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Tiffany’s Take: When Turns Don’t Go As Planned

Tiffany takes a look back at the face and heel turns that simply did not work. Did yours make the list?



Dusty Rhodes Scott Hall NWO Chairshot Edit

Tiffany takes a look back at the face and heel turns that simply did not work. Did yours make the list?

Last week, I talked about why it’s not enough to turn a wrestler heel or face, there has to be a plan, the wrestler has to actually benefit, and, more importantly, the fans have to get behind it. Take any of those things out, and your turn falls apart like a cheap pair of shoes. However, there have been turns that REALLY didn’t work out or didn’t work as planned. Let’s take a look at those.

Johnny Power

This took place in the 70s, which was before my time, but according to the lovely commenter that told me this story, Johnny Power was a SUPER over babyface for the Cleveland, Ohio based National Wrestling Federation, until he briefly turned heel against Ernie Ladd, with the help of Ox Baker, and the fan reaction was so violent that it began a cascade of events that basically killed the NWF. I’m not familiar with Power, but I’m going to guess that the fans didn’t get behind that turn.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan

If you’ve never heard this story, yes, Hacksaw Jim Duggan briefly turned heel, and turned his back on the United States and became Canadian. Fans didn’t get behind it because Duggan was a beloved figure, even if his days as a badass in Mid-South were long gone. However, the story behind it, as told by Lance Storm, of using Duggan’s RL cancer as the catalyst for the turn and his patriotism as the catalyst for the return, would’ve at least made for an interesting story.

Dusty Rhodes

Even though Dusty started out as a heel in the early days of his career, his turn in the 90s and run as manager of the Outsiders did NOT go well, from my understanding. No one could understand why Rhodes, who bled WCW and ran the company for years, would turn his back and join the nWo. Fortunately, it didn’t last long.


I have no idea what was going on with this, as I wasn’t watching WCW at the time, however, from doing research, and talking to people who DID watch WCW then, my understanding is that WCW was losing in the ratings and needed to do SOMETHING to try and get the fans back. I’m not sure just WHY they thought turning fan favorite Goldberg heel and having him sell out to Bischoff and Russo was the way to go. Needless to say, it flopped.


This was my first introduction to DDP and what makes it memorable to me was how ANGRY my boyfriend at the time, who was a HUGE WCW fan, was over this. DDP had been a heel several times in WCW and the tweener People’s Champion of WCW, but his revelation as the creepy stalker of Undertaker’s legit wife at the time, Sara, was not a great introduction for WWE faithful, or a good turn. DDP’s reasoning for the escapade ‘Make me famous!’ enraged fans like my ex, who RAGED that DDP didn’t need the Undertaker to be famous. DDP would eventually turn face-ish, but the horrible introduction and his sudden retirement due to injuries basically doomed the turn and his WWE run. My ex never forgave WWE for how they did DDP and Booker T, and having now seen them in WCW, I understand why he was so mad.

Randy Orton

It’s hard to pin down any one particular face turn that flopped for Randy Orton, fans like him, heel or face, but I think we all have accepted by this point that Orton’s true form is as a psychotic, sadistic heel and trying to make him a babyface is pointless.

The McMahon Family

Much like Orton, while the McMahon Family have played the faces from time to time, but they’re at their maniacal best as the heel owners of WWE. I will say that Shane McMahon’s most recent return as a face and turn into an egotistical heel was quite a storyline.

Hulk Hogan (2002)

This was an interesting mirror image of Hogan’s heel turn in WCW. When Vince McMahon brought back the nWo as a way to keep WWE out of the grip of Ric Flair, his unwanted business partner, he’d counted on the fans embracing the once hot faction in its original form. There was just ONE little problem: The WWE faithful didn’t want to boo the still beloved Hulk Hogan. Not only that, but they also wanted THEIR Hulk Hogan back. Not the black and white, nWo, WCW version, but the ‘real’ Hogan, the Hogan that wore red and yellow.

