This was taped on June 24, 2019
Jimmy Traina as your host
The full podcast runs at fifty minutes long but the Rollins only interview takes up the first 27 minutes.
Before introducing Rollins, Traina says this is a “must listen” for wrestling fans and how Rollins is extremely passionate about the WWE and unloads about the “shots” and “complaints” against the company. These complaints are never actually specified so I guess we just have to assume what they are. Traina also says that Rollins talked about his relationship with Becky Lynch. He then plugged the other part of the show, which was non wrestling-related.
Traina talks about like having guests that are on fire on social media then asks about the “backlash” against WWE. Again, details of this backlash are never discussed. On viewing social media most complaints seem to be about the creative direction of the company. Rollins says he can only sit back and read people “bash” something he loves for so long then talks about being proud of what he does every day each week and feels the same about the other wrestlers and the creative department and says they all make a product that is “pretty darn good” considering the amount of content that they put out. Rollins then talks about people on their “soap boxes” and “stupid social media machines” that talk down about the WWE speaks volumes about a generation and where they are at then felt as champion, he needed to fight back.
Traina now talks about coming at this from both WWE fan and being a media personality perspective before talking about a perfect storm of competition coming up with AEW, talent leaving the WWE, and getting “bashed” due to decreasing ratings simply because they were “not as good as they once were” before saying he was not shocked about Rollins striking back. (Painting WWE as the victim because they put out a product that is hemorrhaging viewers is something else but pales in comparison to what comes up next)
He then asks Rollins about being good friends with Dean Ambrose and how Ambrose “said a lot of negative” things about WWE. (Again, Traina never mentions the interviews or any specific comments about this supposedly negativity so we are to just believe him at face value here). Rollins said that Ambrose can do what he wants and can put on his “big boy pants” but the bottom line is that not everyone is equipped to handle the rigors of the WWE and how the schedule effects you physically and mentally (Way to talk about your supposed friend). Rollins does put over Ambrose for doing everything that was asked but said at the end of the day, Ambrose “took his ball and went home” then adds how it felt a little presumptuous to go on a podcast and talk bad about the company that gave him so many opportunities. (For the record, Ambrose left when his contract expired but Rollins used the WWE favorite line about taking your ball and going home). Rollins then adds that Ambrose was positive about his experiences with the “Make-a-Wish” Foundation and that he met his wife in the company but at the end of the day they both share different perspectives on what they want from life. Rollins then adds that he loves Ambrose but does not care for him “hopping on a soap box” to complain after the fact and that he should look himself in the mirror and ask himself did you do every single thing you possibly could to make your situation what you wanted it to be and if the answer is “yes” then go elsewhere and “complain” if you want but if its “no” then maybe he should think about it before saying this goes for all disgruntled talent past or present. Rollins says he has not had a conversation with Ambrose about his comments then uses the “big boy pants” line again to illustrate that Ambrose can be his own man. (So I am supposed to believe Rollins here that he is Ambrose’s friend and was pissed about him “complaining “about the WWE on a podcast and instead of talking about it with your friend you complain about him on this podcast)
We now address the tweets from Rollins, such as:
Best pro wrestling on the planet. Period. https://t.co/Frd8occDhd
— Seth “Freakin’” Rollins (@WWERollins) June 23, 2019
Doubling down. Best pro wrestling on the planet. See that Cruiserweight Triple Threat? And that’s just one night, one match amongst the many. Find anyone else alive who does what I do as well as I do it as often as I do it. Ya can’t. #WWEStompingGrounds#UniversalChampion@WWE
— Seth “Freakin’” Rollins (@WWERollins) June 23, 2019
Nah dawg, let me dial it up. I’ve sat back and watched idiots with no clue talk poorly about the place I dedicate my life to EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY. The level I perform at on constant is untouchable. Time to let em know. https://t.co/9wISLrevCr
— Seth “Freakin’” Rollins (@WWERollins) June 24, 2019
Traina asks if Rollins is tweeting in an effort to rally the troops or is this strictly about himself. Rollins hopes he is speaking for the other talent and even had similar conversations with other wrestlers, even referencing a retweet sent to him by Roman Reigns that showed support, and says to stop taking it in the gut and time to fire back. Rollins says he is fine being the voice of others uncomfortable about speaking up.Rollins then says that he runs this stuff through his brain (Jesus Christ almighty for his own sake I hope that is not the case as it least makes sense if you’re being forced to say all of this rubbish by your employer) and might be right or wrong but at the end of the day no one does what they do in the WWE. Rollins says they work 500 dates a year, 150 matches per year, plus making media appearances and staying in shape as to not look like “jabronis in gym shorts” that do “highspots” in the ring and dares anyone in any company to challenge him on what he just said.
