We’ve seen how a heel turn can significantly benefit characters. Hulk Hogan to “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, Rocky Maivia to “The Rock”, Seth Rollins leader of The Shield to Seth Rollins “The Architect” and Theon Greyjoy to Reek just to name a few. Heel turns have saved babyfaces when their characters are just not getting over with the crowds. Currently, there are three faces who are in need of a heel turn to turn their WWE careers in the right direction. Shall we?
I attended both the 2014 Royal Rumble in Pittsburgh and the 2015 Royal Rumble in Philadelphia. In 2014, the thought of Roman winning the rumble over Batista energized the arena and “Roman Reigns” chants echoed throughout the Consol Energy Center. One year later, the cheers for Roman had transformed into a chorus of boos as Vince McMahon continued to show his inability to adapt to the audience he now has. Roman Reigns certainly has the look of a WWE World Heavyweight Champion and someone who can represent the company when John Cena’s time comes to an end. But singles match Roman and 6-man tag match Roman are two different wrestlers.
Reigns suffers from a dull moveset and an inability to create any chemistry with his opponents. He also suffers from the fact he still believes The Shield never ended as he continues to wear his Shield attire and walk out the way The Shield did with the same Shield music. Even re-aligning himself with Dean Ambrose hasn’t changed the mixed reaction he continues to get on RAW, SmackDown and special events. This is the time for Roman Reigns to turn heel and save his character.
A heel turn would benefit Roman in a huge way as he could become more aggressive with his moveset and also drop his Shield gimmick and get new music, new attire and a new entrance. Reigns should also turn on Dean Ambrose, which would benefit Ambrose as his character is in need of a new storyline as well given the fact he’s already faced Rollins plenty of times. Reigns can then be added to the Authority as a bodyguard of sorts and potentially replace Kane. There’s more upside with Reigns as a heel right now given his poor connection with the majority of the fan base as a good guy and his average matches as a face. Besides, if he gets over as a heel, a face turn could be in line for him down the road.
Yes, we’ve seen Ryback work as a heel before and the majority of the WWE Universe wasn’t entertained. Ryback has been on a creative roller coaster since dropping his Skip Sheffield gimmick and becoming what many feel is a ripoff of Goldberg. He began by squashing jobbers, then more jobbers, then more jobbers, then the leader of the jobbers in Jack Swagger and then he suddenly skipped over the mid-card completely and attempted to feud with CM Punk. The heavy face push led to nothing more than a loss to Mark Henry at WrestleMania 29 which was followed up by a heel turn that saw Ryback feud with John Cena and CM Punk, only to then see him create a tag team with Curtis Axel until he was sidelined with an injury.
After returning from his injury, Ryback has attempted to win the crowd over as a face and claimed the Intercontinental Title at Elimination Chamber in one of the worst matches these eyes have ever seen. As the champion Ryback has feuded with The Miz and The Big Show and most fans don’t seem to have any interest in that feud whatsoever. Which makes me realize that there is truly no rooting interest in Ryback. He is supposed to be a “beast”, but we all know Brock Lesnar has set the standard there and Ryback is coming up short. His move set has become somewhat generic for a guy his size and it doesn’t look like his matches will have any significant changes in the near future. If Punk and Cena couldn’t get the most out of him, I’m not really sure who can.
Ryback does have one thing going for him however, the Intercontinental Title. The title is no longer what it used to be as the days of Savage vs. Steamboat, Michaels vs. Razor, and Rock vs. Triple H are long gone. Sure the WWE has attempted to make the title important again, but Daniel Bryan and Ryback’s injuries held that back. By turning Ryback heel you bolster the championship because you give fans a reason to invest in the title given the numerous faces that would try to take it from him.
Let him become ruthless and have him beat down some fan favorites like Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler and Randy Orton. Make his title reign more important than who he’s feuding with. Then at WrestleMania have a young face such as Neville dethrone him. You’ll make Ryback relevant for a significant period of time and increase the value of the Intercontinental Title in the process.
You won’t find a bigger fan of Cesaro then this blogger. Cesaro has produced more 5-star matches in the past two years than any other wrestler on the active roster. However, when he comes close to entering main event status, he fails to stay there. In two nights back in 2014, Cesaro won the Inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and became the newest Paul Heyman guy. Yet Cesaro has failed to catapult himself off of that momentum he received over a year ago. Now he sits in mid-card purgatory after losing his tag team partner Tyson Kidd.
Despite the strong support of the “Cesaro section”, Cesaro isn’t receiving massive pops and doesn’t seem like he can enter the elite status of the company. His character needs to be cleaned up and given a clearer direction. Right now his theme music is awkward and his entrance attire is a disaster as he’s worn a sports jacket, towel, robe and headphones either separately or all at once. He also never specifically addressed the injury to Tyson Kidd but he’s been wearing a Kidd armband. It seems the company could put forward a stronger effort in remodeling Cesaro and that would begin with a heel turn.
This turn would allow Cesaro to utilize his talents to the best of his abilities given his intelligence and European presence and making him WWE World Heavyweight Champion could benefit the WWE in its international relations and marketing. Cesaro is too good of a wrestler to be wasted on the mid-card. There have been plenty of great wrestlers who had no charisma (Shelton Benjamin, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko) and wrestled in the mid-card for the majority of their careers. Cesaro does have charisma, the company just needs to realize that and fix his character.