WWE fans are stuck in a time where the creative team doesn't give the fans what they want, to put it mildly.
Only after about five years of trying did WWE get fans to start cheering for Roman Reigns, prior to his hiatus after being diagnosed with Leukemia. Before that, fans were rejecting 'The Big Dog', as the next John Cena - the ultimate babyface who carried the torch with the luxury of headlining all the major shows.
Just take a look at all of the great babyfaces that could have been in WWE, and all of the heels that we wanted to see. The John Cena heel turn is never going to happen, much to fans' chagrin. Bad guy Bobby Roode was one of the hottest things going on in NXT, so of course WWE had to turn him babyface when he debuted on SmackDown last year.
Never before has there been a long list of huge talents that WWE has wasted. Just look at guys like Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura and the aforementioned Roode. These are all guys that should be main eventers, but WWE has thrown them into the boring mid-card status instead.
Well, us fans can only sit here and hope that major change for some of the top wrestlers is on the way. Here, we are taking a look at 10 big-time wrestling talents who need gimmick/character changes. We'll also explain what WWE needs to do in order to ensure their changes are successful ones.
20 Jason Jordan
WWE tried getting Jason Jordan over quickly by introducing him as the storyline son of Raw General Manager Kurt Angle. Fans never bought the gimmick, however, and Jordan was booed miserably. Even if he had joined The Shield to replace the injured Dean Ambrose. It was that bad.
Jordan is a supreme in-ring wrestler, displaying excellent strength and athleticism. But the problem is his monotone mic skills, and WWE fans hate nothing more than simply have the creative team force them into liking a babyface.
The 30-year-old Jordan has been sidelined since February following neck surgery. When he returns, we can only hope that the creative team introduces a major character change.
19 Gimmick Change: An Enraged, Villainous Son
In order to save Jason Jordan's character, the only option is to turn him bad guy when he returns. More specifically, WWE should introduce a Superstar with a persona similar to that of Batista or Braun Strowman.
Jordan was "sent home" by Angle after costing The Shield a match in February. They could have him return as an angry, furious and bent-on-revenge son. Jordan could go against his father for embarrassing him on television and start the classic dad-son rivalry.
WWE can't afford to bring Jordan back as the soft-spoken and timid son of the Raw GM. They need to turn the tables completely and have him return as an enraged young man that wants revenge for how his dad "treated him" before he took a hiatus.
18 Bobby Lashley
When Bobby Lashley returned to WWE back in April, the hype was through the roof. Surely, WWE would have big plans for the MMA guru, right? I mean, they did take away one of the top talents from Impact Wrestling, and many were surprised then they brought him back following an ugly departure from the company a decade earlier.
But nope. Same old, same old. WWE had Lashley squash the bulk of his competition before introducing Lio Rush as his manager. Even as a heel, things haven't changed much for Lashley. He's destroying his opponents with ease, and there's really nothing creative in his character right now.
This man was a major star in Impact for a long time. He's got world class wrestling talents and deserves to be a main event superstar, not mid-card version of Goldberg.
17 Gimmick Change: Taking Brock Lesnar's Spot
Take what WWE has done with Brock Lesnar. He's a marquee name in the sports entertainment industry. He has a strong and successful background in MMA. And oh, he has little problems squashing his opponents. Did we mention Lesnar is a heel, mainly because fans hate it when part-timers always win the titles?
Basically, all WWE has to do is kick Lesnar out of the Universal Championship picture and replace him with Lashley. The latter is a full-time wrestler and is more deserving, after all. Simply have Lashley become the ultimate heel on Raw. Let him carry the title. Let Lashley compete with Braun Strowman - and eventually Roman Reigns - for the championship.
That's all they gotta do, really. Take out Lesnar and let Lashley mimmick him to a see. The only exception being that Rush - not Paul Heyman - manages Lashley.
16 Shinsuke Nakamura
Serious question: Is there one major WWE Superstar in the last 10 years that the creative team hasn't ruined?
Shinsuke Nakamura was the main guy in NXT, and his jump to the SmackDown Live roster was absolutely electric. The fans idolized Nakamura when he was in NXT, and they were right behind him up until the questionable heel turn at WrestleMania 34.
WWE had to waste all the fun in Nakamura. They made him lose title matches to Jinder Mahal. His match endings with AJ Styles were nothing short of awful and embarrassing. In a way, it's surprising that he hasn't exited WWE by now, seeing just how much they've wasted his incredible talents. Shame on the higher ups for botching it.
15 Gimmick Change: Main Event Face
It's a compliment to Nakamura's wrestling skills when people say he's not cut out to be a heel. With the electrifying entrance theme and superb in-ring work, Nakamura really should be the co-main event superstar of SmackDown Live right now. There are no excuses for the opposite, really.
