“The company had other plans” – Seth Rollins disagreed with WWE’s idea for his character
Seth Rollins originally wanted to return as a babyface after a knee injury forced him to relinquish the WWE Championship in November 2015.
The former Shield member immediately targeted then-WWE Champion Roman Reigns when he made his return in May 2016. Although many fans viewed Rollins as a good guy, WWE’s higher-ups wanted him to continue performing as a heel.
Speaking on Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions show, Rollins said he was almost certain that he would be booked as a fan favorite.
“They [fans] had not fully accepted Roman as the top babyface champion yet. They still weren’t ready for it. I come back for the title I never lost, and so it made perfect sense. I thought for sure I’d be coming back as a babyface but the company had other plans, and that didn’t jibe with where I was mentally. I had envisioned myself as a babyface coming back. I had started to see momentum kind of pick up as I was coming back. I was like, ‘Okay, they’re gonna cheer me,’” Rollins said.
— WWE (@WWE) May 23, 2016
A month after his return, Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns for the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank 2016. Dean Ambrose then cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to become the third Shield member to hold the title on the same night.
Seth Rollins lost confidence after his 2016 return
After a brief feud with Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins lost against Finn Balor in a Universal Championship match at SummerSlam 2016.The two-time WWE Champion admitted he lost faith in his own abilities after being asked to suddenly turn babyface after SummerSlam.
“Dude, it’s depressing,” Rollins said. “You start to lose confidence over time because you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. It’s everything [crowd reaction], and they’re telling you something, you’re trying to figure out how to navigate that and navigate backstage of what do I do? How do I get this to work? Where do I fit into the landscape? Like I said, I was just off on an island and didn’t know what to do. Gosh, it was a tough spot for me there.”
Seth Rollins added that his babyface run did not get back on track until the summer of 2017 when he and Dean Ambrose began to reform The Shield.
— WWE (@WWE) December 13, 2016