Unlike his WCW run, where Hogan was up against the beloved Ric Flair, and his own less than stellar wrestling, and needed the heel turn to revive his career; in WWE, Hogan was still revered as the red and yellow superhero of the 80s and early 90s, and no amount of heelish acts, including nearly killing the Rock with an semi, could make the WWE Universe turn on their beloved Hulkster.  Thankfully, Vince McMahon realized that he’d make more money with red and yellow Hogan of old, than the nWo version.

The Rock (2003)

Even though the Rock’s initial heel turn in 1998 made him a huge fan favorite, his heel turn in 2003 went less well. While fans had embraced Rock as a heel in 98, his return as an arrogant, Hollywood heel and screwing over Hogan at the behest of Vince McMahon, went over like a lead balloon. About the only thing remotely interesting about that turn was Rock vs Goldberg, which is pretty sad. Rock would get a pyrrhic victory over Stone Cold Steve Austin, but that was after Austin had been gone for nearly a year after a falling out with Vince McMahon.

The Midnight Express

I didn’t watch WCW as a child, but listening to Jim Cornette, the manager of the Midnight Express, talk about the group’s final years in WCW, as well as as a group, and watching WCW on the Network, made this turn very interesting. The Midnight Express had been proud heels, as well as one of the best tag teams in the business, when Dusty Rhodes, the booker of WCW, decided to turn the Midnight Express face in order for them to feud with the Original Midnight Express, managed by Paul Heyman.

I can’t really say this turn didn’t go as planned, the fans seemed to enjoy being able to cheer for the Midnight Express, but the turn didn’t really fit a group that had been so proudly heel. When they turned heel on the Dynamic Dudes, the fans were ecstatic, though that could also be because the Dynamic Dudes SUCKED!

The Road Warriors

If there was ever an example of a heel turn not only not going as planned, but having some wild, unintended consequences, it’s this one. Even though the Road Warriors started out, and looked like, badass heels, they’d quickly gotten over as babyfaces. However, in 1988, Dusty Rhodes, the booker for WCW, decided to turn them heel, by having them beat the shit out of the heel Midnight Express before the match even started.

However, the turn didn’t work because the fans didn’t want to boo the Road Warriors and, I’m guessing, to try and get the the heel turn back on track, Rhodes booked the infamous ‘Spike’ angle where the Road Warriors drove one of their spikes into Rhodes’ eye. If that sounds familiar, that’s because AEW, headed by Rhodes’ son, Cody, rebooted that angle with Chris Jericho, his Inner Circle faction, and Jon Moxley, to much more success. For Rhodes Sr, the angle lead to his ouster as booker, which lead to his departure from WCW, and left the booking in the hands a rotating cast of people, including the infamous Jim Herd, who didn’t know wrestling and ran off most of the established talent that DID know wrestling. That’s a whole lot of mess stemming from an attempt to get a heel turn over.

The Four Horsemen

Yes, that did happen. For a brief time in 1989-90, the Four Horsemen, one of the most notorious, and influential, heel factions of all time, were babyfaces, even including Flair’s arch-rival, Sting. However, thankfully, the turn turned out to be a ruse and they turned on Sting, and returned to their natural state as heels.

The Usos

This was actually going to be included in the first article, but I forgot. The Usos had been DESPERATELY needing to get away from their babyface gimmick which had gotten stale, especially against New Day, so when WWE decided to turn them heel in 2017, it did make the Usos hot again, but it didn’t make them heels because the fans cheered even louder for them, over the beloved New Day. The Usos officially turned face again by helping Roman Reigns in his feud with Baron Corbin.

As I said in my first article on this, there’s more to a successful heel or face turn than just the wrestler snapping or seeing the error of their ways. There has to be a plan, but it’s clear that no amount of planning will work if the fans aren’t into the turn, or if they don’t react the way the booker expects them to and, as much as we mock them, the fans make the business move and they’ll always have the final say on whether a turn works or not.

Note: I forgot to mention them last week, but I owe a HUGE amount of thanks to @view_raw, @rbonne1, @ChairshotGreg, and @HeelWillMahoney for all their help with these two articles. I also want to thank Richard C for the Johnny Power story that spawned this.

