Seth Rollins is currently the "Monday Night Messiah" on Monday Night RAW, where he just recruited Austin Theory recently to his faction. Rollins was on After The Bell with Corey Graves to talk about his transition into this new heel character and the things that he enjoys doing compared to his "Burn It Down" persona.
"Yeah, It's always fun to evolve, and it's scary to take chances, play characters and do something that you're not used to," Rollins admitted. "You get kind of accustomed to doing what you're used to and getting in this kind of this mode, and sometimes there's a stubbornness that comes with that, but there's also like a cool sense of adventure when it comes to just diving into a character. You really start to lose ambition a little bit and you allow yourself to step outside of who you are.
"Sometimes when you're wrestling, you really feel like you're being judged as me, this person, and so when you play such a character that's so far from really who you are, it allows you to let go of everything and to just sort of be this character and allow it to explore different places and you can do different things with it. You can take chances, like 'Burn It Down' Seth Rollins would never have gone on television crazy hair and a big bloated belly on him. You know what I'm saying? But the Messiah would and so it's fun to take chances and to do things differently. So it's just it's been a lot of fun for me."
Rollins just completed his long-running storyline with Kevin Owens. Their match, and WrestleMania itself, was moved to the Performance Center, which Rollins said "was the best thing that could have happened" due to their history in the Performance Center. Rollins talked about his satisfaction with the match even without a crowd.
"Well it was really interesting because we had done a couple of RAW's leading up and to Mania, and no one had really gotten the hang of what this this no audience television product was going to look or feel like, but I did start to notice some certain things that didn't seem to translate when we didn't have a live audience, just some kind of normal things that you do in a wrestling match that I felt weren't working when I was watching the matches," Rollins said. "Kevin and I started this story back in November, and we added all these pieces in and took pieces out.
"We were dealing with a lot of craziness, and look, no bones about it, Kevin and I weren't the marquee match-up on the show. We weren't. You had Undertaker-AJ Styles, you had Bray-John Cena, you had Roman and Goldberg, initially, and turned into Braun and Goldberg, and Edge and Randy. You had these other high-profile matches, Becky and Shayna. We just weren't at the top of the list. Like I said, I was extremely happy with the finished product that we were able to put on between having a five-month story that turned into what it was, and we were able to have, what I thought, was one of the standout, I can't put up there with that dang Boneyard match, but from an in-ring perspective, it was pretty good with no crowd."
The most talked about spot of the match was Owens' dive off the WrestleMania sign. Rollins talked about what he was thinking seeing Owens dive onto him and a possible injury scare that he thought happened after the dive.
"You don't realize how big it is, until you're laying down there underneath Kevin, who's like a giant dude," Rollins recalled. "I remember walking in there that day because I didn't know it was gonna be there. I didn't know what the WrestleMania set to his going to look like. I didn't know what they were going to do. The fact that they even got that sign in there, I thought, was impressive. Then I was laying there, and I was looking up at Kevin like, 'oh, this is a terrible idea. This is no good.' And you can hear me physically wheezing because there's no crowd. It's just me going [Seth makes wheezing sounds] like just dry heaving.
"I thought he broke my ribs. He elbowed me. I mean he landed perfect, but he hit me so hard, and he's just a big boy, so he smashed me right in that rib cage. Luckily, only knocked the wind out of me but that sucked. That was one of the worst. I've been on the other end of that. I've been the one doing the jumping, but not from that height before I don't think. So that was just kind of one of those grit your teeth moments as Nigel [McGuinness] would say."
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit After The Bell with a h/t from Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.