On a July 2015 episode of Raw, Seth Rollins broke John Cena’s nose with a Sagat-style Tiger Knee to the face. In an interview with Sports Illustrated a few months later, WWE Hall of Famer Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart said what Rollins did was “totally reckless,” and that it “can’t happen.”
“Shawn [Michaels] was always really safe. He was always a really safe worker, but I don’t know about Seth Rollins … That knee in the face that he gave to John Cena was unprofessional, at best. It’s really strange that a guy like Rollins, who I have a lot of respect for, would be that reckless with that knee in the face. If someone kneed me in the face like that, I would have met him in the back dressing room with a baseball bat. There’s just no excuse for it…You can’t hurt somebody like that under any circumstances. It’s totally reckless. It can’t happen.”
Those comments eventually got back around to Rollins himself, which he addressed on a recent episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast. Rollins says the accusation of being reckless hurt his feelings, especially when coming from one of his idols.
“It’s not like any of the boys or the fans were like, ‘Screw you, Rollins.’ Actually, except — and I have all the respect in the world for this guy, but this one hurt my feelings more than anything — Bret Hart. Bret Hart had some comments about me and how safe I am in the ring because of John’s nose. And then me getting hurt while I was the champion and just said you couldn’t do that because people relied on you as a top guy. And that hurt my feelings, and I haven’t seen Bret since then, but I know he comes from a different era when he worked through a lot of stuff, but man, that sucked. That hurt my feelings.
I’m like, ‘Dude, I idolized you. You were one of the guys who at 6-foot-1, 230, you were a guy who I was like ‘Hey, I can do that because Bret Hart does it.’ He’s got to know how hard I’m working every night. For him to say that in an interview, I think it was a Sports Illustrated interview, I was like, ‘Man, that sucks.’ “
If it helps at all, Rollins should remember that the comments come from Bret Hart, and while he’s one of the very best pro wrestlers ever, he’s also prone to vocally disliking things. Getting mad at 2015 Bret Hart for not liking what you do is like getting mad at 1993 Bret Hart for doing an inverted atomic drop, a Russian legsweep, a backbreaker, an elbow drop from the second rope and a Sharpshooter.