Theo C. Presents….My Top 10 Worst Heel Turns In Pro Wrestling
On my last blog, I list down my favorite Heel Turns in Pro Wrestling.
This list however is the complete opposite. They are the heel turns that either started out good but fizzled out or left you wondering, “The hell were they thinking turning this guy into a Bad Guy in the first place?!”
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. A blue collar, proud to be an American Tough Guy from Glens Falls, New York. Carying his trusty 2 by 4 and American Flag and the his trademark battle cry, “HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” which the crowd respond in kind. Duggan is a beloved babyface throughout his legendary career….Then WCW 2000 happened. During the feud between the Misfits In Action, lead by General Hugh E. Rection (Just Go With It) and Team Canada lead by Lance Storm, Duggan was entered into this feud as he was the Special Guest Enforcer for the United States Championship (Then was named the Canadian Championship thanks to Storm) between Rection and Storm at WCW Fall Brawl. What resulted was Duggan turning heel and joining Team Canada. Duggan then shaved his trademark beard, replaced the Stars & Stripes with the Maple Leaf and sang “O Canada”. This Heel Turn was so out of place and completely unnecessary. It was a way for WCW to put in shock value of one of Pro Wrestling Beloved Good Guys Gone Bad but it turned out to be a huge flop that the Heel Turn was short lived and accomplished nothing in the process.
Good Ol’ JR was basically The Voice of WWE and one of the most respected Broadcasters in Professional Wrestling. So….The WWE decided to turn JR heel…Not once…BUT TWICE!!!! The first time happened in 1996. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash headed South to WCW but JR insisted that Nash’s WWE Persona of “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel and Scott Hall’s WWE Persona of “The Bad Guy” Razor Ramon are returning to the WWE. Now according to the storyline, JR was so furious that we was legit fired by the WWE in 1994, he decided to pay back the company by getting a front office job and letting go Hall and Nash on purpose and to further his status as heel, he brought in a new version of Razor Ramon and Diesel because….Reasons. It was all good but there was one tiny little problem…JR was actually cheered for “Shooting” on Vince McMahon and the WWE when he was suppose to be booed. WWE tried again in 1999. JR was taken off TV due to his Bells Palsy but then came back “Upset” and “Bitter” that a Young Michael Cole is taking his job. So, Ross brought in “Dr. Death” Steve Williams to be his bodyguard and they began hijacking episodes of RAW even in one episode where JR had his own broadcast booth…So, how did the fans react you ask? JR WAS CHEERED LOUDLY because everyone hated Michael Cole, so one night on RAW when JR kicked Cole in the balls, he got the Stone Cold Steve Austin Pop. You just can not hate Good Ol’ JR no matter what.
Now throughout the entire history of the craziness of The McMahons on WWE TV, there has been one member of the family that was the voice of reason. When The McMahons get Power Hungry or get too out of line, Linda was there to set things right….That is until 2005. The week after “Stone Cold” Steve Austin Stunned Every Member Of The McMahons, they decided to take it out on Good Ol’ JR….Because Why Not I suppose. You think Linda would come in and become the voice of reason…Nope! Instead, she fired JR on Live TV which would make it about 45 at this point…I lost count. Anyway, did the heel turn lead to anything special with Linda?!
Linda McMahon would disappear shortly after and waste the McMahon money on two failed Senate Campaigns.
“The Phenomenal” AJ Styles….As the New Nature Boy….Do you think there is something wrong with that?!
Apparently, TNA didn’t think so and decided to pair AJ up with Flair so that the 16 World Heavyweight Champion can groom Styles into the New Nature Boy after Flair help AJ Styles retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Kurt Angle at TNA Genesis in 2010. Now, there is no problem having Ric Flair being a mentor to someone…It’s the problem of WHO he is mentoring. The thing is that AJ Styles is the polar opposite of Ric Flair in every way. AJ Styles is a soft-spoken family man and to see him behave the way like Flair does is really silly. Now to AJ’s credit, he did hold the TNA Title for a good while and him being apart of Fourtune was good as well. But his run as the New Nature Boy…Yeah, it was terrible. But it is not the only bad decision involving him that TNA spewed out…
In late 1999, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin had to get Neck Surgery and would be out for months. So WWE did a very dramatic way possible to write him off…By being hit by a car. For the next several months, it was the question of who ran down Stone Cold?! Who was the monster responsible for doing such an evil act? On the October 9, 2000 edition of RAW, we have our answer as Rikishi (Who was a big Fan Favorite at the time) revealed himself to be the driver and claimed that “He Did It For The Rock”. But lets be truthful here…Rikishi as the one being behind the wheel didn’t felt right. He was the fun big man that stinkface opponents and dances to entertain the fans. Now you expect me to believe that he is a sadistic madman that ran down one of the most beloved superstars in WWE?! But it got worse as it was revealed that despite Rikishi ran Stone Cold over with a car, he did it under orders of Triple H, who lets be honest would have made a lot of sense if he would be the one who did it to begin with…Yup, way to delay the obvious there, WWE. In the end, the whole angle and Rikishi heel turn was for nothing and benefited no one in the process.
