Seth Rollins has discussed a fiery discussion with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon that led to his Intercontinental Title win at WrestleMania 34.
Three short years before WrestleMania in 2018, Seth Rollins had climbed the WWE mountain when he left WrestleMania 31 as the WWE Champion. An unfortunate injury saw Rollins miss WrestleMania in 2016 before he returned to The Show Of Shows in 2017 seeking vengeance against his one-time partner in The Authority, Triple H.
It was after this match with Triple H that Seth Rollins found himself on the periphery as others took up the baton of leading the company as WWE Champion.
Speaking to Stone Cold Steve Austin on his Broken Skull Sessions, Rollins revealed he pitched to become Intercontinental Champion following a fiery encounter with Vince McMahon:
“It always had a special place in my heart growing up. Whether it was Mr. Perfect, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, sometimes those IC Title reigns are more fun and more exciting and more memorable than the World Title reigns. I don’t know if it’s because [we] as performers put more pressure on it but I really just loved the IC Title. I pitched to have that run. That was my idea. When I talk about being in no man’s land, I had a conversation with Vince. He brought me into his office one time, it’s the middle of the summer, after the Hunter match, and I’m in the middle of doing nothing, in no man’s land, and he goes, ‘What happened to Seth Rollins? What happened to Seth Freakin Rollins? Where is that guy? I need that fire.'”
“I know what he’s trying to do. I have all the respect in the world for my boss and for Vince as a person, we have a good relationship, but you’re not going to talk to me like that without me firing back. I fired back at him. We got into a heated discussion, an argument, and I’m like, ‘Look man, just give me the ball and I’ll take it to the house, but you have to give me the opportunity. You put me in a bullsh*t situation where I’m having to fill in these spots and I’m not getting the focus I deserve. Give me the opportunity and you’ll see the guy you want to see. It’s not me. Trust me. I put forth the effort every night. I make every town, I bust my ass for you, don’t give me that sh*t.'”
With frustrations vented Rollins then went on to explain his vision for a match between himself, Finn Balor, and The Miz for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania in New Orleans:
“He respects that. He respects when you do that and stand up for yourself. I was like, ‘We’re nowhere with this babyface character. Give me a run as the IC Champion, let’s work to get to Finn, Miz, and Seth at WrestleMania, give me the title, and let me run with it as a babyface. The work rate will get me over, I promise you. It will take the pressure off me, do what you want with the World Title, just let me go out there and have a good time. I promise you, you’re gonna get these people to see who the real guy is.’ That’s what happened.”
“You have to pick your time and place. If I had walked in the door day one and been like, ‘I’m your next World Champ,’ you can’t do that. You have to build equity over time. It’s like any relationship. He gives you a little bit, you do what you can with it, and if you turn it into something, he’s going to respect you. At this point, I’ve been one of his guys for a decade, we have got to have that relationship. If he doesn’t hear it from me, who is he going to hear it from? Not everyone is going to tell him that.”
A year after WrestleMania 34, Seth Rollins found himself in the world title picture once again as he won the 2019 men’s Royal Rumble match and went on to defeat Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania 35.