I'm sure I'm not alone in asking the creative team to simply drop the heel run and turn Nakamura right back into his old babyface self. That's where he flourished most, but AJ Styles was simply in his way; WWE just didn't want to remove The Phenomenal One from the spotlight.
When Styles' feud ends with Daniel Bryan, it's time for WWE to have Nakamura become Mr. Nice guy again. Pit him against Bryan, and give us something special to watch. Fans deserve a Nakamura championship reign, and a feud with Bryan. It only happens if the creative team stops making the same mistakes over and over again.
Bayley is a fine example of how things can change so quickly in life. After shining as a huge star in NXT, her promotion to the WWE main roster got off to a blistering start. The Hugger was more than over with the fans and stood on top of the world when she won the Raw Women's Championship from Charlotte Flair in early 2017.
But for some reason, the fans stopped providing Bayley with the roaring cheers and ovations. After winning the championship, fans just gave up on her, which forced Vince McMahon to simply take her out of the main event card.
Bayley has been on-again off-again friends with Sasha Banks over the last few months, and the former is going nowhere big right now. WWE has to change something up with Bayley here. With so few options, just what should they do?
13 Gimmick Change: From "Hugger" To "Fighter"
One problem with Bayley's gimmick is that it's a little too campy for the older fans. Yes, this is the PG Era. But are the wacky wavy inflatable tubemen, and bright colors really that necessary? After a while, it gets too stale.
WWE needs to do to Bayley what they did to Matt Hardy. Have her suffer some form of a "breakdown," only to emerge as a completely different person. Instead of having her play the family-friend and hug machine, let's turn Bayley into an angry, vengeful and energized fighter.
A little more Ronda Rousey in her character (if you will), would suit nice for Bayley. Make her less soft-spoken. Reverse most elements of her character completely, and watch it work. It sounds so simple, because it is.
12 Finn Balor
Finn Balor was on top of the wrestling world for one day, when he defeated Seth Rollins at SummerSlam 2016 to become the very first Universal Champion. Unfortunately, a tear in his shoulder forced Balor to relinquish the title, and he was sidelined for over a half year.
Fans had high hopes and expectations for Balor when he returned, but WWE has since wasted him in the mid-card. Reports from last year suggested that Vince McMahon didn't think Balor was "over enough," which is why they kept him out of the main event card. Balor responded with a series of salty tweets and Instagram posts.
Balor remains extremely admired and beloved among the fans, and few guys on the Raw roster have his skill set in the ring. How much longer can WWE run with his current gimmick until realizing a change is needed?
11 Gimmick Change: Leader Of A Heel Stable
At this point, there's probably no plans for WWE to give Balor that main event push as a face again. That leaves turning him heel the only option, but they can enhance such a change by having him become the leader of a villainous stable.
There are different options here. How about aligning Balor with Drew McIntyre, who just turned on Dolph Ziggler? Might a stable with acting Monday Night Raw GM Baron Corbin be in the works? That would do nicely.
When he joined Gallows & Anderson to form 'Balor Club,' fans thought we were finally seeing a special change for the Irishman. Instead, it was a short-lived stable. Typical of WWE to get the fans hopes up, only to dash them.
Having Balor join one of the top heel figures on Raw would work smoothly here. And it would be even more fun if they made Balor the leader of that stable.
WWE took a very unique approach with Carmella when she stopped working on-screen with Enzo Amore and Big Cass. She won the 2017 Money in the Bank contract and waited until after WrestleMania 34 to cash it in, defeating Charlotte Flair and becoming the new SmackDown Women's Champion.
But once Carmella won the title, WWE began using her far less on television. It was rumored that WWE did this because Carmella isn't the greatest in-ring performer, and thus they wanted to reduce her exposure on TV.
Since dropping the title, Carmella has been less relevant and has quickly faded out of the spotlight. But I mean, there's talent here. If WWE can find the right character that doesn't involve her having to go all-out in the ring, she might be main event worthy again.
9 Gimmick Change: Something More Rebellious
Ditch the "fabulous" gimmick and make Carmella "rebellious."
WWE's given Carmella the wrong "gimmick change," with the purple hair color and non-stop dancing in the ring. It's funny and all, but this isn't how you should be treating somebody that ended Charlotte's historic reign with the SmackDown Women's Championship.
Carmella is probably better off as a heel, but WWE needs to stop with the goofy segments. They seem wary of putting a mic in her hands for no good reason. This is somebody that needs to adapt to a more rebellious, angry and rule-breaking style of play. Think of something like the Riott Squad, except Carmella would be running this gimmick on her own.
Just a thought, WWE. That's all!
8 Big E
The New Day formed four and a half years ago, and their popularity is still at an all-time high. Because of this, the WWE creative team has delayed the inevitable breakup of Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods.
