WWE – Seth Rollins – Building The Architect (Cert 15)
3 Discs DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 526 minutes approx.
The latest WWE star to get the retrospective treatment might have an impressive body of work (a lot of it outside WWE) but many would debate legendary names and those with tenure should be recognised ahead of Seth Freakin’ Rollins. But as one of the current main event babyfaces on RAW, it isn’t really a surprise WWE would capitalise on his current popularity.
Perhaps tellingly, a line that comes from the horse’s mouth in the opening segment tells us what to expect in terms of content and the level of candour of the discussions. Rollins explains that arriving in WWE means your previous career means nothing and this is ground zero. Since WWE continues to openly propagate this mentality (see Styles, AJ), the reality is this is a Seth Rollins WWE career retrospective and not the life story of the man behind him, Colby Lopez.
It is a shame since Rollins’ Ring Of Honour (ROH) career under the name Tyler Black put him on the map and would have made for an interesting first chapter of his story, but with ROH footage unable to be included here this is a moot point. The format of this presentation is a brief interview clip of Rollins, as a specific or general lead in to the ensuing match, running across all three discs.
We begin with Rollins giving us a brief rundown of how John Laurinaitis signed him to the now defunct FCW under a developmental contract although his aspirations were for the main roster. The first match sees Rollins vs. Hunico (the current Sin Cara) in the finals of the Jack Brisco 15 Championship tournament in FCW. Imagine NXT but in front of 150 people, zero budget and worse commentary.
Next is the first meeting between Rollins and Dean Ambrose, his arch nemesis in FCW, and it is interesting to see Ambrose wrestling in trunks instead of jeans and t-shirt. This match is completely different from the ones they would have ad infinitum during their feud on the main roster, not just because Ambrose is a Roddy Piper-esque loose cannon and not the loveable rogue he is today.
Their main event feud, which ran on and off over two years, is represented by their WWE Title Ladder Match at Money In the Bank 2015. Rollins reveals that he and Ambrose are diametrically opposed personality and interest wise yet are good friends, citing Ambrose as one of his best and favourite opponents.
Over the course of these interviews, Rollins would also heap huge praise on Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, Undertaker, John Cena, Finn Balòr, Kevin Owens and on a personal note, the late great Dusty Rhodes, stemming from his days at NXT where Dusty helped mentor many of the great names who came from that group. Rollins’ last FCW match featured is against Leo Kruger (aka Adam Rose) while just one NXT match against Big E. Langston makes the cut.
Speaking of NXT, one interesting revelation shared is that Rollins was supposed to be part of the original NXT TV show when it was a weekly elimination show for “Rookies” with main roster “Mentors”. They actually showed clips of Rollins’ interview and a group shot of the talent (which included Big E., Leo Kruger, Bo Dallas and Hunico) that had already been filmed by the idea was dropped and NXT became just another wrestling show.
Rollins admits that he was getting frustrated in FCW and NXT for not being moved up to the main roster and essentially bulldozed his way into being the first NXT Champion because of his belief that he was main event talent. In 2012, he got his wish when The Shield was born which Rollins suggests was a random and hasty arranged thing as he was a babyface in NXT at the time yet a portraying lethal heel now in The Shield.
It should come as no surprise that The Shield didn’t want to split up and felt they had another year in them as babyfaces but Vince McSenile felt differently. However, we do learn that the lads got their way and postponed the split by a few months otherwise it would have happened just after the Royal Rumble 2014.
At this point most of the matches will be familiar to most, comprising of the major PPV matches and the odd RAW match or segment. The only exception would be a match from the MSG show that aired on the WWE Network, a steel cage match against Cena that non-subscribers won’t have seen before.
By the third disc, we’ve reached the ill-timed knee injury during a house show match against Kane in late 2015, his triumphant return a few months later and the accidental injury of Finn Balòr at Summerslam 2016. The face turn after being shafted by Triple H in favour of Kevin Owens is not acknowledged at all, but is the point at which we end this release.
Rollins talks openly (as much as kayfabe and WWE mandates will allow) and quietly (no HOH subtitles for us impaired folk) and while comes across as genuine, passionate and likeable, he is lacking a personality. Perhaps this explains the interview segments being limited to a few minutes between the matches to make it less taxing for the viewer.
Unless you are a diehard fan of Seth Rollins this might not be an easy sell, but with his current position as a babyface, the completists out there shouldn’t feel short changed. The FCW matches will hold particular interest for the more discerning fan while the gaps in between the main roster run can be found on The Shield release.
Maybe in another decade or so, a proper retrospective with a full biographical feature featuring Seth Rollins, going back to his days as Tyler Black in ROH, will have been earned but for now, this release aimed purely at the insular WWE market serves as an entertaining and functional look at the man and his WWE career.
Rating – *** ½
Man In Black