The WWE has positioned itself for a shake up of epic proportions. At the Extreme Rules PPV, Seth Rollins returned from the injury that forced him to vacate his title back in November of 2015. The next night on RAW, Shane McMahon announced that Rollins would get a chance to reclaim the championship he never lost at the Money In The Bank Pay-Per-View next month. Mega-star John Cena is set to return to RAW next Monday. And on Wednesday morning, the company announced it’s official brand split as of July 19th, where SmackDown will be broadcast live every Tuesday. Boasting two distinct programs with their respective rosters and storylines sets the stage for the continued influx of up-and-coming NXT stars, as well as the return of already established stars such as Neville, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, the aforementioned John Cena, and the man of focus in this article, Seth Rollins.
While we already know Rollins will get his shot at his former stable-mate and current WWE Champion Roman Reigns in a few weeks, there is so much more the company surely plans to do with one of its best performers. Rollins is a top level talent in the ring, who currently serves as a prime villain. However, the pop he received from the crowd during his return when he viciously delivered a pedigree to Roman Reigns indicates the immense potential a face change could have. With the WWE currently struggling to position Reigns in the eyes of their audience, so many interesting scenarios present themselves. Let us speculate on 14 possible scenarios for booking Seth’s return.
14 Losing to Roman Reigns at MITB
The audience has not been as emotionally invested in hating a Superstar more than they currently are with Roman Reigns. Rollins received the loudest pop in quite some time when he returned at Extreme Rules last week, but that should not mean that WWE creative should have The Architect regain the title he never lost quickly. If they aim to put over Reigns as a “me against the world” rebel, imagine how much more incensed the audience will be when he beats Rollins. For that reason, it's in the company’s best interest to keep the title on Roman for quite some time and allow the WWE Universe to amplify their hatred towards “The Guy.” Rollins will always be well received even as a heel for how good of a character and performer he is, and a long standing feud with his former stable-mate could help position both men as the top dogs in the company.
13 The Authority Reunion
We have not seen Triple H on television since WrestleMania and Stephanie McMahon has seemingly softened up since sharing General Manager duties with her brother Shane. The company has recently announced a brand split with both siblings seeming set to be in charge of one each. This could be the opportunity to bring back The Authority if notorious villain Stephanie drafts back her top guy in Seth Rollins, and set the stage for Triple H’s return as well. With this, the group can hunt back the WWE title or claim a new one, should the brand split result in the creation of individual championships. This will help position Rollins as the top heel in the company yet again, and lay the foundations of many feuds for those who wish to oppose The Authority.
12 Face Turn
This could happen in many different ways and seems almost inevitable with the crowd reactions he’s been receiving so far. Based on his first few promos, Rollins could embark on a bad-ass “I rehabbed on my own, I will win back my title on my own” and turn on a potential Authority Reunion that seems unavoidable with the looming brand split, even if he tries to maintain a “heel” status. The crowd would willingly get behind The Architect on his journey to become the top guy of the company. With the brand split upcoming, this allows creative the flexibility to push Rollins without damaging all the work they have done to get Reigns in the position he is now.
11 A Shield Reunion to Feud With The Authority
This would be conditional on a resurgence of some sort with The Authority. Rollins can refuse to rejoin them in his quest to regain his spot on top of the mountain. The Authority will then stop at nothing to make sure Rollins does not accomplish that, similar to how they attempted to prevent Reigns from winning the World Championship earlier in the year. Feeling the wrath of the powers that be, Rollins could seek the help of his old friends and reform The Shield to oppose them. This would make audiences become unglued,= and help Rollins transition to a face. From there, so many things can happen and then Reigns or Ambrose can turn on the group this time, setting up new rivalries.
10 Match Against Triple H
Depending on how things unfold with the brand split and an Authority reunion, Rollins could end up crossing paths with Triple H at some point down the road for a dream match. If Rollins rejoins The Authority, a fallout with Triple H could happen at some point. Maybe Rollins feels like The Authority is taking too much credit for his success and he wants to prove he can be a champion on his own, and the match ensues from there. Maybe Rollins refuses to join the Stephanie and Hunter altogether and their paths cross in an ultimate showdown, like when Reigns and The Game met at WrestleMania 32. Maybe Rollins becomes cocky and claims to be the greatest of all time, so Triple H wishes to humble him. In any circumstance, this would result in an instant classic.
9 Dream match vs Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania
This seems like the unlikeliest of scenarios but nevertheless is still worth the speculation. Rollins is an elite performer in the ring. His arsenal blends both acrobatics and raw power, ensuring he is capable of carrying a match with any performer and their respective strengths. Before his injury, his matches stole the show night in and night out. Perhaps Rollins embarks on a reign and dashes through the roster, leaving him wondering who can possibly defeat him or claim his spot as the top performer in the company. This would open the door for a Shawn Michaels return for one last dream match. This would be a fantasy booking made in heaven, with the showdown set to take place on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
8 A Shield Triple-threat Match at SummerSlam
Seth Rollins was the top guy before his injury and Roman Reigns is the top guy now. Dean Ambrose has been a steady performer, but appears to be the underachiever, as of now, from the original group. He lost the championship tournament finale to Reigns at Survivor Series and was screwed out of a win against Triple H back in March at WWE Roadblock where he appeared to have won the match, but his foot was deemed to be under the rope while he pinned The Game for the title. Amborse could rightfully seek his shot at redemption and this could lead to the dream match we have all been waiting for between the three ex-stablemates, who all figure to be on the upper echelon of the roster. A match at SummerSlam would allow adequate time for the storyline to unfold.
