Pro wrestling is nothing without heels and faces. These two characters are essential to make this sport interesting. Face wrestlers are the heroes of the WWE. John Cena, Seth Rollins, AJ Styles, and Hulk Hogan are some of the greatest examples of this. Whereas, the heel character, is the villain. There have been many wrestlers who have portrayed the heel role to perfection, and have done exceedingly well. Triple H, CM Punk and Randy Orton are examples of superstars who have done well as heels.
However, not everyone can become a face. Some face turns have been successful in WWE whereas some weren’t. In this article, we will take a look at 5 face turns that made/broke careers in WWE.
#3 Made career: John Cena 2003
How can I forget to mention the Superstar who has been the face of WWE for a long time?
John Cena is one of the most popular Superstars in the history of WWE. From a long time, WWE fans have been screaming for his heel turn but the company isn’t doing it. However, any Ruthless Aggression Era fan could tell you that Cena was once a heel.
His Doctor Of Thuganomics gimmick was actually a heel character which Cena played very well. He would come to the ring and roast the audience which actually made him over with them. Considering his increased notoriety, WWE decided to turn him into a face and the rest is history.
This face turn happened in November 2003 when The Cenation Leader refused to join Team Lesnar at Survivor Series. Instead, he joined Team Angle and won the match as the sole survivor. And now, he is very much the golden boy of this company.
#2 Destroyed: The Miz 2012 (and 2018)
There was a time when fans wanted him to be a face but when it happened, everyone was disappointed. In late 2012, The Miz turned face when he refused to join Team Punk for Survivor Series that year. He remained a face for over a year but the results weren’t good. Everyone thought that he will succeed as a face but he failed terribly.
Last year as well, The Miz again turned face and it seems like it is failing this time as well. He is currently in a team with Shane McMahon and despite a few good spots, it is not his best work.
However, the time is currently right and I think his face run could succeed if the WWE puts him against Daniel Bryan or any bigger heel.
#2 Made career: CM Punk 2011
CM Punk has every right to be on this list. Punk is one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time but sadly, he is now retired. In 2011, he interfered in the match between John Cena and R-truth. He cost Cena the match and then picked up the microphone.
He then gave a great speech which genuinely changed the history of the WWE. The Voice Of The Voiceless said everything he had to say against the WWE, and most of them were actually true. And with this promo, CM Punk turned face/anti-hero.
Then, he feuded with John Cena and defeated him in the Money In The Bank PPV for the WWE championship. This match was rated 5 stars by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer newsletter. Punk then remained champion for over a year and this was the brightest moment of his career.
#1 Destroyed: Alberto Del Rio 2012
Alberto Del Rio is a great wrestler who was wasted by WWE. He already has those looks of a champion, (decent) talking skills and good in-ring skills as well. However, WWE didn’t book him correctly.
In 2012, he turned face by protecting Ricardo Rodriguez from 3MB, and then, the Big Show. He even teamed up with The Miz (during his face run) and that time, the fans were behind the Mexican Superstar.
It seemed like he was actually succeeding as a face but the truth is that he didn’t. After some days of turning face, he ran over Santa Claus (Mick Foley) on Christmas Eve and it destroyed all the credibility he had. It may not seem like a big deal but it genuinely became a major cause of fans hating him. All of this happened so quickly that a lot of fans were just scratching their head with countless questions. His face run could have been successful but the timing botched everything.
#1 Made career: Batista 2005
This week’s episode of Monday Night Raw was undoubtedly the best of this year. Not only did we see the return of Roman Reigns but The Animal Batista, too, returned to the WWE. During the closing of the show, he came and spoiled Ric Flair’s birthday celebration.
It is now almost confirmed that we will now get to see the match between Batista and Triple H at WrestleMania. This time Batista will work as a heel in this feud as his last face run in 2014 failed badly.
However, his face turn in 2005 did wonders for him. He won the Royal Rumble match that year and then decided to challenge Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
At first, it seemed like he is going to challenge for the WWE Championship but he shocked the world by turning face against Triple H. This was the beginning of the rise of Batista as a face and at WrestleMania 21, he defeated The Game for the title. That time, he was one of the most over faces of WWE.
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