Seth Rollins opened up about a variety of topics during a recent appearance on the Gorilla Position podcast, one of which was Dean Ambrose‘s heel turn on last year’s episode of Monday Night Raw where Roman Reigns announced his leukemia diagnosis. The segment featured Rollins and Ambrose winning the Raw Tag Team Championships, only for the latter to attack his partner afterward.
As quoted by Sportskeeda, “The Beast Slayer” revealed that Triple H let both superstars decide how to press ahead with the storyline. While they didn’t feel comfortable triggering their feud on the same night that their friend shared his bad news, they ultimately decided to do so because it made sense from a storytelling perspective.
“Ambrose and I decided collectively that it would be best to do it that night. We thought the emotional response would be proper and that Roman, he wouldn’t mind. It’s pro wrestling you know, we are in the business of telling stories and a lot of that involves emotional rollercoasters, so we wanted to do that, and from a storytelling perspective it turned out really well.”
Rollins also revealed that the plan for Ambrose to turn heel on that show was in place before Reigns’ results came through, and that neither he nor Ambrose knew about his condition until he shared the news with the WWE Universe that night.
"The good news is, I'm in REMISSION…THE BIG DOG IS BACK!"
— WWE (@WWE) February 26, 2019
The subsequent feud didn’t live up to the initial promise of Ambrose’s unexpected heel turn, and the superstar wasn’t happy with how it played out. As reported by The Inquisitr, he told Chris Jericho that WWE creative asked him to make a distasteful comment about Reigns’ battle with leukemia in a promo, which he refused to do.
Ambrose also stated that the comment would have caused WWE to lose its Susan G. Komen Foundation sponsorship, which is a partnership between both companies that’s dedicated to combating cancer.
However, WWE has taken advantage of real-life tragedies several times in the past, and Reigns’ leukemia did factor into the feud between Rollins and Ambrose.
Shortly after the feud, Rollins and Ambrose reconciled and reformed The Shield when Reigns eventually returned to action. However, their time together was short-lived, as Ambrose left WWE in April and joined All Elite Wrestling. However, should Ambrose ever decide to return to the company, he will be on good terms with his former cohorts, as they remain friends outside of the ring to this day.