WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins on what he learned from his new gimmick, when he knew it was clicking

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

CBS Sports interview with Seth Rollins
Host: Shakiel Mahjouri
Story available via CBSSports.com

What Seth Rollins learned from his new gimmick: “I think I learned a lot about how to take chances and have a little bit more confidence in myself. I think it’s one of those things where I lived in my comfort zone for such a long time that I thought I knew better. I thought I knew what I was. I was comfortable in my identity. And it was hard to look in the mirror and go, ‘Okay, this is working but what can we do to go to the next level?’ Revamping your whole presentation is a difficult choice to make. You think it won’t work. You think it’ll fail, people won’t like it or you won’t be able to do it. All of these types of things.

“Sometimes you just have to dive in and see what happens and have confidence in your ability to make anything work. If you are experienced and talented and committed and passionate, no matter what is given to you or no matter what you choose to do, you can find a way to make the absolute best of it. It helps that all of this has kind of come from my brain and these are mostly my ideas — with the help of, you know, some folks whose opinions I care about — but at the end of the day all of the things that come out of Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins are coming from for me. So that helps me. But it was definitely a lesson in taking chances and understanding sometimes in show biz that’s what you got to do if you want to continue to evolve and stay relevant in a culture that’s constantly changing and always looking for new, new, new.”

When Seth Rollins knew things were clicking: “Truth be told, the wardrobe and the character really had its beginnings during the pandemic. So it would have been early 2021 when it was taking its first baby steps. So I didn’t have the same trepidation that I would if I was in front of an entire audience. It was just the television audience and then the computer screens at the Thunderdome…

“When I really started to notice that what I was doing was hitting was really during my rivalry with Edge because people really started to take notice of the colorful outfits. They started to make fun of them. They started to have fun with them. I wore an all-silver, bright aluminum foil-looking suit on television one time and I got ‘Baked potato’ chants. If you can get baked potato chants based on what you’re wearing, I think you’re onto something. It took a while to grasp that moment, hone it and figure it out, but it started to catch on. People started to wonder what kind of outlandish crap I was going to wear the next week and it caught fire.”

Always having a chip on his shoulder: “Oh, there’s always a chip on my shoulder. It never goes away. I’m never just coasting. I’m never just being okay with being okay. If it’s not wanting to win a world championship or establish a world championship. Now I’ve got people calling my world championship a secondary world championship. So now I’m out here trying to prove everybody wrong on that. I’m not going to be naive and think that we ain’t got a lot of work to do. Establishing a new title is difficult work. It is a hard job. Somebody’s got to do it. And I am very honored to have the responsibility to be the guy to do that.

“So there’s always a chip on my shoulder. Anytime we go to any arena in the country and anybody else gets credit for filling a house or being on top or popping a rating or anything like that, I’m always going to feel slighted by it. Not in a way that I’m jealous. I’m thrilled. Business is huge. We are the hottest ticket in town anywhere we go. We are sold out left and right. Houses are up.

“Ratings are up. It’s crazy to be a part of WWE right now, but I’m always, always wanting to be the guy. Always wanting to be the marquee. Whatever it is. That’s where I want to be. And if I feel like I’m not there, I’m going to be hustling. I’m like Michael Jordan, man. I’m going to find something. Even if there’s nothing. Even if everything’s cooking and cruising and perfect, I’m gonna go out and I’m going to find something to piss me off. I’m going to find something that I can sink my teeth into. I’m going to make an enemy out of somebody so that I got something to work for because that’s just how I operate. That’s how I flow. I don’t know how to do it any other way.”

Other topics include a lost season of the NXT gameshow with Big E and Xavier Woods, CM Punk could have been his NXT Pro, embracing his eccentric side, whether the World Heavyweight Championship is a secondary belt, raising a child on the road, and more.


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