Jun 30, 2020
Seth Rollins talks evolving in WWE, Becky Lynchs future, coronavirus
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Seth Rollins — WWE’s “Monday Night Messiah” — finds himself embroiled in a very personal on-screen feud with wrestling legend Rey Mysterio. The former WWE and Universal champion took time for some Q&A with The Post’s Joseph Staszewski ahead of tonight’s “Monday Night Raw” (8 p.m., USA Network).
(Edited for length and clarity)
A: Rey’s an absolute legend, someone who’s been a vital part of our industry for 30 years, which is literally double the amount of time that I’ve been in the industry.The fact that he can go at still such a high level at his experience level is still the thing that amazes me the most about Rey Mysterio. And to be wrapped up in a story with him right now is a lot of fun. Obviously the environment’s different without a massive live crowd. It’s still really fun to interact with him, his son Dominik and to use this different type of medium, I suppose, than what we’re used to, to tell a story.
Q: How different has it been for you taking on the “Monday Night Messiah” persona? It felt like a lot of the stuff you did in the past was like slight variations of Seth Rollins, this feels like something new you can tinker with and evolve.
A: This is definitely a different thing and it came sort of surprisingly, abruptly. It reminded me a lot of, from a personal perspective, when we broke up The Shield and I was unprepared for what that character looked like. Any time you step into a new facet of your character it’s hard to figure out, especially when there is not a plan behind it. We didn’t sit down and say, what does this character look like, who is he, how does he talk, how does he walk, what does he think, what is his motivation?
It was just something that stemmed from the fan backlash last year and eventually just sort of snowballed into this, you know — I don’t want to call him like a cult-like hero — but kind of this cult-like character that kind of channels these ideas that he has that no one else can see and stuff like that and how he has to go about doing that.
I’m having a blast with it. It took me a little while to kind of get my feet on the ground and get moving, but I think I’ve been hitting my stride for the majority of this year.
Q: Why were Buddy Murphy and Austin Theory the right people to be the “Monday Night Messiah’s” followers?
A: They’ve got all the tools. They’ve got the look, the work ethic, the drive, they’ve got the mental capacity to be great in this industry and we all need people to help us and guide us along the way. Triple H took me under his wing in “The Authority” and kind of showed me the ropes. So now it’s my duty to pass on that information the best way I know how. I learned from Randy (Orton) and Triple H and Kane to an extent, so to be in the opposite position now where I am the teacher, I think Murphy and Theory like I said, they have all the tools and it’s just a matter of giving them the right information on guiding them on their path to success. They are both going to be future stars in our industry I hope.
Q: As someone who is going to be a father in the near future, has there been anything that’s hit you as you’ve watched Rey interact with Dominik and having this program with a wrestler and his kid going on?
A: Rey’s a great dad. The way he allows Dominik the freedom to explore things on his own and then give input on the side. He’s not forceful, he’s not controlling. He’s not the dad that’s like ‘You have to do it this way, you have to do it that way.’ He’s more of a guide. To watch them interact and the way they figure things out … also Dominik has a natural gift for it too. He very in tune to what it should be.
Q: How has Becky been just kind of staying home and not being around the business for the first time in a long time?
A: Oh, she hates it. She doesn’t hate not being around the business. Obviously, any kind of entertainment industry is gonna stress you out, so she doesn’t miss that part of it. She missed the go, go, go. She missed having goals in mind. She missed having something to work toward. And it’s hard because I’ve never been a pregnant person, so she’s in a position too where she’s had to just walk away and stop abruptly, her job. It wasn’t like most other women who are pregnant are able to still work their jobs while they’re pregnant and slowly transition out for a short period of time. The nature of our industry, she can’t do that.
For her to go just a million miles an hour to nothing and then to try to figure out, ‘What do I do now?’ in the middle of a pandemic as well, where there is just not a lot to do in general, is definitely a test for her. But she misses being out there and going and doing stuff and being active and having goals and career-oriented stuff. That’s just how she defined her person over the years. It’s definitely a challenge for her. She’s awesome and she’s getting through it, but it’s different for her for sure.
Q: Do you expect we’ll see her back in a ring at some point down the line?
A: Oh yea, I expect so. Obviously that’s gonna be up to her and how she feels. Who knows what happens after childbirth once she becomes a mother, I don’t know. I believe she has aspirations to return. I think she would rather go out on her own terms whenever that time may be as opposed to stepping away for a child. I think she has aspirations to return, but I don’t know. Things can change between now and December.
Q: What has the last week-plus been like, hearing people in the company have tested positive for coronavirus and having the new testing policy complicate how filming has been going?
A: It’s been a struggle in the sense that there have just been a lot of decisions that have to be made quickly as far as travel is concerned because now that we’re doing added testing and those swabs every single time before these tapings, that puts you in a little bit of a hole as far as your travel is concerned because now you are going to have to leave a day early, and when you don’t know you have to leave a day early until it all comes up it becomes a bit of a hassle. We had to make some changes to the taping schedule last week, which is going to force us to go back down again this week to do some more tapings.Seth RollinsWWE
As we as a country and the world really just start to learn more about this thing, we are just trying to get a protocol in place that makes sense for everybody in WWE. I’m for one extremely happy that we’re testing every time before we go in. That will hopefully minimize the risk of people getting sick in the Performance Center and obviously us passing it out into the general population. The fact that we’re testing is definitely great.
