WWE’s Trip to the Dark Side: Heel Turns and There Subsequent Success in the WWE

As we venture deeper into WWE’s PG Era, it’s almost normal to reminisce on the things of the past.

From the X-rated angles to the glorified blood baths collectively known as Hell in a Cell, Hardcore and First Blood matches, it’s extremely unbearable to watch the kid-friendly antics of the WWE. In the past, we’ve seen a contrast in lifestyles, real life scandals and infamous screw overs that will forever remain a prominent portion of our numerous WWE memories.

It seems as if the WWE has exiled anything with the slightest amount of edge.

Once in a blue moon, the WWE answers our prayers with the single thing that lacks the PG known the WWE has become accustom to.

A heel turn.

From spontaneous beat downs to a recurring build, heel turns are arguably the most anticipated angles in professional wrestling today.

For a turn to be successful it must possess numerous things. As I stated above, attacking a top babyface is basically a detour to a vast amount of heat. The Superstar must be able to cut a promo decent enough to draw boo’s from the crowd. Another reasonable addition is the angles that preceded the turn.

Simply, WWE Writers should provide a substantial purpose behind the turn.

When examining the current WWE roster, two heel turns have left an everlasting mark on the WWE Universe.

R-Truth and Christian have certainly raised their stocks through their respective character alterations. The primary reason both have succeeded rest solely on the angles and WWE Creative. R-Truth’s heel turn came seemingly out of nowhere. He was a dancing, jobbing, stereotype one moment and the No. 1 contender the next.

R-Truth’s special case of dementia is certainly entertaining.

On the other hand, Christian’s turn wasn’t as surprising. It’s no secret that Captain Charisma is one of the most beloved Superstar’s in WWE history. When he won the World Champion, we prayed for at least a month with the Championship.

The WWE halted Christian’s train before it began rolling.

Two days after Extreme Rules, the World Championship was handed to Randy Ortonon a silver platter. The hostile response of the IWC immediately gave away the fact that one of the two were set for a turn in the coming weeks.

Christian’s numerous shortcomings ultimately decided this as Captain Charisma turned heel last week.

The difference is we despised Truth before his turn and praise him immensely today. Christian will always be the IWC’s love child no matter the role he portrays.

Despite our mixed emotions towards both, it’s obvious that both Superstars have become the top heels of their respective brands.

This leads me to believe that is a heel turn the key to success in the WWE?

Let’s use the WWE Champion as an example.

John Cena has been the subject to a vast amount of criticism since he became Super Cena. It’s a recurring trend to observe John Cena snatching victory out of the jaws of defeat. While it’s obvious that John Cena is better as a face from a business standpoint, his character has become predictable as a face.

Instead of captivating a crowd like I know he can, John Cena’s promo from RAW displayed qualities that a sermon by a motivation speaker should possess.

His SmackDown counterpart, Randy Orton, is in the same boat as Cena. Orton’s character and gimmick fits a wrestler displaying a heel persona. When he turned face, most praised him as the Anti Cena. The problem with that notion is the fact that Orton’s history and lack of charisma plays against it.

He’s predictable.

While it’s obvious that heel turns by these two may be impossible, there’s still hope for a number of deserving mid-carders.

For some, a heel turn is the one thing required for their ascension to the top of the WWE.

John Morrison is a perfect example of how much a possible turn could benefit. If the Shaman of Sexy were to turn heel, he would eliminate the one thing delaying his ascension to the main event level. A perfect notion to this would be his time on ECW as Champion or the two years with The Miz.

This heel turn is past due.

While Morrison is one in need, another Superstar was granted a heel turn years ago. This man took the ball and ran with it as he became a multiple time World Champion.

This man is the Rated R Superstar, Edge.

Edge was a decent face before 2004 but the subsequent turn a feud with Matt Hardy made Edge one of the most despised Superstars in WWE History.

Other Veterans turn heel in the final stages of their careers while improving tremendously. Dave Batista was one of the WWE’s biggest Superstars since his face turn in 2005. For months, the WWE groomed Batista and John Cena as their biggest Superstars.

Either Superstar could’ve taken the position as the face of the WWE. An injury to Batista ultimately decided who the man was in the WWE. For years, wrestling diehards complained about Batista’s promo ability and the predictable antics of his character.

In 2009, WWE Creative turned Batista heel.

Batista cut the best promos of his career, but the turn was cut short by his exit from the WWE. The same can be said for CM Punk. The Straight Edge Superstar was an above average face until his heel turn in 2009.

The contrast in lifestyles between Punk and Jeff Hardy created the best feud of the PG Era.

Today, Punk is arguably the all-around best superstar.

While Edge, Batista, and CM Punk are positive statistics, guys like Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan or Evan Bourne would provide a vast amount of intention due to a heel turn.

In the end, it’s hard to argue against the fact that heel turns have led to the success of numerous Superstars.

Take a short moment to imagine if someone like an Evan Bourne or a Kofi Kingston were to turn heel?

Interesting isn’t it?

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5 Comments

  1. Heels are generally granted more than faces – as it’s harder to be a face than a heel. In other words, it’s easier to get people to hate you than vice versa. I am the rare person to not want Morrison to turn heel however. One, his in-ring style suits a babyface, two, he’s over with the crowd, and three, it would be short-lived as he’s probably leaving anyway. He would be a fine babyface if he can get his ass together on the microphone, and WWE stops burying the shit out of him.

    As much as I enjoy being the minority however, John Cena needs to turn heel. If it works out, then great. If it doesn’t, than WWE can do an angle saying he was blackmailed to act like that, and the blackmailer would get tremendous heat.

    • Thanks for the comment and reading man. I agree with you, it’s definitely harder to be a face than a heel. Sometimes I doubt it myself to but the guy seriously needs to find his niche when it comes to working the mic. He says scripts aren’t his thing but practice makes perfect imo.

      I think Vince is afraid to turn Cena heel because of the Austin effect. IDK if you remember but a few years back, Austin sided with McMahon at WM 17. The move failed and Austin wasn’t as marketable to most as he once was. In this current state, the WWE has to do something because two month runs can’t save the crappy booking ways of Rajin Russo.

      • I usually like to give WWE the benefit of the doubt, but the booking of RAW lately is inexcusable. And you do display a point about Austin’s heel turn. But a Cena heel-turn would increase the ratings whether it sucks or not.

        I didn’t hear about Morrison’s comments towards reading scripts. In his defense though, on The Dirt Sheet – which i think Morrison had some creative control over – Morrison’s mic work was fine

        BTW, thanks for the follow 🙂

  2. Agree,

    Might have to turn Morrison heel to save his career. Let him have creative control of his shamaness. He did well with that when he was in ECW and in 2008.

    Remember the Palace of Wisdom videos. That was an inspiring yet funny piece of artwork.

    • Idk why they didn’t go anywhere with those. I liked em


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