The concept of being able to play a good face and heel is sometimes an art form that is lost in the shuffle when it comes to the overall package of a wrestler. Sure, there have been phenomenal talents that only had to do one or the other, during their careers, to make a strong impact, but to be able to pull off a double whammy of two completely different personas is a true gift to behold. It's one that takes a great amount of focus and skill to achieve. And those that can grasp this, and make it work, is a special kind of character developer. Some of these Divas carried out this two-face identity so crisp and smoothly that it was easily detected at the beginning, while others came out of left field, but blew everyone away with their delivery nonetheless. Being able to have a superstar on the roster that can give you a wonderful face and a terrific heel is like getting a two for one special.
Throughout the last few years, there have been some exciting women in the WWE that created a double-edged personality that deserves to be acknowledged. Today, we look at 15 of these talented individuals that could play a saint...and a vixen.
The feisty and no nonsense in the ring Melina deserves a spot on the list. Although she performed the majority of her time with the company as a major heel, she also showed at the end of her stint there that she had what it took to be a crowd favorite. To watch her go from a vicious manager of MNM, to a slightly quirky girl holding large dual feathered fans on her way out to the ring, she clearly showcased what it takes to pull off playing both roles. It also helps that Melina has a very loud charismatic personality to aid her in delivering this feat as well. When she wanted to come off as a major heel, she worked on the mic more, demanding respect from everyone in the back, whereas, during her time as a babyface, she used her body language to get the message across.
14 Brie Bella
Although, not as strong in garnering heat like her "Twin Magic" counterpart, Nikki, she has shown to handle both mannerisms very well. Brie's go-to heel side that she pulled out of her bag was one that matched her face side. A lovable persona with a bit of a mean streak to it. She played more of an innocent heel over other stronger and more ruthless villains in the WWE. But the only important factor is that she made it work every single time. Teaming up with Nikki, she saw some moments that had her cheat during matches, and this became their trademark while Brie was heel.
Along the way, she shifted from being a harmless bad girl, to a more integrity driven individual, eventually starting "Brie Mode." Her best run as either a heel or a face was undoubtedly her feud with Stephanie McMahon in mid 2014, before a lackluster feud with Nikki derailed her.
13 AJ Lee
AJ Lee found a way to be entertaining as both a face and heel. She was even entertaining when you had no clue whether she was a heel or a face. She really started to get over when she accompanied Daniel Bryan to the ring, playing the constant damsel in distress and the loyal valet to Bryan.
Eventually she broke off from Bryan and got affectionate with several WWE stars on screen, including John Cena, Dolph Ziggler and CM Punk. She knew how to play the 'crazy' character to perfection. Eventually she would begin a 295-day reign as Divas Champion that saw her play the perfect arrogant heel. When she lost the title, she would return a few months later as a face and regained her title. She ended her career at WrestleMania 31 as a beloved face, proving she was one of the best of her generation.
Natalya is arguably, one of the most casual demeanor characters to enter the women's locker room, a right down the middle type of person on how she carries herself when entering the arena. So, it's no wonder that Natalya can transition between a beloved woman and one with a mean streak easily. Even both sides of her good and bad coin comes with a subtle yet undeniable smile that says, "I'm going to beat you."
Her first persona with the company on the SmackDown brand proved just this. A tough straight shooter that didn't mince words. Then, Natalya went to a more heroic character that became a face that the audience could rely on. And even in her current alignment as a heel, Natalya could go back to being a face with ease. This is because it is such an easy transition for her, and thus is why she is on the list as one of the best females to turn heel and face on a dime.
11 Stephanie McMahon
Stephanie McMahon has been a staple character on television since the 90s. And during that time, she has proven over the years to be a really good magician when it comes to changing her affiliation between good and bad. She first appeared as a nice and sweet individual that was constantly in the struggle of being the next cliche damsel in distress princess. There she found herself being kidnapped by The Undertaker. At this time, she was a good solid face.
Then she made an epic heel turn by turning on her father to join her husband Triple H in ruling over the WWE. A few years later, when she first became general manager of SmackDown, daddy's little girl was in a battle between good and evil with Eric Bischoff who was the general manager of Raw at the time. Nowadays, she is doing a pretty decent performance at playing a tweener that it gets hard for the audience to decipher whether or not she is playing a face or a heel.
Sable was one of the original divas, so we had to include her here. Sable began her WWE career by accompanying Hunter Hearst Helmsley to the ring, but when her husband Marc Mero debuted, she began to accompany him. At first Sable played a mostly silent valet, not doing much besides standing at ringside. When Wildman Marc Mero turned heel due to feelings of jealousy towards Sable's fame, Sable gained even more popularity with the crowd. The fans showed sympathy for her and her career in WWE reached a whole new level, winning the Women's Championship later in 1998.
Eventually Sable's fame played a part in her heel turn as she became a heel due to an inflated ego following her appearance on the cover of Playboy. When Sable returned to WWE in 2003 she was once again a heel, playing Vince McMahon's mistress and Torrie Wilson's main adversary. Either way, she proved she was great at playing both roles.
9 Beth Phoenix
The woman known as the Glamazon proved to be dominant inside the ring against her adversaries. During that timeframe, however, she displayed herself as a force to be reckoned with. She also equipped her arsenal with a subtle shift in temperament. Her main personality was a middle of the road type of female. One that stuck to the script, and didn't back down (not even to the Great Khali.) So, it was perfect to see how she would switch between her heel side and her face side. She still kept her serious nature, but added a simple tweak here and there that only a person like her can deliver.
