Before joining WWE’s main roster, Rollins worked for the company’s FCW and NXT developmental systems between August 2010 and November 2012. During that time, he often clashed with NXT trainer Terry Taylor over their views of modern-day wrestling styles.
Speaking on Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions, Rollins recalled how NXT founder Triple H took exception to his backstage behavior at the time.
“Terry is very old school in the sense that he thinks a certain way works, and part of that ideology is sort of shunning what is up and coming instead of embracing it," said Rollins. "And I was always like, ‘Hey, the business is changing. You’ve gotta go with it. If you go against it, it’s not gonna help.’ I would just challenge him in little ways every day to the point where I was insubordinate, and Hunter [Triple H] took me aside and was like, ‘Look, I don’t see anything special in you...."
Rollins added that Triple H was happy to let him leave WWE’s developmental system if he did not “play ball” with NXT’s coaches. Another former trainer, Joey Mercury, also told Rollins that he needed to learn “how to play the game” in order to succeed in WWE.
Seth Rollins asked Triple H to make him NXT Champion
In August 2012, Seth Rollins defeated Jinder Mahal in the final of the NXT Gold Rush Tournament to become the inaugural NXT Champion.
Reflecting on that memorable moment, the former Shield member said he made amends with Triple H and approached his boss about being the title’s first holder.
“Three months later, I’m sitting in a room with Hunter and I’m saying, ‘I want that NXT Championship,'" Rollins continued. "'I wanna be the first one to hold that title. Put it on me and this brand is off and running. If it goes another direction with it, then I don’t know where you’re gonna be in a couple of years.’ And I told him that. I said, ‘I’m the right guy for this. You know that, I know that. Let’s bury this hatchet and let’s make this work."
Rollins went on to work alongside Triple H for several years on WWE’s main roster as a member of The Authority. He also defeated the 14-time World Champion at WrestleMania 33 in 2017.
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