On the June 27th, 2011 of RAW, CM Punk let out his infamous “Pipebomb” promo and since that time, there was no turning back for the Straight-Edged Superstar because the fans were going to cheer for the mman no matter what because Punk struck a chord with so many fans of the state of the WWE. After the promo, CM Punk has grown to be one of the most popular characters in WWE next to John Cena. So it was strange that during CM Punk’s historic WWE Title Reign that they decided to turn Punk heel at the 1000 edition of Monday Night Raw when he attacked The Rock. Now Punk would be awesome as a heel the same way he has done as a face and his heel stuff was really damn good. The problem was simple…The fans were not buying it. A good example was at the 2012 Night Of Champions PPV at Boston not that far from where Cena lives in Wet Newbury…And Punk STILL got bigger cheers than the hometown guy. Even at the Royal Rumble back in 2013 where he faced the Rock and at WrestleMania 29 where he was going after The Undertaker’s Streak. Hell, he can call every single fan in the arena every bad name in the book and he still get cheered. By June of 2013, the WWE got the hint that they were fighting a losing battle and turned him back to face.
Back in 2004, Eddie Guerrero went through one of the most amazing babyface journeys in the history of not only the WWE but in Pro Wrestling as he became one of the WWE’s most popular characters. In February of that year, Eddie Guerrero won a Battle Royal to become the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship and a shot against Brock Lesnar at No Way Out. At the PPV, Guerrero defeated Lesnar to become the WWE Champion and one of the most emotional and greatest moments in WWE History. He even outsmarted Kurt Angle to retain the title at WrestleMania XX. Guerrero became an ultimate underdog story, going from the lowest of lows in his career and heading straight to the top of the WWE. So it was a horrible idea for WWE to think, “Hey, lets turn him heel.” To top the whole thing off on his failed heel turn, Guerrero was in a feud with his best friend Rey Mysterio for custody of Rey’s son…..I didn’t make this stuff up, people. Tragically in November 2005, Eddie Guerrero sadly passed away…As fate would have it, he had recently turned back to face a few weeks before his passing and on Smackdown of that week, he was going to be World Heavyweight Champion. Also, he did what he had love to do best. Entertaining the fans and bring smiles and laughs on their faces while doing so.
You can say that both heel turns. One in WCW and one in TNA were both flops. But at least with TNA, Sting’s involvement as the leader of The Main Event Mafia did bring some interest. But when it comes to his WCW Heel Turn, it was horrible both in the execution and in life span of said heel turn. The year, 1999. Hulk Hogan has just turned face but in the weeks heading to his match against Sting for the Title at Fall Brawl is if Hogan’s Face Turn is the real deal or it was all a setup to trick the fans that he had earned their trust back. Can Hogan face Sting in a Fair Match for the title and what role will Lex Luger play in all of this. The Main Event really turned into a Game of “Who Can You Trust?” But everyone knew what was coming because Hogan had just turned face and it would not make sense to turn him back so damn soon. Then Sting showed his true colors and he was the one that is the untrustworthy. But the question is Why in the hell would Sting turn heel anyway? Sure Hogan had just turned face but he spent the past 3 years beforehand trying to destroy the company with the nWo and Sting was the hero to save the company. Now we are suppose to feel bad for Hogan and boo Sting all of a sudden? But also, Sting didn’t change one bit of his moveset when he turned heel. The potential of a heel Sting would have been awesome. The Biggest and most reconizable star in WCW with the exception of Ric Flair turning heel for the first time since teaming with The Ultimate Warrior as The Blade Runners. But the whole damn thing turned to be underwelming and in a few months, he turned back to face and it was like it never happened.
Well, WCW is in this Countdown a lot does it? More than likely in 2000 where WCW threw every crap idea onto the wall and sees which ones can stick. Now on that WCW Roster was Goldberg. A pure Diamond in the Rough. A pure WCW-Made star and one of its most popular babyfaces. Goldberg could have been the hero in the war between the Millionaires Club and The New Blood…But WCW wanted to give the fans the same shocking surprise that they did by turning Hulk Hogan heel and joining the nWo. Goldberg’s Heel Turn was their way to do the trick. However, the idea was half-baked and half-assed because the fans didn’t want to boo the man and Goldberg was not a big fan of it. The angle was dropped fast, just like many other WCW bad ideas and Goldberg quickly became face months after.
Now, don’t get me wrong. When “Stone Cold” Steve Austin shook hands with Mr. McMahon at WrestleMania X-Seven, it was a memorable and shocking moment. But once the shock wore off, you look at it again and think, “What’s the point?!” Austin had made Mr. McMahon’s life a living hell and suddenly they are allies?! Why?! Just….Why?! What would Austin benefit in all this? Sure, he had some entertaining segments with Mr. McMahon and Kurt Angle during that time and him teaming up with Triple H to be the Two Man Power Trip was kinda cool, but the heel turn went against EVERYTHING Stone Cold is about. He went from Anti-Establishment to the Establishment and From Ass Kicker to Ass Kisser. Also, the Invasion Angle didn’t do him any favors because in the beginning, he turned face to side with the WWE….Only for him to turn heel at WWE Invasion 2001 shortly after and joined The WCW/ECW Alliance. It did make a bit of sense to put a ne twist in the Austin vs. McMahon rivalry with the roles being reversed but even that made no sense because Austin was fighting for WCW who had fired Austin via FedEx while he was still injured and sparked the Stone Cold character we know today. To Austin’s credit, he made the best out of a bad situation, but even he had admitted that the heel turn was not needed. Based on the timing of the heel turn (Also the fact that Rock was going to film Scorpion King around that time), who he alligned himself with, the nature of his character and the fact that it all turned to crap at Survivor Series when WWE defeated The Alliance to take full control of the company. Stone Cold’s Heel turn is my #1 Worst Heel Turn Of All Time.
Now I know that there are some that I have left out including one that I really wanted on the list but there was no room for it in the countdown. So if there are some I missed out, please let me know in the Comments and I may do another Top 10 List about it in the future.