WWE is all about telling stories of heroes battling villains. The company specializes in twists and turns in these stories, with many of the babyfaces turning evil while many of the most dastardly heels find redemption over time. However, these turns do not always work out. While there are successful heel turns in professional wrestling, the ability of a hated heel to become a beloved babyface is harder to pull off.
There are those moments where it happens and creates great new babyfaces for WWE fans to cheer for. The most successful, by far, was when Stone Cold Steve Austin turned babyface and became the face of the Attitude Era. That face turn came organically, but there have been many times WWE tried to force a face turn and fell spectacularly on its face.
10 FAAROOQ (1998)
In 1998, possibly the greatest heel turn in WWE happened. Ever since he debuted as a world-class babyface, Rocky Maivia started hearing boos constantly pouring down on him, along with chants of "Die Rocky Die." WWE listened to the fans, turned him into The Rock, and had him join the Nation of Domination.
However, The Rock needed to be a leader and the Nation of Domination had a leader in Faarooq. This caused conflict and the group finally turned on Faarooq, kicking him out. With that said, the Faarooq face turn fell flat, and while fans loved to boo The Rock, no one cared about Faarooq until he finally turned heel again and started the Acolytes tag team with JBL.
9 ALBERTO DEL RIO (2013)
Alberto Del Rio was a perfect heel. He was an aristocratic Latino superstar who would come to the ring in an expensive car and flaunt his wealth and success in front of the WWE Universe. He was despicable, and had a strong grasp of the English language, helping him become a major Latino star.
However, WWE thought they could use him as a babyface to help sell merchandise to their large Latino fanbase. The problem is that no one bought Del Rio as a babyface and no one cared about him playing to the crowds. He was born to be a heel and this babyface turn failed miserably until Del Rio finally turned heel again and eventually left WWE.
8 THE MIZ (2012)
The Miz is presently involved in a face turn that is actually working -- thanks in large part to his new feud with a smug and arrogant Shane McMahon. However, this isn't the first time WWE tried to turn Miz babyface -- and the last time the company tried, it was a spectacular failure.
WWE tried everything with Miz in that face turn, including paring him up with Nature Boy Ric Flair as a mentor. However, Miz is best served as a cocky heel who has no problem talking down to everyone. While that is the same thing that made Flair popular, Miz couldn't work the same magic on the mic as a face -- at that time. The new face turn has worked, but it is still impossible for many fans to like Miz since his work as a heel was so masterful.
7 YOKOZUNA (1996)
Never turn a monster heel into a babyface. It failed with so many wrestlers in the past, basically ending the WWE careers of Bam Bam Bigelow, Vader, and Yokozuna. All three men were amazing heels, monsters that the WWE heroes had to overcome in order to beat. When Bret Hart beat Yokozuna, it was a great story of a babyface overcoming the monster.
Then, WWE turned Yokozuna into a face and he lost everything that made him special. He never spoke before and then suddenly knew English (he is Samoan, not Japanese) because he said he was not allowed to speak by his previous managers. Yokozuna lost almost all his feuds as a face and then gained a massive amount of weight and left WWE.
6 RANDY ORTON (2004)
One of the biggest failures when it comes to face turns happened in 2004 and almost completely detailed Randy Orton's career. He was a cocky, arrogant young star in Evolution but WWE decided that he had the look and ring skills to become a huge babyface so they turned Evolution against him and put the world title on him.
The problem is that it neutered everything that made Randy Orton who he was and took away the cool factor that made him a great villain. Fans refused to accept Orton as a babyface after he beat Chris Benoit to win the World Heavyweight Championship and the experience was so bad that Orton has made it clear he prefers playing the heel exclusively in WWE.
5 BIG SHOW (PICK A YEAR)
When a heel turns face, it is supposed to elevate them to new heights. With that said, there is a point where a person goes from face to heel and back so many times that fans stop caring. Big Show is the best example of this. Over his career in WCW and WWE, he has turned over 30 times.
The problem is that most of these face turns and heel turns were done with no explanation whatsoever. Most recently, Big Show attacked New Day and turned heel with no provocation and then turned back when he was tired of The Bar insulting him. In 2008, Big Show turned face in February, turned heel in March and then became a face again in April.
4 KANE (2004)
The number of times Kane has flip-flopped between heel and babyface in WWE rivals that of Big Show. However, his babyface turn in 2004 made no sense and Kane fell figuratively on his face when trying to sell the turn. See, before this, Kane was unforgivable, setting Jim Ross on fire, terrorized everyone in WWE and even buried Undertaker alive.
He was also involved in a storyline with Lita that was straight-up sexual abuse. Then, he fell on Lita, causing her to miscarry the demon spawn she carried of his, which caused him to blame Snitsky and turn face to fight him. The problem is that this entire situation was Kane's fault and the babyface turn made no sense.
3 SHEAMUS (2011)
Sheamus is a perfect heel because he is a guy who just likes to beat people up. He is a bully who talks down to anyone and for a long time liked to beat up little guys because he found it funny. There was nothing about him that screamed babyface. However, WWE wanted him to be a face so it happened in 2011.
The former WWE Champion turned face by coming out to stand up to Mark Henry, who was bullying and beating people up for fun. It seemed a bit hypocritical for Sheamus to stand up to a bully since that is what Sheamus was his entire career. Sheamus was successful in 2012 when it comes to wins and losses but when he beat Daniel Bryan for the world title in seconds at WrestleMania 28, fans completely rejected him.
2 BATISTA (2014)
The biggest failure in recent memory for the men in WWE came when Batista made his return and was turned into a babyface who started a feud with Alberto Del Rio. Fans loved seeing Batista back but when he started working as a face, they quickly grew bored. It never had to happen because Batista said he fought to be a heel but WWE wouldn't listen.
When Batista won the Royal Rumble, fans booed him mercilessly and wanted Daniel Bryan on top instead. WWE finally threw in the towel and had Batista return to the role of a heel in Evolution and he quit a few months later -- earlier than expected -- to return to Hollywood.
1 CHARLOTTE FLAIR (2018)
Charlotte Flair is the daughter of one of the greatest heels of all-time in Nature Boy Ric Flair. It took Flair years of goodwill to earn the respect of fans so he could play the part of a babyface when needed. However, at heart, Flair was a perfect villain. Charlotte followed in her father's footsteps and just oozes heel tendencies.
That made the fact that WWE decided in 2018 to make Charlotte Flair a babyface puzzling, to say the least. She always worked best as a heel and WWE had her out there smiling and cutting babyface promos to a crowd that didn't want to hear it. When everyone supported Becky Lynch, WWE finally turned Charlotte heel again and she slid back into her natural role with ease.