Former WWE champion Seth Rollins has opened up about the facial injury he accidentally inflicted on John Cena in July 2015 during a match on Raw. Cena was forced off the ring and was subsequently out for a few weeks after suffering a broken nose.
"That was really bad. Dude, he looked gnarly. I felt so bad. It was just a knee, we were trading shots and I threw a high knee just for some separation so we could get to whatever the next thing we were doing was and for whatever reason ... look, John'll be the first guy to admit he's a clumsy fella," Rollins said during an interview with Talk Is Jericho, according to Fox Sports.
"He's not a graceful individual. When he's not sure about stuff, for his own protection, a lot of times he'll put his body into whatever you're doing. When you're throwing punches at him or forearms, he leans a little bit."
"It was just one of those things where we talked about it, first time I had really tried it, it wasn't something that we went over," Rollins said.
"The timing of it was... call it perfect or imperfect, whatever you want. And I wear kneepads, too, a pretty thick kneepad, and I felt that thing, heard it through the nose. Just a pop and a crunch. He went down and I was like 'oh no, this is no good'."
Rollins also goes on to talk about Bret Hart whom he idolised as a child. Rollins said he was "hurt" after the former wrestler made some critical comments about him. Hart had called Rollins "reckless" following Cena's injury. He also said that how as a champion, Rollin's should have avoided getting injured that sidelined him for six months. The wrestler suffered a knee injury.
"I have all the respect in the world for this guy [Bret Hart], but this one hurt my feelings more than anything, was Bret Hart. Bret Hart had some comments about me and how safe I am in the ring because of [breaking] John [Cena's] nose, and then me getting hurt while I was the champion, and [he] just said 'you couldn't do that because people relied on you as a top guy'," he said.
"And that hurt my feelings, and I haven't seen Bret since then. 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 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'."
"For him to ... I mean he's got to know how hard I'm working every night. For him to say that in an interview I was like 'man, that sucks'."
Rollins made a surprise return to WWE at Extreme Rules after his knee injury. He is set to challenge Roman Reigns for the world heavyweight championship at Money In The Bank on 19 June.