Seth Rollins chat with Steve Austin on the latest Broken Skull Sessions debuted yesterday (Sept. 26) on WWE Network and Peacock. It’s the usual solid piece of business from Stone Cold, who is pretty good at the whole talking thing, and whose love of pro wrestling shines through whenever he’s cutting it up with others from the business. Rollins in particular has had a fascinating career, and he & Austin cover a lot of it in the show’s one hour & 45 minute runtime.
There’s one topic Stone Cold & the Drip God cover fairly early on that’s getting the most attention, and that’s the main event of Hell in a Cell 2019. As you may recall (if you haven’t blocked it out), that show closed with babyface Universal champion Rollins defending his belt against The Fiend in the titular structure. Bray Wyatt’s character no sold the champ’s offense under his signature red lighting, then won by disqualification when Seth tried to use a sledgehammer to finish him. The Fiend then destroyed the champ to close the show.
The whole thing was widely trashed by fans in Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center, and around the world. It was also named “Worst Match of the Year” by Wrestling Observer, which was the impetus for Austin to bring it up.
It eventually led to Rollins’ current character, so it wasn’t a total loss for him (this may be part of why Seth is no longer defending the finish like he did in the moment). And while it obviously didn’t work out as planned for Wyatt in the long run, there were so many things done with him that left fans & critics scratching their head, it’s hard to say which was the worst one.
Still, in the heat of the moment, Seth was really unhappy with what he was tasked with doing for that match. As he told Austin:
“My vision for what that match was going to be was a lot different than what we had to go out there and do. We went out there and did what we were told to do to the best of our ability. Obviously, as it was ongoing, I felt - I mean you watch it back, it’s boos piled upon boos piled upon boos, and at the end of it, the reaction when the audience didn’t get the result they wanted, that’s a real tough pill to swallow.
“It sucks. It’s a sucky feeling. You go back to it now, we talked about the Drip God character, that character doesn’t exist without that match, cause that’s really the catalyst for what happened later that year, because that was October... by the time December, January rolls around, I’m no longer ‘Burn It Down’ Seth Rollins, I’m a totally different being, and then you look at the next year and a half after that to get to where we’re at now, so - things happen for a reason, they happen the way they’re supposed to happen. It was what it was, but here we are. Where we’re at now doesn’t exist without that match....
“I put a positive spin on it now that I can look back a year and a half later, but at the time, I came through that curtain and I was ready to strangle Vince McMahon. I’m not kidding you. I’m not kidding you. Tyson Kidd, TJ Wilson was there to hold me back... I stared right into Vince’s eyes, cause you know where he sits in that chair over there. I looked at him, he looked at me, we didn’t say a single word to each other and he walked out.
“And then I sat down with Paul Heyman, who was also, at the time he was the creative director at Raw, and so I sat down with him and we had a conversation. You know, he ‘Paul Heyman-ing’ me, if you will. Then the next day, I went into Vince’s office, I was much calmer, and I said, ‘Let’s talk about this. We need to figure out what we’re doing here because that can’t happen again.’
“It was civil, but it took me a night - but I was ready to go, man. If somebody wasn’t there making sure that I was okay? My temper - I mean the adrenaline... In my head, if you go back to the match, I’m convinced that if it would have went our way, this wouldn’t be on that list [as the Observer’s Worst Match of the 2019].”
Seth wasn’t alone, either. His dance partner replied to another website’s tweet about what Rollins said to Austin to say:
Wait until you hear my reaction.— Windham (@WWEBrayWyatt) September 27, 2021
Maybe once Windham Rotunda’s non-compete is up, he’ll do the rounds of Renee Paquette’s and Chris Jericho’s podcasts and we will hear his reaction.
Mostly, I’d like to hear what the wrestlers’ vision for the match. The booking did them no favors, but fans were also already turning on Seth’s babyface character at that point, and lots of folks were unsure of what to make of The Fiend gimmick. A DQ finish in a no DQ match is never going to go over well, but Rollins & Wyatt had an uphill climb in that spot no matter what. We’ve also heard rumors of one alternate finish, and it wasn’t much better than what we got.
I’d also like to thank the Drip God for adding the verb “Paul Heyman-ing” to the wrestling lexicon. But I digress...
Let us know what you think, Cagesiders. Did Vince deserve a figurative strangling for this one?