According to PWInsider.com, Rollins’ return from knee surgery is scheduled to take place on or near the June 6 episode of Raw, one week after the already advertised return of Cena. Of course, during the absences of Cena and Rollins, as well as Orton, the WWE has had a mixed bag of results as it attempts to push new stars. On one hand, WrestleMania 32 was the most successful WWE pay-per-view of all-time, smashing all sorts of company records. On the other hand, Raw ratings are in the tank and have been for most of the time that Cena and Rollins have been injured. While Cena’s return is obviously crucial to the future success of WWE, Rollins’ return is just as is important. He’s one of WWE’s highest paid superstars and one of its top overall performers, with an incredibly bright future as either a heel or a babyface—depending on what role he’s placed in upon his return. That will also affect which superstars Rollins will feud with, but regardless of whether he’s a hero or a villain, it’s fair to say that there will be no shortage of great rivalries for him when he’s back. Let’s take a look at five potential return feuds for the highly anticipated comeback of Seth Rollins, who should breathe new life into a WWE product that needs it.
If Rollins returns as a face, there’s no better full-time heel for him to feud with than Kevin Owens. The WWE is noticeably lacking in the top heel department, and Owens easily takes the crown as the best overall heel performer in the company. The booking of his character hasn’t been as consistent as it should be, but still, he’s proven to be a true heel who actually wants to get booed and would thus make the perfect opponent for Rollins. It is going to be almost impossible to book Rollins as anything but a face upon his return because the fans are going to respect him so much for quickly working his way back from a devastating knee injury that could have ended his career. So, if he does indeed return as a fan favorite and WWE wants him to feud with a heel rather than another face, then Owens is that guy. Owens vs. Rollins could catapult both guys to new heights in their respective roles and would almost assuredly result in an incredible series of matches from two of WWE’s best in-ring performers.
Can you say dream match?
With AJ Styles firmly entrenched as a main-event talent along with Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows of “The Club,” there may never be a better time to see Styles vs. Rollins in a rivalry that didn’t even seem like a possibility just a year or two ago. Styles’ popularity is soaring right now, and Rollins’ is sure to as well upon his return, making this a potentially intriguing clash of two superb talents. Whether Rollins works as the heel or battles Styles in a face vs. face feud, these are two rare superstars who have the backing of both the casual fan and the hardcore ones, and they would legitimately have the potential to put on a few Match of the Year candidates against each other and be the torchbearers of WWE’s “New Era.”
The rivalry between Rollins and Lesnar never got a satisfying end. After Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania 31 to take the WWE World Heavyweight title from Lesnar, they battled in just one singles match at WWE Battleground in July 2015. But it was a disappointingly short bout that lasted less than 10 minutes and ended abruptly when The Undertaker attacked Lesnar to reignite their feud.Roughly a year later, Lesnar vs. Rollins could use some closure. With Lesnar unexpectedly losing his WWE title to Rollins at WrestleMania 31 and Rollins later being forced to forfeit the title because of his injury, it would make a lot of sense for these two stars to fight for the right to challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. What would be great about this feud, too, is that the WWE could slot either superstar as a face or heel (or both as faces), and it would still work because prior to Rollins’ injury, these two phenomenal talents proved more than capable of performing well in either role.
Before Rollins was injured, the WWE was throwing out some subtle and some not-so-subtle hints that he would eventually turn face and feud with Triple H, and that match was even rumored for WrestleMania 32, even though it obviously didn’t happen. But hey, it still can. Triple H and Rollins were basically connected at the hip from the time Rollins turned heel on The Shield in 2014 until his injury last year, but during Rollins’ absence, Triple H went on to win the title that Rollins’ injury forced him to forfeit. If that isn’t the perfect setup for a feud between the two, then what is? Imagine a scenario where Triple H returns to side with Stephanie McMahon in her ongoing feud with her brother Shane only for Shane to bring back Rollins to balance out the equation, eventually leading to Triple H vs. Rollins at SummerSlam—with a possible stipulation that Shane gains full control of WWE if Rollins wins while Rollins also gets his shot at the WWE title. The specifics may be different, but based on what happened prior to Rollins’ injury, Rollins vs. Triple H seems like an inevitability and would be best if it took place shortly after Rollins’ return.
The logic behind a feud between Rollins and Roman Reigns is simple: Rollins wants to win back the WWE Championship from the superstar who holds the belt, and currently, that superstar is Reigns. Throw in all the history between Rollins and Reigns from their days with The Shield, and logically speaking, there isn’t a return feud for Rollins that makes more sense than Rollins vs. Reigns. Especially with Reigns embracing his new role as “The Guy” and Rollins calling himself “The Man,” a feud between the two is an easy story to write as they clash to see who really is “The Man” in WWE. If Reigns retains the WWE title against Styles at Extreme Rules, then the creative team should have him cut a promo on the June 6 Raw about how it’s time to move on to a new challenger. Then, Rollins’ music hits, the crowd erupts, and WWE has its main event for Money in the Bank: Rollins vs. Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. That is simple, yet effective storytelling, that, above all, makes sense and instantly puts Rollins back in his rightful place at the top of the card.