Although Roman Reigns might be The Guy, once Seth Rollins started mimicking the actions of Triple H, it seemed like The Architect was even more predestined towards greatness than The Big Dog. Much like with Reigns, the promise of future success has made Rollins a popular figure backstage, with his dedication towards working out and deceptively friendly personality making it even easier for him to make dozens of friends amongst his co-workers in WWE. Seth’s career began a solid five years before WWE ever showed any interest in him, so Vince McMahon’s empire is hardly the only wrestling promotion in which he’s made allies. Back when he was performing as Tyler Black, the future Rollins was fraternizing with the stars of indies like Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and he still has the friends to prove it.
With wrestlers, working together is usually the fastest way to become friends, and Rollins is no different than the others in this regard. His closest companions in WWE and elsewhere were often the people he worked with the most. Now that he’s one of the top stars in WWE, others are superstars Rollins has asked for the privilege of working with due to past friendships, showing how political and cliquey wrestling remains to this day. Rollins has recently become a fan favorite once again after years of being a top heel, so members of the WWE Universe are probably getting curious who helped him out as he reached his current peak. Keep reading to find out which 15 wrestlers are the closest friends of Seth Rollins.
Just about every wrestling fan in the world is in agreement Cesaro has been the most underrated performer in WWE for several years now, and Seth Rollins counts himself amongst The Swiss Superman’s biggest and longest lasting supporters. Rollins and Cesaro had been working together since Rollins was Tyler Black and Cesaro was performing under his real name of Claudio Castagnoli in Ring Of Honor. They started working together again immediately upon Cesaro’s WWE debut, which was an untelevised loss to Rollins. Though their characters drifted apart from there and have only interacted for a few throwaway matches, Rollins and Cesaro have only grown closer behind-the-scenes thanks to their love of working out. Based on Rollins recent posts to Instagram alone, the two have been spending an incredible amount of time together in gyms and doing fan outreach, becoming close friends while traveling around the world for WWE. Perhaps this growing companionship will be the thing that finally leads to Cesaro breaking through as a main event talent, should Rollins start lobbying to work with him, giving their fans what they all want.
14 Daniel Bryan
At only 28 years old when he won his first WWE Championship, Seth Rollins is one of the preeminent faces of WWE’s most recent youth movement. Daniel Bryan isn’t much older, but he did start his career at a young enough age that an even younger Seth Rollins was a big fan as a teenager. Rollins watched Bryan perform as one of the founding fathers of Ring Of Honor, a company where both Bryan and Rollins would go on to be World Champion. Bryan was still wrestling for ROH when Rollins made his debut, leading to dozens of matches between the two in solo and tag team matches. The two started working together again in WWE almost immediately after Rollins made his main roster debut in that company, keeping their careers intrinsically linked onscreen and off. Their battles in WWE mostly took place in the tag division, with Rollins in The Shield and Bryan part of Team Hell No, although they would wrestle a handful of singles matches as well.
13 A.J. Styles
Much the same as Daniel Bryan, A.J. Styles has been linked with Seth Rollins since before Rollins even stepped into the ring. Rollins has called A.J. his idol since The Phenomenal One first started making a name for himself in NWA: TNA. The future Architect had the honor of wrestling A.J. as Tyler Black only a little over a year into his career, and he’s been lobbying for the two to have a chance to lock up once again ever since. Though A.J. being on SmackDown while Rollins is on Raw means this dream rematch is unlikely, the two already have worked a number of untelevised tag team matches in WWE as partners, and in one such instance Rollins dressed up as A.J. and impersonated his mannerisms throughout the match. Fans would probably love it if A.J. and Seth stepped into the ring together for just about any reason, be it as a team or as enemies, with the only real issue being that we hope it happens soon.
12 Kevin Owens
Even though Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho called each other best friends on screen while feuding against Seth Rollins, it’s actually Rollins and Owens who have a friendship dating back nearly a full decade. The two started working together in Ring Of Honor, where Black teamed with Jimmy Jacobs to engage in a feud against Owens’s previous onscreen bestie, El Generico, trading the ROH Tag Team Championships throughout the summer of 2008. The combative heel personas of both men upon Owen’s arrival in the WWE Universe meant they played nice for a short while, only to reengage the feud in a new setting once one of them turned babyface. Despite their years of friendship, Rollins has gone on the record to admit he was completely shocked by Owens’ success. While Seth is as aware of Owens’ many talents as everybody else, he long believed The Prizefighter’s look simply didn’t fit the WWE mold, a criticism he’s been receiving again and again even as WWE makes it clear he isn’t going anywhere.
