Seth Rollins recently appeared as a guest on Edge and Christian's podcast, E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness, for an in-depth interview. Below are some of the highlights from the discussion, which feature "The Architect" talking at great length about the behind-the-scenes ongoings during his run as part of The Shield with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose upon first arriving to the WWE main roster.
On the behind-the-scenes story about The Shield originally supposed to make WWE main roster debut at the WWE Hell In A Cell 2012 pay-per-view: "What I think happened, it's a little fuzzy to me because it was behind the scenes, weird stuff going on, Punk was looking to help turn the roster around. He saw the main roster, he saw that there were some hungry guys in NXT that, sort of, came up the same way he did, and he also saw that there was a lot of complacency on the main roster at the time with a lot of the guys. Especially some of the younger guys were just there, just happy to be there. Not trying to get better every week, and not trying to dish storylines, not pushing the envelope for themselves and for the company, and it was starting to hurt the product overall. So he wanted to get us in there, us being myself, and Ambrose, and I think, maybe, Kassius Ohno/Chris Hero, but I'm not sure. But the company loved Roman from the get go, and for all the right reasons.
"Whatever happened in those conversations, I don't know. Punk and Paul Heyman pitched for a security force to come up and help him. He was in the middle of a program with Ryback and Ryback was this world beater, and he was obviously trying to find ways to prolong this program with Ryback, and one of them was to have some guys who could take some bumps for him, speak for him a little bit. So he pitched this idea for a security force, and pitched the idea of myself and Ambrose, and I think Hero, and somehow Roman got thrown in there.
"We were supposed to debut at the Hell In A Cell, like a month before Survivor Series. We were all at the PPV excited, didn't really know what was going on, nobody was really talking to us and we were there, and we were ready to do something but we didn't know what was gonna happen or anything like that. And then no one approached us all day and nothing happened, and I think that was like, Brad Maddox - the thing with Brad Maddox, where he was a bad referee, a heel referee, or something like that happened at the PPV. And I remember us all being like, 'Why the hell, why are we here? What's going on?' And then the next Monday or Tuesday, we're back down in Tampa doing man in the middle drills on a Tuesday afternoon, like, depressed as all hell. I thought this was gonna be it!"
On The Shield finally making their main roster debut at the WWE Survivor Series 2012 pay-per-view: "Then again it came up around Survivor Series time. Sort of the same thing happened where we go to the PPV, and no ones talking to us, and no ones talking to us, and no ones talking to us, and finally, Michael Hayes is like, 'Anybody talk to ya?!' We're like, 'No!' 'Well, sh--, get over here then!' And then finally we had the conversation and they explain what's going on. They gave us these swat pants and these stupid turtlenecks. I don't know why turtlenecks, but that's what they gave us. And they gave us these shields, we had, like, riot shields and batons we were gonna use. And at first, 'What are we gonna- how are we gonna get in the ring with these giant full body shields? I don't understand.' And then eventually we walked out to do this rehearsal and Vince [McMahon], who was still helping out with rehearsals at the time, he was by the ring and he saw us walk out with these shields and these sticks, and he's like, 'Ugh, what the hell are those?! What are you gonna do with those?' And we're like, 'Yeah! What are we gonna do with these?' And we just threw the shields down. And [Vince] is like, 'You need sticks to beat a man up? You can't beat a man up with your bare fists? What kind of man are you then, huh?'...And so then we just go out in turtlenecks and swat pants, and we got out and we beat the living sh-- out of Ryback that first night."
On functioning as a unit in WWE and in real life with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose during their run as The Shield: "We were, from day one, in the beginning, before we were making any money, we would stay in the same hotel room. We would just get all one room together, and we would get a mini van, and we would all just get one room a night, and we would all have beds, and one of us would rotate sleeping on the floor. We did that for, shoot, maybe the first year almost. We were like, 'We don't know, we're gonna save all our money.' And we did everything together, we traveled together, ate together, trained together, worked together, protected each other when the time was right, when we needed to backstage, in the ring, whatever. And, like you said, we were all on the same page. All of our goals was to the be the best. We wanted to change the whole thing, like, we wanted to change the intensity level, bring everybody up with us, and we didn't really give a d--n who. If someone couldn't keep up with what we wanted to do, screw 'em, we were gonna do it and they were gonna fall off, and we're gonna find somebody else that wants to keep up. It was just one of those things where, yeah, we got the opportunities, they were afforded to us, but we knocked them out of the park every single time."
On the initial plans for the breakup of The Shield and their rivalry with The Wyatt Family: "[The break up] was not our idea and we were not ready for that [laughs]. We hadn't had a run as babyfaces at the time, we had just done the heel stuff and we came off this program with Punk, where it was like Punk against The Shield. And I remember we did this three-on-one handicap match at TLC in December, and we lost to him, I think, in the three-on-one match, and they were ready to split us up then. Like, within the next month. I remember that was the plan, we were gonna break up and Ambrose was gonna turn, and it was just gonna be, almost, thrown away. I remember we went to Hunter, or Vince, or somebody - we talked to somebody that makes decisions, and we were like, 'We can't do this, we're not ready for this right now. It's not the right time and we've got so much more to offer. It's not the right time! We need to pull back on this a little bit.'
"From there, we moved in to a bit of a babyface run. We worked with The Wyatt family in February. So we did The Rumble and, whatever, and then we did The Wyatt Family in February, which, they squeezed in because they thought they were gonna break us up. So there was a never a plan to work with The Wyatts, it was never gonna happen. And they're like, 'Well, I don't know if we're gonna break 'em up, we should get this match in.' And the electricity of the two factions that had been so beautifully built up over the last few years, coming together to go to war was - the electricity for that was insane. We had a hell of a six-man tag team match with them and we had a few of them after that, but the first one at Elimination Chamber was off the charts."
Check out the complete episode of E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness featuring the Seth Rollins interview below, or at Omny.fm.