WWE superstar Seth Rollins reveals WrestleMania rival Logan Paul "surprised" him
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WWE superstar Seth Rollins has showered praise on rival Logan Paul, hailing the "work ethic" displayed by the Maverick and his brother Jake.
Despite interference from his Prime business partner KSI, Rollins got the better of Paul at WrestleMania 39 at the SoFi Stadium last month.
Paul inadvertently put KSI, dressed as a large Prime drink bottle, through the announce table after Rollins moved out the way before the multi-time champion scored the win with the Stomp.
It was just the fifth match of Paul's career and he again impressed fans with a stellar performance on the grandest stage of them all.
The YouTuber and podcaster recently bagged a new lucrative WWE contract and Rollins, despite not seeing eye-to-eye with the 28-year-old, admires the time and effort Paul has put in after coming in from a completely different world.
“Logan's had a handful of matches in WWE and it's obvious that he is an athlete," Rollins told SPORTbible in an exclusive interview.
"You can see that just by watching him, clearly, he's in good shape and takes care of himself.
“One thing that surprised me was his work ethic. I think that's the one thing that people kind of sleep on a little bit, you know.
“It's easy to see what he does as a content creator and kind of knock it a little bit. And that's fair, there's fair criticism to that.
“But what separates him from everybody else, in my opinion, is his work ethic. He does put in the time, he does put in the effort to be good, and great at whatever he sets his sights on.
“And so, I think that's a lesson to a lot of people who want to follow in his footsteps. If you want to be a content creator, great, you're jumping into a huge ocean. Everybody's trying to create something original.
“What separates him and his brother from the pack, I think, is their ability to work hard and hustle, and no matter what field you're in, it's going to pay dividends. I think that's the thing that really surprised me more than anything.”
Rollins has been one of WWE's top performers ever since he disbanded the Shield in brutal fashion and embarked on a solo run in 2014.
He has been described as this generation's answer to Shawn Michaels and continually adds layers to his character - irrespective as to whether he is a good guy or bad guy.
Asked if we are are seeing the most complete version of Seth Rollins in 2023, the 36-year-old replied: “I think you're gonna continue to see that as I evolve. It's one of those things where, you know, some characters like John Cena, just exist as they are forever and ever. And that's great for them.
"But other characters and you know, especially in modern day WWE, you have to evolve to continue to keep up with your audience and their changing tastes and stuff like that.
“And so, it's been a lot of fun to just see where this character kind of takes me and to kind of, you know, take my hands off the wheel a little bit and just let it ride - kind of let the chips fall where they may on this thing. It’s been a blast and I think you're gonna continue to see me as a performer evolve, the character evolve.
“I feel like I'm just now getting into the real good stuff. This is the tip of the iceberg so [I'm] excited to see where everything takes me in the next 5-10 years.”
The latest version of Rollins has seen the wildest collection of attires imaginable and a huge part of the gimmick is his infectious theme song.
Crowds all over the world serenade The Visionary with deafening "woahs", including 81,000 fans at WrestleMania.
“It’s nice. We put a lot of effort into the song, there was a lot of back and forth. And I was very adamant. Specifically, I was very adamant about the ‘woahs’ and the singsong part of it.
“I don't make the music. But I had a hand and said, ‘This is what I would like, here's some things that I think would work’ and one of them was the sing along part of it.
“And so, it is a little personally satisfying. I've been using it for two years, from the first WrestleMania when I used it against Cesaro, when no one had heard it.
“Now, two years later and it’s on a t-shirt, it’s a part of every single show, the audience has a blast.
“Sometimes it's hard for me to even get into a match because they just want to sing the song. So, it's nice. And it's personally satisfying to know that I had a small hand in that part of things.”
Rollins has won a total of 15 championships in WWE and is a two-time Grand Slam champion - having captured four world titles, six tag team titles and two United States and Intercontinental championships apiece.
Remarkably, his last world title run was for 80 days back in 2019 and his most recent match for the big one was against Roman Reigns at the 2022 Royal Rumble.
