Colby Lopez (born May 28, 1986) is an American professional wrestler. He is signed to WWE, where he performs under the ring name Seth Rollins and is the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion in his first reign. He is also a former WWE Tag Team Champion (with Roman Reigns as part of The Shield) and won the 2014 Money in the Bank contract, which he cashed in during the main event of WrestleMania 31.
While at WWE's developmental territories Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) and NXT, he was the inaugural NXT Champion and was also the first ever FCW Grand Slam Champion. Prior to signing with WWE, he wrestled as Tyler Black for Ring of Honor (ROH), winning that promotion's World Championship and Tag Team Championship (with Jimmy Jacobs as part of The Age of the Fall), and various independent promotions.
Professional Wrestling Career:
Early Career & Independent Circuit (2003–2009):
Colby Lopez, as Gixx, debuted in 2003 for Scott County Wrestling (SCW). He also worked for Ian Rotten's IWA Mid-South, and entered the Ted Petty Invitational Tournament, defeating Sal Thomaselli before being eliminated by Matt Sydal in the quarterfinals in Hammond, Indiana, on September 23, 2005. He later won the SCW Heavyweight Championship, and spray-painted the championship belt black to mark "The Black Era" in SCW.
He soon joined NWA Midwest winning the promotion's tag team championship with Marek Brave. The two successfully defended the championship against Ryan Boz and Danny Daniels, Brett Wayne and Hype Gotti, and Jayson Reign and Marco Cordova several times in early 2006. He also faced Eric Priest and A.J. Styles in singles matches.
He briefly appeared in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and teamed with Jeff Luxon in a loss to The Latin American Xchange (Homicide and Hernandez) on Impact in October 2006.
On May 25, 2007, while in a match with the Full Impact Pro (FIP) Tag Team Champions The Briscoes in Melbourne, Florida, Black's tag team partner Marek Brave suffered a back injury that sidelined him for several weeks before ultimately causing him to retire. Brave returned to competition in 2012. During this time Black pursued a singles career, competing in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) where he defeated Joey Ryan on June 10 and former mentor Danny Daniels at the supercard Point of No Return '07 on June 16.
At PWG's Life During Wartime on July 6, 2008, Black teamed with Jimmy Jacobs to win the PWG World Tag Team Championship by defeating Roderick Strong and El Generico, who was a replacement for Jack Evans. At FIP's event on December 20, 2008, Black defeated Go Shiozaki to win the FIP World Heavyweight Championship. At FIP's event on May 2, 2009, Davey Richards was awarded the FIP World Heavyweight Championship by forfeit when Black was unable to compete.
Ring of Honor:
The Age of the Fall (2007–2009):
At the Ring of Honor (ROH) pay-per-view taping of Man Up in September 2007, Black made his debut, alongside Jimmy Jacobs and Necro Butcher, with the three attacking The Briscoe Brothers, hanging Jay Briscoe from the rigging that had been used during the ladder match earlier that night. Jacobs announced that the three had formed a stable called The Age of the Fall. The angle was so controversial that ROH decided to remove the footage from the pay-per-view that was being taped at the event.
However, the footage was heavily requested by ROH fans, so it was shown on the ROH Videowire for the week of September 15. Later on in the event Black faced Jack Evans in a dark match, which ended when Jacobs and Necro Butcher interfered leading The Irish Airborne to help Evans. A six-man tag team match between The Age of the Fall and Jack Evans and the Irish Airborne ended in a no contest when Necro Butcher attacked the referee.
Teaming with Jimmy Jacobs and Necro Butcher against The Vulture Squad (Jack Evans and Ruckus) in several handicap matches during early October, he teamed with The Age of the Fall to against Jack Evans, Ruckus and Jigsaw in a 6-man tag team match the following month at Glory by Honor VI Night 1 on November 1. The following night, Black defeated Alex "Sugarfoot" Payne but was attacked by The Briscoes following the match. He appeared with The Age of the Fall in their match against The Briscoes during the main event. At Final Battle 2007, Black and Jacobs defeated the Briscoes to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
They lost the titles one month later on January 26 to the No Remorse Corps (Davey Richards and Rocky Romero) when competing in an Ultimate Endurance match also involving The Hangmen 3 (Brent Albright and BJ Whitmer), and the team of Austin Aries and Bryan Danielson.
