If you heard the name Colby Lopez, you probably wouldn’t think much about it. It’s a fairly ordinary name, and we wouldn’t imagine the person being all that threatening, especially with the first name Colby. However, what if we said Colby Lopez was someone who has spent the better part of the last 11 years developing his craft inside and out of the ring. Many fans that follow the WWE may not know that Colby Lopez is gone, and an architect stands in his place today: none other than Seth Rollins.
During his time in independent promotions, Rollins was known for his deep repertoire of moves and aggressive fighting style, an ability to captivate an audience due to his unrelenting will to achieve. He was being noticed, and it was only a matter of time before he transitioned from promotions such as PWG and ROH to a much grander scale. Once the opportunity presented itself, Seth Rollins was born.
Development in Rollins career certainly saw its ups and downs. Much like anyone else’s career that undergoes a change, Rollins transitions from promotion to promotion led him to go in a number of different directions. Whether it was as a fan favorite or a despised heel, Rollins always made an effort to stand out. Rollins really ran the gamut while trying to evolve. Gone is the wrestler who did a number of spots alone, but is it forgotten? We give you 14 things the WWE wants you to forget about Seth Rollins.
14. His Championship Win Was Only Told To Him The Afternoon of WrestleMania 31
A championship accomplishment is something to be proud of! A championship accomplishment is also something that is built and developed as a storyline progresses. It isn’t, however, something WWE to be revealed prior to taking place. One of the most notable outcomes to come out of WrestleMania 31 was Rollins’ cash in of the Money in the Bank briefcase during that night’s main event. The WWE World Heavyweight championship match between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar had a surprising outcome when Rollins raced down mid-match to cash in. It has been reported that Rollins was only made aware of the booking decision an hour and a half before the event took place. This is something the company wants you to forget because they’d normally want fans to believe it was the plan all along, when that really wasn’t the case.
13. Rollins Previously Trained With John Cena
Hustle, loyalty, respect and training buddies? It’s hard to believe, but at one time both John Cena and Seth Rollins trained with one another. At John Cena’s Hard Knocks gym, Cena trained with a number of current and promising talent on the roster. While he was with NXT, Rollins trained at the facility with Cena, along with the likes of Xavier Woods and current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns. It isn’t something the company would want you to know about necessarily because it would take away steam from the feud that Rollins and Cena would later have. While we understand that the feuds are simply scripted animosity, it makes it that much more difficult when faces and heels are seen working together in a friendly light rather than against one another.
12. He Convinced Vince NOT To Split Up The Shield Earlier
Upon Rollins’ call up to the WWE’s main roster, fans witnessed the debut of something special: a faction known as The Shield. They imposed their will on both Ryback and John Cena when they faced off against CM Punk. However, it was only a couple of years ago that the idea of breaking up the faction was beginning to be considered. Along with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, Rollins didn’t feel it was the right time to have the group dissolve, and made Vince McMahon aware of this. During an interview on Chris Jericho‘s podcast, Rollins said that the group collectively said no. They felt they were seen as a special attraction, a three-man collaboration that wasn’t common. This isn’t something the company would want you to remember because it was in fact Rollins who, on-screen, was the defector within the group.
11. His Video Game Obsession
Video games are among one of the most popular interactive activities on the planet. The wrestling fan demographic ranges anywhere from the age of 5 to 75, though video game fandom may skew younger. What some fans may know is that during Rollins’ down time he is a serious video gamer. His game of choice is Metal Gear Solid, along with wrestling games. It isn’t something the WWE would necessarily want their fans to know because it doesn’t necessarily fit with his on-screen character. After all, Rollins seeks to achieve actual accomplishments such as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship or the WWE Tag Team Championship, though ‘gamer’ certainly would work with other characters on the roster.
10. He Was Defeated In His First Match By Joseph Hennig
It’s incredible to see how far Rollins has grown since he first appeared in the WWE’s developmental territory FCW. With time and growth, Rollins became the first ever NXT champion, a heralded accomplishment for him. Once he was elevated to the main roster, Rollins was aligned with Ambrose and Reigns and the rest, as they say, is history. However, when he first appeared on FCW, Rollins faced Joseph Hennig. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because it’s Curtis Axel‘s real name. While facing a third generation talent isn’t something to be embarrassed by, it is now when you consider how Axel is being booked in comparison to Rollins. Yes, Axel is an outstanding talent and incredibly underrated, but WWE prefers an out of sight, out of mind approach regarding certain talent going over other talent.
9. His Calling Out of John ‘Johnny Mundo’ Morrison
While comfortably holding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Rollins wasn’t without his detractors, one of which was former WWE Intercontinental and Tag Team champion, and current Lucha Underground star, Johnny Mundo. In an interview, Mundo was quoted as saying he would “destroy Seth Rollins in everything.” While this may have been in character, Rollins fired back, saying essentially that in his time with the promotion, Morrison couldn’t win the big one, whereas Rollins was able to achieve it in only three years. Rollins then went on to say that he welcomed Morrison to say it to his face. The company would probably want you to forget this because it brings attention to Morrison, who is a former talent and the promotion wouldn’t want their champion to mention or reference someone who is no longer a part of the company.
