Stone Cold Steve Austin had personality. It literally oozed from his pores with every flipped middle finger, every Stone Cold Stunner he hit, and every beer that he drank. It’s one of the reasons he became one of the biggest things in pro wrestling since Hulk Hogan. Sure, it might have been a combination of Austin’s skills as a performer and a bit of good luck by being the right guy at the right time, but one thing is for sure — Stone Cold was OVER!
These days, with a larger percentage of the audience considered to be “smart” fans, getting over is even harder (just ask Roman Reigns). One superstar that is right on the cusp of breaking out in a big way is Seth Rollins. He’s over with the fans, sure. But as Stone Cold explained on a recent episode of “The Steve Austin Show” podcast, he’s not really over.
“Rollins is somewhat over, not all-the-way over, not by a long shot. Now, I don’t mean that in a bad way. That’s just being honest,” Austin said. “He [has] relied on his sequences and his athleticism to carry him. To take him to the next level, he’ll have to get more character development.
“When you say ‘Seth Rollins’ or if you want to say ‘Seth Freakin’ Rollins’, I still don’t have a sense of what or who this guy is. And so, that rests on Seth Rollins’ shoulders, as an individual, as a performer, to define or create that as well as the WWE because I still don’t get a sense of what kind of personality he is.”
Rollins is a great wrestler, and a tough human being. Those are the things we know about his character. What else do we know about him, though? Not much, really. Austin used Hall of Famer Bret Hart as an example of someone who became insanely over with the fans, despite having a much more conservative demeanor — both in the ring and on the mic.
“Bret wasn’t an over-the-top guy. He was a pretty humble and a very quiet individual outside the ring, so in many regards kind of somewhat like Seth although Bret’s an entirely different animal, but there’s a case of a guy who’s not a showy kind of guy, but very conservative, but just a highly defined gimmick, a badass gimmick, and a world class worker, so Seth needs to work on this.”
We enjoy watching Rollins’ matches, but we honestly can’t say we care a whole lot about his character. So Austin is probably on to something here.