On-screen, they have been rivals and friends and off-screen Triple H has been with Rollins every step of the way.
"He's a mentor and a half," Rollins said of Triple H when asked about him on Broken Skull Sessions by Steve Austin. "He's a guy who was this close [holds fingers near each other] to firing me from NXT.
"The Dusty advice, it's a double-edged sword. I had to have that confidence to be who I was and to get to where I wanted to go, I knew that, but that would rub some people the wrong way," Rollins said, speaking about Dusty Rhodes' advice of being himself and staying true to who he is.
"One person who it rubbed the wrong way, and maybe this is some leftover heat from me shunning him during contract talks, is Terry Taylor. He ended up coming over from IMPACT to work with developmental and he and Hunter go back a long way. He was a mentor to Hunter. Hunter brought him in and he was meant to coach the elite class at FCW/NXT and Terry and I just butted heads. A lot of that had to do with, Terry is a lot like me in that way where, he has confidence to what he did to get to where he was and he was going to instill that on us. His approach was a little hard-nosed at first. When you come into a new job, I understand that now obviously, you need to do that and put your foot down and understand that people need to respect you, otherwise they're going to walk over you. I understand now where he was coming from. At the time, I was just like, 'Yo bro, don't get in my face, don't try to tell me what I'm doing isn't right.' This was before the NXT Championship. 'I'm going to get to where I want to go, you just let me do me and stay out of my way. Don't try to change everything that I'm doing.' I would challenge Terry Taylor in front of the class and he didn't like that," Rollins said.
Before signing with WWE, Rollins was in talks with TNA/IMPACT and had verbally agreed to a deal with Taylor and TNA, but never signed a contract and ended up joining WWE.
"I'm of the opinion that wrestling is an art form and is lots of great things. Terry is very old school in the sense that, he thinks a certain way works. Part of that ideology is shunning what is up and coming instead of embracing it. I was always like, 'You have to understand, the business is changing. You have to go with it. If you go against it, it's not going to help.' I would challenge him in little ways every day to the point where, I was insubordiante. Hunter took me aside and was like, 'Look, I don't see anything special in you.' If you don't want to play ball and don't want to work with us, you can go back to Ring of Honor and do things your way, but you need to start doing things our way.' I was like, 'Oh man, my dream is about to go up in smoke here.' I go back to Joey Mercury and sat down with him and he's like, 'You need to understand how to play the game. It doesn't mean you have to change who you are, but you have to play a role all the time. You're not just on when you want to be on, you have to be on all the time. You have to find a way to give them what they want while teaching them how you do things. There is a compromise and you have to figure out how you do that.' He sat me down and talked me through that whole process," Rollins recalled.
Rollins learned how to play the game and still had that confidence in himself, going to Triple H to ask him to put the NXT Championship on him.
"Three months later, I'm sitting in a room with Hunter and I'm saying, 'I want that NXT Championship. I want to be the first one to hold that title. Put it on me and this brand is off and running. If you go in another direction with it, I don't know where you're going to be in a couple of years.' I told him that, 'I'm the right guy for this. You know that, I know that, let's bury this hatchet and make this work.' It was close, it was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. It was one more slip up from, 'that's it for you,'" said Rollins.
Rollins won the NXT Championship by defeating Jinder Mahal in the tournament final. He held the belt for 133 days, losing it to Big E after debuting with The Shield at Survivor Series 2012.
Elsewhere during the interview, Rollins recalled wanting to strangle Vince McMahon after Hell in the Cell 2019. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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