Seth Rollins continued to blur the lines between a work and a shoot ahead of his match with Matt Riddle at Saturday's WWE pay-per-view, Clash at the Castle, in Cardiff, Wales.
"As long as I've known the guy, I've never really liked his attitude. I've never really liked the way he goes about his business. A lot of the ways he sort of disrespected guys way above his pay grade when he was down at NXT, the Booker Ts, the Goldbergs, the Brock Lesnars, I'm just like, 'Dude, pay your dues, work your way up, you're so good.' He's so ultra-talented in the ring, just like he was in the Octagon. That's never been his issue. His issue is his head, getting himself mentally where he needs to be able to consistently perform. He's trying to talk his way to the top, which I respect in some ways. At the same time, you're going to get there, just work your way up the right way."
The two-time WWE champion added his problems with Riddle started to boil over during a backstage incident involving his wife, fellow WWE star Becky Lynch, and the former UFC fighter's ex-wife, Lisa Rennie:
"It really kicked off, there was an incident with his now ex-wife, where he was taking her side as she was, better or worse body-shaming—that's the only way I can put it—my wife and some of the other girls in the locker room, completely unprovoked. I understand, as a husband, you have to take your wife's side, but you also can zip your trap sometimes. I felt like him taking her side, I was like, 'You gotta shut up.' Essentially, the guy opens his mouth when he shouldn't and says things when he shouldn't, and it gets him in some hot water. I don't like the way he conducts himself."
Rollins' feud with Riddle leading up to Clash in the Castle is a prime example of how things are changing in the Triple H era of WWE creative.
It's featured far more buildup outside of the ring, including a parking lot brawl and a heated interview segment on Raw. That helps viewers become more engaged in the storyline than a series of meaningless singles matches that end in disqualification.
So when they step in the ring together Saturday, everything is going to have a hint of realism to it, especially if the match becomes overly physical.
Add in the fact Rollins and Riddle are both strong in-ring performers, and their encounter has a chance to steal the show thanks to the terrific build.
All told, it's hard to tell exactly how much real-life bad blood exists between the pair, which is a credit to both Raw standouts. And, if there's a lot of legitimate beef, it's a further credit they can still work together to maximize the impact for entertainment value.
It wouldn't be a surprise to see the feud extend beyond Clash at the Castle given the interest it's generated so far.