Seth Rollins has admitted to feeling “frustrated” that he was the man to lose to Cody Rhodes when he returned to WWE at WrestleMania 38 in early 2022.
Heading into WrestleMania 38 there were strong rumours that Cody Rhodes was set for a stunning return to WWE just weeks after his shock exit along with wife Brandi from AEW had been announced.
On WWE television Seth Rollins was desperate for a way to make it onto the Grandest Stage of Them All once again when Vince McMahon gave him a match against a mystery opponent. That opponent turned out to be Cody Rhodes and The American Nightmare picked up a huge win on his first night back in the company.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani for BT Sports, Seth Rollins admitted that being used to put over another star felt demoralising at the time:
“It was maybe when I heard Cody was coming over when we finally got the news, which was very last minute as far as WrestleMania is concerned. When we finally you know, I knew that that was going to be a match, I think it was pretty obvious to me which way things were going to lean. It didn’t stop me from being a little frustrated, you know, again, feeling like I was being used to kind of catapult somebody else into a position I felt like I deserved, and so that was pretty, you know, kind of demoralising.”
“But again, that’s just more of a chip on my shoulder so that by the time we got to Wrestlemania, I was ready to just have the [best] match that night. My wife and Bianca would have something to say about that, they kind of tore it up right before us. But we’re in contention, I would say for match of the two-night event.”
The two men met again in the following two WWE premium live events with Rhodes going 3-0 over Rollins despite suffering a brutal torn pec before the two men met inside Hell In A Cell. According to Seth Rollins, despite what other wrestling companies might say about wins and losses, losing three in a row to Rhodes hasn’t hurt him in the long run:
“Then you look at what we want to do accomplished over the next two pay-per-views. And, you know, who knows if things would have been different had he not torn his pec? I don’t know. But that’s just how life works sometimes. And at the end of the day, in retrospect, I definitely think I came out of it a lot better than I went into it.”
“Like, I don’t think in any way that I suffered from losing three times in a row. I think if anything, I in some ways got more respect for having the – I don’t know – the humility to put my own self-interests aside to work with someone who needed in coming back into this world from his past world. He needed it a lot more than I did.”
“My equity is not going anywhere and he needed to reestablish himself. And he fought tooth and nail obviously through one of the most horrific looking injuries you’ll ever see in your life to get himself into a position where now he’s set you know, he’s made man, hopefully, when he comes back from his pec injury whenever that is so yeah, there’s a lot of ups and downs.”
“But at the end of the day, I enjoyed, I enjoyed the process. And you know, pro wrestling is about storytelling. it’s not MMA. Fortunately, the wins and losses don’t matter as much, you know, to a point they do but not nearly as much. And so there might be some other people and some other companies that tell you wins and losses do matter. But in pro wrestling, stories, that’s what matters, making people feel something.”