Seth Rollins says he feels like he has never been “”the guy”, and it eats at him.
Rollins is one of WWE’s top stars; he has held the WWE Championship twice, and he is a Grand Slam Champion with the company. He has also won the Royal Rumble match and the Money in the Bank match, among many other accolades.
Speaking with Ariel Helwani for BT Sport, Rollins was asked why he has a chip on his shoulder. He responded by describing how he’s never been “the guy.”
“I just feel like I’ve never, in some ways I’ve never gotten my just due. I’ve never been the guy. I’ve never been the one on the marquee, I’ve never been the one on the marquee at WrestleMania. It was John, it was Roman, in some regards when I was in Ring of Honor, it was Nigel or it was Bryan. I was always the guy on the come-up, or on the underneath, or I was kind of the second or the next big thing type type. That always just eats at me, it eats at me so much. I don’t know where that competitive spark comes from, but it drives me insane.
“The thing is, if I was that guy, I don’t know if it would just go away. I always would find some way to put the chip there. It’s just the way I operate best. I have to have it for some reason in everything, for better or worse sometimes.”
When asked why he thinks that’s the case, Rollins noted that, in wrestling, you can build a connection with the fans, and that can take you to the top, but earning the spot as “the guy” is more complicated than that. He also admitted that he sometimes doubts himself, as he deals with the fear that he’s not as good as he says he is.
“That’s interesting because wrestling’s so interesting,” Rollins said. “It’s like a meritocracy to a point. There’s a connection that you can get with an audience, that you can work and you can cultivate over years, and that equity will push you to the top of a card or a promotion or whatever. But being anointed as the guy is not always that simple. So I don’t know. The biggest thing is, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m not as good as I think I am. Maybe there are people out there that draw more money, perform better in the ring, sell more merch than me, and I’ve got this inflated idea of myself.”
“That’s the fear, right, is that I’m dead wrong, and so maybe that’s the truth, and maybe that’s just how it is. But I can’t operate at optimum levels accepting that. I just can’t do it. I pride myself on my work ethic and my hustle, and I feel like if I just settled for saying, ‘Ah, I’m just not good enough,’ or ‘I’m just not as big of a star, I can’t be as big of a star as Roman Reigns or a Hulk Hogan or a John Cena,’ then I would be doing myself a disservice, I’d be doing the business a disservice, and I just don’t think I could go to sleep at night accepting being second-best. Why I am? I don’t know.”
Rollins went on to explain that he faces this doubt all the time, and it pushes him to keep striving to improve. He stated that it comes alongside his confidence in his abilities.
“I mean, all the time, I think,” Rollins said. “I think it festers like a healthy anger in me, you know. That what’s keeps me hustling, is to be the best, and the thought that I’m maybe not, is like a boiling pot of water, and the higher I turn the heat, the faster I can go, the more steam I can pump out. That’s it, man.
“I don’t know any other way to deal with it, but it’s there. It’s constant, it’s as constant as the question or, ‘Am I not as good as I think I am?’ is there right next to, ‘I’m the best to do it’ all the time. I think anybody that’s competing at an ultra high level, you have to have both. It’s almost like the yin and the yang. I don’t think there’s anybody out there, if they say that they don’t wonder about that, then they’ve gotta be lying to an extent.”
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