”It happened so fast.” Normally that’s how WWE superstar Seth Rollins’ opponents describe taking his vicious curb stomp finisher. But that’s how Rollins talks about his meteoric rise. It began in November 2012, when wrestling faction the Shield – hard-hitting high flier Rollins, powerhouse Roman Reigns and crazy brawler Dean Ambrose – smashed their way through the Survivor Series pay-per-view. A month later, the trio dominated at the bloody and brutal TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, breaking bones and dropping jaws. “We’d just been doing run-ins, and people didn’t know what to expect of us in a full match.”
Seasoned wrestling fans knew what to expect. They’d seen Rollins from his days on the indie circuit, superkicking his way to infamy as the treacherous Tyler Black. Now Rollins is on the cusp of WWE main event status, and his biggest adversary may be the WWE’s demanding schedule, with up to 300 nights a year on the road. “For me, the biggest change is the amount of shows we’re doing. There’s talk of ‘oh, you’ve got to tone down your style,’ but I know my limitations.” Now he carries his big break with him: Last month, he quit the Shield and won a guaranteed WWE World Heavyweight title shot, at a time and place of his choosing. For Rollins, it shows company confidence in his skills. “It’s a real test for how things are going to go,” he said, but he’s looking beyond just the title. “I want to be the greatest of all time, rivaling Sean Michaels, rivaling Ric Flair, rivaling the Rock and John Cena.”
Yet, he still has to get past his former brother beneath the Shield, Ambrose. It’s simple. Rollins has a title shot. Ambrose has promised to wreck his dreams. This is the feud of the year, and Rollins has a message: You ain’t seen nothing yet. “All the expectations are an underestimate of what’s going to happen when we get in the ring together.”Mon., Aug. 4, 6:30pm (2014). $15 and up.