Source: Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast
As previously noted, one-half of the WWE RAW Tag Team Champions, Seth Rollins, joined pro wrestling enthusiast Sam Roberts on his podcast, for a live (to tape) interview. Among many other things, Rollins talked about the internal competition within The Shield, whether disbanding the group was premature, whether he should have returned from injury as a babyface, and the lack of passion at WWE's main event scene prior to The Shield's arrival.
According to Rollins, there was "healthy" competition within The Shield because each member wanted to be single's stars before being put together as a faction.
"I think so. I think it was a healthy competition though. It was one of those things where it helped us push each other because we all wanted to be single's stars - we were never like, 'hey, let's do this together and call ourselves The Shield.' That was kind of thrust upon us. Myself, Ambrose, and Reigns all separately down in NXT/FCW, whatever, were all on our own doing our own thing, we all wanted to be world champion and that kind of stuff. We all had a little bit of a camaraderie as far as our generation coming to the forefront and pushing some of these older guys out of the way, but like, once we got put together in The Shield, it was honestly like a real brother type of bond as far as travel together, workout together, we had the same mindset. We were going to use that triad of force to be an even bigger wedge and really shove everybody else out of the way. And then, as we got sort of towards the end of it, we were like, 'well, I want to be positioned to be seen this way or that way' amongst the three of us. But again, I don't think there was ever any jealousy. There was never any envy. It was a positive sort of healthy environment, healthy competition, to see who could kind of one up each other."
Rollins shared that The Shield's breakup was out of the blue, as the trio hoped for a long babyface run. Despite wanting a longer babyface run and having reservations about being the one to break up 'The Hounds Of Justice,' Rollins claimed that everything worked out fine in the long run.
"It was thrust upon us very quickly. I don't know if that story [has] been told or not, but we were not prepared so well for the break up - 'yeah, you're going this way, you're going this way, you're going that way' sort of thing. Well, no, [they did not want to break up] we weren't ready for it. We thought we had a big babyface run in us, which is what we just started. We had two months with Evolution, having a couple of six-mans. We were like, 'alright, let's go! This is the idea we have to kind of push ourselves in that direction' and they were like, 'no! We need three single's stars and we need them right now.' And I was like, 'well, if it's going to be anybody, [there is] no better time than when we were on top of the world, so it worked really well and I was hesitant at first because I didn't really see it that way, myself as the bad guy of the group. But once it was kind of laid out and the ball started rolling in my head, I was like, 'okay, this is definitely something I can slide into' and it worked out quite well."
In Rollins' view, the WWE Universe was ready for 'The Man' to return from his knee injury of 2015 as a babyface, but coming back as a heel makes more sense from a storytelling perspective.
"Yeah, it was a little confusing at first. I guess, when it was happening, I was like, 'it only made sense, I thought, for me to come back as a babyface, I thought personally. I thought all the makings of a hot babyface comeback were right there. You talk about Triple H with the quad tear and the return at Madison Square Garden. I think everybody had visions of that in their head and that just never came to fruition. It just never happened. It was a little bit of a letdown. And then, I had to kind of slide back into a role, and, if I remember correctly, most of the fans were not really ready for me to come back as a bad guy at that point. Yeah, they were ready to cheer."
Rollins added, "looking back on in now, in retrospect, I think it was… the story arc, the character arc I've kind of gone through even though it has been slow, it [has] been very good and well told. On the backend of it, I think looking back on all of this, it will be better this way, but it was still strange for sure."
Also during the show, Rollins claimed that there was not a lot of passion on the main event scene before The Shield's arrival.
"There were so many guys at the top who were just kind of idling. There was no passion in the work. And there [were] a couple of guys, I felt Punk and Bryan were really starting to push the envelope, but beyond that, there weren't guys with honest passion and fire for what we do to constantly push the envelope and hoping to get better. So that [has] always been my mantra, just find something, find a goal, and push for that as hard as you can."
Find out what's the haps here. If you use any of the quotations that appear in this article, please credit Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
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