Big E was rumored to win the Money in the Bank Ladder match, with speculation that the creative team was ready to give him a big singles push. Fair, but when will they go with this so-called "push"?
The New Day has been used for comedic purposes/promos lately, while The Usos and The Bar continue to highlight the SmackDown tag team division. With reduced television time, The New Day needs to be shaken up a bit.
7 Gimmick Change: Heel Turn And Split From The New Day
It was quite epic when Seth Rollins backstabbed The Shield to join forces with The Authority. WWE needs another big-time heel turn like that again, and Big E is better suited for it than Woods and Kingston.
Big E is the best wrestler of the three, and the top-quality microphone skills put him in good position to receive that "push." Thus, a split from The New Day and eventual heel turn is the best way for WWE to go with Big E.
Better yet, they could pair him up with another villainous star that could feud with The New Day. Perhaps Randy Orton or The Miz would work nicely alongside Big E.
The bottom line is this: Have Big E backstab his long-time partners, turn heel and find a new partner.
So, WWE's idea of building up Asuka was to give her an undefeated streak? Only to have Charlotte Flair end it at WrestleMania 34? Then push Asuka down the card while The Queen began feuding with Carmella?
After starring in NXT, Asuka joined the WWE's main roster with sky-high expectations. It was a complete waste of time to have Asuka win the first Women's Royal Rumble, simply because they decided to make her irrelevant after her loss to Charlotte.
Well, Asuka is too talented in the ring and way too over with the fans to be stuck in no woman's land. Something has to change with The Empress of Tomorrow. But what could that be?
5 Gimmick Change: An Antiheroine
With Asuka, it's hard to see her leading the SmackDown Women's roster as a babyface. Becky Lynch isn't going to be toppled in that spot any time soon; she's simply the best thing happening in WWE right now.
WWE is rolling with Lynch and Charlotte for the long run, which means Asuka needs to see a big-time character tweak. Some form of an antiheroine - a person who displays both good and bad qualities - might work best here.
Maybe Asuka should have a manager. Perhaps she should change up the attire and colors a bit. Getting rid of the dancing would help here as well. But the point is this: WWE should change up Asuka and make her a tweener, if you will. Let the fans decide if she should be cheered or booed.
4 Kevin Owens
So let me get this straight...
After having Kevin Owens steal the WWE Universal Championship from Seth Rollins in 2016, the creative team decided to pair him up with the legendary Chris Jericho? Only to have him betray Jericho, drop the title to Goldberg, then be wasted in all these pointless feuds later on?
WWE is wasting one of its most decorated in-ring wrestlers and skilled microphone men. The fans are completely buying into KO, but the creative team isn't. It's sickening how much they wasted him in 2018.
Seriously, what was the point of having Braun Strowman squash him over and over again? That short-lived feud with Bobby Lashley was also pointless. Well I say enough of wasting Owens and giving him something he deserves most.
3 Gimmick Change: The Main Babyface Of Raw
WWE seemed to tease an Owens babyface turn when Bobby Lashley "injured" his knee two months ago. Good. Now, all the creative team has to do is find a way to not botch this whole thing up.
When Owens returns, WWE needs to simply make him the Universal Champion again. Make Owens the ultimate good guy of Raw, and let him become the new babyface. With Roman Reigns sidelined long-term, WWE doesn't have many other Superstars to fill the role.
Owens showed in his last run with the Universal Championship that he can be one of the true main event stars. Why WWE went away from that is anybody's guess, but it's time to let Owens run Monday Night Raw...as the ultimate face and Universal champion
2 Ronda Rousey
It was not a good sign when fans were booing a babyface Ronda Rousey and cheering heavily for Charlotte Flair at this year's Survivor Series pay-per-view. The Queen brutally attacked the Raw Women's Champion, which was clearly WWE's plan of trying to turn the former heel.
Rousey's struggles on the mic have been well-documented. On top of that, WWE is simply playing with fire by having Rousey squash her opponents over and over again. Sometimes, too much of the same is what makes fans turn on heels (see Roman Reigns and John Cena).
It makes sense to turn Rousey into some form of a heel. With her menacing looks and extreme dominance in the ring, she's better built for a run that has nothing to do with the face role.
1 Gimmick Change: Heel And Client Of Paul Heyman
WWE was pure genius to put Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman together again. The former lets his in-ring work do the talking, while the microphone master builds up his client perfectly by doing all the trash talking.
Somebody like Rousey could use a client like Heyman. Instead of having The Baddest Woman on the Planet cut forced and awkward promos, WWE needs to give her a legendary manager with supreme talking skills. That's exactly what Heyman embodies.
Lesnar's future with WWE is iffy right now. Heyman can't be left without a client, so a partnership with Rousey should be the next chapter of his life. It's the dream duo, at least on paper.