Shawn Michaels throwing Marty Jannetty through a glass window. Stone Cold shaking hands with Mr. McMahon. The Rock joining the Corporation. These are the shocking heel turns that all wrestling fans remember. They've become iconic moments that help to solidify careers, often marking a turning point for a star.
All of the ones mentioned were surprising heel turns performed by male Superstars. But what about the ladies? They have also had some stunning changes of heart that blew the minds of fans everywhere. We have taken a look through wrestling history to find and rank the most shocking heel turns by female wrestlers.
2015 was dominated by Nikki Bella and her stranglehold on the Divas Championship. Paige failed to dethrone her on several occasions. By the summer, the top women in NXT were called up to join the main roster. Paige partnered up with two of them, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
It turned out to be Charlotte who beat Nikki Bella for the Divas Title. During her celebration, Paige erupted and cut a promo on Charlotte, claiming she only had her spot because of her famous father. Paige berated Charlotte and the rest of the women in the division, showing a change of heart that nobody saw coming.
9 AJ Lee
AJ Lee started her WWE career as an innocent girl with a big dream. She ended up as the General Manager of Raw. After losing that job, AJ Lee entered a relationship with top star John Cena.
At TLC, John Cena battled Dolph Ziggler in a Ladder match. AJ arrived to combat Ziggler's manager Vickie Guerrero. She skipped around the ring as Cena ascended, only to stop and knock the ladder over. AJ sent Cena crashing down and Ziggler superkicked him before winning the match. It marked a major change for AJ and started her partnership with Ziggler that nearly lasted a year.
When Carmella made it to the main roster in 2016, it was as the very last pick in the WWE Draft. She joined SmackDown, but without her more popular friends Enzo Amore and Big Cass, she failed to make an impact. At SummerSlam, she was booed by the fans and the returning Nikki Bella, a heel, was cheered.
Fueled by the reaction of the crowd, Carmella assaulted Nikki Bella two days later on Smackdown. That was unexpected by itself, but even more surprising was how it changed Carmella's career path. She went from an afterthought to one of the most successful women in the company. Her feud with Nikki Bella was a consistent highlight, as she won Money in the Bank and the Smackdown Women's Title.
We're back to 2015 for this reveal. Naomi's entire WWE career saw her play the babyface role. She was a lovable lady who danced, had a good time, and always had the crowd by her side. Shortly after WrestleMania, she pinned Divas Champion Nikki Bella in multiple tag team matches.
Instead of that earning her a title shot, she was forced to participate in a battle royale with others for an opportunity. Paige picked up the win by lastly eliminating Naomi. This frustrated Naomi to the point where she viciously attacked Paige. She changed her look, her theme music, and eventually formed Team B.A.D.
6 Stephanie McMahon
It's kind of weird to think that there was a time when Stephanie McMahon wasn't a villain. For the vast majority of her career, she has portrayed a heel, but things didn't start like that. When we first saw Stephanie, she was Vince McMahon's innocent daughter who was used as a pawn in a convoluted plot against Steve Austin.
Stephanie was eventually set to wed Test, but Triple H interrupted.Vince battled Triple H to get revenge. At the end of the match, Stephanie turned on her father and sided with Triple H. It stunned viewers and set Stephanie on a path that made her one of the top heels in the industry.
5 Nikki Bella
With Triple H and Daniel Bryan feuding for a good chunk of 2013 and 2014, it made sense that their wives were also at odds. Stephanie faced Brie Bella at SummerSlam in a match built up over months of hostility.
With Brie Bella in trouble during the contest, her sister Nikki ran down to the ring. Stephanie was stuck between both Bellas, only for Nikki to shove her aside and knock out her own sister with a brutal forearm. This heel turn was surprising when you consider their roles on Total Divas. The twins went on to become rivals for a few months before partnering up again.
4 Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus was one of those wrestlers who was entertaining as a babyface or a heel. Towards the end of 2003, she was a fan favorite who became the love interest of Chris Jericho. It started with Jericho as the bad guy, only being interested as part of a bet with Christian. However, he developed real feelings for Trish.
Chris Jericho went on to face Christian, who was still being disrespectful to Trish, at WrestleMania XX. Near the end of the match, Trish showed up and attacked Jericho, leading to a victory for Christian.
3 Becky Lynch
From the day she appeared on the main roster, Becky Lynch was a crowd favorite. She was likable, made funny puns, and was someone who felt real and relatable. When she became the first Smackdown Women's Champion, fans everywhere rejoiced. When she was put on the backburner and was forgotten about for months on end, the crowd rallied behind her.
Becky Lynch earned a shot at the Women's Title at SummerSlam, only for Charlotte Flair to be added to the mix. Fans hated this, because Charlotte was someone who got all of the opportunities that Becky didn't. Charlotte won the title and Becky snapped, attacking her out of frustration. It proved to be the catalyst for a run that made Becky the biggest star in wrestling.
2 Sasha Banks
After WrestleMania 35, Sasha Banks disappeared from the wrestling world. From out of nowhere, Banks returned the night after SummerSlam, as Natalya was cutting a heartfelt promo about his father on the anniversary of his passing.
Sasha Banks embraced Natalya before turning and leveling her. Sasha removed a wig to reveal that her hair was now blue. She continued the attack on Natalya, showing that she returned with a vengeance. This really was an emotional gut punch.
With Sasha Banks' change in attitude came questions about Bayley. They are best friends and everyone wondered if Bayley supported the actions of Sasha Banks. Bayley was scheduled to team with Becky Lynch, Sasha's rival, on an episode of Raw.
During the tag team match, Sasha Banks interfered and attacked Becky Lynch. She used a steel chair before Bayley intervened. Bayley stared at her friend in disbelief before wailing on Becky with the chair. Considering Bayley's reputation for fair play, this was a complete shocker.