Seth Rollins was the top heel in WWE throughout 2015, holding the WWE Championship as part of The Authority.
Unfortunately for Rollins, he suffered a knee injury in November 2015 and was forced to relinquish the belt. He returned at Extreme Rules 2016, attacking Roman Reigns after Reigns had defeated AJ Styles.
Speaking to Steve Austin on Broken Skull Sessions, Rollins discussed his return and what went wrong.
"[The fans are] so happy to see me," he said. "They had not fully accepted Roman as the top babyface champion. They weren't ready for it. I came back for the title that I never lost. It made perfect sense. I thought for sure that I'd be coming back as a babyface, but company had other plans and that didn't jive with where I was mentally. I had envisioned myself as a babyface coming back. I could see the momentum as I was coming back like, 'they're going to cheer me.' AJ Styles was a babyface in that match. People wanted AJ to win because they loved him and they hadn't accepted Roman in that role. I was like, 'When I come out, they're going to cheer me. Why don't we go in that direction?' We never did. I wanted (to go babyface). I thought that was the natural progression. The people were ready for it. it was an easy story to tell and we never got to tell it. I think it hurt us in the long run. It certainly hurt me. It left me in no man's land for awhile because you go to the next month, Money in the Bank, me and Roman for the title and we do the Ambrose cash in at the end of it. I'm the heel, he's the babyface. At the end of the day, it left me in no man's land for quite some time where I was the heel, but people were like...we just saw the Network special about my surgery and return and (people) liked that guy. They were like, 'I don't want to boo him. He's trying hard to make me boo him, but I like him.'"
When asked how he felt about being in no man's land, Rollins replied, "It's depressing. You start to lose confidence over time because you don't know what you're doing wrong. (The crowd) is telling you something and 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? How do I fit in the landscape? I was off on an island, I didn't know what to do. It was a tough spot."
Rollins would end up turning face later in the year, entering into a feud with Triple H.
Elsewhere during the podcast, Rollins discussed how he earned Brock Lesnar's respect. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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