The Opinion Desk: WWE Heel/Face Paradigm Shift

Joseph DanielCorrespondent IMay 13, 2009

It's time for a shakeup in WWE. Yes I know that the Draft was few weeks ago and the changes were pretty substantial.

I'm talking about a revelation in characters. I'm talking about taking wrestlers we may love or hate and turning them backwards. Make the fan favorites evil SOBs, make the heels fan gods.

It's time for some wrestlers to step out and strut their stuff in a new light. And some of them may just shoot to the top or discover new forms of success.

This is the paradigm shift.

Three wrestlers from Raw, three from Smackdown, and three (4) from ECW. One face turning heel, one heel turning face, and one character who is better in between for each brand.

Lets begin.


Turn Them Heel: Mr. Kennedy

So WWE tried to turn Kennedy face and if we were honest it just doesn't work for him. Kennedy is best being a hateful, cocky, some of a b**** who likes to mess with the fans.

Let him do what he does best and turn him heel once again. Kennedy wasn't even a face for a few months and quickly he felt stale to me.

His best work in his career so far has been done as a bad guy and I don't think he was quite ready to be embrace by the fans. With a face heavy Raw and an injured Matt Hardy a heel Kennedy could do wonders for Raws mid-card right now.

And remember that MVP/Kennedy feud I talked about in my last article. A heel Kennedy against a face MVP would help elevate both men's characters.

With the right booking making Kennedy bada** again could be just the jolt he needs. If he stays uninjured of course.

Turn Them Face: Ted DiBiase

Now let me start by saying I don't think this should happen anytime soon. If a face turn for Ted was coming I wouldn't start it until somewhere around survivor series.

However I do think this would be a good move for Ted. Eventually you have to believe that Legacy won't last for ever and between Ted and Cody, Ted is probably better suited to be the up and coming star.

Much like Batista I feel that a break up and feud with Randy Orton would do wonders for DiBiase. Not only would it elevate Ted but much like Morrison vs. HBK it would be a good way for Ted to differentiate himself from the man he draws numerous comparisons to.

Plus I feel a face Ted would fit the current scheme of WWE. They need new young faces to battle an uprising of young heels (especially since there a lot still waiting in developmental)

Finally it would be a good test for Ted. If he can get good pops and maintain a solid presence then it could show WWE he's ready for the big time.

So while a face turn may not be in the cards for Ted immediately perhaps WWE should consider the move later down the road.

Keep The Balance: MVP

When done correctly there comes along a wrestler every now and again who can walk the line between face and heel. This generations wrestler is MVP.

Though he still channels a lot of what made his character famous (cockiness and flash) MVP has managed to amass himself a decent following already.

If WWE can take his character more seriously (The View? Seriously?!) and if MVP can properly balance a rugged ring style with a smarta** face character then MVP could become this generations Jericho (though admittedly I don't think of him anywhere near as good but who knows down the road)

Besides it would be entertaining to watch Orton smart talk guys like Kennedy and Orton and still back it up in the ring.

MVP could very well be the one to watch on RAW the next year.



Turn Them Heel: Finlay

Seriously it is time for Finlay to go back to kicking a** and taking names. He's definitely not  doing it as a face.

It's amazing to think that even without Hornswoggle, Finlay is still being treated as a joke. When someone can't win a match without the help of a foreign object there is something horribly wrong.

Finlay needs to regroup and return to the basics. With a heel makeover Finlay could orchestrate a hostile takeover of ECW and maybe in the process taste his first "World" title gold in the ECW title.

He could also engage in entertaining feuds with Christian, Hurricane, Evan Bourne, and help debuting fresh faces like Sheamus O' Shaunessey from FCW.

It's time for Finlay to regain his edge and turn back into the tough bastard we all once knew him as.

Turn Them Face: Tyson Kidd (And DH Smith)

Ok so I am cheating a little bit with this one as it's actually two and they just debuted as heels but I would love to see them as faces somewhere down the road.

While the prospect of a heel Hart Foundation battling the Colons & Cryme Tyme is tempting I am more excited about potential feuds with Legacy and maybe a reunited World Greatest Tag Team.

It's about time we went back to great old school tag team wrestling and Tyson/DH would bring that in spades.

