In case you haven’t noticed, there has been a plethora of babyface and heel turns in the WWE in recent months.
Dolph Ziggler, Mark Henry and CM Punk are just a few of the major names to go good. Meanwhile, Alberto Del Rio and Ryback are a couple of top guys who have gone bad.
Judging by all those recent turns, it’s a safe bet to assume that a star or two will turn at the upcoming SummerSlam pay-per-view.
SummerSlam provides the WWE with a huge stage to pull off a major turn that gets the fans talking, and with the way some things are already shaping up on Raw and SmackDown, don’t be surprised to see that actually happen.
Let’s take a look at which stars are most likely to turn either face or heel at the 2013 SummerSlam PPV.
After dominating the World Heavyweight Championship picture last year, Sheamus has gotten lost in the shuffle in 2013.
He’s sort of just floated around the upper midcard and borderline of the main event scene without any real direction or signs of advancement. It doesn’t appear as if that is going to change anytime soon, either.
The WWE is suddenly loaded with top babyfaces—John Cena, Punk, Ziggler, Henry, Daniel Bryan, Kane, etc.—and Sheamus is behind most of them on the depth chart right now.
Want evidence? After losing hardly any matches in 2012, much less doing so cleanly, “The Great White” recently lost two matches in clean fashion, one to Bryan and one on this week’s Raw to Alberto Del Rio.
Top babyfaces losing a few big matches has often led to heel turns in the past when frustration takes over and nothing other than winning matters. That frustration is starting to set in for Sheamus.
He’s stuck without a clear-cut role, and he’s losing, which he isn’t accustomed to. Don’t be shocked if both of those factors play into a major heel turn for “The Celtic Warrior” on the grand stage of SummerSlam.
Damien Sandow is clearly the heel in his feud with former tag team partner Cody Rhodes, who, ironically enough, just turned face.
But there’s one very important piece of metal that could lead to Sandow following in Rhodes’ footsteps and turning face too: the Money in the Bank briefcase.
Alberto Del Rio is going to enter SummerSlam as the World Heavyweight champion, and if he defends it successfully, a possible Sandow cash-in could really shake up the world title scene.
No, a Sandow cash-in doesn’t guarantee that he will turn face, but it could certainly help him do so. After all, Sandow is undoubtedly winning over fans (especially Internet ones) for his great performances. Like other superstars in the past (Bryan, for example), that could make the WWE decide to push him as a face.
ADR is hated as world champion both because he’s a good heel and because he’s been the champion too many times already, so anyone who defeats him for that belt is going to be a hero in the eyes of many fans.
Should Sandow decide to cash in his briefcase on Del Rio at SummerSlam, then he could surprisingly go from a rising heel to a likable babyface simply because he ended ADR’s “reign of terror.”
The tension between Teddy Long and Booker T was clearly building up earlier this year before Booker’s absence from TV.
Back then, it looked like Booker T might be the one to turn heel on his longtime pal. Now, however, it’s become very apparent that the seeds for a Long heel turn are being planted.
That was never more evident than it was on this week’s Raw when the two former SmackDown general managers clashed in a backstage segment concerning the future of SmackDown.
While there doesn’t really seem to be much of a potential payoff to having two non-wrestlers feud, the WWE has done this numerous times in the past. Long vs. John Laurinaitis in 2012 and the current Vince McMahon vs. Stephanie McMahon vs. Triple H drama are two great examples of that.
Though it remains to be seen exactly where the WWE till take this Booker/Long drama, it certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see Long turn heel at the upcoming SummerSlam PPV.
Which heel turn is most likely to happen at SummerSlam?
Randy Orton was “supposed” to turn heel about a million times by now, and yet, he still hasn’t despite countless opportunities for him to do so.
But will it finally happen at SummerSlam? Any betting man should bet the house on it.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via WrestlingInc.com), the rumored scenario for Orton’s potential heel turn at SummerSlam would see him immediately cash in on Bryan to become WWE champion after Bryan defeats Cena to win the title.
Sounds like a plan.
While the WWE may switch things up since this has leaked onto the Internet, it shouldn’t. After all, this is a perfect scenario to finally pull the trigger on the long awaited Orton heel turn.
It’s going to be really hard to turn Orton successfully because he’s ridiculously over right now, but having him screw Bryan out of the WWE Championship is perhaps the one and only way to guarantee that it will work.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!