My Two Centsss - WWE & NXT Superstars Who Need a Face/Heel Turn, ASAP
By Super Chrisss
Oct 13, 2016 - 10:58:34 AM
Tom Jenner rocks!
What’s up, guys? I know it’s been a while, but I’ve had my hands full adjusting to the full-time student life and, truth be told, it could be going better. Just my luck I had to wait until my final semester of university to take a required Linguistics class and it’s kicking my ass (seriously – if for whatever reason you have the option of taking any kind of linguistics class in college, DON’T!). With midterms around the corner, your boy’s social life is about to take a hit as well. Despite all that, I couldn’t go another day of neglecting my LOP family so I’m pushing everything else to the side for the moment to bring you a wrestling column since apparently I still do those.
I had a lot of topics running through my mind, but none of them interested me enough to dedicate 1000+ words on them. The whole Paige drama? Don’t care anymore. Goldberg vs. Lesnar being a near-lock for a WWE Pay-Per-View in 2016? That’s so stupid I wouldn’t know where to begin. So instead, I thought I would share with you a list of wrestlers – both male and female, Raw, SmackDown & NXT – who I feel are in dire need of either a face turn or to join the dark side. Keep in mind, I don’t have the time – or patience – to sit through nine hours of WWE programming on a PPV week, so I may have missed a few character developments here or there. But I was fortunate/unfortunate enough to catch Clash of Champions, No Mercy, and this week’s Raw, SmackDown & NXT, and here’s who I think stand to benefit the most by taking their on-air person in a new direction:
Roman Reigns Duh. How is it possible they have not yet turned this guy heel? I’ve been campaigning for a Roman Reigns heel turn since January (if not earlier) and it’s mind-boggling that WWE won’t cave-in. I’d let up on my stance if his crowd reactions started improving, but nope. He still gets that 75-25 reaction (because unlike Cena, only women like Reigns, not little kids) and we’re getting ever so close to 2017. When you’re feuding with an evil foreigner like Rusev and you still can’t get the crowd behind you, there’s a problem. When you’re coming to the aid of and teaming with the beloved Sasha Banks and you will get booed out the building, it’s time to step back and rethink the game plan. I know WWE was counting on Finn Balor being the new top babyface of Raw but that damn injury bug, man. Still, that’s not an excuse for keeping Reigns face. Seth Rollins has transitioned into being a babyface. The New Day are babyface. The often forgotten about Sami Zayn is a babyface. Cesaro could be a top babyface, if only he wasn’t stuck in a tag team with Sheamus. Enzo & Cass are arguably the most over guys on the whole roster! They have all these guys who are more over than Reigns (or could be, if given half the opportunities he’s had), yet Vince refuses to pull the trigger. I just don’t get it.
The New Day Since turning Reigns into The BAD Guy seems like much more of a long-shot than it has any right to be, WWE could at least throw me a bone and turn the soon-to-be longest reigning WWE…World…Tag…Team…Champions heel once they inevitably beat Demolition’s record. I’m sorry, but New Day has sucked since turning face last spring. All their edge is gone. Sure, they’ll walk the line of PG every now and then but what made them cool to cheer for just isn’t there anymore. Remember when The New Day ran out following the main-event of Raw and laid waste to John Cena and other top stars? THAT New Day was awesome! But even the little things like The Unicorn Stampede (which works great as a heel move, as they can keep their opponent in their corner for as long as they want, much to the crowd’s chagrin) and the constant cheating/use of Francesca the Trombone helped them stand out among a vanilla tag team division. Now all they do is dance and promote their latest merch. If and when they feud with The Realest Guys in the Room, something tells me Enzo & Cass will be getting most of the fan support, as this version of New Day has gotten beyond stale.
