Seth Rollins Not a Fan of a Possible Roman Reigns-The Rock WrestleMania Match
A few days before SummerSlam this Sunday, WWE superstar Seth Rollins chatted with SI.com's Jimmy Traina about several topics. In addition to previewing his Intercontinental title match against Dolph Ziggler at SummerSlam, which can be seen on the WWE Network beginning at 7 p.m. ET,, Rollins also shared his thoughts on a rumored Roman Reigns vs. The Rock WrestleMania 35 match, Brock Lesnar's very light schedule, Ronda Rousey and much more.
SI.com: How do you feel about doing interviews? Do you dread them? Do you not mind them?
Seth Rollins: I don’t hate doing them at all. It depends on the interview. Sometimes you get people who are just doing their job, they don’t know much about wrestling, they're just writing for a local paper, or something like that and they ask run-of-the-mill questions. But, usually, if it’s someone who is a fan and interested and engaging, I don’t mind. I’m still a fan, so I like talking about wrestling.
SI: What single question do you wish you were never asked again the rest of your life?
SR: That’s a tough one. I guess the one I’ve answered more than any other is, “Who would you wanna wrestle in all of history?” If you had one dream match, who would it be? And I said Shawn Michaels in at least 6,000 interviews. It’s gotta be on my Wikipedia page by now. You gotta figure that one out.
SI: SummerSlam is always thought of as the second-biggest pay-per-view behind WrestleMania. That’s the perception of fans. Do the wrestlers think that way, too?
SR: Yeah, I think so. We do so many meet-and-greets, it’s always in huge markets, Brooklyn for the last few years. It certainly feels like a mini-WrestleMania. We’re in the city for four nights in a row, sometimes more if were doing appearances during the week. There’s definitely that added extra pressure to perform knowing were in Brooklyn, it’s a huge show, a lot of eyes on the product. So, yeah, I would say it still feels like a No. 2.
SI: Have you been happy with your program with Dolph Ziggler?
SR: I think it’s wonderful working with Dolph. We’ve never really had a program where we’ve had a series of matches over two or three months. And even from our first go around where he beat me for the Intercontinental championship on Raw, obviously there’s chemistry there and being able to do it over the course of a couple of pay-per-views is pretty fun stuff because then we get some time to sink our teeth and tell a really good story.
SI: Ronda Rousey has a big match against Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam. Ronda has gotten rave reviews about her performances so far. How do you think Ronda has done?
SR: I think Ronda’s been awesome. Obviously, it’s not an easy transition to make. She’s in a great spot and obviously the other girls are gonna be envious of that. Even the guys are gonna be envious of that. But she’s handled it super well and has been awesome backstage and fantastic just to deal with on a regular human-to-human basis. And she’s really kicked some butt in the ring. The WrestleMania match blew me away. The match she had with Nia [Jax] at the pay-per-view was fantastic. Any time she’s been in the ring, she’s knocked it out of the park. I expect nothing less in Brooklyn with her and Alexa Bliss.
SI: The other big match at SummerSlam is Brock Lesnar against your former Shield parnter, Roman Reigns. The WWE has done a good job with the Lesnar storyline where he's never around the WWE superstars and fans don't like that. They've done a good job blurring the lines about whether that's real or not. What's your opinion on Lesnar on his light schedule? Does it piss you off or do you think, more power to him because Vince McMahon gave him that deal?
SR: I think it’s more of the latter. From my perspective, I’m not mad at Brock Lesnar for getting a great deal. The guy got a fantastic deal. In a way, it’s a challenge, it’s inspiring. Part of being inspiring is the frustration that, “I don’t have Brock Lesnar’s deal. I’m not the Universal Champion for 600-and-some-odd days with 12 defenses or whatever it is. You can call it jealously, you can call it envy, but at the end of the day, as long as you don’t get ugly with it, it’s just motivation to work harder. Lesnar’s gonna do what Lesnar’s gonna do, whether he stays or goes. I think the cool part of SummerSlam is that animosity toward him has reached a boiling point. So I think coming into SummerSlam, you don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s what’s interesting to me. That’s the fun part of wrestling. The worst part of wrestling is when it’s super predictable. The best part is when it's "Honestly, I don't know."
