Top 10 WORST Face Turns in Wrestling History! by Anthony S. DiSalvatore
Hello everybody! If somehow, you’re on this site and you don’t know who I am, I’m normally the Overly Opinionated Wrestling Fan! Sometimes I like to pepper in these Top 10 lists. You might remember me from my list of the Top 10 Best Heel Turns not long ago. In my quest to prove to the editor of this site that countdowns ALWAYS get over, I’m here once again to count down the worst babyface turns that I personally have ever seen!
Just like last time when I said everybody appreciates a good heel turn, a poorly executed turn from heel to babyface can sometimes be dead on arrival. The reasoning is horrid, there’s no logic behind it, and the crowd reaction is lukewarm at best. Some of them may never recover! No honorable mentions this week, let’s get on with it!
10. Zack Ryder
Let’s start with by far, the most annoying entry on this list so I can get it out of the way. Some people may not even remember that Ryder started as a heel on ECW. He was a goof then, but still tolerable for me at that point. The reason this is one of the worst babyface turns to me is because it started the entire mess of pro wrestlers who are grown adults crying on Twitter because they can’t get over. Whereat first some may have found the gimmick inspiring, even those people have to admit it’s now annoying and ridiculous. Ryder’s been on the bubble for years and he’s still around. I can’t understand. Somebody here just wrote a list of potential upcoming WWE releases, and if Ryder isn’t on that list, I’ll eat my own shoes.
I’m not sure if this is actually a turn, which is why it’s so low on this list. The run I’m thinking of is when Sheamus beat Bryan at Wrestlemania 28. We all know what happened there, and I wasn’t even mad at it! The bad part of this was after Sheamus won the world title, he would come out and tell stereotypical Irish stories, about his Uncle Patrick or something. From what I remember, the crowd was into this at first. After about the third time, they were all sick of it and they turned on him. Sheamus recovered nicely though. He and Cesaro were great together, he grew a kick-ass mohawk, and now he’s here to exterminate the vermin from the Smackdown locker room. Look out, Jeff Hardy!
8. Dolph Ziggler
The reason I put Dolph here is because it doesn’t matter if he’s a heel or a babyface, he still acts like a heel. Specifically, I’m talking about the turn that took place immediately following Wrestlemania 29, when he used the Money in the Bank on Alberto Del Rio. But he still had all the same mannerisms! Instead of trying to endear himself to the crowd as a babyface should, he acts like he doesn’t care. That was brutal. Cool heel does not equal babyface. I’d be remiss if I left out the time he stole Rusev’s wife, then had her coming out dressing like a Whitesnake groupie the next week. How was Rusev the heel in that? Dolph stole his wife and bragged about it, and now he’s the babyface. Absolutely ROTTEN!
7. The Miz
It hurts me to put this here, Miz is like a son to me. This isn’t for his tag team run with Shane, this is for the turn before that. It didn’t last long, but it was such an abortion that I had to include it. I’ve rooted for Miz since 2010, and this was hard to watch. I remember, although it hurts me, that promo he did on Paul Heyman full of Star Wars references. Brock then promptly came out and dropped Miz with no trouble. I know Miz tried, which is why he’s in the lower half of this list, but I don’t think he was into it. His most memorable moment was when he lost the Intercontinental title to Bad News Barrett after one day. Not long after this, Miz switched heel again and all was right with the world. Obligatory notice that Miz is currently two weeks away from becoming the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion over Pedro Morales. All he needs is one more run!
6. Kevin Owens
This one is more current! It’s for Kevin’s current run. He’s supposed to be this badass prizefighter that we’re all supposed to be scared of, and now he’s a Stone Cold tribute act. They even put him against Shane, in what was at best a cheap imitation. Again, Kevin hasn’t changed. He’s just targeting different people. Using the Stunner won’t get you over like Stone Cold. If anything, it hurts Kevin more than it helps. It only reminds people that Stone Cold exists.
5. CM Punk
Punk may be hard for me to defend these days, but it still hurts my heart to include him here. He’s the only wrestler to make the list for best heel turns and worst babyface turns. The reason he’s here is because he was always anti-establishment, and it wasn’t really a gimmick. This took place after Punk won the title at MITB 2011 and rode off into the sunset. When he came back to WWE on a full-time basis, he got a babyface reaction, which was fine because people were worried he might not come back. But when he was teaming up with Cena, who effectively is the representation of The Man, it went against his values. Punk put on a happy face to sell shirts, and even though he sold a ton, he sold out to do it. He’s much better in his current run on Backstage, because he’s not in anybody’s pocket.
4. Ric Flair
This one probably should have been higher up, but I couldn’t put Flair as the worst at anything. My problem is after Flair has basically proven himself as God among heels, how can you ever be babyface?? We’ve been told multiple times that he’s the dirtiest player in the game, while he’s standing there kissing babies! It makes no sense. Sorry Flair, but I can’t buy you as a babyface after everything you did with the Four Horsemen. Same with Double A, who’s running with Cody even after he spent years beating the shit out of Cody’s dad.
3. Daniel Bryan
This isn’t for the Team Hell No thing, that was hilarious and great! This is for Bryan’s most recent turn back to the Yes thing. Immediately preceding that, he became what I like to call Eco-Terrorist Bryan. This run was great, and he even had his own custom title! We were told more than once the Yes movement was dead and never coming back. Then Kofi Kingston showed up and won the title out of nowhere, nobody gave a shit, and now Bryan’s still doing the exact same stuff he did years ago. While Bryan is still super entertaining, Eco-Terrorist Bryan was GREAT and Kofi ruined it. I loved his message and his delivery, even his entrance was stripped down to the bare essentials. It’s too bad Kofi had to wreck everything.
2. Scott Steiner
Rick’s not involved in this one. This is for Steiner’s turn in WCW. The reason why it’s terrible is simple: have you ever heard this man talk? He’s one of the meanest people on the entire show! I guess they had to make him a babyface by default, based on who his opponents were, but he’s such a natural heel. The only reason anyone cheers him now is because they know he’s not a fake tough guy, and he can really destroy someone if he wanted to. Just listen to his promos on DDP (or DDP’s wife). That was some of the meanest stuff I’ve ever heard, and he got cheered for that! It makes no sense. If you’ve made it this far, you guys need to pour one out for Scott, he’s had some heart issues lately. This isn’t a slight at Scott’s ability in the ring. I have to throw that in, or Scott will come to my house.
This isn’t for Kane’s current run as mayor of Knox County, Tennessee. This one took place in about 2005. Kane forcibly abducted and impregnated (and later MARRIED) Lita! Remember, this all happened against her will. After Snitsky showed up and caused Lita’s miscarriage, now Kane becomes the conquering hero?! So, the same guy who ostensibly kidnapped, raped, and impregnated a woman is now the hero of the story? Snitsky may have been a dick, I know he punted the baby into the crowd, but making Kane fall on Lita was an ACCIDENT! There’s a big difference between being a dick and killing a baby. Snitsky’s right, it wasn’t his fault! Kane shouldn’t have been standing there. They put Kane through so much shit during his run, it’s just ridiculous.
I had a hell of a time putting this list together, but if you enjoyed reading this list as much as I enjoyed writing it, tune in tomorrow for my overly detailed review of AEW! And, these plugs aren’t even over yet! This coming Thursday, I’ll also be doing a countdown of the best Money in the Bank ladder matches! I can’t be stopped, I can only be contained! Keep your eyes open for more hot, steaming piles of content written by the Overly Opinionated Wrestling Fan!