming to fruition due to management's negative perception of the individual's
Outside of the ring, Rollins is considered an independent thinker who challenges the status quo, Ambrose can be taken the
wrong way and Reigns has a history of personal issues (he was arrested in Florida on June 20, 2010 and charged with
disorderly conduct and public intoxication). Naylor, however, does not believe there's anything for Shield supporters to
"I can see why they were perceived that way. I saw Ambrose act kinda foolishly politically on occasion, but he had a
'live by his own rules' kind of mindset. He's a rare renegade in a business that has become very saccharine and milquetoast,
in my opinion. He's a cavalier," Naylor said in an interview.
"Rollins' issues were simply that he didn't always listen precisely to his coaches. He'd be told not to do a move... and
then do it. He later would tell the younger talent to just bide your time and listen to what you are told, as once you get
the spot you deserve, you'll then have the opportunity for more in-ring latitude, so to speak.
"I know that while Rollins was in FCW and NXT, people felt at times he had 'behavioral issues'. That was never the case
in my estimation. Every coach on the staff was just as hungry at one time, so that was overblown. But he was on the
bubble to be let go months prior to the Shield angle, based on the perception of some from the office."
Thankfully, for all concerned, such drastic measures were avoided, and certainly the proof that this was the correct
decision has been borne out in The Shield being a top-level attraction for WWE. The fact that they have also been endorsed
by John Cena at recent live events indicates that the roster is equally grateful to have The Shield ready and willing to
carry some of the load.
Mr. Money in the Bank
Seth Rollins joined The Rack this past Thursday night, where he discussed what it was like to be in the ring and curb stomping both Brock Lesnar and John Cena on RAW, his thoughts on Smackdown moving to Thursdays, who is he looking forward to working with from NXT in the future, his favorite Smackdown moment and what it was like working with The Undertaker, his reaction to Randy Savage going into the Hall of Fame in 2015, what he likes to do on his days off and so much more.
What it was like to be standing over both Cena and Lesnar at the end of RAW:
"You know, it felt good; those big nights you were referring to are starting to pile up here and I’m starting to have them more and more and more. Last night on RAW, surely, standing over both John Cena and the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, was a feat that, honestly, I don’t think there are any other men that can say they’ve done that; I might be the only one in the history of the WWE, so that’s quite monumental.”
On his championship Triple Threat match at the Royal Rumble: “My strategy for this match is to go in full boar, 100 percent, 110 percent, whatever you want to call it and try to win the match. If things don’t work out and I don’t end up winning, the odds are against me for sure, I have back-up plans. I always got a Plan B and that is my Money in the Bank briefcase. It’s an unprecedented situation; I don’t think it the history of the Money in the Bank briefcase contract scenario that you’ve had a challenger with two opportunities essentially to win the title, so it should be a very interesting Royal Rumble. I think the fans are going to be at the edge of their seats the whole time.”
What it’s like working with both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon on TV weekly: “Oh, they’re phenomenal; two of the greatest minds in the history of our industry. You’ve got one, born and bred a McMahon so she knows all there is to know about what we do and she knows all the little tricks of the trade. She sees things from a completely different perspective, so you have that. On the other hand, you have ‘The Cerebral Assassin’, a man who’s been WWE Champion multiple times, who is clearly the heir-apparent to the company itself and already running the ship for the most part. There are really no better mentors; if you’re not learning something every single day, every single time you go out there, then you’re really just making a mistake trying to progress yourself. If people have kept track over the past 6-8 months, they’ll have noticed a lot of improvements in my game, at least I have, and a lot of that is due to having Triple H and Stephanie on my side, nurturing me all the way through.”
On Triple H following his progress through NXT, The Shield and now: “Yeah, clearly, the man has an eye for talent, you know? It’s been good; NXT was a good experience for me. We were really the first group of guys who were involved in that project and if you look at what it’s become now, it’s pretty impressive to think about where it started and how it began, very humbly, in a warehouse in Tampa and now, basically, it’s its own brand. To have Triple H’s support, through and through the entire way, has meant more to me than people will ever understand. It’s really helped position me to where I want to be and helped me grow as a person and as a performer.”
Is there anyone in the new crop of NXT talent that he’s looking forward to facing in the future: “I have a lot of friends down there; a lot of people who I traveled the road with in my previous life and I think those guys, the Adrian Nevilles and Sami Zayns, Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, Kevin Overs; these are the guys obviously making a name for themselves now in NXT. There’s also a lot of young guys too, who are pushing the envelope as well, really trying to make a name for themselves in the shadow, a little bit, of some of those bigger names.
You’ve got someone like CJ Parker, who’s been down in NXT for a while making waves. You’ve got Tyler Breeze, who is on the cusp of something big and stuff like that. So, there’s a lot of talent down there; I’m looking forward to seeing how the landscape up here in the WWE looks like in 2-5 years, with all of those names I mentioned, up here working with us. It’s going to be a very interesting period for the future of WWE.”
If the shift of Smackdown to Thursdays gives people like yourself a chance to be the one the show is built around, like Edge and Undertaker in the past: “I would like to assume that both RAW and Smackdown will be built around me from this day forward, or maybe from the Royal Rumble forward. I talk a lot about how the future is now, well I’m not the future anymore; the present is upon us and I am a major part of that. Smackdown moving back to Thursday nights, where it originally began, is really exciting for me just because that’s the night I used to watch it when I was younger; all the stuff with The Rock, Edge and Christian, Eddie Guerrero and my *ahem* security guard Joey Mercury also played a huge role on Smackdown during that time as well. It’s an awesome move; I’m looking forward to reaching into another night in the week and just seeing what that brings and what that holds for us as a company moving forward. It’s going to be good for everybody involved.”
On his favorite Smackdown Moment: “Man, there’s a lot of really good ones; I would be hard pressed not to say that one of my own personal favorite moments is me powerbombing the Undertaker through a table, that’s pretty iconic as far as a Smackdown Moment gets. If I’m going to reach back in the vault, I’m going probably to the very first Smackdown with the Shawn Michaels superkick on the Rock, that was pretty awesome and I’m a big Shawn Michaels fan, so when Rock is going for the People’s Elbow and Shawn just clocked him in the tooth, I thought that was pretty sweet.”
What was it like finding out he’d get to work with the Undertaker on Smackdown: “It’s one of those things where you don’t even really think that’s ever going to happen to you in your career and not because.. I expected the level of success I have but I expected Undertaker to be long gone by the time I came around and the fact that he’s still here is a testament to him and the fact that we were able to, we in The Shield, were able to ascend to that level so quickly and get a chance to be in the ring with him before he stepped away is pretty awesome. Obviously, you know, he could still be around and maybe there’s a WrestleMania match for me and him in the future, but for now, I’ll definitely I’ll cherish those moments I got to spend in the ring with him.”
His thoughts on the announcement of Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage for the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame Class: “Yeah, my only real thought is it’s about damn time; I know there were a lot of issue with getting him into the hall and stuff like that but I’m really glad, after all these years, people made the decision that it was the right thing to do and II think everybody knew that, it was dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s a little bit and I think they put their personal pride aside and made it well known that one of the greatest of all time, the Macho Man, deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and it’s about time. I’m glad to be involved in it in some way, shape or form; just to be part of the company while that happens is pretty cool.”