SI: You are one of the top wrestlers in the company, one of the most popular. Even though Lesnar got a good deal, does Seth Rollins, not the character, the person -- Colby Lopez -- say, "This is kind of BS because I'm here busting it and the world title is not on me" or is it just a business and you go with what storylines dictate?
SR: I think it’s a bit of both. I don’t want to say it’s BS because one way or another, he’s earned that spot. He’s been a star everywhere he’s ever gone. He’s a box office draw. Whether that’s fair to me, that’s sort of irrelevant. It’s only about what he’s done. His situation is separate from my situation. For me to compare, I’m just waisting time when I could be spending that time being productive, working on my craft, wanting to get myself to that spot. At the end of the day, Brock Lesnar’s situation is Brock Lesnar's. It only motivates me to wanna work harder to be that guy in that position at some point. Not that I’d want his exact schedule. I love what I do. He doesn’t have a whole lot of passion for the way we do things, which is why he left in the first place. He didn’t like the schedule, it was beating him up. For me, we have different mindsets. But in theory, I want that position, I want to be the guy on the throne, I want to be the guy who runs the show. I want to be the guy everything revolves around. You just gotta keep working and hope your hard work pays off.
SI: Do you think Roman Reigns should turn heel?
SR: I don’t know. He’s in an interesting spot as a character. Until there’s something that really feels like, "OK we should push it one way or the other," he still gets one of the loudest reactions one way or the other every single night no matter where were at, in whatever town were at. If we’re in Paducah, Kent., on a Sunday afternoon and there are a billion kids in the crowd, he’s gonna be universally praised and when he hits a spear and they’ll go bananas. When he’s in Brooklyn, N.Y. at SummerSlam, the place might turn their back and boo him out of the building, but he’s still getting a reaction, so I don’t know. I don’t know what the right answer is, but I’m happy it’s not my decision to make.
SI: There's a rumor that at WrestleMania, it's going to be Roman Reings vs. The Rock. When you hear that, what's the first thing that pops into your head?
SR: I’d like it to be Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins.
SI: What about Seth Rollins vs. The Rock?
SR: That’s cool, too. Don’t get me wrong. I love Rocky. I think he’s great. Love everything he’s done for this business. But my gut, my first instinct, says we don’t need him. We don't need him. If we’re not the guys who can main event WrestleMania, then how are we ever gonna be The Rock? How are we gonna be Stone Cold Steve Austin? We can’t hold onto these guys forever. We just can’t. To me, let’s do Seth Rollins-Roman Reigns before we do Seth Rollins-The Rock. That's me.
SI: But do you see how it's good for business to bring in that Rock audience or do you not care?
SR: I see that perspective 100 percent. I get it. There’s nothing wrong with growing, getting bigger and putting more eyes on your product. I totally understand that. I get it. But at some point, we gotta move on from that.
SI: Athletes in pro sports are obsessed with Fornite these days. Is Fortnite big with the WWE superstars?
SR: Surprisingly, I don’t think so. There not a lot of conversation about it backstage. I’ve never played Fortnite. My brother is a huge fan. My friends play it. I don’t give a crap about it. It’s not my type of game. I’m not a gamer. I don’t like playing a game with 8,000 people at the same time. I want me and one other person head-to-head death combat. I don’t think it’s as hot in our world as the pro sports world.
SI.com: Baseball's "unwritten rules" get a lot of attention. What's the biggest WWE backstage unwritten rule?
SR: I don’t think there’s anything etiqutte wise, like celebratory or braggadocious. I guess going way over your time would be an “aw, come on.” As it is, everybody only gets a little bit of time to do their thing. Especially on TV or a big show, like a show at the Garden. So if you go way heavy on your time and then you come backstage, everyone’s like “Come on, dude” because then you gotta shave time off this match and this match and this match. So you’re like running into other people’s arc and you're making them change their crap when they don’t want to. Just being careless in that regard might be the biggest “screw this guy” kind of thing.