Seth Rollins is one of the most popular wrestlers on the planet today. The reigning World Heavyweight Champion is a former 4-time world champion, 4-time Intercontinental and United States Champion, 6-time Tag Team Champion, Money in the Bank and Royal Rumble winner. Before accomplishing all that he has on the main roster, Seth Rollins began his WWE career in NXT.
NXT is a developmental brand that prepares young superstars for the main roster. It has also benefitted main roster superstars like Rollins to develop new characters and hit the reset button. It’s common to see main-roster superstars go over to NXT if they haven’t found much luck on the main roster.
Rollins only spent a few months in NXT, but he became the first-ever NXT Champion. After a few months as champion, Rollins got called up to the main roster with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose as The Shield. As they say, the rest is history. Since his debut, Rollins has become one of this generation’s greatest superstars and has arguably impacted the company more than anybody.
Rollins recently returned to NXT to take on standout superstar Bron Breakker for the World Heavyweight Championship. While on the Out of Character podcast, Rollins described the feeling of wrestling his first match in NXT in over 10 years.
“It was very cool for me to go back and have that moment,” he said. “One of the things I talk about is helping the younger talent and pushing the industry forward. The opportunity was presented to me to go down to NXT and I haven’t wrestled a match on the show in over ten years. Obviously, it moved from Full Sail to the Performance Center and the look, the feel, and the vibe was totally different and it had gone through so many different iterations over the years, but it’s still NXT.”
Rollins continued to talk about his recent experience in NXT. He noted how special it is wrestling in front of a smaller crowd, something he doesn’t get to experience on the main roster.
“I cut a little promo after the show and it didn’t really dawn on me that it would feel sentimental until after when I got out there and I felt the audience and I felt the connection,” Rollins said. “I hadn’t wrestled in front of a crowd that small and intimate in a very long time. There is something special about wrestling in front of an intimate crowd like that in a small space. You’ll see big bands do that, go back to these small bars and pack them out. There is something about that where you get a different experience as opposed to doing it in an arena or stadium, it’s a lot more personal. It really hit me when I went out there and you could really interact with any person in any seat. It was an awesome experience.”
Rollins also noted how it would “rub him the wrong way” when superstars would say they’d rather stay in NXT than go to the main roster. He says he doesn’t feel that energy now. The superstars in NXT are hungry and ready for the main roster.
“I felt a lot of hunger to get to the next level,” Rollins said. “I was happy to see that. We were going through a period with NXT where there was a lot of complacency and people talking about, ‘I’d rather stay in NXT, I don’t want to go to the main roster.’ That always rubbed me the wrong way. When I went down there this past time, I felt a different energy and I felt people were excited to come to the main roster and take their careers to the next level. That got me hyped.”
Do you agree with Rollins’ comments about superstars that’d rather stay in NXT?
Remember, there was a time when fans would be upset if WWE called up an NXT superstar. If you look back at every call-up, a good chunk of them borderline failed on the main roster. Whether it’s because of Vince McMahon or something else is a different discussion, but the success rate isn’t high.
With Triple H in charge now, I believe the likelihood of an NXT superstar finding success on the main roster is much higher.
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