Seth Rollins Says Brock Lesnar’s Part Time Status Kills Locker Room Motivation

Mar 29, 2019 - by Steve Gerweck

Seth Rollins spoke with Sporting News for a new interview discussing his match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 35 and more. Highlights are below:

On how this WrestleMania compares to his previous ones: “This one is huge for me. It’s a cool and interesting WrestleMania. It’s also back at MetLife Stadium, which is the site of my first WrestleMania. So, there’s a lot of history there and going into the match with Brock Lesnar and the Universal Championship. It’s pretty much the biggest match of my career, coming full circle from having to relinquish the title after my knee injury. This is, I feel, my real opportunity to get that thing back and there’s a lot at stake too. I really feel like the future of the business is on the line. It’s a huge build up and I can’t believe it’s already here. It feels good and I’m ready and healthy to take on ‘The Beast.’”

On the status of his back injury: “Yeah, I did have a lingering back issue that I was dealing with. At the end of the day, I’m able to compete. I’ve been cleared by our doctors. I had to take a few weeks to rest but it looks like I’ll be fine moving forward. I feel good. I’ve ramped up training in the gym and at my school (Black and Brave Wrestling Academy). I feel really good. I feel healthy and, hopefully, I’ll be able to pick that guy up and throw him around a little bit so I’m not the only one getting tossed around.”

On how long it took to feel like he was back at the top of his game after his 2015 knee injury: “You know, it’s tough. It almost felt like a full reset. It almost felt like I was starting over, almost completely. Obviously, that wasn’t the case. But from a mental standpoint, it felt like I couldn’t get my footing. Physically, I felt like I was there. I felt comfortable moving around in the ring. I was never overly concerned with my knee or re-injuring it or anything like that. My style is kind of all-out all the time so I was never worried about that but mentally, I just felt like I had some catching up to do. It probably took like the better part of a year, maybe a little more than a year to really get myself acclimated to the mental game and to feel comfortable. I had a lot to go through with the audience as well. We had to learn to like each other which wasn’t easy. It definitely took some time and some missteps as well to get back to where I wanted to be.”

On the Universal Championship not being a regular fixture of Raw because of Brock Lesnar’s part-time status: “I’m old-school, man. I want my champion to be there headlining all of the events. We go to these live events and Brock Lesnar is not there and we go to “Raw” or pay-per-views and Brock Lesnar’s not there. Somebody has to pick up the slack and carry that mantle. I was able to try and do that for a while with the Intercontinental Championship. I took that to the main event of a pay-per-view with Dolph Ziggler (WWE TLC in December 2018). You can do what you want but there’s still so much prestige over the Universal Championship. Everybody feels that the champion is the champion. When you’ve got somebody like Lesnar who doesn’t really care about inspiring other people, you start to lose a generation. You lose people who are motivated. If I didn’t have champions who inspired me when I was younger, I may not have wanted to be a professional wrestler. I may not have wanted to get into this business. There are guys like Shawn Michaels and Triple H and John Cena and Edge and Eddie Guerrero and these guys became champions. They inspire people to want to get into this industry and to push it forward and Brock Lesnar just doesn’t do that. He doesn’t inspire people. He’s in it for himself and he’ll tell you that. He’s in it for the money and he’ll tell you that. It’s just frustrating for me as a fan of our industry to see it kind of be held hostage by someone who only cares about themselves and making their own money.”

On his WrestleMania 31 Money in the Bank cash-in: “That moment is going to live forever. it’s a one-of-a-kind moment. I’ll never say never, but I highly doubt it will be replicated. Not anytime in the near future, anyway. You have to separate the two. They’re two different moments. One is me cashing in and taking advantage of a situation and this one is years and years of hard work building to have a match against one of the greatest champions from an in-ring perspective; the biggest, strongest, fastest, human being that ever walked the face of the earth. That challenge, trying to climb that mountain, they’re two different moments and, for me, you have to put the one in the past and you always have to be looking forward to the next one. I’m very proud of the cash in and everything it took for me to get to that point in my career but this one is different. This one feels real.”

On the Raw Women’s Championship match headlining WrestleMania: “You’d be lying if you said that you didn’t care about wanting to headline WrestleMania. That’s the pinnacle. Guys have lost their minds about being in that spot over the years. This is all you’ve ever dreamed of in your entire life and everything you ever wanted to do and you’ve dedicated yourself to it. All you want is to headline WrestleMania and to be the main event. Those women are no different. Charlotte, obviously, has the history. Becky has been at it for 15 years now. There is so much passion and hard work and love for the industry in that Triple Threat match. Those girls are in that spot not just by themselves, but years and years of women being marginalized in our industry and having to push through and fight through things. I’ll never know what that experience is like. They’re getting to represent future generations and past generations of females who are capable, amazing and talented. They finally get to showcase that to the entire world. I’m super proud of all three of those girls and I’m really looking forward to sitting back with the Universal title on my shoulder and watching the main event.”

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