Predicting the Most Likely Heel and Face Turns at WWE Royal Rumble 2022

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2022

Predicting the Most Likely Heel and Face Turns at WWE Royal Rumble 2022

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    The Royal Rumble is a time for dramatic reveals and shocking moments. Every match is a chance to build toward WrestleMania, and that means setting the stage for the biggest stories WWE will tell all year.

    Not everyone will leave the 2022 Royal Rumble with the same angle they came in with. From big wins to shocking turns, the possibilities are endless to ensure the WWE Universe is talking.

    Seth "Freakin" Rollins will challenge record-breaking universal champion Roman Reigns. The Miz and Maryse will get another opportunity to wrestle together, this time against Edge and Beth Phoenix.

    The men's Rumble match still has many surprises in store. It could be a chance for a young star like Dominik Mysterio to establish himself or a champion such as Damian Priest to reevaluate his standing.

    Saturday's pay-per-view will shift the direction of many Superstars and lead to key face and heel turns.

    The following are the most likely turns to come at this year's Royal Rumble.

Face: Seth 'Freakin' Rollins

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    Heel vs. heel match-ups are rare in WWE, as fans need someone to root for. Out of necessity, Seth "Freakin" Rollins has been the crowd favorite in the build to his match against Roman Reigns.

    It is less clear if he will remain a babyface beyond the Royal Rumble, though. If fans fully get behind The Visionary during his match against Roman Reigns, it could be the start of a face turn for Rollins, who would have plenty of interesting challengers for WrestleMania 38 if he wins the Universal Championship.

    In particular, Rollins vs. Kevin Owens has a chance to impress many if KO won either win the men's Royal Rumble or Elimination Chamber to earn a shot at his "best friend."

    The Prizefighter has never been known to work well with others, yet he and Rollins are a cohesive duo at the moment. Something is going to go wrong, and KO has teased already that he wants to fight his friend one on one for the world title.

    If this is WWE's intention, Reigns can help push his former Shield teammate back into the good graces of the fans.

    Rollins' over-the-top gimmick, especially his absurd fashion choices, could easily win the WWE Universe over with the right booking.

Heel: Dominik Mysterio

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    WWE has been regularly teasing Dominik Mysterio turning heel against Rey Mysterio. The father-son team have been unable to put it all together since losing the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, so it might be time to take a fresh direction.

    Rey and Dominik have joked at the idea of eliminating one another in the men's Rumble match, but the actual moment can be far more emotional than a playful throw over the top rope in the weeks leading up to the event.

    Dominik is still only 24 and relatively inexperienced. Before The Master of the 619 retires, he will want to ensure his son is positioned ideally to thrive. One way to continue building him is to feud with him all the way to WrestleMania on April 2-3.

    All it will take is for the younger Mysterio to get frustrated after his father eliminates him, making sure the legendary Superstar gets eliminated as well. The setup is easy and can finally lift the pairing back to relevancy on Raw.

Face: Maryse

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    Sometimes, WWE will hint at something too much for it not to happen, and Maryse has repeatedly teased walking out on her husband, The Miz, due to frustration with him or fear of Beth Phoenix.

    While it has always led to Maryse getting the upper hand over Phoenix and Edge, the Royal Rumble could be the moment when she decides enough is enough.

    As much as WWE likes to make things feel real, it also enjoys "breaking up" couples that stay together outside the story. Maryse has a chance to write another chapter in her company story with or without Miz.

    The A-Lister looks more confident with Maryse at his side, and it would be a shame for her to leave him when he is building momentum again. But this turn would fall right into WWE's regular modus operandi.

Heel: Damian Priest

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    Damian Priest has been in a funk for a while. He may be the United States champion, but he is directionless. After almost 160 days as the titleholder, it's hard to remember any of his defenses outside of his work with Sheamus.

    The Archer of Infamy has shown a growing anger in recent weeks that can cost him matches. In the men's Rumble match, one bad move could get him eliminated and that rage could drive him to take out his frustration on anyone.

    If he attacked someone like AJ Styles, Big E or Randy Orton, taking out a dark-horse candidate for the men's Rumble, it would set him up for a big match down the line and help him find a much clearer direction as a heel.

    Priest has feuded briefly with Kevin Owens in the past, but there is a possibility that a heel turn could twist that into a surprise friendship. KO can be the one man who helps usher the U.S. champion to greater success while also using him to protect himself.

    The Royal Rumble is about setting the stage for WrestleMania and can be the first step for many wrestlers to earn their opportunity at a major match on The Grandest Stage of Them All. 

    And Priest needs a jump-start in order to make it to The Show of Shows.