It’s that time of the year for wrestling fans where speculation and rumors of heel/face turns runs through wrestling websites and discussion boards. We’re coming off a lackluster SummerSlam that featured arguably the most confusing/controversial ending in WWE between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker. Many have debated if the ending to Lesnar/Taker 2 was a prerequisite for some major character transformations in the WWE.
The interesting factor in determining if a character needs a heel/face turn is one of the most difficult task for creative. If you turn a guy/girl before her peak, then you'll risk the chance of fans turning on the character. Don't believe me, just look at Cody Rhodes aka Stardust from years past when he was a mainstay on the WWE roster. Cody Rhodes was rising as a heel battling the likes of Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton. Vince and creative selected to shift MVP to face; Cody Rhodes has been dwindling in mediocrity over the last three years.
While there are plenty character changes that flop, one that is executed properly can give a performer a real shot in the arm. Look at two extreme cases - Monty Brown looked like he would be a top face in TNA, then an idiotic booking decision had him turn heel to join Jeff Jarrett and derailed his career. Someone like The Rock on the other hand, was floundering as the goody two shoes Rocky Maivia before a heel turn allowed his personality to shine and he went on to be a legend in the business. Turns must be orchestrated carefully, but these are all wrestlers who could really benefit from one.
There are 15 superstars who need a character lift; the heel/face aspect of wrestling is what keeps us tuned in every week. Coming off the biggest party in the summer, there are plenty of guys/girls who could use a turn in the direction of either heel/face.
15 Big Show
Just imagine how refreshing a face turn would be for Big Show. Oh, wait, what is he again? Never mind, on to the real list.
14 Roman Reigns
Before Roman Reigns truly gets over as the top face in the company, he needs to tap into all his assets as a performer. It's far easier to experiment as a heel. Reigns just seems stuck as another good guy, but nothing about his character stands out, other than the fact that he looks cool. Reigns could easily go along a similar path of The Rock when Maivia finally responded to the "Rocky Sucks!" chants and began ripping into the fans. It would seem like a good way to set Roman free.
The move to turn Naomi heel was a little puzzling from the get go. The crowd was behind her and were rooting for her to unseat Nikki Bella as Divas Champion. Since the switch and the formation of Team BAD, Naomi seems to have been lost in the shuffle with the recent call ups of NXT Divas. Instead of shoving the Divas into groups, Naomi could easily turn face by breaking from the pack and starting a movement of "every woman for herself".
Cody Rhodes has done a masterful job with the Stardust gimmick, but it's time to for him to move on to bigger and better things. Rhodes will never be a main eventer under the Stardust moniker, thus turning face and going by his name would help him make the jump to the main event scene. With the recent passing of his father, the crowd would easily get behind him and Rhodes can go back to feuding the Authority and going after their golden boy, Seth Rollins.
11 Bray Wyatt
The leader of the Wyatt Family has been the most polarizing figure since his debut in the WWE in the summer of 2013. Wyatt has feuded with the likes of John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and the legendary Undertaker. Bray’s battles with Cena and Bryan were both considered for Slammy Awards during their respective years.
Fast-forward a year later and we’re left wondering what happened to wrestling’s favorite cult leader? Wyatt has been emerged in irrelevant feuds that have fans pondering what the hell is going on with his character. The feud with Roman Reigns makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and Wyatt’s impact on SummerSlam was minimum to say the least.
Wyatt could shift into this badass cult leader who doesn’t play by the rules and ruins the plans of The Authority, creating a showdown between Triple H and Wyatt. Wyatt could play serious mind games with Triple H and his family, particularly Stephanie McMahon. That feud has great potential and would do wonders for the evolution of the Wyatt character.
10 Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose is a figure in the WWE that has become stale over the past couple of months. Ambrose was thrown into the Reigns/Wyatt war simply because creative didn’t have anything to do with him.
