Seth Rollins’ journey to WWE is a well-known story. However, he might not have even signed with WWE as he was very close to signing a deal with TNA instead.
Rollins revealed on E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness that had Jim Cornette not intervened, he would have become the ”face of TNA” according to what Dixie Carter had planned for him. Here is what he said:
“Terry (Taylor) calls me and offered me a three-year deal to come to TNA for substantially more money and far less dates than what I was having to do in ROH and a much easier style. I was like, ‘Oh, this sounds fantastic.’ Dixie Carter is calling me and is like, ‘You know Tyler, we want to have you, we’re looking to revamp the whole division and the whole company and we want to make you the face of TNA.’”
“I’m like, ‘This might be okay. I have friends there and they are on TV.’ I get this contract from TNA and I basically agree to it verbally on the phone with Terry Taylor.”
“They fax over the contract. Before I sign it, I call ROH and let them know what I’m interested in doing with TNA. ROH is being booked by Jim Cornette. He lost his mind when I told him I was going to sign with TNA. He was so irate. ‘Nobody gets over in TNA, they get under.’ He hated it. I sent him the contract to look over.”
“I called Johnny Ace one last time, he doesn’t answer. I leave him a voicemail saying, ‘I got this contract from TNA. If I don’t hear from you, I’m going there.’ Ten minutes later, he calls me back. He makes up all these excuses and is like, ‘I’ll call you tomorrow around lunchtime.’ Cornette gets the contract back to me and changed some things in it,”
Thankfully, Johnny Ace called Seth and then give him a chance become a WWE superstar. Needless to say, this decision proved to be a great one for Rollins.
Jim Cornette also talked about Rollins’ encountering TNA and how Jim talked him out of it and sign with WWE instead. So we can thank Cornette in some part for Rollins’ WWE career.
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h/t to Fightful for the transcription.