Seth Rollins has become a true superstar in the WWE. His brilliant in-ring ability and great character work has allowed him to move up the ranks of the company, becoming one of WWE’s very best.
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Seth Rollins real name is Colby Daniel Lopez. Lopez was born in Buffalo, Iowa in 1986. Lopez’s father was Armenian, making Lopez of Armenian descent, but his father was not around growing up. Instead, Colby took the name Lopez when his mother married his Mexican-American stepfather. Lopez also has a bit of German and Irish in his blood though. Lopez was a wrestling fan since he was a child.
At age 5 he was already an avid fan of wrestling on TV, with his childhood hero being Hulk Hogan. He and his brother would even play wrestle in the living room from a very young age. Growing up, Lopez was also a big football fan and his dream job was to be a professional player in the NFL. However, at age 14 he started wrestling in the backyard with his brother. He would put on “shows” every month and had a lot of fun doing it. After a little while, Lopez realized he had a knack for wrestling. He enjoyed the technical aspect of it and was already in good physical condition, which made him a natural.
At age 16, Lopez was going by his completely made up ring name of “God” and his finish of choice was a double front-flip through a table, off of his trampoline of course. Seth eventually decided wrestling was his true passion and it was what he really wanted to do, thus choosing to skip college and get into the industry. Lopez made his professional debut in a small Iowa wrestling promotion called Scott County Wrestling. He performed under the name Gixx when he started at age 17. Eventually, Gixx would win the SCW Heavyweight Championship and proceeded to spray-paint it black in nWo-like fashion. This was meant to signal “The Black Era”.
He would also win the IWA Mid-South Light Heavyweight Championship as well. Soon after, Lopez moved to NWA Midwest where he won the tag team championships with partner Marek Brave. The pair were fairly successful, winning a number of title defences in 05-06. This is also where Lopez faced A.J. Styles in a singles match.
While making his way through the independent circuit, Lopez made a brief appearance in TNA in October of 2006. Here he wrestled under the name of Tyler Black and teamed up with Jeff Luxon, but only for one televised match. After moving to Pro Wrestling Guerrilla after his long-time partner Marek Brave was legitimately injured, Tyler Black pursued a singles career. Here he would defeat his former mentor Danny Daniels in 2007.
In 2008 Black won the PWG World Tag Team Championship when he defeated the team of Roderick Strong and El Generico. He would also win the Full Impact Pro World Heavyweight Championship in December of 2008 as a singles competitor but was forced to relinquish to the title in 2009.
Going back in time a bit, Black made his Ring of Honor debut in September of 2007 alongside two other wrestlers which formed the stable “The Age of the Fall”. The trio then attacked The Briscoe Brothers, and in an extremely controversial fashion, Jay Briscoe was hung. Moving on, Black won the ROH World Tag Team titles later in 2007 by defeating the Briscoe Brothers but lost it just one month later after an Ultimate Endurance match that also featured the team of Austin Aries and Bryan Danielson.
After multiple failed attempts, Tyler Black finally won the ROH World Championship in 2010. Black would have a championship reign of 210 days, and after seven successful title defences, Black lost to Roderick Strong.
On August 8th, 2010, Lopez signed a developmental contract with WWE and was relegated to Florida Championship Wrestling, also known as FCW. At the time, Lopez was offered contracts from both TNA and ROH and was seriously considering staying with Ring of Honor as he was already on top, but WWE superstar Evan Bourne convinced him to stay on WWE.
Tyler Black would debut in WWE in a dark match before SmackDown, which he won. He would debut for FCW just two weeks later, now under the name Seth Rollins, but lost to Michael McGillicutty. Rollins would climb his way up the ladder and eventually won the FCW Tag Team Championship with Richie Steamboat in early 2011.
In July of 2011, Rollins began a feud with Dean Ambrose. Their first match was for the new FCW 15 Championship, where Rollins would retain, despite the match being a draw. Rollins would win a decisive victory over Ambrose in September of 2011 but lost soon after to Damien Sandow by means of disqualification.
In early 2012, Rollins would go on to defeat Leo Kruger to become the FCW Heavyweight Champion. When FCW was rebranded to NXT, Rollins would thrive and became the NXT Champion after winning the Gold Rush tournament and defeating Jinder Mahal in the finals.
Seth Rollins finally made his debut on the WWE main roster in November of 2012 along with Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns as a part of The Shield.
The rest as they say, is history.
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