However, it's not hurt his credibility in any way and he has remained one of the most entertaining acts on WWE TV.
Things could be about to change, though, as WWE recently announced the introduction of a new world heavyweight championship - which will see a tournament involving Raw superstars take place.
The former Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank winner feels he doesn't need the title to be relevant but is gunning for gold yet again.
"I think at the end of the day, you know, all of us in this game, when you're competing at a super high level, you want to be the tip top.
“And I haven't had the opportunity to wrestle for a singles title on pay per view in over a year at Royal Rumble against Roman Reigns. I think there's a reason that he's kept himself so far away from me - probably a smart thing to do on his behalf.
“But on the other side of that, I've really been able to help in other ways, kind of push the industry forward and elevate other guys along the way. And so I take a lot of pride in that.
“There are some guys that can't be them without the title, they can't do what I do. I don't need the title to have any sort of meaning. I'm not that guy. And so, the fact that I can do that without a title, I think, says a lot about my ability and what I've been able to accomplish.
“The ultimate goal is to be a champion that represents the industry and to have a new world heavyweight championship, I said it on Raw, it's about more than being a part timer or in politics, it's about who's the best and how can we make WWE as big as we possibly can.
“I think the title is going to be a big part of that. If it is, I want my hand in that. It sounds like we're going to crown a new champion at Night of Champions coming up and my name my name is in that hat.”
More urgently for Rollins, however, is a battle with a 7ft 3 Nigerian giant. He takes on Omos at WrestleMania Backlash this Sunday in Hato Rey, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"I'm 20 years in and I can see things. They don't call me ‘The Visionary’ for nothing. I just see things before they happen.
“I've been fortunate enough to take some guys along the ride with me and I plan on doing that with the big fella.
"Hopefully he can learn a thing or two and hopefully I can stay in one piece when we're done.”
Rollins closed out WrestleMania 31 with a dramatic Money in the Bank cash-in when both Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar were down and wounded in the main event title match.
His win remains one of the most shocking and brilliant moments in the history of WWE. This past WrestleMania saw Cody Rhodes come up short in his attempt to "finish the story" and become world champion for the first time in the main event against the unstoppable Reigns.
Rhodes' first rival upon his return to WWE was Rollins after he was a surprise opponent at WrestleMania 38 and despite their differences, Seth believes the American Nightmare cemented his place as a top guy.
“No doubt about it, since Cody's return, he has most certainly changed. He’s a different animal. And he has shown that the spotlight is not too big for him.
“And so, win, lose or draw at WrestleMania, he was still in the main event of WrestleMania and sold the match with the biggest star in the business and that's Roman Reigns.
“To be able to do that, and then to come back and still carry on - and I don't like that guy that much - but the same thing I said about Logan Paul, there's a level of hard work that goes into being successful.
“Cody and I are never gonna see eye to eye one hundred per cent but there's a level of hard work that goes into being in that spot and he does put in that time.”
Rollins was speaking as part of WWE's most recent European tour, which included stops in Birmingham, Manchester, Belfast and Paris.
But it merely serves as a pre-curse for the WWE's huge Money in the Bank premium live event on Saturday July 1 at the O2 Arena.
WWE staged the Clash at the Castle event in front of 62,000 fans at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff and will now bring one of their big five shows to the United Kingdom.
And Rollins is excited to head back across the pond for what promises to be a special spectacle.
He summarised: “Obviously WWE is a global entity. And we want to be able to come and do these types of things in different countries that are just the US, as much as we can. And so obviously, the UK is a place that has been loyal to us, as we've been coming over here for years and years.
“Great crowds, great tours. And so, to be able to bring a big show like Clash here last year, and now another premium live event, Money in the Bank, is one of the biggest shows of the year and it has a lot of implications for the rest of the year.
“So, to be able to bring it here and you know, just enjoy the party with the UK fans, I think it's really a win for both sides.”
Backlash is live on the WWE Network this Saturday at 1am BST time.