At Take No Prisoners, ROH's sixth pay-per-view, Black challenged Nigel McGuinness for the ROH World Championship in a losing effort. At Up For Grabs, Black and Jacobs won an eight-team tournament to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship for a second time. The two lost the championship at Driven to the team of Kevin Steen and El Generico. Black had a second chance at the ROH World Championship at Death Before Dishonor VI in New York City, when he faced McGuinness, Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli in a three-way match, but McGuinness retained.
At Final Battle 2008, Black lost a number one contenders match to Austin Aries. Following the match, Jacobs turned on Black, and Black was then attacked by Aries. At Full Circle, Black was given a non-title match against the ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness on January 16, and defeated McGuinness. The following night, number one contender Aries refused to face McGuinness, so Black faced McGuinness instead, but was unsuccessful as the match ended in a time limit draw. On June 26 at Violent Tendencies, Black defeated Jimmy Jacobs in a steel cage match to end their feud.
ROH World Champion (2009–2010):
In September 2009, Black had surgery on a bulging disc in his neck. On October 10, Black defeated Kenny King in a first round match and then Claudio Castagnoli, Colt Cabana, Delirious, Chris Hero and Roderick Strong in the finals to win the 2009 Survival of the Fittest tournament this earned him a match for the ROH World Championship. On December 19 at Final Battle 2009, ROH's first live pay-per-view, Black wrestled ROH World Champion Austin Aries to a 60-minute time limit draw. Because of this draw, ROH commissioner Jim Cornette booked the two in a rematch between February 13, 2010 for the company's Eighth Anniversary Show. The booking saw Cornette set up a judging panel with himself on and one person picked by each competitor, in order for there to be a decisive winner in case of another draw. Aries picked Kenny King while Black picked Roderick Strong, whom he guaranteed a title shot should he win. At the event, Black pinned Aries to win the ROH World Championship.
On April 3, Black retained the title in a three-way elimination match against Austin Aries and Roderick Strong at The Big Bang! pay-per-view, thereby depriving Strong of his championship chance in a singles match. He also retained at the following pay-per-view, Death Before Dishonor VIII, on June 19, in a match against Davey Richards. Black turned heel at the August 20 tapings of Ring of Honor Wrestling, after news broke that he had signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). His new heel character involved him criticizing the fans who were labeling him a sell-out for signing with WWE, a feeling Lopez states was based on true feelings. He also threatened to take the ROH World Championship with him to WWE, and refused to put the championship at stake in a match with Davey Richards on August 28 which he then lost by submission. On September 11 at Glory By Honor IX Black lost the ROH World Championship to Roderick Strong in a No Disqualification match with Terry Funk as a guest enforcer. This was his final ROH appearance.
World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE:
Florida Championship Wrestling (2010–2012):
On August 8, 2010, Lopez had signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and was assigned to their developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in September. Lopez was offered contracts from Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) and Ring of Honor, but Evan Bourne (formerly Matt Sydal) convinced him to join WWE. On September 14, 2010, Lopez (as Tyler Black) made his WWE debut in a dark match prior to the SmackDown taping, defeating Trent Barreta.
Lopez debuted for FCW on September 30, as Seth Rollins (a name he states is an ode to Henry Rollins), in a loss to Michael McGillicutty. Rollins then faced Hunico on November 4 in the first ever 'FCW 15' match under 15 minute Iron Man rules where they fought to a 1–1 draw. Following this, Rollins, along with Hunico, Richie Steamboat and Jinder Mahal, participated in the FCW 15 Jack Brisco Classic tournament. On January 13, 2011, Rollins defeated Hunico in the finals to win the tournament and became the inaugural FCW 15 Champion.
On March 25 at a live event, Rollins and Richie Steamboat defeated Damien Sandow and Titus O'Neill to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship. Rollins and Steamboat eventually lost the championships to Big E Langston and Calvin Raines.
In July 2011, Rollins began a feud with Dean Ambrose. Ambrose and Rollins had their first match for the FCW 15 Championship in a 15-minute Iron Man match on the August 14 episode of FCW. The match ended in a draw with neither men scoring a fall and, as a result, Rollins retained his title. A subsequent 20 minute rematch for the title two weeks later resulted in a similar 0–0 draw. A second 30-minute rematch for the title on the September 18 episode of FCW TV went to a time limit 2–2 draw and the match was sent into sudden death rules, where Rollins scored a pinfall to win the match 3–2. On September 22, Rollins lost the FCW 15 Championship to Damien Sandow by way of disqualification after Ambrose attacked Sandow late in the match.
