by Tim Birkbeck
With wrestling’s biggest party of the summer just around the corner, fans’ excitement for SummerSlam is reaching fever pitch.
Among the people who are looking forward to Brooklyn is the former two-time WWE heavyweight champion Seth Rollins, who himself has had some landmark matches at the event, including last year’s match with Finn Balor to crown the inaugural WWE Universal Champion.
However, to date, the Kingslayer doesn’t have an opponent for the summer extravaganza but told VultureHound he has been afforded some opportunities he never thought would come his way since joining the WWE.
“One way or the other, I will make sure I am on the show,” Rollins said. “I’ve had some fantastic memories of SummerSlam, so I think this is going to be the biggest one.”
He added: “Over the past five years, I have had the opportunity to do some really wild things which I never thought possible. When I was a kid growing up, all I ever imagined was wrestling in front of big crowds, but being part of it now, I have done things I never expected.
“For example, I have been on The Daily Show, having a feud with John Stewart and I just shot a movie. It has been amazing. I have made friends with my favourite bands. It’s just things you never envision.”
It has been a bit of an up-and-down year for Rollins, after nearly missing WrestleMania for the second year in a row, and slowly winning the crowd over after being in the pocket of The Authority for such a long time.
However, now the 31-year-old believes that the natural progression in his character is starting to win fans over, which has led to him even turn his biggest weakness (the famously injured knee) into his deadliest weapon with the ripcord knee finisher.
Rollins said it is thanks to rigorous rehabilitation that he has been able to do this, as it was again a knee injury that nearly kept him out of the Ultimate Thrill Ride of Wrestlemania.
He added: “When Samoa Joe collapsed on my knee and I felt it pop I was convinced I was missing WrestleMania.
“It felt worse than it did the previous time, and I thought, “That was it, I’m missing it.” It wasn’t even a question in my mind.
“But when I saw the doctor, they said my knee was structurally intact but I just needed some intense rehab to make sure I was ready for Mania. Obviously, there were some bumps on the road but I did everything I could to get to where I needed to be so that I could be out there and soak up the atmosphere.”
Since joining the WWE Seth has been on a wave of momentum, being crowned the first ever NXT champion, being an integral part of one of the greatest factions of the modern era, arguably being involved in the greatest Money in the Bank cash in of all time, and now, being the face of the new WWE 2K18 game.
With exclusive screenshots of Rollins recently released, on first impressions the game looks a lot sleeker than in previous years, something even Rollins admits is amazing.
“The screen shots I was very impressed with, the likeness of me is incredible right down to the hair on my chest,” added the Iowa native.
“It is quite the honour to be on the front cover of the game, to be among the likes of Brock Lesnar, Steven Austin, John Cena and The Rock, it’s elite company to be alongside.”
With Rollins being on the cover of the new game, many fans believe this is a clear sign of the direction the WWE is looking to head in, with more and more indie talents joining the WWE ranks, this is something Rollins believes is a good sign.
He added: “I think it started with Punk and Daniel Bryan and then you look at myself and Ambrose at NXT and FCW we paved the way and changed the mindset and broke the mould in the terms of what the modern WWE superstar is going to look like.”
With the likes of Roderick Strong and Kassius Ohno breaking through, they are people Rollins has his eyes on, but looking to the future, Rollins is hoping a certain Heart Break Kid may come back for one last match.
“Based on the shape he was in at Wrestlemania, I think Shawn Michaels has one more match in him,” Rollins hinted. “So if he ever wants to come out of retirement I’d love to step into the ring with him.”