One of the responsibilities of being WWE World Heavyweight Champion is that point man for interviews and publicity. It's a job that Seth Rollins was training for before he ran to the ring during the main event of WrestleMania 31 to cash in his money in the bank briefcase, and that practice is paying off now that he has to fly all night to film The Today Show or take a break from an already insane European touring schedule to sit down for a newspaper interview.
That's what he did yesterday before heading out for another episode of Raw centered around his character - "I've sort of been the go to guy when it comes to Monday nights and holding down that show for the last few months," he humblebragged in the blend of shoot and kayfabe he's honed since turning on Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose since The Shield break-up last Spring - Rollins sat down with UK The Independent for a chat.
Though he refused to weigh in on the 'when did Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins know who'd be leaving with the WWE title' controversy other than to say "it was later than people assume", the champ did weigh in on a couple of topics that were integral to his being given the rub at 'Mania.
One was a more-successful-than-anyone-could-have-imagined mini-feud with Jon Stewart of The Daily Show. Here, Seth is pretty much out of character, talking about how it came to be and his impression of the comedian's work in a wrestling ring:
It all kinda came out of nowhere. I just said one little line in jest on Raw and one thing led to another. Then I'm on The Daily Show hanging out with Olivia Wilde so it was definitely a cool experience, and something I never considered that I'd do growing up watching Craig Kilborn and Jon Stewart on that show.
Jon was a huge fan, totally professional all the way and an awesome dude. He's a hell of a promo too so everything about that was 100% awesome. I was really thrilled to work with him and hopefully we can do something again in the future.
Another aspect that's made him a fan favorite, especially since most agree he's a better wrestler than talker (Rollins isn't above acknowledging areas where he can improve, and mentions his plan of "taking the time to improve my weaknesses and make them my strengths"), is his background in independent wrestling and his run in WWE Developmental through Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) and NXT.
Martin Hines of The Independent asked who of the current Developmental crop he'd give a WWE title shot to, and Rollins went ahead and assessed many of the wrestlers in NXT while answering:
Probably Sami Zayn. He's a guy who is one of the most resilient performers that we've ever seen, and he's got an incredible connection with the audience.
No offence to Finn Balor but he doesn't need a crazy entrance and body paint, he doesn't have all the wild athleticism that Neville has, he doesn't necessarily have the wits about him that a Kevin Owens does, or the fanfare of Hideo Itami, but he has that little intangible that sets him apart from everybody else.
Check out the whole interview for more on his past matches with Lesnar and working with the current #1 contender Randy Orton.
How do you think Seth is doing with his new responibilities? Would Sami be at the top of your Rollins' dream match lists?