7 Both Rollins and Reigns Screwed at MITB
The main event of this months PPV is WrestleMania worthy, as Reigns and Rollins will clash for the WWE Championship. Undoubtedly, if Rollins is truly at 100%, the match will steal the show. It is easy to see both rivals beating each other senselessly, only to have the party ruined by the winner of the MITB ladder match from earlier that evening, who could cash-in and steal the strap. This would instantly set up feuds with whoever this would be and even force an alliance between the two former Shield members who could find themselves both on the losing end. Perhaps the Superstar who cashes in seeks protection from The Authority and this leads a The Shield reunion. Can you imagine Dean Ambrose cashing in during this match.
6 The Shield vs The Club
The stage is set. The new era of NXT is slowly being pumped through the pipeline and up to the main roster. However, NXT’s biggest star has been visibly absent from the party and that is Finn Balor. He also appears to be the missing piece that would reunite the four member of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s infamous stable, The Bullet Club. His former associates AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows have all debuted on the main roster, with"The Club” feuding with Reigns and "The Bloodline." Balor will inevitably make his much anticipated debut on the main roster and a plethora of interesting scenarios could then ensue. Perhaps Reigns is split from The Usos with the new brand split and finds his way along side Ambrose and Rollins, even if only temporarily. Who wouldn’t want to see Rollins vs Styles or Rollins vs Balor, or Rollins turn his back AGAIN on a newly formed Shield, or have them turn on him, all while feuding with The Bullet Club. If The Shield are outnumbered, maybe the likes of a Brock Lesnar can help even the odds.
5 #1 Contender Match: Fatal Four-way Against Other Returning Stars
The Architect made his return this week and John Cena will return on May 30th, reinstating two of the biggest stars in the company to the main roster. Rumors are running rampant that Randy Orton is inching closer to coming back and so is the popular Bray Wyatt. In the case of Wyatt, he has deserved a long overdo main event push. Perhaps Rollins somehow loses to Roman Reigns at MITB. From there, a scenario where a fatal-four way of some sorts arises between the four returning stars to determine the rights to compete for the World Heavyweight Title. Perhaps somehow both Rollins and Reigns leave MITB with someone else having screwed them that same night. In that case, Reigns immediately cashes in on his rematch clause, while the other four returning stars battle it out for the number one contender rights to the championship. A matchup of that magnitude would put on display a variety of different styles that would prove ragingly entertaining.
4 Feud With AJ Styles: Battle of top performers
AJ Styles is fresh off two shots at the title in which he came up short, perhaps making way for Seth's return. Regardless, since his arrival, The Phenomenal One has been nothing short of what his nickname insinuates, delivering high quality match after high quality match. Rollins was doing just about the same thing prior to his injury. Whether there are title implications or not, any chance the WWE gets to cast these two elite level competitors together is exactly what they should do. The show these two would be able to put on together will be legendary given how polished they both are as performers. It would be a real delight for fans to be able to watch these two compete against each other over an extended feud. How about a few ladders as well?
3 Feud With Kevin Owens: Battle of Top Heels
Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins are similar in the way they both love to get booed and embrace their heel personas. The WWE is lacking in true heels these days and, even with Rollins positioned as a villain, his absence has made the audience miss him to the point where he received an earthshaking pop once he returned. A promo on RAW in which Rollins turned on the fans in order to establish his presence as a true heel may not have fully reinstated the audiences hatred towards him. A feud between Rollins and Owens would be as thrilling on the mic as it would be in the ring, with the victor solidifying themselves as the TOP heel in the company. At the same time, it would undoubtedly result in one or the other having to be cheered at some point, and can set the stage for a potential face change for either star.
2 Feud With Shane McMahon Leads to a Match
We have little information on how the brand split will play out at the moment. What we do know that is highly likely is each brand will be run by a McMahon sibling. Shane has been well received since his return, with the audience fully behind him, and him embracing his role as a fan favorite. Rollins appears poised to embark on a lengthy heel run. In any respect, Rollins could prove pivotal in rapturing this newfound camaraderie between the siblings or take feud with Shane McMahon directly, depending on how it plays out. Perhaps Shane makes Rollins defend his title too often, if he regains it. Maybe a match between them is for a clause similar to Shane's match versus The Undertaker. Maybe Shane is defending his sister. Regardless of how it comes about, a matchup between the two would produce wildly entertaining storylines and matchups reminiscent to the Angle/Shane feud from way back in the day.
1 Finalizing the Feud With Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar is bound to make a return soon enough, as per the stipulations of his part time contract. He may also have a bone to pick with Rollins over business that was never settled. Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania 31 and pinned Reigns and not Lesnar for the belt. Then, The Undertaker interrupted the rematch and the two have not crossed paths since. At one point or another, one would think the score must be settled once and for all between the two, whether there are title implications or not. With plenty of time until the marque PPVs such as SummerSlam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, either one would set a perfect stage for a winner takes all rematch between two great performers.