It has been forever since we heard about the potential of a New Hart Foundation. It seems wrong to finally debut them and keep them as heels forever. Let the fans savor in the moment of a next generation of the Hart legacy.

Tyson Kidd and DH would make a great face team with Tyson playing the Bret to DH's Anvil. Maybe, just maybe if they catch on they can even be the rebirth of tag team wrestling in WWE (yes that's a little sarcasm)

But regardless a face team run would be great for both Tyson and DH and would help elevate them much like the heel team run elevated Miz and Morrison. Of course if they never do turn face they could have a great heel run as well.

Just a suggestion.

Keep The Balance: Christian

With ECW having a smaller roster it's hard to say that one particular face or heel would be the best fit at the top for the brand right now.

They really need someone who can play both a heel and face in order to keep the balance at the top of the card and give someone on the undercard long enough to grow into a main event player.

Christian is perfect as he has played both heel and face over the course of his career and both times with tremendous success. He can effortlessly balance both sides with great ring performances and never ending charisma.

Besides Christian deserves a long run as champion and with it he can feud Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, Big Zeke, Tyson Kidd, Finlay (if he turns heel), and Vladimir Kozlov as a face.

Or he can feud Hurricane, Evan Bourne, Tommy Dreamer and any newcomers as a heel.

That type of balance is desperately needed on a roster as thin as ECW's.



Turn Them Heel: CM Punk

While Punk has done admirably as a face so far in WWE anyone who has followed his career closely know that some of Punks most memorable moments came as a heel.

Now it might be tricky considering Punk is not the biggest guy in the world but if anyone can make it work it's CM Punk. It would even be better if he managed to amass a following on the blue brand to back him up. (Mike Knox for instance)

Now I'm sure like Ted, Punk won't turn anytime soon since WWE will probably take every advantage of his straightedge character with their PG rating but even as a heel Punk would be a new breed of villain focused more on principles than wild antics.

Plus is there anyone else besides me who is drooling over the possibilities of feuds with Punk and Mysterio, Punk and Hardy, or Punk and Morrison part 2. Those would be Blockbuster in the ring.

Some say Punk is stale as a face and honestly at times he is. But if WWE turns him face Punk might just get a lot more interesting.

Turn Them Face: Edge

Now this one will probably get a lot of controversy but I feel like it's time for a shift in Edges character.

Edge has exhausted pretty much every avenue he can currently take as a heel and I am getting to the point where I can only take so much of his ultimate opportunist character.

Don't get me wrong Edge is an awesome heel character but he has been the same awesome character for Nine title reigns. It's time for him to take one as a face.

Edge turning face even if short lived would be great. We already know Edge can go on the mic and he could work the crowd into a frenzy regardless of what side he's playing.

Besides there is one man currently on the Smackdown roster who Edge would have an amazing feud with; Chris Jericho.

An Edge/Jericho feud would easily carry Smackdown through the summer and beyond. But even if WWE chooses another route this would be a great opportunity for Edge to elevate guys like Ziggler, Benjamin, and Punk (if he turns heel) to help face heavy Smackdown.

Edge nees a fresh edge (pun intended) to his character so it might be time for people to stop pretending they hate him and admitting they love him (figuratively speaking)


Keep The Balance: Undertaker

Undertaker has always been able to wrestle anyone and make it work. Much like Christian. Now is no better time for Undertaker to use that talent to Smackdown's advantage.

With an influx of young stars both heel and face Undertaker will be needed to elevate young stars left and right.

Fresh feuds against guys like CM Punk, Morrison, Umaga, Mike Knox, hell even Ziggler would be a great way to make way for the future.

Undertaker effortlessly walks the line between face and heel and there seems no reason to change that anytime soon.

Keep him on the line Taker. There is no better way to use Taker than that.

There you go. The heel/face paradigm shift. Several guys who need to freshen up their character or return to what was making them successful.

I also stressed the need for guys who could walk the line between both heel and face to help balance the rosters on both sides of their rosters.

This shift helps both to create new feuds or freshen up old ones. It is a way to definitely shake things up. Feel free to share your opinions. I would love to hear if anyone else thinks someone should shift.

That's it for now. The list shop will be open again soon so make sure to check by when you can.

~Joe D


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