Seth Rollins Talks About The Hardest Thing About Wrestling Brock Lesnar, Success Of WWE NXT, More

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins spoke with USA Today’s For The Win blog to promote Sunday’s WWE Battleground pay-per-view. The full interview is at this link. Below are highlights:

FTW: Is there anything that has caught you by surprise in your role as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion?

Seth Rollins: How welcoming everyone else has been. With that bullseye comes a level of competition, but I think it’s healthy. I think everybody else in the locker room is pretty happy to have a full-time champion on the roster again. A guy who’s defending the title in Peoria, Illinois, as well as WrestleMania. I think it’s cool for the boys to see a champion in the locker room every day and not just every few months like it was for the past year.

FTW: Physically, Brock Lesnar is in a class of his own. What’s the hardest thing about wrestling an athlete like Brock?

Seth Rollins: Well he’s the strongest human being I’ve ever been in the ring with, for one. He’s uniquely quick for his size as well. He’s got a few weaknesses here and there, but overall his game is pretty well rounded. He’s a good striker, a submission expert, he can wrestle you to the ground or throw you around. You have to find those weaknesses and capitalize on them, and you have to basically go into this match knowing you’re going to take a lot of physical punishment. The other guys I’ve been in the ring with during my title run, I’ve had very physical matches — a ladder match with Dean Ambrose, a fatal four way with Roman [Reigns], Dean [Ambrose] and Randy Orton — but Brock Lesnar’s physicality is on another level.

FTW: Do you have a favorite promo that you’ve done?

Seth Rollins: I did one on SmackDown ahead of my match with John Cena [at TLC]. It didn’t really get talked about too much. That one was really good, where I went head-to-head with John. There was one that I did with Paul Heyman [before the Royal Rumble], and I got right up in his grill. He didn’t appreciate that.

FTW: 2015 has been a massive year for NXT, with Kevin Owens becoming a huge star on the main roster, the success of NXT events on WWE Network and the NXT Divas taking over Raw last Monday. As someone who came to WWE from NXT, what is it like to see that growth?

Seth Rollins: When I got to developmental, NXT didn’t even exist. The concept wasn’t around, it was FCW [Florida Championship Wrestling] and we were in a warehouse in Tampa. We were doing shows in front of 30 people, and the talent level was bleak. Now you’ve got an incredibly talented roster of men and women. They’re going to run the Barclays Center in New York [at NXT Takeover in August]. You’ve gotta think about that. From Largo, Florida, in front of 30 people at Minnreg Hall to the Barclays in front of upwards of what could be 10,000. It’s cool to have been a part of that legacy as the first NXT Champion.