In the world that is the WWE, and professional wrestling in general, there have always been the good guys, whom we refer to as babyfaces. And where there’s good guys there’s always been the bad guys whom we refer to as the heels. As the years roll on, we see each and every one of these men and women take their roles, play them to the best of their ability and you either like them or you don’t. However, the one thing I have always enjoyed in all my years as a wrestling fan is seeing what happens when the good guy goes bad and vice versa.
To me, there has always been something cool about seeing someone turn to the other side, and not just the turn itself but the anticipation of the turn taking place. It has always been a fun experience for fans to see the WWE tease that a heel or face turn was coming, because if it’s something interesting or compelling, it will keep you watching until the inevitable payoff. While the best feature of the character turn would be the storyline behind it, that’s not what I’m here to write about today.
I’m here to present you with the members of the current WWE roster I feel should “cross over” to the other side before the year is over, but I am also here to present an argument for why others should stay in the role they play now.
For those who I’m projecting should stay in their roles, I’m not going to name the entire roster. I am merely going to take the ones whom the IWC have popularly suggested should turn and make a case for why they are perfect where they are right now.
This was not a very difficult a task to complete, as I’ve had my eye on the roster for quite a while now and have listened to all the pleading…
Jason Collins presents Crossing Over: Volume 1. (By the way that Volume 1 isn’t a hint of a sequel article, it just sounds cooler.)
Unlikely Heroes: The WWE Superstars That Should Turn Face.
When I think of someone who deserves to be cheered, I think of Captain Charisma. I’m not saying I’d like for him to be cheered or it’d be a cool experiment to try out in 2012, I am legitimately telling you that if there’s anyone in the locker room today that deserves to feed off of the crowd and be a hero to the people, it’s this guy. Christian has been busting his ass for over 15 years, perfecting his craft and becoming one of the most skilled competitors in all of wrestling today. And it seems that despite all of his hard work in the ring and on the microphone, he gets continuously mistreated in the WWE.
Don’t get me wrong, the man is very talented as a heel. His work in 2004-2005 was some of the most entertaining stuff I had ever seen in my time as a wrestling fan. However, that’s the thing…this isn’t 2004 or 2005, it’s 2012.
Christian, in my eyes, is no longer some young, cocky, punk kid anymore. Christian is a tenured veteran with vast experience as well as knowledge of the craft. Also, on top of all of that, he is a very talented mic worker and can be highly entertaining. When he returned to the company in 2009, he was just that and it made him the face of the new ECW brand, as he was the longest reigning champion in that brand’s history.
Soon after the death of that period’s “C-show,” he came over to Smackdown. After one year, and the departure of his best friend Edge, he challenged the Mexican Aristocrat, Alberto Del Rio, and defeated him in one of the greatest and most career defining World Championship wins in WWE history at Extreme Rules 2011. I cannot even begin to describe to you what it felt like to see Christian alongside his now retired best friend hug in the middle of the ring with tears in their eyes as Christian could be recognized as World Heavyweight Champion.
It truly was an inspirational story that shows, despite all the downs that come with taking on this life as a pro wrestler, hard work does indeed pay off.
That’s what Christian became to me, the next great inspirational story. The fans were clearly behind him and he had the talent to take this new role as World Champion and run with it. However, that would not happen as a mere two days later, Christian would lose the championship to Randy Orton and in the coming weeks they would execute the Christian heel turn. I think that’s where we can all say things took a turn for the worse. Christian became the weakest, least credible top heel in recent memory as he would go on to lose every match he ever had with Randy Orton and walk away with two World Championship reigns that lasted about one month only if you put them together.
Christian was unceremoniously buried completely in his first feud upon turning heel, and if that wasn’t the worst of it, he gained no real distinguishable character as all he did was become a watered down version of what he once was before he left.
A cowardly, whiny, non threatening shell of what he could have been.
The fact that Christian went on to become enhancement talent for Sheamus soon after that didn’t help either, as his joke of a character just made it look as if he had not matured one bit in his 3 year departure from the company. When that’s what you see, how can anyone in the casual audience possibly care about him if he brings absolutely nothing to the table?
