Seth “Freakin” Rollins has admitted that sometimes it feels like he is playing “second fiddle” to his former ally in The Shield, Roman Reigns.
The careers of Roman Reigns and Seth “Freakin” Rollins are always going to be intertwined because they made their WWE main roster debuts together at Survivor Series 2012 along with Dean Ambrose (now Jon Moxley in AEW). Reigns and Rollins would also become Tag Team Champions together while both have enjoyed a lot of success as singles wrestlers in the last seven years.
While Reigns is the current Undisputed WWE Universal Champion that has held the Universal Title for 2 years and 2 months, Rollins hasn’t held one of WWE’s two major titles since losing the Universal Title in August 2019. Rollins has been part of some critically acclaimed rivalries with Cody Rhodes this year and Edge last year, but he hasn’t held as many major titles as Reigns has, nor can he compete with Reigns main eventing six WrestleManias.
While speaking to Ariel Helwani of BT Sport in a lengthy interview on many different topics, Rollins said that even when he beat Reigns to become WWE Champion at WrestleMania 31, it didn’t feel like he was the top guy:
“Even when I won the title at WrestleMania, cashed-in, great moment, I still felt like I was second fiddle to Roman. I still felt like he was the guy. You’re just the placeholder until he’s totally ready and we’re totally ready to put the ball in his hands.”
“But for now, you’re a step ahead, so we’re going to give you this and then we’ll move on to what we really want to be, but it’s going to take a few months. I’ve never, ever felt in my time in WWE that the company was like, ‘Yep, he’s our guy, put his face on everything.'”
Rollins added that he might be unlucky being in the Roman Reigns era while mentioning some other big names from WWE history that had a certain pecking order of who the top guy was:
“I often wonder if it is because I live in the Roman era that it’s just never going to happen. The only time I was even considered for the main event of WrestleMania was when Roman got Leukemia. He was out from August till January or February and I was second behind in the little babyface column there and so, I got slotted in. I feel like it’s one of those things.”
“The best I can hope for is to be the Edge to his Cena or the Savage to his Hogan. Sometimes I just feel like that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Doesn’t mean I don’t think that I’m better than he is or that I can perform or that I can draw at that level. I certainly think all those things but it’s not my sandbox. I don’t make those decisions.”
Rollins would go on to praise Reigns while noting he’s never had any issues with The Tribal Chief.
“He is immensely talented at what he does, and he is incredible as champion. There’s never been a butting of the heads, it’s always been smooth sailing between him and I.”
The last time Rollins met Reigns in a singles match at Royal Rumble 2022, Rollins actually won the match. It was a rare Premium Live Event loss for Reigns, who got disqualified because of how much Rollins frustrated him. They did not have a rematch either even though a champion losing by disqualification should lead to another match.
Looking ahead, Rollins will face Matt Riddle in a Fight Pit Match at WWE Extreme Rules on Saturday, October 8th in Philadelphia.