The extra travel days is what it is, not a big deal. But this week was crazy. It was a lot of people scrambling to make decisions and to try to figure out what the best order of operations is regarding this situation since we had not had this problem yet. Luckily, I think we have some good stuff coming up as far as we’re gonna handle this. The communication has been a lot better toward the tail end of this than in the beginning. It was (laughs) tricky at first, but we’re all along for the ride.
Q: NXT has had “In Your House.” They are gonna have “Great American Bash.” Is there an old-school pay-per-view or event you’d want to come back for the main roster?
A: Oh man, yeah. “Halloween Havoc.” Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. It’s cool. You just get to dress up scary and get candy. I like the dark kind of vibe of it, so it would be sweet to see WWE do a Halloween Havoc. Maybe we’ll see an NXT Halloween Havoc, I don’t know.
Q: It feels like Raw has made it a point to try to create new stars. Has there been someone who has really stood out to you that’s taken the opportunity and run with it?
A: I think some people who stand out to me probably are Apollo Crews, who is someone who’s been kind of been under-appreciated for a long time. As he gets more experience under his belt on a WWE platform, he’s only gonna get better. He needs the opportunity to explore who he is. Who is Apollo Crews, why do we like him, why do we care about him? Clearly, he’s a five-tool player. He’s got all the necessary attributes. So I think getting in this platform, to step up and deliver, obviously, he can do it in the ring. We’ll see what it looks like if he develops into a character down the road.
I think Zelina Vega as well is someone who’s bee given a ton of mic time. Being paired with Andrade and with (Angel) Garza has allowed her to speak more than she’s ever spoken in WWE and carry segment on her own with a WWE champion and other people like that.
News Source: newsbrig.com
Big stick: Lindor focused on season, not future in Cleveland
CLEVELAND (AP) — Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor is religiously following baseball’s COVID-19 protocols — social distancing, masks, temperature checks, you name it. He’s making sure others do the same.
So on Monday, after taking batting practice at Progressive Field, Lindor urged manager Terry Francona to clean his hands — with pine tar.
Lindor pranked his manager by switching a spray bottle of hand sanitizer with one filled with the adhesive hitters use to better grip their bat.
Needless to say, Francona wasn’t totally amused.
“We almost wanted to release him,” Francona cracked. “I may not be able to get up off this table. I’ve used rubbing alcohol, I’ve used tape remover. It’s everywhere.”
Jokes aside, Lindor has his own sticky situation in Cleveland.
The All-Star’s future with the Indians remains a touchy topic, whether the team plays 60 games this season or not again until 2021. Lindor is under the club’s contractual control through next season, but the Indians aren’t going to be able to afford what the 26-year-old can earn as a free agent, so Cleveland has to consider trading away the franchise’s best player for prospects before he walks away,
That could happen before the new Aug. 31 trading deadline or following this season, assuming there is one.
Lindor has turned down previous offers by the Indians and he broke off negotiations with the club before training camp in Arizona was shut down in March by the pandemic. Now, he’s facing the prospect of playing his final season in Cleveland without fans cheering him on.
“I haven’t really thought of it that way,” he said. “I’m just excited and happy to be able to play the game. God willing, we have a chance of starting the season at some point and we as people need to do a better job at protecting each other, respecting each others’ space and not continue to contaminate or spread the virus so that fans can be allowed in stadiums at some point this year.”
While baseball was shut down, Lindor stayed in shape while working out at his home in Florida. There was ample time for him to reflect on his future, but Lindor said his priorities have been shifted by the virus outbreak and his determination to play in 2020.
“I haven’t really thought about what’s going to happen after this year or the middle of this year or next season to be honest,” he said. “I haven’t thought about that because there’s plenty of other things that I’ve got to think of, and one is this pandemic.”
Lindor was troubled by the spike in positive test cases, which came after states began easing restrictions and re-opening to jump start the economy.
Lindor believes the only way to slow the virus and eventually defeat it is being a good teammate.
“We don’t have to live in fear,” he said. “Don’t live in fear. But respect your neighbor. Respect your surroundings because you might be one person who is super healthy and nothing will happen to you. But somebody else is not as fortunate as you are, so understanding that taking care of yourself or taking care of someone else’s life is huge.
“I’ve been thinking more about that and all of the changes we have to make for the team to move forward than whether I’m going to be in Cleveland or not. That’s got to be way down the list.”
Lindor is optimistic that the shortened season will be played, as long as players follow the rules.
“If we take care of each other, I think we have a good chance,” he said.
The Indians began the second week of Training Camp 2.0 workouts in their downtown ballpark on another hot, humid day in Northeast Ohio. No one was complaining about the heat as the crack of the bat echoed through the empty stadium.
It’s far from being business as usual, but pitcher Adam Plutko said there were some familiar sights that made him smile.
“I watched Francisco Lindor field groundballs today and it was just mesmerizing to see it again,” he said.
NOTES: Francona received positive and negative feedback for his comment that it’s “time to move forward” for the Indians, who are considering changing their nickname. “I will admit that there are people that got my email that I didn’t realize had the ability to get to my email,” he said. “So for that segment of the population, thanks for sharing your opinions. I actually had some really, really, really thoughtful texts and emails, too.” Lindor also is in favor of a name change. “I’m open for a change in name if it’s going to bring love and happiness and more peace to the world,” he said.
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