In short, the whiny crybaby Christian just no longer works in today’s WWE. I can see it and I’m sure everyone else can too. Which is why I believe it’s pretty damn evident that he works much better as a babyface for the remainder of his career in the WWE. He can be that one inspirational babyface character who people can actually relate to. He has the resume and the charisma to get the crowd to buy into it, while at the same time he has that vulnerability about him that can prevent the WWE fans from getting complacent with him the way they do for a guy like John Cena. John Cena portrays the inspirational role model character, however he lacks that vulnerability and sense of relatability because he’s been so unstoppable and protected for so long.
John Cena has become tainted to most fans in that respect where they can’t see him as an underdog anymore, and that isn’t good, because people love to cheer for an underdog. They always have and they always will. However, it’s not too late with Christian.
He recently stated that he won’t be going anywhere anytime soon because he knows he still has a lot he feels he needs to do and I think a face turn soon after his return is the best move the company can and should make today. WWE has been recently calling up or in the midst of calling up a heavy array of new talent from Florida Championship Wrestling and it seems that to no one’s surprise the majority of them will be heels. If there was ever any time for more top credible faces in the company, it’s now and Christian is the perfect man for the job.
I’ll be honest, I don’t think there has been a more irrelevant former World Champion in WWE history than Jack Swagger. He was not ready to carry the proverbial ball and it was obvious as he was responsible for one of the most boring World Championship reigns in recent memory. Since being dethroned, Swagger has gone on to have a stuffed mascot, align himself with Michael Cole and be thrown into yet another irrelevant faction alongside Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler. In short, the man has got nothing going for him in his career.
Unlike most analysts, I don’t normally think that just because a wrestler is doing nothing, turning them face or heel will solve all their problems.
However, in this case, it is more than justified. This is not a random face turn for Jack Swagger, as I think it is inevitable that a man who portrays himself as an All-American should become a fan favorite one of these days. One thing we haven’t seen portrayed in the WWE for quite some time now is a patriotic superstar such as Hulk Hogan and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Even Kurt Angle, who is a legitimate Olympic gold medalist that started out as a cocky heel, turned face and I believe it was in large part to the fact that he had a very pro-American gimmick.
It’s quite simple really: Jack Swagger is the All-American American. Why not turn him face, as he clearly is not working out as a heel?
Jack Swagger can be betrayed by Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero, have a blow off match with Ziggler soon after and win or even lose. Afterwards, you can shift him into a program in which he portrays a more patriotic side about him. Maybe one week you can have Drew McIntyre come out and put over his Scottish heritage while he runs down the good old US of A. This winds up getting Drew nuclear heat before Jack Swagger comes out as the pro-American hero and becomes the new guy in WWE to get the crowd to chant “USA, USA, USA.” It may be a tad old school to do another USA vs (insert country here) feud but it has always been a formula that’s sparked an interest in the fans, especially the very patriotic ones.
To make a long story short, Swagger just looks and has the gimmick of a classic babyface character. And on top of all that, he can wrestle very well and get the crowd into his matches. He lacks heavily on the mic, but then again if my plan for him is just to be the new guy to start up a USA chant, then he doesn’t really need exceptional mic skills, does he?
Embrace The Hate: The WWE Superstars That Should Turn Heel.
I’m just going to be as blunt as you will ever see here and say that the current Kofi Kingston character absolutely, positively sucks.
Kofi arrived on the seen in 2008 and instantly became one of the most dynamic superstars in the company at that time. He was billed as the Smooth Talking Jamaican Sensation, dazzling the WWE universe with his amazing offense and energetic personality and he’s certainly come a long way since then, hasn’t he?
Kofi Kingston now finds himself as the the Ghanian Sensation famous for his…amazing offense and energetic personality. Okay so maybe after 4 years with the company, the only thing he’s changed about himself was his accent, but he can still go a long way with this gimmick, right?
