Recently on Talk Is Jericho, WWE's Seth Rollins talked about a number of topics including watching WWE programming while he was injured, WWE scouting independent talents again, Daniel Bryan's retirement, when he knew he was returning to the ring, and who he is looking forward to working with now that he has been cleared for competition.
According to Rollins, being out of action with an injury allowed him to step back and watch WWE as a whole. Rollins claimed that he did not have the opportunity to follow any of the other storylines during his run as WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
"I watched the show every week [during the time away], but I was able to look at it, watch it a little bit differently and not like when you're in it. Well, when you're in it, you're in a bubble. It's very hard, especially for me, when I left, I was doing on RAW just massive amounts of work every week where I'd do a promo, a two [segment] match, and a lot of backstage stuff, so it was so hard for me to keep an eye on what everybody else was doing and just the quality of the program in general. Sometimes I would get done and get in the car and I'd ask Cesaro, I'd be like, 'hey, how was the show?' or like, 'how is my stuff? Was it any good?' Like, because I don't know." Rollins added, "so watching it from a distance, I was able to watch it somewhat as a fan, as much as a fan as we can watch it anymore. But also just be able to see the entirety of the show, see how the stories are laid out, just kind of watch the progression [that] the characters go through. It was just cool to see it and you get a different appreciation than when you're in it."
Rollins said he texted back and forth with several WWE Superstars while he was out, including Jericho, Cesaro, John Cena, and Luke Harper.
"I texted [Jericho] a couple of times, just talking because [Jericho was] having some great matches and I'm just a real big fan of [Jericho's] work the last couple of months, just the heel stuff. Just going out of your way. God, I love being a heel, so I just appreciate when guys take the time to actually do it, so it was just nice to watch. And I sent texts to some other guys, just talking. Every once in a while, I'll talk to Becky Lynch, and give her a little bit of this and that or Cesaro and I [would text]. He would text me every week and ask about the show. And the guys that were out too, when Cesaro was out and John [Cena] was out, we would [text] back and forth a little bit or [Luke] Harper too."
Rollins admitted that the influx of new talent while he was on the injured reserve forced him to ask himself whether he had a spot to come back to following the knee injury.
"It just lets you get a different view of it and it's interesting too because they started bringing in a lot of these new cats, right? The Bullet Club guys, and AJ [Styles], and [Karl] Anderson and [Luke] Gallows. And then, Sami [Zayn] came up and there are a lot of new [performers]. Big Cass, Enzo, all the NXT guys they brought up and I'm like, 'man'. After a while, I'll be like, 'do I fit into this anymore? Is there a spot for me?'"
During the podcast, Rollins said that WWE has returned to seeking out talents with international experience and that it is "refreshing" to see performers like Kevin Owens get a chance to succeed in WWE. Rollins admitted that even he doubted whether Owens would ever make it to WWE.
"Obviously, the advent of the developmental system changed that a little bit in the way they were scouting talent and stuff and yada, yada, yada. A lot of factors went into that, but now, like [Jericho] said, it's back to that, I feel like. And Triple H has a lot to do with that, they way he's scouting talent and bringing in guys from the independents and stuff like that, but it's great. It's really awesome to see guys get opportunities that maybe people thought never would. Hell, I never thought Kevin Owens would get an opportunity here. Never. And I always loved Kevin. I've been friends with him for years. I think his work is great, but I mean, even his work, people were like, 'no, that's not the WWE style. He doesn't have the WWE look.' Like, 'yeah, the kid can cut a promo'. You know what I mean? There [are] all these things, but, but, but, but, but and the fact that the guys are getting opportunities, Sami Zayn and Apollo Crews. Myself, people forget that I'm kind of lumped into that. I'm in that generation too, so I just think that that's awesome."
With respect to Daniel Bryan's retirement, the former Shield member stated that the RAW segment was difficult for him to watch as a longtime friend of Bryan. Rollins said that Bryan is such a good person that he would even let him petsit his dog, Kevin the Yorkshire Terrier.
"It's terrible. I mean, at the end of the day, his health is obviously more important than what he can give to us in our industry and stuff like that. And he's a friend of mine. I've known Bryan and respected him for a really long time. For anybody that [has] ever met him, and [Jericho knows] him, he's literally the greatest human being. So awesome and nice and funny and just a stand up dude. You could trust him with your kids, with your house, literally anything. Like, I would let him watch my dog and I don't let a lot of people watch my dog, so he's just awesome, 100%. And to have to watch him [give his retirement speech on RAW]. I was out when he had to announce his retirement and to not be able to be there, selfishly for me was sad. I wanted to be able to be there and say goodbye to him and stuff like that. But, man, having to watch him do that, that was really hard for me. I watched it at home and I was trying to hard not to cry through that whole damn thing, trying, trying, trying, and I made it most of the way. And then, there were a couple of times where he starts talking about his father and I'm getting close [to crying], but, dude, at the end, like, when Brie ran out there with him, that was it for me. I was done! I sobbed like a baby, man. I felt like an infant, crying, crying, crying. It was very sad."
'The Architect' purported that he only knew of his surprise return at Extreme Rules a week or two in advance.
"A week beforehand. Like, two weeks, maybe, at most. I was just in the gym one afternoon [and] I get a call from [WWE Senior Director of Talent Relations] Mark Carrano. He says, 'alright, here's the plan: you're coming back at Extreme Rules.' I said, 'what?' Like, we had not discussed anything about this. Nobody had text me 'how are you doing? What do you think about this idea? Do you have any ideas of your own?' And I had been feeling good, so I'd kind of been texting Triple H and Michael Hayes, just being like, 'if you hear anything, buzz me. Like, I'd like to be part of the creative process on this. It's important, I think, so lets have an open line of communication on that' because sometimes it's not always like that. So I gave them what I thought was a nice advance on that and all of a sudden, they're saying you're back. And I'm saying, 'what do you mean? I'm not even cleared!' Carrano's like, 'yeah, we're working on that. You'll go down to Florida for a week.'"
Finally, when asked who he is most looking forward to mixing it up with now that he is back in WWE, Rollins professed that is is mostly looking forward to working with AJ Styles and Sami Zayn now that he is back in WWE.
"Everybody, but AJ mostly. [We wrestled] once. One time 10 years ago, so we're two different humans at this point. I was 19 [years old]. He was 28 [or] something like that. It was two different people. Now [we are] two different performers. It would be great to get back out there. I mean, it was in a VFW in Muscatine [Iowa] or something in front of my friends and my grandma was there. This one and the next time I'm sure will be on a much bigger stage, so it will be nice to have that [come] full circle. And he's just a dude that I just love. He's just great, so that'll be awesome. And Sami, I haven't worked with Sami in a while, so he'll be cool to get in the ring with as well."
In addition to these topics, Rollins talked about how he got The Pedigree as a finish, breaking John Cena's nose, and much more. To listen to the podcast, click here (http://www.podcastone.com/Talk-Is-Jericho). If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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