Friday, 29 July 2011

Wrestlers Who Should Never Turn Heel

Ah, the age old face vs heel debate; it’s gone on for so long and of course it’s been ever so prominent since the Attitude Era where WWE realised they didn’t really need faces and there was really just heels who got cheered and heels who got booed. After the Ruthless Aggression Era this was toned down a bit and some more traditional faces came back onto the scene. But these days people do like their faces to have a bit of attitude and not be the clean-cut Hulk Hogan type characters of the 80s. However against the smarks on the internet the faces are fighting an uphill battle. According to them, all faces are bland and generic and heels are so much better. You will always hear people calling for wrestlers to turn heel as though all their problems will be solved. Sadly, a little news flash in order: not everyone can play a heel and a heel turn will not save a wrestler magically. In fact the majority of heel turns have been the final nail in the coffin for many wrestlers. When you’re on the lower end of the totem pole, the faces are usually better off since they’re less likely to get buried. While I do agree there are some wrestlers who could benefit from a heel turn, there are a lot of them who should never even go near that line. Here’s my list:

Rey Mysterio:
Poor Rey Rey has really committed the biggest crime in the eyes of the hardcore smarks – he has a strong kid fanbase. For some reason the smarks really seem to hate faces who are over with the crowd – R-Truth got the same amount of hate and thankfully he’s one of the rare examples where a heel run has been just as successful as a face run. Rey Mysterio on the other hand, he’d be a crappy heel. I know he was one in WCW back when he lost his mask but seriously why would he be a good heel? His mic skills are piss poor and heels do need to talk, unless they have the silent but violent edge to them, which Rey obviously doesn’t have. His strength is his wrestling and even at his age, he’s moving slower than he used to but he can still pull off great moves and inject life into matches. For those wanting to turn Rey heel, how the hell would you book him? The only way he can actually be booked is as an underdog. Anyway rest assured, he has way too many kids as fans for WWE to even think about turning him heel.

Beth Phoenix:
Sorry, diva fans but Beth was an awful heel. Yeah she could wrestle but in WWE that means doodly squat unless you have the charisma to back it up. Beth had none of that as a heel and she failed to be intimidating at all when all she was doing was smiling like she had lock jaw. Only Santino was able to give her a personality and only Melina was able to make her look good in a feud. But when she was moved to Smackdown and they started teasing that tension between her and Michelle, my reaction was “what’s this? Is Beth finally interesting?” and I was actually curious as to what they would do with Beth next. Her face turn was a saving grace for her and now she is very much in the same mould as Chyna – a woman breaking ground in a man’s world. Why should someone boo her for that? Beth needs to stay face so we can finally get that feud with Kharma when she comes back. In that infamous segment, it was Beth who led the divas against her and it’s Beth who needs to be that leader in the future. She just needs to be kept relevant until Kharma comes back.

Evan Bourne:
I always felt that this was a no-brainer but a while back I actually saw some suggestions to turn Evan heel over the internet. If any WWE creative team member suggested that then they’d need to be smashed over the head with one of Jeff Jarrett’s guitars to knock some sense into them. Evan Bourne is one of the most talented guys on the roster right now so why would I want to boo him? He’s able to pull off even better moves than Rey Mysterio and so far he doesn’t have a high army of smark haters behind him. Believe it or not, the crowd were behind him in that match with Sin Cara. He is alright on the mic but not good enough to make it as a heel. He can cut an alright babyface promo and then back it up with a great competitive match but him being face is literally the only thing that’s saving him from the brink of obscurity. If he was a heel he’d just get buried and probably become the new Chavo.

Kofi Kingston:
Sadly Kofi is a guy who WWE really don’t know what to do with but thankfully turning him heel has never crossed their minds. Kofi does go hand in hand with Rey and Evan in that he’s very athletic and pulls off some great moves, as well as taking some great bumps in his matches. It’s always Kofi who’s impressing every time there’s a ladder match isn’t it. We saw some shades of fire and aggression in him in his feuds with Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre, and that’s all he needs to cut it among the main eventers. Give him a proper storyline to show off and he’ll do fine. If he isn’t allowed to wow the crowd then there’s really nothing else he can do, so don’t try turning him heel.

Eve Torres:
This one has been popping up quite recently given Eve has been acting as Kelly’s current gal-pal and saving her from the Bellas. I’m really shocked people actually want to see a heel Eve. Let me ask you one question – when was the last time you saw a heel do a moonsault? The reason fans can get behind Eve is that she has a fairly unique moveset from the rest of the divas. She always mixes up her moves to make her matches seem new and exciting as well as incorporating jiu-jitsu into her moves. True she can talk as shown when she cut that promo on The Miz and she can get feisty when she wants to but she is just too inconsistent. If she went heel then she would just become way too bland. Look how awful Brie was after she turned (her sister is another matter). I don’t see how heel Eve could be any different from the Bellas, Kristal, Stacy, Torrie, Candice or any of the other interchangeable female heels in the past. Her moves are what make her stand out and she can only do that as a face.

Gail Kim:
This has of course been popping up even more than Eve since Gail has yet to actually be pushed properly in storylines and it does come up even more now that the heel side of the women’s division has only one who is a consistent worker. But what people don’t realise is that in the divas’ division, if you’re not the top heel then you’re getting buried. Look what happened to Maryse, Melina, Alicia, Jillian and all the other heel divas who were shunted aside after their push was over. What would make Gail any different? She would actually be over if they pushed her because the crowd finds her exciting. She gets good reactions on Superstars and she can always be counted upon to wow the crowd whenever possible. The crowd were behind her in her match with Beth a few weeks ago. Her heel run in 2003/2004 was completely forgettable and the crowd literally didn’t care even though she was actually booked halfway decently.

Daniel Bryan:
I was reluctant to put this one here as, if I’m being honest, I could see Daniel Bryan maybe working as a heel if creative ran out of ideas for him. But for now, he’s over and you do not mess with the type of reactions he gets. He has the type of back story that anyone can relate to – a small time guy who’s made it big and is fighting against the machine to prove himself. He is reminiscent of Chris Benoit though he manages to be exciting and interesting in the ring, which is something Benoit lacked. There are way too many heels who wrestle a submission based style and Daniel Bryan stands out with this kind of moveset among the faces. Now that he’s a MITB winner he could indeed go onto superstardom. 

So there’s my list. Out of a few of those on the list, several have been heels before and they’ve all bombed in my opinion. Daniel Bryan was heel for that one Nexus segment and even if he hadn’t been fired, I don’t think I could see him staying part of Nexus and turning face anyway. It takes a lot of charisma and mic skills in order to cut it as a heel and sadly charisma is something they can’t teach. If that doesn’t work then some heels can still get by on the freak factor such as Mark Henry and the Great Khali. If I’m being honest, if any of the people on my list were turned heel I’d see them getting the Tyson Kidd treatment – a few weeks in the spotlight then getting buried into obscurity.

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