Seth “Freakin'” Rollins recently appeared as a guest on “After the Bell with Corey Graves” for an in-depth interview promoting tonight’s WWE Payback 2023 premium live event.
During the discussion, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion reflected at length on the life and career of Windham Rotunda, better known to WWE fans as Bray Wyatt.
Featured below are some of the highlights from the interview where he touches on this topic with his thoughts.
On Bray Wyatt’s early days in WWE and having significant internal support early on: “Creativity is one thing, but the resilience, you got to remember like Windham was like, this close to getting fired. He was this close to just being gone. He had come up, done NXT, he had done the Husky Harris thing, he’d gotten removed from the the NXT TakeOver thing, the the Nexus stuff that happened on television, and then he got sent back down to developmental and like, he just totally revamped himself, and he took a shot. It wasn’t immediate. He tried a lot of different things. He had a lot of different ideas floating around in his head, and to be there kind of on the ground floor and see that process and see what eventually turned into Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family. I mean, that is a lesson, to keep it in the wrestling bubble, that’s the lesson to all young talent or talents who are trying to find their footing in our industry. Don’t let setbacks force you to feel like you failed, or that you need to give up or give in or or any of that. You can be successful. You just have to figure yourself out. You’ve got to figure out who you are and what your character is. You can do all these things. You just have to believe and you have to work and you have to process and it takes time and that’s okay. I know Windham was frustrated during that period of time, but he just let his creative juices flow. He had the American Dream Dusty Rhodes there, and he had his friends and his brothers and his people, and everybody was rooting for him.”
On getting goosebumps the first time he heard Windham do the Wyatt voice and how his creativity was second to none: “I remember the first time hearing the Bray Wyatt kind of voice. Don’t get me wrong. That’s a lot of Windham, but you know that little twang. I remember the first time I heard him talk like that. It’s giving me goosebumps right now. I remember distinctly the first time I heard his voice and that Bray Wyatt delivery, that cadence, that whisper, changed everything and then he was off to the races from there. Sometimes that’s all it takes. But the most important thing it takes is diligence, that resilience, and that patience to understand that it’s just not going to happen overnight. When your back is against the wall, you fight. Keep fighting. He did and he was special in that way, and he was remarkable in his creativity in what he brought to Harper, Brody, and Rowan and what he gave them, and Braun as well. He contributed a lot to a lot of people who looked up to him. He was a special cat. He really, really was. Creativity is second to none. The character work and effort that he put into that character and what the vision for Bray Wyatt was second to none.”
On “The Fiend” character and constantly reinventing himself: “While we’re on it, I mean, look. The Fiend and Bray Wyatt, the two versions of Bray Wyatt that you saw on WWE television were two completely different brain childs for him. Even in his final incarnation, the third version, I mean, he was always figuring out new ways to reinvent himself. He and I were very similar at that time, and we were always thinking. We’re always thinking what’s next? What’s next? What’s next? How do we transform? How do we transcend what we’ve already done? I was always in awe of how he was able to come up with these transformations that made sense in the depths of his character. If you look at the trajectory of everything that he did, it all flowed together in this perfect river, but they were all so different from each other and that was, that’s a hard thing to do, and he did it better than anybody.”
Check out the complete interview at Spotify.com. H/T to WrestlingHeadlines.com for transcribing the above quotes.