WWE's last PPV outing, Extreme Rules, received a fair amount of criticism from wrestling fans. The show relied on some over the top gimmicks, including a "Wyatt Swamp Fight" and an "Eye For An Eye Match" between Seth Rollins and Rey Mysterio. In particular, the match between Rollins and Mysterio was lambasted for the stipulation which many felt was unnecessary for two of the best workers in the industry. However, Rollins himself apparently took no issue with it and defended the idea during an interview with TalkSport. In fact, he compared it to something that aired on AEW.
"Obviously it’s a match that has never been done before," Rollins explained. "I think people maybe tuned in out of morbid curiosity to see what would happen. I certainly did not expect to be in that match at any point leading up to it. When the stipulation was given to me, I was definitely caught off guard and didn’t even really know how to prepare for it.
“I’ve watched back a fair amount of Rey Mysterio matches over my lifetime and going into the match I tried to study First Blood matches because that was kind of the only thing and the only match type that I could understand was akin to an eye-for-an-eye match. I went back and studied some of those matches and saw how they were and how they went and stuff like that, so going into the eye-for-an-eye match, I knew it was going to be a mix of us trying to gauge each other’s eyes out and getting one another in a position to do such a thing which would involve some actual professional wrestling.”
However, no matter how good the match itself was (and it was pretty good), the finish was always going to be seen as outlandish and over the top. How did Rollins feel about it?
“At the end of the day, was it ideal? No," Rollins said. "Did it catch people’s attention? Sure. It ended up on TMZ. I think we sort of accomplished what wrestling wants to accomplish and that is we told a very interesting story and there was some outside interest in the finish even though it was very weird – and that’s OK.
“I think pro wrestling can just be one-on-one, hold-for-hold wrestling or it can be storytelling like any other form of television and I think that when you start to look at it too critically, especially stuff like that… I dunno, to me it reeks of 2020 trying to pick everything apart. If you like the Lake of Reincarnation in AEW but you hate the eye-for-an-eye match… you know what I mean? Then where are we really at here?”
What do you think? Is the Eye For An Eye Match a fair comparison to what AEW did with the Lake of Reincarnation? Let us know in the comments section below!