11 C.J. Parker
Most of Seth Rollins’s friends have achieved some level of success in WWE related to his own in one manner or another, but fame is hardly a prerequisite for friendship, hence Rollins’s longtime support of the significantly less famous C.J. Parker. Parker achieved a minor level of fame working for NXT from 2012-2015, although he never rose above the level of a jobber to the stars. While his uber-hippy gimmick was supposed to make him a fan favorite, the NXT audience reacted extremely negatively to his white guy dreadlocks, making him a hardcore environmentalist who berated the fans for polluting the country. Unsurprisingly, this didn’t endear him to the fans, either, and he continued his career with losses to Cesaro, The Miz, The Great Khali, and other WWE stars. Regardless of the crowd rejecting him, Parker was always respected amongst his co-workers, specifically Seth Rollins. Rollins ranked Parker amongst a few others on this list as an NXT star he believed had the most potential, and yet things obviously didn’t quite work out that way. In 2015, Parker asked for his WWE release and hasn’t looked back, putting to rest any chance of that match happening in the near future.
10 Tyler Breeze
The Sultan Of Selfies is somewhere between C.J. Parker and the rest of this list as a somewhat notable name who has yet to come anywhere near Rollins in the main event. Though Breeze has never quite gotten the opportunity, in the very least Seth Rollins believes he has the ability, naming Breeze amongst a handful of other NXT stars he most wanted to wrestle in the near future. Rollins and Breeze worked together in Florida Championship Wrestling, although they would only meet one another in tag team or multi-opponent matches. The two have yet to lock up now that both have moved up to WWE despite Rollins’s requests that they do so, likely because Breeze has been performing as a low level comedy act while Seth’s career only continues to blossom and expand. Breeze has mostly been teaming with Fandango as of late, probably keeping him and Seth far away from one another. There’s always the chance Seth will get his wish and the two will work together again, though, and even if they don’t, chances are the friendship will survive.
9 Charlotte Flair
As the only two superstars to make the 2016 Sports Illustrated Fit 50, it makes sense that Seth Rollins and Charlotte Flair would spend an equal amount of time in the gym. Taking it a step further, it also makes sense they would spend that time together, passing the time by chatting during the downtime of their intense workout sessions. Coincidentally, they ranked almost the same on the lists, with Rollins the 25th fittest male athlete and Charlotte one ahead of him as the number 24 female. Charlotte’s famous father Ric has vocally supported Roman Reigns as the future of WWE and standout of The Shield, in one of the few areas father and daughter seem to disagree. In fairness, there aren’t many stories about Charlotte and Seth hanging out with one another outside of the gym, WWE, or charity events, at least in comparison to a few of Charlotte’s rivals in the modern day women’s division. Still, they’ve spent enough time together Rollins calls Charlotte one of his favorite superstars in the world today, in addition to the friendship that must have gradually blossomed between the two.
8 Sasha Banks
Out of the current crop of female WWE superstars, Rollins might spend the most time with Charlotte due to their love of exercise, but that doesn’t mean she’s his closest female friend. In fact, two of Seth’s other female co-stars have long been competing for his affections, taking the war to the Internet in an attempt at discovering which of the two is Rollins’s true BFF. The ladies in question are Sasha Banks and Bayley, and though results remained inconclusive on who won that battle, it was Sasha who Seth claimed on Twitter he saw as the ideal mixed tag team partner. It isn’t too much of a shock Rollins would make that choice, as Sasha had previously called Rollins her favorite member of The Shield. Along with R-Truth, Sasha and Rollins also made a video where they discussed the idea that many wrestling fans “ship” the two, hoping for them to start a real-life relationship. Considering Sasha is married to another man, that seems unlikely, but it also means the two must have a strong friendship to be able to joke about such things with her husband apparently able to laugh along.
Sasha Banks might be winning the war on TV, but Bayley has plenty of experience as Seth’s friend to make the claim she’s closer to him than The Boss ever was. Honestly, the evidence has long existed that Seth loves both Sasha and Bayley quite a bit, as he was seen shedding a tear after the match between the two at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in 2015. The next year, Bayley tributed Seth by performing his Buckle Bomb during an NXT match, later tweeting a GIF of the move to Rollins’s approval. In the midst of Sasha and Bayley’s war over Seth’s affection, Seth played his hand by showing up during a Bayley Q&A session to give her a hug and once again talk about shipping, almost exactly the same thing as he had done with Sasha. Bayley’s time on the main WWE roster has only just begun, so there’s no saying whether or not she and Seth will be taking their BFF status to WWE television.
6 Finn Bálor
One of the few negatives of Seth Rollins’s career has been his reputation for working unsafe and accidentally causing injuries, including offenses against top stars like John Cena and Finn Bálor. Legends like Bret Hart have spoken out to claim Seth is dangerous and reckless, but Bálor himself came to Seth’s defense. In Bálor’s own words, “Seth is one of, if not the best performer we have in this business. I feel that all the flak he gets is totally unwarranted. Any kind of slack he gets for being unsafe is really ridiculous.” Bálor was injured during a match against Rollins at SummerSlam 2016, ultimately forcing him to vacate the WWE Universal Championship, which he won despite the injury. That Bálor would hold no hard feelings towards Seth shows a great deal of respect exists between the two, and implies they’ll remain close regardless of what happens in relation to Bálor’s post-injury career. Whether or not the two lock up again, one thing that seems clear is Bálor will continue supporting Seth and praising him as “one of the best on the planet” either way.