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King’s WrestleMania Rewind: Stone Cold VS. Scott Hall (WrestleMania X8)

Chris King is back with another WrestleMania Rewind, looking at the NWO’s Scott Hall battling Stone Cold Steve Austin at WWE WrestleMania X8 from Toronto!



Steve Austin Scott Hall WrestleMania X8

Chris King is back with another WrestleMania Rewind, looking at the NWO’s Scott Hall battling Stone Cold Steve Austin at WWE WrestleMania X8 from Toronto!

Chris King is back this week with another edition of WrestleMania Rewind, where he is rewatching all the past Mania matches and feuds. This week you’re in for a treat as we look back at ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin vs. Scott Hall at WrestleMania X8.

In late 2001, Vince McMahon bought out his competition WCW and acquired the rights to a plethora of talent including Booker T, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, and the iconic trio known as NWO. Hulk Hogan; Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall were hell raisers, and what better way to make a name for yourself than take out the two top superstars in the WWE The Rock, and Stone Cold?

The NWO cost Austin his chance at becoming the Undisputed Champion at No Way Out during his match with Chris Jericho. Adding insult to injury, the NWO spray-painted ‘The Texas Rattlesnake’ with their brand logo just like they did in WCW. As you can imagine, Austin was pissed and out for revenge against the group and primarily Scott Hall.

Hall would challenge Stone Cold to a match at WrestleMania 18. Both superstars beat the living hell out of each other leading up to this highly-anticipated match for who runs the WWE.

The glass broke and Stone Cold made his iconic entrance, and black and white NWO covered Halls’ entrance alongside Kevin Nash. With the odds stacked against ‘The Toughest S.O.B’ could Austin or NWO prove their dominance? Sadly the NWO  broke up that very night when Hulk Hogan came to the aid of his adversary The Rock after their ‘iconic’ dream match. Stone Cold would ensure the victory with the Stunner. Hall would perform an Oscar-worthy sell over the finisher.

What a time to be a wrestling fan in the 2000s when nothing was impossible for WWE. Who would’ve thought WCW would go out of business and Hogan would make his long-awaited return to WWE?

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King’s WrestleMania Rewind: Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens (WWE WrestleMania 36)

Chris King takes a look at the most underrated WWE WrestleMania matches, and starts off with Seth Rollins battling Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 36!



WWE WrestleMania 36 Kevin Owens Seth Rollins

Chris King takes a look at the most underrated WWE WrestleMania matches, and starts off with Seth Rollins battling Kevin Owens in the WWE Performance Center at WrestleMania 36!

Chris King is starting a new series heading into WrestleMania season dubbed WrestleMania Rewind. Each week he’ll be going back and sharing his insight over underrated matches at the Show of Shows. First up, is Kevin Owens vs. “The Monday Night Messiah” Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 36.

At the 2019 edition of Survivor Series, Rollins sacrificed himself during the men’s traditional match allowing SmackDown to ultimately gain the victory. The following night the self-proclaimed Messiah, berated the whole roster but KO was not having any part of it. Owens quickly became a huge barrier in Rollins’ cause for the greater good. The Authors of Pain attacked Owens with Rollins’ character in question.

Owens finally had enough of his rival’s mind games and torment and challenged Rollins to a match on the Grandest Stage Of Them All. Rollins mockingly accepted his challenge and the match was made official for night one of WrestleMania. Owens came out of the gate beating the holy hell out of the Monday Night Messiah trying to achieve his long-awaited moment at Mania but, Rollins tried to steal a disqualification victory by using the ring bell.

Owens hellbent on revenge provoked Rollins into turning their encounter into a no-disqualification contest where the fight could be taken all over the empty arena. The highlight of the match, was when KO used the WrestleMania sign to deliver a thunderous senton bomb through the announce table. Owens would secure the victory with a Stunner in an incredible match. Despite having no crowd during the pandemic era, both KO and Rollins put on an intense performance under the brightest lights.

In my personal opinion, this was a great feud that helped both superstars in their transformation as compelling characters for years to come.

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