Rollins made his WWE television debut in a video package that aired during the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in February 2012, where he was shown working out with John Cena in Cena's gym; Rollins was also featured in a speaking role. On February 23, 2012, he defeated Leo Kruger to become the new FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion.
When WWE rebranded FCW into NXT Wrestling, Rollins' NXT television debut took place on the second episode of the rebooted NXT taped at Full Sail University, where he defeated Jiro. Rollins entered the Gold Rush Tournament to crown the inaugural NXT Champion where he defeated Jinder Mahal in the tournament finals on the August 29 NXT (taped on July 26). Rollins earlier defeated Drew McIntyre in the quarter-finals and Michael McGillicutty in the semi-finals. On the October 10 NXT, Rollins had his first successful defense of his title after he beat McGillicutty. During the November 15 tapings of NXT, Rollins pinned Mahal again in his second successful title defense; the episode of the match aired on December 12 due to tape delay.
During the January 2, 2013 NXT, which was taped on December 6, 2012, Rollins, now part of The Shield, successfully defended his title against Corey Graves after interference from The Shield led to a disqualification. On the January 7 NXT taped on the same date, Rollins faced Langston in a no disqualification match for the NXT championship. The NXT locker room neutralized the other Shield members and Langston went on to defeat Rollins and win the title. The Shield then turned their attention to Graves and attacked him during his number one contender's match for the NXT Championship with Conor O'Brian. Graves then challenged any member of The Shield to a match to which Rollins accepted. Rollins and Graves faced off in a lumberjack match and after the rest of The Shield disposed of the lumberjacks and attacked Graves, Rollins won to end the feud.
The Shield (2012–2014):
Rollins made his main roster debut on November 18, 2012, at the Survivor Series pay-per-view alongside Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. They assaulted Ryback during the triple threat main event for the WWE Championship, allowing CM Punk to pin John Cena and retain his title. The trio declared themselves "The Shield" and vowed to rally against "injustice". The Shield denied working for Punk, but they routinely emerged from the crowd to attack Punk's adversaries. This led to a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match being set up for the TLC pay-per-view, where Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns defeated Team Hell No and Ryback in their debut match. The Shield continued to aid Punk after TLC, attacking both Ryback and The Rock in January 2013. On Raw on January 28, it was revealed that Punk and his manager Paul Heyman had been paying The Shield and Brad Maddox to work for them all along.
The Shield then quietly ended their association with Punk while beginning a feud with John Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus that led to a six-man tag match on February 17 at Elimination Chamber, which The Shield won. The Shield had their first Raw match the following night, where they defeated Ryback, Sheamus, and Chris Jericho. Sheamus then formed an alliance with Randy Orton and Big Show to face The Shield at WrestleMania 29 where The Shield emerged victorious in their first WrestleMania match. The following night on Raw, The Shield attempted to attack The Undertaker, but were stopped by Team Hell No. This set up a six-man tag team match on the April 22 episode of Raw, which The Shield won. On the May 13 episode of Raw, The Shield's undefeated streak in televised six-man tag team matches ended in a disqualification loss in an elimination match against Cena, Kane, and Bryan.
On May 19 at Extreme Rules, Rollins and Reigns defeated Team Hell No in a tag team tornado match to win the WWE Tag Team Championship. Rollins and Reigns made their first televised title defense on the May 27 episode of Raw, defeating Team Hell No in a rematch. On the June 14 episode of SmackDown, The Shield's unpinned/unsubmitted streak in televised six-man tag team matches ended at the hands of Team Hell No and Randy Orton when Daniel Bryan submitted Rollins. Bryan and Orton then faced Rollins and Reigns at Payback for the WWE Tag Team Championship, but Rollins and Reigns successfully retained the titles. Further successful title defenses followed against The Usos on July 14 during the Money in the Bank pre-show and The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil) at Night of Champions.
