WWE Superstar Seth Rollins Previews Upcoming Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View
The 2015 Royal Rumble pay-per-view was a coming out party of sorts for WWE Superstar Seth Rollins. He produced an unbelievable performance in a triple-threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship alongside top stars John Cena and Brock Lesnar and cemented himself as a main event talent.
He would then go on cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase in the main event of Wrestlemania 31 and close the show as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Rollins did not lose the title on his own accord, injury struck in November 2015 and his torn ACL, MCL and medial meniscus meant he subsequently missed the road to Wrestlemania and the big event itself at the AT&T Stadium, where 100,000 people packed inside.
The former Shield member returned a month later and regained his title but lost it just minutes later at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view when Dean Ambrose successfully cashed in his briefcase. His title opportunities since then haven't gone to plan, mainly because of outside involvement from his former mentor Triple H as well as Chris Jericho, who has made sure the WWE Universal Title stays with Kevin Owens.
The route to challenging for that championship again comes in the form of the Royal Rumble match. Many big names such as Brock Lesnar, Goldberg and The Undertaker are involved in the 30-man match this year.
Rollins declared his entry in the match, but lost his place on the latest edition of Raw when he put his spot on the line against Sami Zayn and lost the match, after being distracted by Triple H's entrance music.
As one of WWE's top stars, he will surely still be involved in the what looks set to be one of the most stacked rumbles in history infront of around 40,000 fans at the historic Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Rollins shares the view that this year's rumble match could be a big one.
Speaking to TheSPORTbible, he said:
"Yeah, the names you just mentioned [Goldberg, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker], along with the stars of Raw and SmackDown who are converging at the Royal Rumble, which is interesting enough as it is, are all vying for the top spot at WrestleMania. I imagine that with the frenzied crowd in Texas and people obviously coming in from all over the world to watch this event, it could be a pretty wild Royal Rumble this year.
"The prospect of eliminating Goldberg from the Royal Rumble, after he beat Brock Lesnar in two minutes, is very exciting for myself. Or putting a knee in Brock Lesnar's face and knocking him over the top rope - one of those two would be great. Or facing The Undertaker - when was the last time he was in a Royal Rumble? Imagine being able to be the guy who dumps him over the top rope. There are all sorts of little prizes along the way in this match that you could possibly be a part of, hopefully on the way to winning the Royal Rumble and main eventing WrestleMania. It's a very interesting match this year in San Antonio."
Though Rollins' predominant focus is on getting back in the main event of Wrestlemania, he still has unfinished business with Triple H and the fact that The Game and his wife Stephanie McMahon played mind-games and cost him his Royal Rumble spot on Monday's Raw has only infuriated him even further.
"I've been trying to find [Triple H] for two or three months now and if he shows up it will give me the opportunity to put my foot in his mouth!
"I have been calling him out on television and social media and can't seem to get anything from him, so maybe he is comfortable in his suit and sitting in his penthouse.
"Maybe The Game, The Cerebral Assassin, the guy that wielded the sledgehammer is done and gone - we'll see if he is the man and if he has the cojones to answer me and protect his legacy.
"One way or another I am going to get my hands on him - whether it's in the ring, backstage or at WWE headquarters. I am going to find a way to make him pay for what he did to me.
"He deserves everything that comes to him and more and I would like a no disqualification match because I don't want anyone telling me what I can and can't do when it comes to getting revenge.
"There is some unfinished business and sooner or later we are going to get around to it - whether it's at WrestleMania, before or after."
As a lifelong fan and now performer with the company, The Architect is not short of Royal Rumble memories. Growing up, he recalls the famous wins for Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Stone Cold but one of his fondest memories took place in the 2005 edition of the match, when the finishing sequence between Batista and John Cena didn't go to plan and led to Vince McMahon storming down to the ring and tearing both of his quadriceps in a hilarious moment.
"Oh man, obviously being able to be in my first Royal Rumble it was a huge for me a couple of years ago. When I was a kid, I loved the Shawn Michaels Rumble where you thought he was eliminated and that Bulldog had won, but then Shawn comes in and dumps him over the top - that one was a huge one for me. I believe the Hogan win in 1990/91 was pretty big for me, Ric Flair going from start to the end was cool, Stone Cold's win.
"The one that has jumped at me right now is the tie between John Cena and Batista, when Vince had to run down to the ring carrying both his quads and fly into the ring all fast and then he had to stop and sit like a baby in the corner and make a decision! That was so crazy how it went down, obviously you feel bad for Mr. McMahon and his quads, but at the same time you'd never be able to recreate that if you try. It's one of those once in a lifetime moments. I could go on and on, there are so many fantastic memories from the Rumble, that's why it's been a staple on the WWE calendar for twenty plus years now."
Prior to signing with WWE, Rollins was a mainstay on the independent scenes and has locked up with a number of those who are currently in NXT, the company's third brand, in the past. For the past few years, there has been plenty of involvement from NXT superstars in the Royal Rumble match and the two-time world champ picked out a number of wrestlers in NXT that he would like to in the main event on Sunday.
"I mean there's a lot of guys who've made their mark in NXT over the last few years and certainly deserve the opportunity, whether or not it's in the Rumble or on RAW and SmackDown is yet to be seen. Whether it's [Shinsuke] Nakamura, Samoa Joe, or a guy who's proven himself over the years in Bobby Roode, Roderick Strong, Austin Aries - any of those guys obviously deserve a spot and the opportunity. I'd be thrilled to see them make an entrance in the Rumble. You just never know."
The number at which you enter can be the difference in the Royal Rumble. Naturally, whoever enters at No.30 has the advantage - as was demonstrated when Rollins' former mentor Triple H won last year. Rollins entered his only Rumble at No.2 and so he was quizzed as to whether he has a preference on coming in early or later this time around.
"Shoot. I just have memories of being thoroughly exhausted after the Rumble a couple of years ago because I was in there a very long time. Obviously you want to be one of the last guys coming in; the later the draw the better odds you have of winning because you don't have to deal with being thrown out earlier in the match so if you can get that lucky number 30 or 28 or something like that, that would really help your chances and allow you to conserve your energy. If I can get a late number that would be great, I've got a feeling that the powers that be are not going to want me there late in the match so we'll see what happens."
You can catch Seth Rollins LIVE on WWE Royal Rumble Monday, January 30th at 12am GMT, exclusively on WWE Network.