Let’s be real. Kofi Kingston is known to most of the IWC as the king of the midcard, with his countless United States and Intercontinental title reigns and now it appears he’s moved up the ladder with his new role as the “man with the many tag team partners” which have included the likes of CM Punk, R-Truth, and Evan Bourne.
It doesn’t take a wrestling historian to tell that Kofi Kingston is not going anywhere, but come on, why should he?
Kofi Kingston has become one of the biggest re-run superstars in all of WWE today as he seemingly can’t do anything else but be hyper during his entrance and have good matches. He brings nothing else to the table in his current role and while Kofi marks continuously blame Randy Orton for Kingston not reaching the main event, deep down, most of us know Kofi didn’t deserve to be there anyways.
In his current role, I don’t want to see this midcard act be in the main event for any extended period of time, however that’s not to say he can’t bring more to the table as a heel. The only times Kofi Kingston interested me was when he had flashes of ruthless aggression (i.e., the beatdown of Orton in MSG and the beatdown on Dolph Ziggler on Smackdown in 2010). When we really look at that behavior, it is something dangerous heels would do. His babyface act has been the same for far too long and it’s time for a real change.
While turning someone when you don’t know what to do with them is stupid, I feel Kofi Kingston would excel in a role where he is the complete opposite of what he is now, and turns to the dark side.
Speak of the devil.
Believe me, I’m also shocked that I have Orton on the same list as Kofi Kingston, but if there was ever a more obvious choice of who to turn, it’d be this guy. Randy Orton, as a babyface, is one of the most forced characters in the business.
First off, he heavily lacks the mic skills to sell himself to a crowd who is there to be entertained. Second, how many times do I have to watch this guy actually try to make people like him after all the dastardly things he’s done and continues to do now? He’s still young and those things aren’t that far back in the past to where we can forget the way we do for guys like The Undertaker and Triple H. The only time Randy Orton was even slightly entertaining as the Viper character he portrays today was when he was punting the McMahon family seemingly every week.
Orton, back then, was ice cold. He didn’t even speak much.
He went out there and did some of the most despicable things we have ever seen and despite several of us not being fans of Orton, we could not argue that he was being built up as the company’s top heel the right way. Orton is at his best as a heel because we don’t have to suffer through promos such as “I would RKO my own grandmother to keep this title” or “My name…is Randy Orton” on a regular basis. He just doesn’t have the personality to be an entertaining babyface, however he’s certainly garnered a reputation of being a jerk in real life, so maybe that’s why he plays such a good heel.
Orton, at this point, is at an impasse to where he has to decide where he’ll be for the rest of his tenure. Since John Cena clearly is not turning heel, the only other top name that can do so and redefine what made people like him in the first place, is Randy Orton.
Live and Let Live: The WWE Superstars Who Should Remain Where They Are.
It’s the same story every week out of the IWC. “This guy is good but he isn’t being pushed, they should turn him heel/face.” I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, when the IWC sees one or more people they like and see that they aren’t being pushed to where they feel they should be. Their solution is to just turn them.
These fans like that quick fix, but they never truly look at things before suggesting such turns, do they? That’s where I come in.
Dolph Ziggler is floundering at this moment.
He is being used as Brodus Clay‘s personal bumper and “that guy who can always deliver good matches, but he never really seems to get to the main event himself.” So, as you would imagine people have suggested the face turn.
However Dolph Ziggler is the one guy on the WWE roster whom I would NEVER turn into a babyface. The guy is a show off who is obsessed with the way he looks, heavily conceited and even goes around saying “hashtag Heel.” On top of that, his name is “Dolph Ziggler.” Aside from the smark crowds, do you really see anyone cheering a guy like this?
Dolph’s character is pretty much the portrayal of the ultimate douchebag who spends his free time banging porn stars while he thinks about himself. I mean, honestly, you don’t just flip a switch and change him on a whim.
Dolph doesn’t care about anyone but himself and he portrays that very well to a degree in his personal life even. Bottom line is that I’ll never understand how a guy like this could work as a babyface because I certainly wouldn’t want my kids to look at this dude and make an idol out of him.
