WrestleMania 31 will likely always be most remembered for “the heist of the century” when Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract during the main event to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Rollins may have been a heel then (and inexplicably one again now), but the reaction he got after thwarting Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar was like few we’ve witnessed. But even if the cash-in never happened, Seth Rollins still provided an indelible mark on the show that March evening in 2015.
Before Rollins leapfrogged his former Shield partner and the rest of the roster as the headliner, the former Architect was busy drawing up the blueprints for a singles match with Randy Orton. Their months-long feud was culminating in Santa Clara in what would be the third match of the night (not counting the kickoff match). The Levis Stadium crowd was still warming up as the other marquee matches involving Triple H and Sting, John Cena and Rusev, and The Undertaker and Bray Wyatt were still to come. The sky was a much lighter shade of blue and the stadium lights weren’t necessary quite yet.
Many an article and documentary-style testimonial delivered about the close to WrestleMania 31, but the shelf-life seemed much shorter in regards to the reaction to the Seth Rollins-Randy Orton encounter. Had it not been for the main-event finish, the Orton/Rollins signature ending might have stood out as the spot of the night. Seth was recently a guest of Chris Jericho’s Talk is Jericho podcast, where he revealed that despite how smooth it came across, the two were second guessing the move leading all the way up to its delivery (thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription).
“Randy and I kept missing it and missing it. And neither of us were interested in [taking] the bump itself on a Thursday afternoon or whatever, because it kind of sucked, in a practice ring in front of nobody, so we never got it one time practicing that day. We got the popup, but we never actually did the full thing. We come back to ‘Mania [on] Sunday and we’re talking and we had come up with a Plan B, like he was going to get me out of a springboard or something like that, which we’ve done and everyone [has] seen it. And Randy’s one of these guys who likes to play it safe sometimes. He likes to bat 1000, he said, and I have no problem with that. I have no problem with that. I was like, ‘screw it, dude. I get it. You want to bat 1000.’ And he was like, ‘yeah, you know what? I always play it safe.’ He was like, ‘I always play it safe. Every time! And that’s great, but lets just try it. To hell with it.’”
The spot in question, of course, saw Seth Rollins go for his signature Curb Stomp finisher when Orton popped up, Rollins’ leg bounces off Orton’s neck and then Randy finishes it with the RKO. Rollins called it “once in a lifetime” simply because the Curb Stomp was banned by Vince McMahon shortly thereafter, so the reality is that he’ll never be able to attempt it and the spot will never happen again. Rollins went on to describe the moment after the incredible move connected.
“So we get out there, we’re doing the match. I ran and I hit. It was just one of those things. I hit it and I knew it. I got up in the air. I got super flat. We made eye contact. He hits the thing and he forgets to cover me. If you watch it back, he hits it, he stands up immediately, starts Randy firing up however he does, which was a complete shoot, and I think [John] Cone was our referee or maybe [Mike] Chioda and he’s like, ‘cover him, cover him!’. He was so excited that it worked.”
Seth also revealed that after initially hatching the idea of the spot, he went over it with Cesaro, who reassured him of how great it might turn out. But perhaps a reason why it wasn’t clicking in the practice sessions leading up was due to Orton’s hesitancy to go through with it. Thankfully, they threw caution to the wind, and the fans have a moment to remember that will never, ever be duplicated in a WWE ring.
[Image via WWE]