Sasha Banks I love me some Sasha Banks. I really do. But The Boss I knew in NXT isn’t the same Boss who has been feuding with Charlotte for the women's championship since the summer. That’s not necessarily her fault, though. if you watched her matches with Bayley at TakeOver: Brooklyn and TakeOver: Respect last year, you know how awesome Sasha is as a heel. She does things that no other heel – male or female – does anymore. Things like taunting Bayley’s biggest fan at ringside – a little girl – and stomping on Bayley’s hand while The Boss has her trapped in a submission hold added to the mean girl persona Sasha built up for herself on NXT. Unfortunately for Sasha, much like The New Day, WWE would much rather focus on using Sasha to pimp out as much gear as possible rather than giving her a more appropriate character. Mind you, I don’t get why WWE seems to think all their cash cows need to be babyface. Look at how many t-shirts Kevin Owens has for sale on WWE Shop; ditto for Aj Styles and both guys are the top heels of their respective brand! Nevertheless, I hope WWE realizes sooner rather than later that Sasha can become an even bigger star than she already is by pushing her as a legit, HEEL boss. More matches with Bayley, please and Paige (if she ever comes back).
Tyler Breeze Jumping over to the blue brand, we have an NXT graduate who has been misused for way too long now. After No Mercy, I saw a lot of people wondering where the SmackDown midcard goes from here. After all, we can’t keep watching Miz feud with Dolph Ziggler forever, or Baron Corbin in endless feuds with Jack Swagger and Apollo Crews, right? In my opinion, the SmackDown tag team division is stacked enough and a team like Breezango – who has wrestled on SmackDown maybe twice since the split – is not needed. No one cares about Fandango, but Breeze has the tools to be a solid midcarder, at the very least. While his gimmick may be snobby and self-absorbed, Breeze has plenty of charisma to make you like him and cheer for him. I’d love to see Breeze feud with Miz and Corbin, and after that, who knows? Maybe bigger and better things? It’s not like SmackDown has a plethora of superstars on their current roster…
Dolph Ziggler Much like the new United States Champion, the brand-new Intercontinental Champion is overdue a trip to the dark-side. I was 100% sure Dolph was going to turn leading up to or following his SummerSlam clash with Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Heavyweight title, but in hindsight, I’m glad he didn’t, because then we never would have got two amazing matches with The Miz at Backlash and No Mercy (with maybe even a third on the horizon). However, if Ziggler isn’t a heel by WrestleMania 33, I’ll be quite surprised. Unlike Raw, SmackDown has proven to be unafraid to turn a wrestler if the crowd isn’t responding to him or her (see: Carmella & The Usos). Ziggler may be riding a wave of momentum at the moment, but I don’t see him maintaining this height of popularity. I’d be 100% fine with an IC title match between Ziggler and Randy Orton at WrestleMania. Just saying.
TM61 For those of you who don’t follow NXT on a regular basis, you may not have any idea who TM61 (gamers – it’s NOT a Pokemon move!). Shane Thorne and Nick Miller, the former The Mighty Don’t Kneel, arrived in NXT several months ago and…wrestled. And wrestled. That’s pretty much all they’ve done during that time. Why is that a bad thing? Because we haven’t been given a reason to care about them. We, the audience, know next to nothing about Thorne & Miller. We WANT to know what their characters are like, what they stand for, if they’re funny – but we never get a chance to. NXT is usually very good at establishing characters and investing the audience in storylines, which is why I’m surprised by the lack of build-up for TM61. Unlike The Authors of Pain, who as their manager Paul Ellering tells us, “That’s all we need to know” about them, we actually NEED to know more about TM61. As former LOP columnist TripleR can attest in his NXT house show review from last weekend (which you can check out HERE), it’s hard for TM61 to get over since their characters are basically non-existent. I say turn them heel and see what they can do with that.
There you have it, folks. My personal selection of who could benefit the most by growing a new pair of wings. Is there anyone you would add to the list (no Chris Jericho)? Anyone you disagree with? To quote Becky Lynch (oddly enough), “Come at me, bro!”.
Shining a Light on the CF
While the main page of LOP has some of the best columnists on the interweb, all of these writers come from a sub-forum known as the Columns Forum. Here, aspiring writers - both new and old - hone their skills in hopes of one day getting called up (or back up) to the LOP main page. Consider it the NXT of LOP, if you will.
This week, I want to shine the spotlight on a fairly new writer named ColdKnowledge. In his latest column, CK discusses the possibility of WWE booking a female Royal Rumble match. Check it out HERE
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