5 WWE Superstars who MUST turn heel in 2017
Dean Ambrose needs to turn heel on John Cena.
In 2016, we witnessed a number of shocking high-profile heel turns from a number of WWE superstars.
AJ Styles brutalised John Cena alongside Gallows and Anderson in May, kick-starting their dream feud over the summer, Randy Orton aligned with the Wyatt Family, hitting then-partner Kane with an RKO to join the Family.
The Usos attacked American Alpha, embracing the dark side after an upset loss to Gable and Jordan, there was also Neville, who decimated Rich Swann and TJ Perkins a couple of weeks ago at Roadblock: End of the Line, making a huge statement in the Cruiserweight division.
All these heel turns were exciting, and a character switch was great for all superstars involved. However, there are still those on the active roster who are in dire need of a heel turn, but remain faces due to WWE’s stubbornness. A character change is a must for these 5 superstars in the next twelve months, as they have all run their course as a face.
Here are the 5 WWE Superstars who MUST turn heel in 2017.
#5 Dolph Ziggler
For years now, Dolph Ziggler has been treading water as a face, as he has been vastly underutilised by WWE management. Never giving Ziggler a chance to establish himself as a top superstar, WWE have given him opportunities frequently, but they never pull the trigger on a big push for the ‘Showoff’.
A heel turn has been necessary for him for quite some time now, as it could have revitalised an otherwise floundering Ziggler. It seems that WWE have forgotten that Ziggler is much more effective as a heel than he is as a face, with his gimmick as the ‘Showoff’ fitting perfectly for a cocky, brash character.
After a string of losses in recent months, it has to be time for Ziggler to embrace the dark side, as he has floundered as a face for too long now. Ziggler is still wrestling splendid matches, with his recent series of matchups against the Miz ranking as some of the best in WWE since the Brand Split in July.
Considering the fact that he is still capable of wrestling great matches, Ziggler could be the next top superstar in the company as a heel. If WWE still consider Ziggler to be a potential main-eventer, 2017 is the time to turn the ‘Showoff’ heel.
Check out the highlights of Ziggler’s most recent PPV loss to the Miz at TLC:
#4 New Day
The New Day’s transformation into one of the most popular teams of the modern era is an endearing story. Being rejected at first as faces and then turning heel, the trio completely adapted their gimmick to the point that fans wanted to cheer them by early 2016.
They have been faces ever since, and it is amazing that Kingston, Woods and Big E were able to adapt their weak gimmick into an incredibly popular one through pure entertainment. However, the trio have slowly started to grow stale as faces, with their tight grip on the Raw Tag Team Titles for 483 days not helping their cause.
Their catchphrases, comedy and characters have become dull, and it seems that a switch back to being heels would be the right choice. While WWE may want to keep the New Day as faces due to merchandise sales, a heel turn is a must heading into 2017 due to the staleness of their face run.
#3 Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks has had one hell of a year. Making history with Charlotte in a number of high-profile matches for the Raw Women’s Championship, Banks has become champion three times already as a face, even if they were short reigns.
However, some fans (including this writer) have disliked Banks as a face, and a heel turn is definitely in order for 2017. Everything about Banks is arguably better as a heel. Her best work so far in WWE was as a heel in NXT, with her promos, character and matches all superseding her main roster work as a face.
Her gimmick is also perfect for a bad guy persona, since an arrogant, mean, vicious ‘Boss’ is much better than the respectful and humble Boss that we have seen off late.
For the past year, despite succeeding as a face, something has felt missing from Banks’ character, and that has been the edge that a heel turn provides for the ‘Boss’ persona. If WWE want to see Banks’ best work on the main roster, a heel turn is a must for her in 2017, as she can finally embrace ‘The Boss’ character to its full potential.
#2 Dean Ambrose
With John Cena working a lighter schedule and the rest of the faces on SD Live serving as mid-carders, Dean Ambrose has been the top male face on SD Live since the beginning of the brand split.
While he has moved down to the Intercontinental title scene in recent weeks, for months Ambrose was the only face in the main event scene. This has led to a somewhat stale character, as Ambrose has lost that true edge that drove his popularity through the roof in the first place.
In recent months, the ‘Lunatic Fringe’ hasn’t really been insane at all. A watered down version of what his persona could be, Ambrose’s character has reverted to comedy far too often. WWE seems to have run out of improvement for Ambrose as a face, and that has left him stagnant for months.
Ambrose has been a face for almost three years now, it is time to let the Lunatic actually embrace his character. A heel turn for Ambrose could finally let him go all-out as an unstable, maniacal heel who is hell-bent on maiming his opponents, and it would be a breath of fresh air for the Ambrose character.
While WWE may be hesitant to turn him due to the lack of top faces on SD Live, a heel turn is a must for Ambrose at some point in 2017 due to his watered down face persona as of late.
#1 Roman Reigns
Since 2015, Roman Reigns has been the one superstar that has needed to turn heel, but WWE (specifically Vince McMahon) have never budged. Reigns is excellent in the ring, as he has proved as much throughout 2016.
His matches with AJ Styles, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens were all splendid and proved without a shadow of a doubt that ‘The Guy’ can wrestle. However, his character as a face is horrendous, and he is in dire need of a turn to the dark side. Reigns’ booking is just one part of the problem.
Constantly booked stronger than his counterparts, Reigns is Superman-esque in his habits of kicking out at two and never losing clean. Instead of being treated like every other top talent, Reigns sticks out like a sore thumb, especially as a face.
If he was a heel this booking would be less noticeable, but Vince McMahon seems to think that Reigns as a face will ‘draw’, despite a loss in ratings whenever Reigns headlines. Reigns’ poor character is also a big factor.
Showing very little charisma and providing no reason to cheer for him, Reigns comes across as an arrogant, brash bully, despite being the guy we are supposed to cheer. A heel turn would revitalise his character back to the arrogant ass-kicker he should be, and his matches opposing natural faces such as Finn Balor and Sami Zayn would be incredible.
Instead, Reigns constantly feels out of place, a poor fit for the babyface position. Reactions have constantly been negative for the ‘Big Dog’ ever since early 2015, and nothing will get him cheered at this point.
If anyone is to turn heel in 2017, Roman Reigns should be the first choice by WWE, as he desperately needs to embrace the dark side before he is completely rejected by fans, as a face or a heel.
Check out the highlights from Reigns’ awesome match with AJ Styles at Extreme Rules:
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