7 Reasons Kofi Kingston Should Turn Heel
In 2012, we saw a number of big-name WWE superstars turn either babyface or heel.
Guys like The Big Show, Alberto Del Rio, The Miz and CM Punk flip-flopped from one side of the fence to the other, and in almost all cases, it's worked out well for each guy in the long run.
In 2013, it's Kofi Kingston's turn to do the same.
After the success the WWE has had in turning so many of its superstars over the last year, now is the time for the company to see if it can revitalize Kingston's career with a much-needed heel turn.
Many fans have made it abundantly clear that they want to see Kingston change things up a bit, and a heel turn could be what finally does the trick.
Here are seven reasons why Kofi Kingston should turn heel.
7. He's Already Feuded with Most of the WWE's Top Stars
Kofi Kingston has never truly solidified himself as a top star, but that hasn't prevented him from working with many of the WWE's biggest names.
He's had angles and/or matches with a ton of the company's main-event and upper-midcard-level stars, including Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio, The Miz, Wade Barrett and plenty of others.
Because Kingston has been around for so long (since 2008), he's had the chance to to participate in storylines with plenty of top names. Unfortunately, this has been a huge detriment to Kingston.
Anytime we see him have a match with Barrett or Ziggler these days, we don't get excited. We think to ourselves, "Been there, done that."
A heel turn could change that, though.
For example, we've seen Kingston feud with The Miz before, but imagine if the tables were turned and The Miz was the babyface while Kingston was the heel.
Things would be much different then, and perhaps for Kingston it could be a good way to avoid making the fans feel like he does the same thing over and over again.
6. It Would Be Low Risk, High Reward
Here's my take on a Kofi Kingston heel turn: What's the worst that could happen?
Although he's been a great and consistent in-ring performer for essentially his entire career, it's been a very long time since he's truly been over. In fact, you could make a case that the last time he made any real noise was during his feud with Randy Orton in late 2009.
Therefore, turning him heel is very low-risk, high-reward.
If Kingston fails to get over as a heel, so what? It's not like he's doing a whole lot as a babyface these days.
If Kingston does indeed evolve into a solid heel who's over with the crowd, though, that's a huge plus. The WWE will have taken him from a spot where he wasn't doing much of note to an important position on the company's pecking order.
The WWE doesn't "have" to keep Kingston babyface because it wouldn't be a huge risk (especially a financial one) like turning John Cena would be.
At worst, it would be a very small risk with huge possible benefits.
5. He's Accomplished Everything He Can as a Babyface
Kofi Kingston has accomplished just about everything he could do as a babyface.
He's won the Intercontinental Championship four times, the Tag Team Championship three times and the United States Championship twice.
The problem for Kingston is that that's as much as he's going to do as a good guy.
Kingston is never going to jump up to the top of the WWE as a babyface, and he's never going to surpass guys like John Cena, Sheamus, Randy Orton or Alberto Del Rio to become a perennial main-eventer.
There's certainly no guarantee that he'll do that as a heel, either, but with essentially little to no room for advancement left as a babyface, it's worth making him a villain for the first time ever.
Since Kingston doesn't figure to win a World title as a babyface, he's peaked with runs as the IC/US Champion, two titles that he's held a total of six times.
If he wins either one of those titles again, it's just lateral movement. But if he turns heel, at least he'll have a chance of moving up the card.
4. He Was at His Best When He Actually Showed Some Anger
Kofi Kingston was at his absolute best in late 2009 during his memorable feud with Randy Orton.
It was this rivalry that many fans thought would serve as the catalyst that established Kingston as a legitimate main-eventer and World title contender.
And why did we think that? Because for the first and one of the only times of his career, Kingston showed some genuine anger and intensity that captivated the audience.
Kingston's rivalry with Orton is the only feud (well, at least the only one I can think of) where he showed a true fire and passion that we could relate to. It was a welcome change from his typical smiling, happy-go-lucky babyface shtick that we've grown accustomed to.
It was during that feud that Kingston acted somewhat heel-like by doing things like cutting an angry/intense promo and destroying Orton's racecar.
While this wasn't an extraordinary rivalry or anything like that, it did make me realize that Kingston is much better when he's serious, and it gave me the sense that he could perform well as a villain if given the chance.
Heels tend to be angry, intense and serious, and Kingston thrived when he was all of those things. Maybe a heel turn could unleash a side of him that we haven't seen in four years now.
3. He's Stale
If Randy Orton and John Cena are stale, then what is Kofi Kingston?
Kingston made his WWE debut more than five years ago in January 2008, and yet, he's done pretty much the exact same thing week after week from the moment he made his way onto the main roster.
There's been virtually no character development whatsoever for Kingston, who has played the typical babyface for the entirety of his career.
You can put a lot of the blame for this on the creative team, but Kingston has had no real conflicts, has very little motivation and has only put on a few rivalries that were even somewhat memorable.
Although Kingston is a tremendous in-ring talent, he's had a career full of mediocrity because, aside from dropping his fake Jamaican accent, his character literally hasn't changed at all in five years.
We constantly complain about how a guy like Orton is so stale, but he's only been in his current role for like three years now and at least has had different personas/gimmicks throughout his career.
Kingston, on the other hand, is still doing the same thing today that he was doing five years ago: smiling and having good matches.
That's gotta change.
2. He's Stuck in No Man's Land as a Babyface
Kofi Kingston is stuck smack dab in the middle of no man's land right now.
Ever since his forgettable Intercontinental Championship reign last year, he's sort of just been there. He shows up from time to time, loses a match or two and then goes back into hiding without doing anything substantial.
In a way, that's how Kingston's entire career has gone, too.
He shows flashes of brilliance, and he even looks poised to make a noticeable impact in the upper midcard scene every once in a while. Then, nothing really happens, and he flounders in midcard purgatory.
Even when it seems like Kingston is moving forward (like when he's won the IC or US titles), he never really advances anywhere. He stays in the same spot as a secondary champion that he's in when he's not even holding a title.
All of Kingston's struggles with being stuck in No Man's Land stem from his staleness as a character, and there may be only one way for him to genuinely change things up: a heel turn.
A simple character change or minor alteration probably wouldn't suffice. He needs to do something drastic before he's sentenced to a career in midcard hell.
1. He's Never Been a Heel
As we all know, Kofi Kingston has never been a heel.
Other than maybe Ricky Steamboat, how many WWE superstars have spent their entire careers as a babyface and actually gone on to have a ton of success? Very few, if any.
Just about all of the top names in wrestling history succeeded as heels, but at the very least, nearly every single one of them gave a heel run a try.
Don't think I'm comparing Kingston to all-time greats like The Rock or Hulk Hogan because I'm not. I'm just saying that almost no one spends his entire career in the exact same role.
Kingston, however, is dangerously close to doing just that.
He's done the same thing over and over again for five years now, and with virtually no signs of that changing anytime soon, he appears destined to be stuck in the same role for his entire WWE career.
Kingston isn't in a bad spot as a somewhat popular midcard who consistently has good matches, but is he ever going to advance past that level is he doesn't adapt and change? Probably not.
All of the greats needed to go heel at some point or another, and Kingston does too.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!