Traina asks Rollins if he is satisfied with the input into his character and storylines. Rollins says “absolutely” because he made it a point to be satisfied and if he feels strongly about something will make his voice heard. Rollins then says not everyone gets that chance but at the same time not everyone should and you need to build “equity” with your audience, boss, and co-workers before getting that leeway in your story. Or, Rollins says you can stand up for yourself and do it instead of bitching about it somewhere else (I thought you needed to build up “equity” before you could bitch). Rollins then talks about sometimes doing stuff he dislikes but that stuff can work because others see things from another perspective. Rollins mentions Vince being involved in wrestling “20 years longer than I’ve been alive” and can learn from him and that they all work together in a group and community to improve.
They now discuss the live shows with Traina saying that anyone would be more than happy with the product that Vince McMahon makes on a daily basis and the fact they are a well-oiled machine is taken for granted. (What the fuck does Vince’s profits have to do with anything? This was shoehorned in to tell people Vince makes money and you do not know what you’re talking about if you criticize his product. At this point I was thinking the WWE not only gave Rollins answers what to say but also wrote Traina’s questions). Rollins agrees and says there are also matches that no one sees (referencing house shows) that makes a kid into a life-long fan and how something like that is also taken for granted. Rollins then talks about it being easy to hate the New York Yankees but they are the best for a reason and so are WWE, not because of a “monopoly or stranglehold” on the business but rather due to having the best talent and that they work the hardest.
On his day-to-day life changing since becoming Universal Champion at WrestleMania, Rollins says he has been non-stop since coming back from injury in 2016 and now the face on RAW it increases before adding that if you’re not ready to handle that responsibility then you are not cut out for the position. Rollins has he models his work ethic after Vince McMahon and someone like John Cena, someone who keeps going because he loves the business. Rollins then says Cena earned his respect over the years for his hard work and tries to keep up with him and says when you are really good at what you do the workload increases. (Rollins comes off arrogant in essentially saying Cena needed to earn his respect. Like, wouldn’t you have respected him prior to signing since he was a legit star even at that time?).
Traina then thanks Rollins for taking time to do this right before RAW as Rollins says it was his pleasure and that he just finished a two-hour workout then segues into his relationship with Becky Lynch. Traina talks about them posting a picture on Instagram where they came out as a couple getting 800,000 likes and him winning the belt at WrestleMania got half the amount (What hard-hitting questions) and how that is interesting with Rollins adding he’s happy if the people are happy. They talk about that for a bit with Rollins being ecstatic at Becky’s reaction when she ran out during his match on the PPV and puts over the gender role reversal with the woman saving the man (Finally, something worth talking about here). Traina then asks, without wanting to be spoiled, if there will be more of a storyline with the two but Rollins said there is no fun in being spoiled and people do not want to know the end of a story before finishing.
We then address an “internet” rumor of Rollins & Becky dating before it was revealed as Traina asked if they hid it from people. Rollins said they started dating in February and did not keep it secret as they went out in public. Rollins also said they were friends prior to dating.
They now talk about the MTV Movie Awards and how they filmed the red carpet piece with Becky and Himself. Rollins said they could not be on the show as they had a “live event” in Winnipeg that evening. Rollins said he had a good time but the experience felt a little “phony.” (Its how I feel about this interview).
On the “Game of Thrones” ending, Rollins said he had no complaints, unlike the internet before adding the favorite thing for the internet to do is complain.
Rollins then talks about loving to go to different “craft” coffee shops and says he goes with his friends like Cesaro and that inspired him to open up a shop in his hometown that is near his wrestling school. Rollins then says he is an espresso guy and does 4-6 shots a day. Rollins ends by thanking Traina for giving him a “forum” and hopes he gets a lot of “clickable” quotes as Traina thinks they will.
And here is Seth tweeting out the link to the podcast, complete with a hashtag that reads #teamwwe:
Enjoy, world. #teamwwehttps://t.co/hNp1JS8gpO
— Seth “Freakin’” Rollins (@WWERollins) June 25, 2019
Well isn’t that hashtag something.