In August, The Shield began working for chief operating officer Triple H and The Authority. At Battleground, a fired Cody Rhodes and Goldust earned their jobs back by beating Rollins and Reigns in a non-title match. On the October 14 episode of Raw, Rollins and Reigns lost the WWE Tag Team Championship to Cody Rhodes and Goldust in a No Disqualification match, following interference from Big Show. At Hell in a Cell, Rollins and Reigns failed to regain the tag team title in a triple threat match. Tension was then sown in The Shield while their recent lack of success continued with a loss to CM Punk in a handicap match at the TLC pay-per-view. At the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Rollins entered the Rumble match at #2; he had three eliminations and spent the second longest time in the match at 48 minutes before being eliminated by teammate Reigns. The next night on Raw, The Shield competed in a six-man tag team match against Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, and John Cena with all three members of the winning team qualifying to enter in the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The Shield lost the match via disqualification after The Wyatt Family interfered and attacked Cena, Bryan, and Sheamus. The Shield wanted revenge and a six-man tag for The Shield against The Wyatt Family at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view was arranged, in which The Shield lost. On the March 3 Raw, The Shield lost a rematch against The Wyatt Family when The Shield's poor teamwork led to Rollins walking out during the match; Rollins claimed that he had enough of being the glue holding the group together. On the March 7 episode of SmackDown, Rollins stated The Shield reconciled despite their long-running tension after venting their frustrations on each other.
Later in March, The Shield began a feud with Kane turning all of the members of The Shield into fan favorites in the process. Kane then teamed up with The New Age Outlaws and faced The Shield at WrestleMania XXX where The Shield won their second WrestleMania match as a group. The Shield then feuded with Triple H, the C.O.O. of WWE and leader of The Authority, who then reformed Evolution with Batista and Randy Orton to take on The Shield. The Shield defeated Evolution at the next two pay-per-views, Extreme Rules and Payback, in what turned out to be their last matches as factions for both Evolution and The Shield.
Mr. Money in the Bank (2014–2015):
On the June 2 episode of Raw, after Evolution's loss to The Shield, Batista left Evolution and WWE due to Triple H not fulfilling his promise to Batista of a one-on-one championship match. Triple H then claimed to have a "Plan B" which, later that night, was revealed to be Rollins attacking Ambrose and Reigns with a steel chair and rejoining The Authority, turning heel once again. Rollins later explained his actions by stating that The Shield would not be a success without him and Ambrose and Reigns were not his brothers, like they claimed, but business partners to help Rollins move up in WWE. Rollins then promptly became embroiled in a feud with Ambrose, with Ambrose repeatedly attacking Rollins during his matches. In his first match since re-joining the Authority, Rollins (in new ring attire) defeated Kofi Kingston with a Curb Stomp.
On the June 17 episode of Main Event, Rollins, acting on behalf of The Authority, announced a traditional Money in the Bank ladder match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship contract at Money in the Bank and named himself as the first entrant. On the June 23 episode of Raw, after Ambrose cost Rollins a win over Rob Van Dam and threatened to ruin Rollins' chances at Money in the Bank, Rollins convinced Triple H to add Ambrose to the match. At Money in the Bank, Rollins won the ladder match and the Money in the Bank briefcase after Kane knocked out Ambrose and held the ladder in place for Rollins to climb. The next night on Raw, Ambrose stated that he would stop Rollins from trying to attempt to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and stop him from getting a championship opportunity. At Battleground, Rollins and Ambrose's match was called off by Triple H after Ambrose attacked Rollins backstage before the match, resulting in Rollins being handed a victory via forfeit. At SummerSlam, Rollins and Ambrose would face each other in a Lumberjack match, which Rollins won. The next night on Raw, after Ambrose attacked Rollins during a backstage interview, Rollins would curb stomp Ambrose through cinder blocks and (kayfabe) injure him, putting him out of action and angering Roman Reigns. At Night of Champions, Rollins was scheduled to face Roman Reigns, but the match was cancelled after Reigns had a legitimate emergency hernia surgery, with Rollins declaring himself the winner by forfeit. Rollins would then issue an open challenge, prompting Ambrose to return and attack Rollins. Later that night, Rollins would try and cash in his Money in the Bank contract on Brock Lesnar, only to be fended off by John Cena. At Hell in a Cell, Rollins defeated Ambrose in a Hell in a Cell match after Bray Wyatt interfered and attacked Ambrose, ending their feud.