Beth Phoenix would even add a slight playfulness to her good side when she would be in a conflict with on-screen boyfriend Santino Marella. But, all in all, nobody has captured the tough Diva approach in the WWE that could play a good heel and face in the process like Beth Phoenix.
Lita showed an exceptionally good and bad side in the WWE. Granted, some of it was attributed to certain issues outside of the company, but she proved to display an airtight delivery in both roles when it pertains to her heel and face personalities. Lita didn't have the overall quick transitioning like other Divas on the list, but her tenacity and pushing her roles to the max is what made her unique in this art form. When she was a member of Team Extreme, Lita proved to have all the components to be a larger than life face in the company. Even before then, when she wore nothing but red, Lita captured everybody's attention and easily catapulting herself into a crowd favorite.
Then, the dark side of Lita emerged. When word came out of her affair with Edge, she became the biggest female heel on the roster. She abandoned her punk look and began dressing more provocatively, trying to play the perfect vixen. Everybody witnessed her staying a true heel up to her retirement match. Since then, she has returned here and there, and has won back the support of the fans as a face again.
7 Nikki Bella
Here, we have an individual that has had a good run with the company, and one of those reasons why she has is being able to turn from a good girl to a sassy bully. Although her heel role sometimes overshadows what she has accomplished as a face, there's no denying that she can play either of them very well. When she teamed up with Brie, she delivered at being a caring sidekick to the teams overall problems as a face. But, once she wanted to go down a new path in her career, she transformed herself into a heel that has reached new heights in the women's division. Not just in her overall accomplishments wins wise, but also changing the DNA of her character's genetic makeup.
Wearing new attire and changing her attitude on the mic was vital for the transformation, Nikki is clearly a masterful commodity when it comes to switching it up, and changing her heel and face personas.
6 Molly Holly
The cute and easy going Molly Holly was a treat to behold when it came to her characters, and more importantly the mannerisms that she displayed. Talk about a Diva that could go from one side of the spectrum to the other. She broke boundaries when she went from being a member of the Holly stable to entering a mean and focused heel lifestyle. The complete opposite in personality traits across the board. Her heel run at the end was an accomplishment in of itself because it showed that she can peel away the layers of past gimmicks like Mighty Molly, and prove that being charismatic as a babyface wasn't the only thing she could do persona wise. She's made some rare appearances since initially leaving the company.
The rebellious screamer definitely is a head turner when it comes to mixing things up in the ring. But, during the Divas Revolution phase of the company, she brought out both the bad girl Goth character and the easy going Paige nicely. Her ability to deliver to perfection on this must have been contagious to the people in the back because Paige was changing between being a heel and a face frequently. When AJ Lee and Paige began their feud, she was a face. Later down the road, when they crossed paths again...she was a heel. A really great talent to place in anybody's fantasy league because you can envision her playing on the villain's team, and helping out the babyface's team as well. Her charisma is top notch that playing any alignment to other Divas is easy to accomplish. And hey, she can also play a tweener, which isn't hard for someone like Paige.
Talk about a Diva that had a wide range of colorful characters at her disposal. Layla surely changed the landscape of not being afraid to try new gimmicks throughout her career with the WWE. One half of the infamous tag team duo, LayCool, she pretty much embodied what it meant to be a team player, and a masterful student of the heel/face game. Layla was so great at being able to change from a bad girl to a babyface, that it almost seemed like it was effortless for her. She was in a stable on ECW with Brooke Adams and Kelly Kellly, and later had a lot more roles with the company.
Layla would recreate herself constantly, and changed up her mannerisms and attitude along the way. She also could make changes into how she wanted to drive home the message that she was a face or a heel. Play it mean, or play it sweet.
3 Mickie James
There is absolutely no denying Mickie James belongs on this list. The way that she played her roles while with the company was incredible. And looking back, what made it more appealing is the fact that she could play a face and a heel with so much ease. Mickie James began as an obsessed fan of Trish. During this time, she played a heel, but not your typical run of the mill heels. Mickie James played an easy going villain that was at the same time serious. This was a phenomenal performance by her.
Then, she retired that gimmick, and decided to become a face, skipping to the ring, and pointing to the fans. This moment during her career with the company was also highly impressive. The crowd ate it up, and throughout her title wins and victories in matches she was a well rounded talent when it came to showcasing what she was good at the most...being a outstanding face and heel.
2 Michelle McCool
One second she was a babyface on a motorcycle as a biker chick, the next second she's a teacher's pet manager cutting promos that rained down massive heat onto her. Michelle McCool was so good at this skill that it almost felt like she was altering between a mega heel and a charming face on a weekly basis, which sometimes wasn't far off. At the end, she settled on a pesky type of villain that saw her team up with Layla to form the tag team group LayCool. During her career as a pillar talent on the SmackDown brand, she started as a fitness trainer that was an adorable babyface.
Then, her retirement match saw her end her career as a heal with major heat. A complete circular blueprint of a performance from Michelle McCool, who when it came to playing the role of a face or a heel, she was...Simply Flawless.
1 Trish Stratus
Probably perceived as mostly a good girl throughout her career with the WWE, there was a time that hall of famer Trish Stratus wasn't so nice. In fact, there were times here and there throughout her time with the company that she not only displayed a heelish type of reputation, but performed it with great confidence. She played a great heel when she started with the WWE as a manager with T&A.
She made an incredible face turn at WrestleMania X-Seven when she slapped Mr. McMahon. She would become the most popular diva on the roster, before turning heel at WrestleMania XX by turning on Chris Jericho. Following a return from injury in 2005, she went back to being a face and would remain that way up to her retirement match in 2006.
Her ability to seamlessly transition between both is part of what makes her WWE's greatest female of all time.
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