Seth Rollins is one of the best technical wrestlers in recent WWE history and has been rewarded with that with a lengthy run as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He is also one of the best heels in recent WWE history, he isn't like Kevin Owens or Brock Lesnar who gets cheered more than he gets booed. One of the few times Rollins has been cheered as a heel as been when he cashed in at WrestleMania 31 and that was because the match was boring the fans. But as good as Rollins is as a heel, we all know he has the ability to be an amazing face. The problem here for WWE is that when he returns from his knee injury he received in a match with Kane back in November, there is no doubt that fans will go crazy when they hear is theme. For those who hated him before his injury, it will most likely be a case of not knowing what you've got until its gone. So the question is, what do WWE do?
Playing It Safe
Seth Rollins' move set is similar to that of former WWE superstar CM Punk, a mix of athleticism, high flying and technical wrestling. But as a heel, his high flying ability has been toned down as a way of preventing casual fans from growing to like Rollins' as a competitor despite his mic work and dirty tactics. In terms of preventing another injury, the best route for Rollins would be to return as a heel and keep the toned down move set. Teasing the moves then waving them off would gather a lot more heat for Rollins and will allow him to work on his in ring psychology which compared to the other aspects of his ring work, is lack luster to say the least.
Then, when he is fully 100% cleared, turn him face and let him do the Phoenix Splash amongst other aerial moves. The problem with him being a face then, would further the chance of Rollins aggravating his injury because if you turn Rollins face, what will be different about his move set if WWE play it safe but turn him face? Next to nothing really, and people will begin to label him as a one trick pony and even when he does break out the big moves, he will be still seen as similar to John Cena now. Cena was labeled as a five moves only kind of guy and the chant "same old sh*t" was chanted when he competed for years. Even now, with moves like the sunset flip powerbomb and the springboard stunner, these comments are still made. And as much as some fans hate to admit it, it could happen to Rollins.
Who Else Could Be The Top Heel?
Seth Rollins has essentially been The Authority's lap dog for over a year. That means he is also the top active heel as a result. While Triple H is a fantastic heel and at this point in time, the top heel really, he is not an active competitor and at best, a part timer. While Triple H appears on TV more times a year than most roster members do, he isn't able to be the top heel in the ring, and the evil boss at the same time.
Other than a returning Seth Rollins, who is there to be hated by the fans while also putting on consistent feuds? Kevin Owens? Owens is a GREAT heel, but the problem is even the casuals have a soft spot for him and 9/10 times he will be cheered unless his opponent is Sami Zayn or Dean Ambrose. The only other heel than Rollins who can consistently be hated is The Miz, but we saw how that went in 2010.
Honestly, if WWE want Rollins as a face, they will need to have a heel turn from one of their big stars. Ambrose, Reigns or AJ Styles MUST turn heel soon if WWE want to have Rollins return as a babyface. The only other option would be to bring up Finn Bálor and debut him right at the top of the card turning him heel in the process. But if none of those happen, how can WWE justifiably turn Rollins face?
Capitalizing On THAT Pop
Seth Rollins is not going to return in some random city where the crowd is practically dead. No, Vince McMahon may have some weird opinions, but he knows how to book a surprise return. Seth Rollins will return in a wrestling city, such as Chicago. WWE will want to get the maximum reaction to the return of the former World Champion. When that happens, the crowd will explode with noise. The question is, will WWE use this to their advantage? We've seen in the past wrestlers return from big injuries to a huge pop and turn face or stay as a face for a long time because of the pop they received. Could Rollins follow in their footsteps?
Battling The Game
Before Rollins became injured, tension was beginning to brew between Triple H and Rollins. The turn seemed to be right around the corner for Rollins if it had not been for his injury and perhaps it would have been him facing Triple H at WrestleMania 32, not Roman Reigns.
Upon returning, Rollins could have a new attitude toward The Authority and turn face as a result this leads to more matches without interference leading to better matches for Seth Rollins. Not to mention the fantastic feud Rollins and Triple H would go on to have. Triple H has shown he can still go and Rollins is one of the best in the world so WWE, PULL THAT TRIGGER. Turn Rollins face and have Roman Reigns turn heel swapping the two roles.