At Survivor Series, Rollins would captain Team Authority in a 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination tag team match against Team Cena, where Rollins would survive until the end of the match, until he was pinned by Dolph Ziggler, who was assisted by the debuting Sting, which resulted in The Authority being ousted from power. Rollins would continue to feud with Cena, would was the only one who had the power to bring back the Authority, where at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Rollins was defeated by Cena in a Tables match. Rollins would continue to try and get Cena to bring the Authority back until the December 29 episode of Raw, where Rollins, with the help of Big Show, would hold guest host Edge hostage and threaten to injure his neck if Cena didn't bring the Authority back. Cena would oblige, with Rollins and Show attacking Cena after Rollins attempted to attack Edge anyway before joining the rest of the Authority on the stage to celebrate their return. The following week on Raw, Rollins was awarded a spot in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Royal Rumble between Cena and Brock Lesnar, making it a triple threat. At the event, Rollins failed to capture the title despite interference from J&J Security. In the weeks following the Royal Rumble, Rollins would start a war-of-words feud with The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, claiming to be able to host the show better than Stewart. Rollins would appear on The Daily Show multiple times, both live and via video, inviting Stewart to appear on an episode of Raw. On the March 2, 2015 episode of Raw, Stewart appeared during a Daily Show-styled promo segment hosted by Rollins and kicked Rollins in the groin before running out of the ring. At Fastlane, Rollins teamed with fellow Authority members Kane and Big Show to defeat Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan in a six-man tag-team match.
After an absence of several months, Randy Orton returned and attacked Rollins following his match at Fastlane. The following night on Raw, Rollins and the rest of the Authority tried to get Orton to rejoin the group, which Orton seemingly accepted. However, on the March 9 episode of Raw, Orton abandoned Rollins during their handicap match against Roman Reigns and Orton then attacked Rollins in retribution for the attack by Rollins four months prior which had put him out of action. This led to a match between Rollins and Orton at WrestleMania 31, which Orton won.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion (2015–present) Rollins just after win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 31 Later that night, Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract during the WWE World Heavyweight Championship main event between Brock Lesnar and former Shield stablemate Roman Reigns, making it a triple threat match. Rollins curb stomped Lesnar and Reigns before pinning Reigns to win the match and his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship. By winning the championship, he accomplished several firsts, such as becoming the first man to cash in a Money in the Bank contract at WrestleMania, as well as the first man to cash in during a match in progress. He also became the first and only wrestler to have held both the NXT Championship and WWE World Heavyweight title. Rollins continued his feud with Orton after WrestleMania, which lead to a steel cage match, with the RKO banned and Kane as the gatekeeper, at Extreme Rules. Throughout April, Rollins and Kane failed to see eye-to-eye, with Rollins openly criticizing Kane's job performance. Nonetheless, at Extreme Rules, Rollins defeated Orton by escaping the cage. In May, more tension arose between Rollins and Kane after Kane announced that, by vote on the WWE App, Rollins would defend the title against Orton and Reigns in a triple threat match at Payback. Dean Ambrose then defeated Rollins the following week, and as per pre-stipulation by Kane, was added to the match. Triple H announced on the May 11 episode of Raw that if Rollins were to lose the title at Payback, Kane would no longer be the WWE's Director of Operations. At Payback, Kane sided with Rollins, who ultimately won the four-way match, after performing a Pedigree (Triple H's finishing move) on Orton. At Elimination Chamber, Rollins would face former rival and Shield stablemate Dean Ambrose for the title and lost via disqualification for shoving a referee but retained the title. Rollins, again, retained the title against Ambrose at Money in the Bank in a ladder match. The following night, Lesnar returned and was chosen by The Authority to face Rollins for the championship at Battleground. Despite being dominated by Lesnar, the match ended after The Undertaker attacked Lesnar, so Rollins retained the championship. This was initially reported by WWE.com as a "no contest" but Lillian Garcia announced the following night on Raw that it was a victory for Lesnar by disqualification.
On the July 20 episode of Raw, John Cena issued a challenge to Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which Rollins refused. The following week, Cena again issued a challenge to Rollins for the title, with The Authority this time refusing the match, instead making Cena defend his United States Championship against Rollins. Later that night, Cena retained his title against Rollins, suffering a legitimate broken nose during the match.
Lopez is of Armenian descent. His real-life surname, Lopez, comes from his Mexican-American stepfather.