In the years before the 2016 WWE Draft and SmackDown’s move to FOX, the blue brand’s television show was taped on a Tuesday to be aired the next Friday on the USA Network in the United States. While the show was generally taped as though it were airing live, Seth Rollins recalled an instance where one of his matches had to be redone in front of a live audience in order to achieve Vince McMahon’s vision for the show.
Seth Rollins spoke about the incident during a February 2019 appearance on E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness, telling Edge and Christian about a match Vince McMahon forced him to redo. The match in question took place in the summer of 2014, not long after Seth Rollins turned his back on Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, breaking up The Shield.
Seth Rollins And Kofi Kingston Had To Re-Tape A Match On A 2014 Episode Of WWE SmackDown
According to Seth Rollins, he and Kofi Kingston faced off in a short match on SmackDown that was meant to highlight Rollins. However, the architect of The Shield said that because he respects Kingston, he didn’t want to simply squash him in the match and allowed the former Intercontinental Champion some offense before his eventual victory.
“One time on SmackDown, I had this match with Kofi. It was when they were still taping SmackDown, I had this match with Kofi. And it was meant to be a get over match for me. Now, Kofi’s someone that I have a lot of respect for and someone I would never – even in a match that is meant for me to look good in – I would not want to just squash Kofi. I just wouldn’t want to do it. I would want to give him something and that’s just my nature.
“So we went out and had this – it was literally three minutes long probably, start to finish, bell to bell – three minutes long and I give Kofi a little bit, and made him look good, and then beat him. And I remember coming to the back thinking, oh, okay, that was alright.”
Continuing, Seth Rollins explained that Vince McMahon was furious at him for allowing Kingston to get offense in the match, shouting that if Seth wanted to be a top guy the match should have gone a different way.
“And Vince was furious about it! Like, furious! Just, ‘Get over here!’ And he’s yelling at me, and he’s just like, ‘If you’re gonna be my guy, you’re gonna be my guy, that’s not what I want!’ And he shooed me out of the gorilla.”
Rollins was confused at McMahon’s anger, and the situation led to the match being re-taped. Seth Rollins recalled feeling angry and embarrassed at having to redo a match in front of the live audience, but acknowledges that the situation was a learning experience.
“I didn’t understand, I didn’t get it and Michael was trying to explain to me what Vince wanted out of the situation, and they ended up making me and Kofi have to go out and redo the match. And I remember the feeling when they told me that. I was so angry and embarrassed, and just ready to just walk out and not do it, cause I was like, never in my life! Never should this happen to me!
“But it was such a learning experience in retrospect that it’s okay to screw up sometimes. That it’s okay to try things and fail and learn from your mistakes, and as long as you improve your second time around, and don’t make the same mistake twice, you’re gonna be alright.”