He’s not even one of those cool heels with an edge the way Mark Henry is now. Everything about Dolph Ziggler says #HEEL, and to me, that would be too much of a transformation for me to actually believe in despite this being pro wrestling.
Do I even have to explain why? Miz climbed his way up as a heel and despite how far he has fallen down, the reason the character worked as well as it did was because he was a bad guy.
He’s annoying, his mic skills are overrated as all hell, and on top of that he’s not even a good wrestler. There is just nothing to like about this guy at all and a face turn would never work for him to me because he just looks like that smarmy jerk we all have met and wanted to beat the hell out of.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think a face turn would work here so I’d never try it, but I could be wrong considering how much media the guy does. Despite that, I stick to my guns and feel he should just stay where he is, because at least then people are supposed to boo his mediocrity.
It’s simple, the IWC sees Rhodes get a big pop in Chicago and in New York City and feel as if everyone loves Rhodes. Give me a break!
Rhodes gets big time heat everywhere else and portrays the talented yet also sneaky heel better than anyone else in the company today. He works so well because he takes the easy way despite the loads of talent he possesses. He’s got very good mic skills and does a great job at getting the crowds to boo him.
If anything, Cody Rhodes is my pick for the next great heel world champion for the Smackdown brand. A face turn is definitely in the cards for sometime in the future. Preferably after he wins his first world title, but as of right now, Cody is best kept being a bad guy.
And here’s another case of the IWC jumping the gun. They see how over the YES chant is, as well as the giant crowd pop he received in Chicago, and feel as if everyone loves Daniel Bryan.
Well here’s the truth. When he was a babyface, no one gave two shakes about the guy. In fact, he was looked at a jobber his entire run prior to cashing in the Money In the Bank briefcase. It wasn’t until he became a heel and showed off his prowess on the microphone, as well as his over the top celebrations, that people started reacting to him.
It wasn’t until he started preaching his vegan lifestyle, and verbally abused a young woman, that got people to really hate him or really love him. I mean, the reason he is so entertaining is because of his over the top “YES” chants as well as the fact that he is crushing a poor woman’s self-esteem by treating her worse than anyone should ever treat a woman.
To me, Daniel Bryan is an awesome heel, in fact, there were times when he was berating AJ in the middle of the ring to the point of tears that even I wanted to kick this dude’s ass and that never happens.
In short, no. Daniel Bryan being over does not mean they should just turn him face and kill everything that made him so over in the first place. He’s doing such a great job doing what he’s doing now, in fact, despite losing the World title and losing to Sheamus he seems to be heading for bigger and better things.
Daniel Bryan is now working a main event program for the Raw brand, the loser gets the spoils as he now seemingly has stepped up from being #1 contender on the B show to the #1 contender on the A show and he’s doing it against babyface CM Punk.
Onto my first defense of a heel turn, it’s not surprising that the sea of Zack Ryder marks have gotten rather angry as of late. Zack Ryder can’t seem to catch a break, just a kick to the balls.
This guy cannot get more buried so the quick fix suggestion of course would be? You guessed it, a heel turn. Zack Ryder is clearly not going anywhere as the broski from Long Island so it’s time he dump all the window dressing and go dark side so he could reach that next level.
But here’s the thing, with the excess of heels in WWE today, Zack Ryder, despite how irrelevant he has become, is someone we need on the face team.
Also, despite his burial, the guy still sells plenty of merchandise and has a very highly viewed YouTube show for the WWE’s YouTube channel. If anything he’s the reason why WWE’s channel even gets viewed as often as it does. Will I agree he’ll need to turn heel somewhere down the road? Of course, but for now the answer would be to remain a good guy. Selling major merchandise and still having a large portion of the fans cheering you is not a bad day at work, in my book, we don’t need anymore heels to tip the scales.
Another article in the can. Thank you for reading. I’d love to see what you guys think, as well as your suggestions for whom you think should cross over. Stay classy everyone.