Final Thoughts: There is a lot of say about the 27 minutes or so this interview lasted. So, I’ll start off with the interview itself. The questions asked were horrible. Vague references of “bashing” and “taking shots” at WWE were asked but not once did we get a specific instance. I mean if it is so overwhelming why not give an example? And they talked about Ambrose bashing WWE but did not reference a single quote or even which podcast it came from. How do you not inform your viewers of this stuff? SI has interviews with wrestlers, WWE and non-WWE, and I find it strange the interviewer did not go into specifics instead of lobbing Seth softballs so he could spout off a bunch of company messages. They are not a WWE-only outlet. Really, this was made for WWE only fans that exist in their own bubble and clearly just an interview to make Seth and more importantly, WWE, look good.
The interviewer following up a question about storylines and creativity, you know the reason Ambrose left the company and the primary complaint among fans that you would never have known from this podcast, with a mention of Vince’s bank account shot off all kinds of warning signs that these questions were likely dictated by WWE itself and this whole thing with Rollins reeks of a marketing ploy with the #teamwwe used to tweet out the link. Look at the messages being told, they are all WWE defense mechanisms: People who leave WWE do so because they were not capable of handling the grind and did not do enough to succeed, warning talent not to complain online or to the “dirtsheets,” people who speak negatively about WWE in any matter on social media are losers, WWE is good because Vince has a lot of money, all other wrestling out there is minor leagues who do not work as hard as themselves, etc. However, the main goal this week by the company was to paint themselves as victims because they are receiving criticism about their product and reports of talent being unhappy. Its straight out of the TNA playbook when the talent would say all reports were false about their troubles and morale then it all came out that in fact those reports were all true. Remember, Vince McMahon’s history. He has a big victim complex (just like his buddy the current US President). And Rollins speaking about Ambrose’s departure was flat-out embarrassing. If you listened to Ambrose before this its laughable (here is my recap of that). Rollins & WWE are obviously not happy he went to AEW. But then again, the point of everything was to have fans rally around WWE by labeling everyone who leaves or criticizes them as some sort of loser. Do not be fooled, this was a marketing strategy by WWE. I guess they want to foster a cult-like mentally among fans. Are they actually afraid they might deflect permanently to AEW?
I have no idea what WWE was trying to accomplish with all of this stuff. They are basically telling fans its their fault for not liking the product, an interesting way to handle decreased viewership and ticket sales. I used to review RAW for this site and I stopped watching weekly TV two months ago and to be honest I’m considering stopping the Network because I think the current product sucks and if the company considers that “taking shots” and “bashing” then maybe they need to adhere to their own advice about looking into the mirror and doing everything they can to make fans want to tune in each week or buy tickets to shows. And the fact you are blaming fans for not liking your product then it tells me you have zero intention of changing because you do not believe there is a problem on your end.
For those saying Rollins was sticking up for the company, he did so in saying they all work hard but again, the main target is the creative part of the show and the talent has little control over that for the most part unless you have the equity. Had he addressed specific criticisms not about creative then I’d feel more sympathetic but we had an interviewer who asked bad questions. Here is one of those “shots” that Rollins responded to on Twitter:
Sure do dorks. And after that PPV I stand by it even more. The crew brought it tonight. From top to bottom all out effort from every person in the ring and out. And you’re still talking/writing about it. https://t.co/0Mh5UOX5cA
— Seth “Freakin’” Rollins (@WWERollins) June 24, 2019
Not being able to handle someone laughing at your statement about your company not having the best wrestling in the world is a bad look. Man up. Being in the public eye means you get criticized, fair or not. Plus, I cannot imagine anyone doubting how hard the wrestlers work and its honestly a great thing that they put smiles on the faces of kids and make their day. Are people actually bashing them for that? Its doubtful. Everyone should say they work the hardest if they are a performer. And their schedule is grueling but is anyone bashing them for that? Highly unlikely, but then again, to me this is all seems to be part of a new WWE marketing ploy to create a WWE vs. The World mentality among WWE fans.
I’d listen to the podcast as his part is brief but the arrogant tone and highly defensive messages being spread is not a look I would go for if trying to answer fan backlash. I feel for Rollins in the sense that he is the champion and the fan interest, ticket sales, and TV ratings are very low and I cannot imagine morale is good if this needs to be done but again this is not the way I’d go about things.