Recently, Seth Rollins was a guest on Chris Jericho's Talk is Jericho podcast and one of the many topics they discussed was Bret Hart's comments about Seth from last fall.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Bret made a couple negative comments regarding the champ, recently after he got hurt. One was regarding how safe Rollins after Seth broke John Cena's nose with a knee last summer, calling it "reckless." Another was how as champion, he shouldn't have let himself get hurt. He said, "It's not allowed." When discussing his injury with Jericho, Rollins discussed how Hart's comments made him feel.
"It's not like any of the boys or the fans were like, 'Screw you, Rollins.' Actually, except.... and I have all the respect in the world for this guy, but this one hurt my feelings more than anything, was Bret Hart. Bret Hart had some comments about me and... how safe I am in the ring because of John's nose. And then me getting hurt while I was the champion and just said you couldn't do that because people relied on you as a top guy. And that hurt my feeling and I haven't seen Bret since then, but I know he comes from a different era when he worked through a lot of stuff, but man, that sucked. That hurt my feelings. I'm like, 'Dude, I idolized you. You were one of the guys who at 6 foot 1, 230 (pounds), you were a guy who I was like 'Hey, I can do that because Bret Hart does it.'' He's got to know how hard I'm working every night. For him to say that in an interview, I think it was a Sports Illustrated interview I was like, 'Man, that sucks.'"
Jericho brings up the obvious point that it's not like he's trying to get hurt and it's never on a move that you'd expect to. (Similar to when Neville broke his leg on a simple baseball slide.)
Rollins goes on to say he'd like to talk to Bret to see what he meant and what Seth could have done differently.
"I would love to have the discussion with him and be like, 'Hey, what did you mean by that? Is there something I can learn from this experience?' Because for me, as you said, it was a very routine, simple as a clothesline, not dangerous. I've done literally a million times that isn't dangerous, never had anything close to an issue with it."
This reaction from Seth Rollins is totally understandable. It would hurt anyone to hear that someone they idolized growing up has some negative things to say about them in an interview with a major publication. It probably hurt worse to hear it within a month of an injury where you had to forfeit the title and deal with the emotions and frustrations surrounding that.
Jericho even made the point that Bret got put out of wrestling by a stiff kick from Goldberg and should someone have told him not to get hurt there? Chris also notes that Bret will sometimes say somethings that will baffle him a bit.
Seth goes on to talk a little about the knee from last summer that broke John Cena's nose.
"I threw a high knee just for some separation so we could get to whatever the next thing we were doing was and for whatever reason... Look, John will be the first guy to admit he's a clumsy fellow. He's not a graceful individual... When he's not sure about stuff, for his own protection, a lot of times he'll put his body into whatever you're doing. Like if you're throwing punches at him or forearms, he leans a little bit. It was just one of those things where we talked about it, (it was) the first time I really tried it, but... it wasn't something we went over. For whatever reason, the timing of it, call it perfect or imperfect, whatever you want, but man... and I wear knee pads too, pretty thick knee pads, and I felt that thing. I heard it through the nose the pop and a crunch and he went down. And I was like 'Oh no, this is no good.' "
Asides from Bret's remarks, we never heard anything of Seth getting any heat regarding the incident, which leaves one to believe those in the back agreed it was a freak accident and not recklessness. Jericho makes the point in the podcast that signing up to be a wrestler means you understand you can get hurt. Of course, the Hitman is right that the goal should be for no one ever to get hurt when working with you.
This may be the first time we've heard someone respond to grumpy Bret Hart's remarks. Seth is frank about his feelings about how remarks like that can really sting and I wonder if he and Bret will be able to have that conversation Seth hopes to have.
The rest of the interview can be found here and it is worth a listen. Seth and Chris discuss Seth's reaction to having time off for the first time in years, their take on Ricochet/Ospreay, and Seth's new electric car, amongst others.