8. He Criticized Tough Enough Competition
One of the biggest investments made by WWE was towards their Tough Enough competition. It features notable former and current WWE talent as trainers and judges, and current talent as host. The company spent a lot of time trying to give the reality show credibility, and did not want fans to think it was poorly coordinated. It wasn’t met without some criticism, though, including criticism from Rollins. His criticism was that he didn’t foresee much potential in the competing candidates, and questioned their heart and passion. Rollins also felt that the competition doesn’t allow for current WWE talent like himself to be surrounded by aspiring wrestlers that are as dedicated to becoming better in and out of the ring.
7. His Feud With Dean Ambrose Initially Began In FCW
One of the hottest feuds for Seth Rollins during his current run in the WWE was against the “lunatic fringe” Dean Ambrose. Ambrose and Rollins went back and forth, as Ambrose’s animosity towards Rollins grew after his betrayal to The Shield and defection to The Authority. As many will remember, Ambrose did everything in his power to prevent Rollins from trying to use his Money In The Bank briefcase. What the company never made mention of is these two feuded with one another prior to joining the main roster. During their time in Florida Championship Wrestling, which later became NXT, Ambrose and Rollins feuded extensively. The company wouldn’t want fans to recall their previous feud in developmental with on another because they’d like to give fans the impression that this feud was their first one.
6. He Competed for TNA
Rollins isn’t new to the wrestling industry. He has been a champion in different promotions, and earned a name for himself over this time. What isn’t normally talked about was, a brief stop he made for a rival promotion. During the fall of 2006, competing under the Tyler Black moniker, Rollins had one match for TNA on their Impact program. The match was a tag team affair teaming Rollins with Jeff Luxon against the combination of Homicide and Hernandez, the Latin American Xchange. It was his only match he had with the company. This is something the WWE would want their fans to not even know about since WWE refuses to acknowledge TNA publicly. Former TNA talent that is now with WWE are simply described as competing on “the indies” prior to their arrival.
5. He Is A Former Ring Of Honor World Champion
During the finals of the 2009 Survival of the Fittest tournament, Rollins, competing as Tyler Black, won the tournament, earning him a Ring of Honor World championship shot against current NXT superstar Austin Aries at Final Battle 2009 (the promotion’s first ever live PPV). After the match went to a time limit draw, ROH commissioner scheduled a rematch between the two at the promotion’s 8th Anniversary event. It was there that Black defeated Aries to capture the title. While Ring of Honor is a respected and reputable company, Rollins previously holding their title isn’t necessarily common knowledge. It isn’t something the WWE would want fans to remember because they often want to treat talent as though they were homegrown, when clearly Rollins had earned his credentials prior to joining the promotion in 2010.
4. He Was Initially Selected By CM Punk To Be A Part of The Shield
When Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins first appeared at Survivor Series 2012 and got involved in the John Cena, CM Punk and Ryback match, fans immediately took notice. This special three-man group dressed in SWAT team apparel unquestionably stood out because of their appearance and who they made their initial impact against. While on-screen, Punk denied any association with the trio, but later on he stated that two-thirds of the faction members were of his choosing. Punk stated he selected Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose to be a part of the faction, along with Chris Hero (who competed as Kassius Ohno in NXT.) It is something the company would rather you forget because of the issues between Punk and the company.
If the name sounds unfamiliar, it probably should. Prior to competing in promotions such as Ring of Honor, Rollins first began to compete for the local wrestling promotion in his home state of Iowa. The promotion was known as Scott County Wrestling. It was there where he faced former WWE alumni and Ring of Honor talent Matt Sydal, who was Evan Bourne in WWE. While he was with this promotion, Rollins competed under the name Gixx. While the name itself may leave something to be desired, it’s Gixx’s actions that the company doesn’t want fans to remember. After capturing the company’s championship, he spray painted the title to signify ‘the black era.’ The title being spray painted is reminiscent of WWE’s rival WCW during thee Monday Night Wars.
2. His Relationship With Zahra Schreiber
Former NXT Diva Zahra Schreiber didn’t make it on camera as a talent, but she certainly made a name for herself. She and Rollins were romantically linked during a time when Rollins was already engaged. When their relationship was revealed, Rollins’ engagement dissolved and his relationship with Schreiber bloomed. Although it eventually dissolved, it is an association the company would rather fans didn’t remember. This is because Schreiber became a lightning rod for controversy, when old Instagram pictures were discovered that featured her wearing a swastika and dressing in Nazi attire. Schreiber was later released as the company didn’t want any association with her past actions.
1. His Twitter Picture Fiasco
On Monday February 9th, 2015, Rollins was unfortunately linked to a rather embarrassing scenario that was tied to his Twitter account. As Monday Night Raw was about to go on the air, nude images of Rollins appeared on his Twitter feed, which is directly linked to the WWE website. The images served as retaliation by his fiancée Leighla Schultz, who was furious when she found out that Rollins was having an affair with promising NXT diva Zahra. Rollins apologized publicly to his family and friends the next day, and stated that these pictures were released without his consent. It’s pretty clear to see why this wouldn’t be something the promotion would want fans to recall, as it definitely left one of their top stars both literally and metaphorically in a compromising position, and left the company’s social media feed subject to some criticism.