Ahead of tonight's WWE Championship Match against Drew McIntyre at WWE Money in the Bank, Seth Rollins has been speaking to talkSPORT and has talked about how his disastrous victory over Bray Wyatt at Hell In A Cell back in October led to a change in his gimmick.
At the time of that match, Rollins was a babyface and Wyatt was booked as a heel, despite the fact that he was so over you could practically taste it. It ended up being just another case of tone deaf WWE booking as Rollins won, the crowd hated it and pretty much everyone proclaimed the ending horrific. They were right to, because it was.
Rollins recognised exactly what the issue was and also that he was in a no-win situation given the way the match was booked.
"At the end of the day, there's no real nice way to put it, I was dead in the water after Hell in a Cell. And a lot of that was nothing that I could control. I was left out there as a bit of a scapegoat in that situation and there was nothing I could do about it, but I was the one that had to face the scrutiny."
Such is the cruel reality of being the pointed end of a booking decision. On the back of apathy towards the too-long feud with Baron Corbin, you could almost feel the tide of resentment against Rollins at the time, which - for a babyface - was absolutely catastrophic. And he felt the apathy that bled out of it:
"And no one really cared about me at that point in time, or about how I was feeling or about what really went into that moment, that night and everything that went along with it."
At the very least, we can be glad of the enforced intervention that came out of the shadow of that match as Rollins identified that change was needed:
"No one cared about Seth Rollins and how it affected me or how involved I was in any shape or form. So, the writing was on the wall at that point. It was time to hunker down and make some changes, and some of those are tough lessons to learn. But, that's what happened and here we are. There's no point lamenting the past, it's time to move on, move into the future and figure out what you're gonna do about it, ya know? What can you control."
And out of that dumpster fire stepped the Monday Night Messiah gimmick that will face McIntyre in the hastily reformatted PPV tonight. He's already gone some way to reclaim his position as an exalted star, but we'll have to see how long it lasts.
Rollins also spoke about the parallels between his own first title run and McIntyre's as the Scot looks to further establish himself as a main event force.
“It’s definitely always cool to be on the other side of things to get a different perspective. You look back at my first title run in 2015, you mentioned the type of talent I was working with right out of the gate. Randy Orton, Kane, eventually John Cena, I learned a lot being in the ring with those guys. They saw my journey and what I had done to get to that point and they were very helpful as far as taking me to the next level.
“Obviously, I’d like to be the one to end Drew McIntyre’s title reign but at the end of the day, win or lose, he’s going to learn a lot from his first title run and the experience he gets from working with, hopefully, people like myself who are able to bring out the best in him.”