Ambrose lives off the persona that he’s a loose cannon and can’t be tamed or controlled by anyone in the WWE. So, make him a true loose cannon and have him turn on Reigns and become the second coming of Jake The Snake Roberts. An out of control heel Ambrose is just what the doctor order for The Lunatic Fringe.
9 Wade Barrett
I’ve said this time and time again. Wade Barrett is the most underutilized talent on the WWE roster. Barrett has charisma and can really perform in the ring, when giving the ample opportunity. The biggest knock on Barrett is that he stuck in the land of heels that is controlled by the likes of Seth Rollins, Sheamus, Bray Wyatt, and Kevin Owens.
Barrett should come back from injury and look to avenge his attack from Stardust (if Stardust were to remain a heel). A three-month feud with Stardust will allow Barrett to transition into a face very nicely. He’ll still be delivering bad news, just in a more badass fan appealing that of way.
8 Mark Henry
When Mark Henry was at the peak of his career, he was the biggest heel on the roster. Henry attacked people and took them out of commission for months on end. For the last couple of years, Henry has been walking in-between heel/face and he deserves better than that. Make Henry the unstoppable force he was several years past when he held the World Heavy Championship. PS, Mark is pretty good on the mic too. Henry's days as a wrestler may be numbered, but there is some time to give him one last good run.
7 Randy Orton
The experiment with Orton turning face always turns out terrible for the Viper. He’s just a natural heel and it’s time for creative in WWE to realize that. On every occasion, that Randy is turned into a face, his character suffers miserably. As a face, he really serves no purpose then to push rising superstars that are heels. Bring back the Viper and his cold calculated approach. Heel Orton is what’s best for the authority and business overall.
Natalya has been a forced in the Divas division for as long as I can remember. She needs to be involved in the ‘Divas Revolution’ as a heel because she’s one of the best damn female wrestlers in the world. One of the primary reasons Charlotte is considered such a great prospect is due to her incredible match with Natalya down in NXT. Natalya as a hell-seeking heel taking out divas with the sharpshooter every week will only strengthen the division in the long term.
5 Jack Swagger
Jack Swagger has never been able to capture the moment and that’s been a major problem during his career at the WWE. Jack becoming a heel and reclaiming a spot back on the TV roster will enable him to get his 'Swagger' back. A great storyline would be Swagger attacking Ryback and fighting for the IC title in the new couple of months. Swagger has a lot of talent, he’s just need to add more substance to his character and sustain any momentum that WWE gives him.
4 Erick Rowan
With the Wyatt family adding the newest member Braun Strowman last week, it looks like Erick Rowan is the man out of the circle. This is the perfect time for Rowan to completely disassociate himself with the Wyatt family and become this face machine that primary ambition is to see the Wyatt Family go under. Rowan's been floating around since his split from the family with not much direction. Time to give him one.
3 Samoa Joe
Since Joe’s arrival at NXT, he’s been a mainstay on the roster. Joe is a seasoned veteran, but I'd love to see Joe as the Samoan ass- kicking machine. Joe’s heel turn will only create more compelling storylines down at the NXT brand. Joe is a solid face, but most feel that the submission specialist from Samoa is best when he’s a heel. As a heel, Joe could feud with the current NXT champion, Finn Balor or perhaps with Sami Zayn when he comes back from injury.
2 John Cena
There are so many easy ways John Cena could turn heel. This isn't meant to say that Cena has to turn heel right now, but this is something that should happen before Cena's career is over. It would make his legacy seem far more complete if he were to go on an incredible heel run for a couple of years. This would only happen if WWE had their next face of the company lined up, but like Hulk Hogan before him, Cena has to explore this path in his career.
1 Seth Rollins
The number one heel in the company is doing a tremendous job as a bad guy. But, Rollins could be having an even more of an impact as a face. Rollins is over with the crowd and now is the perfect time to hit the face switch on the US/WWE champ. Rollins receives as many cheers as he does boos when he steps out to perform.
Allowing Rollins to turn face will allow the authority to choose another guy to carry their flag (maybe John Cena). Hey, you never know.