The Man Gravity Forgot is one of the most exciting superstars in WWE today thanks to his uniquely high flying move set, so much so that even his fellow superstars are taking notice of his talents. Seth Rollins and Neville never interacted until both were working for WWE, with Neville having spent most of his career working in Japan while Rollins dominated the American indies. Rollins took notice of Neville as soon as The Red Arrow arrived in NXT, even though Rollins himself was at that point only a few months away from making his ascent to the main WWE roster. Rollins instantly started including Neville amongst his favorite superstars who he wanted to work with the most, and he would have his wish come true almost immediately upon Neville getting called up to Raw. Neville would again come up short against Rollins a few months later, and the two have yet to encounter one another since. Both matches were highly received amongst fans and critics, so it would be safe to say the WWE Universe is hoping the two keep admiring one another’s matches and get the chance to work together again in the near future.
4 Sami Zayn
Considering Sami Zayn’s career has been linked to that of Kevin Owens from day one, it almost goes without saying that the two share dozens of friends in the wrestling industry. Included amongst them is Seth Rollins, who teamed with Jimmy Jacobs to lose the ROH Tag Team Championships to Owens and Zayn back when they were known as Kevin Steen and El Generico. This came only a few months after Rollins had done something similar to Zayn in a different time and place, when both wrestled for Pro Wrestling Guerilla, where Rollins and Jacobs defeated Generico and Roderick Strong for that company’s belts. In more recent history, the two have started fighting over the WWE Universal Championship, once again with Steen/Owens heavily involved in the proceedings. According to Rollins, he and Zayn became friends during their first encounters many years ago, and once both were in WWE together again he couldn’t wait for the opportunity to wrestle Sami again. They’ve had the opportunity a few times now, and yet fans of both superstars likely can’t wait for them to lock up one more time.
3 Zahra Schreiber
In contrast to Seth’s high profile female BFFs in WWE, Zahra Schreiber will almost definitely never make her way to the main event of Raw, SmackDown, NXT, or any other WWE event. This is despite Schreiber having at one point been closer to Seth than any of the others by a considerable amount, considering the one time NXT manager and later indie wrestler and The Architect actually dated for the better part of a year. Their relationship was arguably higher profile than Schreiber ever was as a performer, considering the incredible tumult surrounding the beginning and middle of their story, albeit not the understated ending. Schreiber and Rollins started dating while Rollins was engaged to another woman, who discovered the relationship via naked photos of Schreiber on his phone. The photos were posted to the Internet, followed by naked photos of Rollins himself. A few months later, it came to light Schreiber had posted several offensive Nazi-related images on her Instagram, instantly getting her fired from WWE. Amazingly, Rollins stood by her for the next six months, quietly breaking up with her for undisclosed and unrelated reasons.
2 Dean Ambrose
While WWE has been trying to convince fans Roman Reigns is The Guy on the orders of Vince McMahon, Seth Rollins thinks that the true future of WWE are the other two Shield members, himself and Dean Ambrose. This isn’t to say Rollins isn’t also friends with Reigns (spoiler alert), but from the way the three talk about one another, it has always seemed like Rollins was closer to Ambrose than Roman. Ambrose and Rollins had been feuding since their time together in Florida Championship Wrestling once The Shield was formed, and it was only a manner of time once the group broke up that the two started wrestling one another once again. They’ve competed dozens of times over the WWE Championship and mere glory, and will likely continue to do so if and when they prove Seth’s prediction correct. Despite the friendship and Seth’s prediction, he and Ambrose don’t have as much in common as some others on this list, with Ambrose citing Seth’s obsession with CrossFit as a reason they aren’t constantly hanging out. Regardless of this distance in the weight room, they clearly love working together and presumably will get the chance to do so again and again for some time now.
1 Roman Reigns
In contrast to the WWE narrative of Roman Reigns as The Guy and Seth Rollins as The Architect, most fans seem to have been cheering for Rollins in practically every one of the many matches between the two since The Shield broke up. Rollins and Ambrose was the breakout feud, but Rollins and Reigns was the feud WWE wanted to tell, so chances are that match has occurred even more times than the one fans actually wanted to see. Not that Rollins necessarily minds behind the scenes, as he ranks Reigns and Ambrose equally amongst his friends. Reigns, like Ambrose, doesn’t agree with Rollins penchant for CrossFit, but this is a problem most wrestlers are capable of getting over in an era where more and more athletes are adding high-intensity training to their repertoire. Obviously, all friends have differences, and when the similarities are main eventing countless WWE Pay-Per-Views together, minor things like how you trained to get there are less important than the amount of fun you have working with your fellow wrestlers. With Rollins and Reigns, they’re both having more than enough fun to keep working for WWE happily together into the indefinite future.
Sources: WWE, STL Today, Give Me Sport, WrestleZone
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