WWE Heel-Turn Index: Cody Rhodes and Other Current Babyfaces Likely to Turn Heel
WWE is currently booking a live-action version of musical chairs when it comes to babyface and heel turns. Randy Orton, Triple H, Ricardo Rodriguez, Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Mark Henry have all changed their babyface or heel distinction in recent weeks.
A caveat of WWE's corporation storyline features WWE power couple Triple H and Stephanie McMahon putting pressure on wrestlers to work within the system, corrupt as it may be.
This has already resulted in a change in character for The Big Show, who was forced to punch Daniel Bryan in the face at the conclusion of last week's Raw.
In addition to the main storyline, a handful of other WWE Superstars and Divas appear as if they may be on their way to respective heel turns.
All this change calls for a heel-turn index. This index will measure possibilities of heel turns by assessing storyline progression, booking and heel hints that seem to be indicators of betrayal.
Measurements will range from lukewarm to hot based on the aforementioned criteria.
5. Natalya (Heel-Turn Index: Lukewarm)
Natalya is a babyface by default, but fans have clearly sided with AJ, who represents an everywoman and an antiestablishment Diva.
AJ's promo two weeks ago on Raw was well-received by the live crowd, and it drew the line in the sand in the Divas division.
Unfortunately, AJ was the only one on her side of the line.
By sheer association, Natalya may begin to slowly transform into a heel. Sure, Natalya paid her dues and is not as easy of a target as, say, The Bella Twins, but she was accused of being given opportunities through family ties. Natalya sided with the Divas following their gang attack on AJ this past week on Raw.
It helps that Natalya will be fighting for herself in a Fatal 4-Way match come Night of Champions, but her use of shady tactics to win the championship should not be considered surprising.
4. Big Show (Heel-Turn Index: Very Warm)
Why not? Big Show has turned heel so many times it's a surprise he hasn't suffered an Achilles injury. Big Show's on-cue crying dominated Raw to ludicrous proportions. When all was said and done, he made the unpopular decision to side with the McMahon family, against his will, and knock out Daniel Bryan.
Given the backstory of Big Show's iron-clad contract somehow being voidable, expect Show to act as a disgruntled heel, doing what he has to do to keep his job.
Show should still garner some support from fans as The Corporation continues to bully him into doing what it asks. And given Show's history of turning heel or babyface, don't expect this particular heel turn to last past December.
3. Kane (Heel-Turn Index: Very Warm)
In all likelihood, he was dragged off to a compound. By the time he comes back, his character will most likely be altered with the Big Red Machine likely becoming a convert to the Wyatt Family.
Kane's character can be even scarier if he grew out a beard underneath that mask and joined the Wyatts in their designed creepiness.
The Kane character has proved to be flexible, often overachieving when given preposterous material to work with.
An alliance with the Wyatt Family could make Kane legitimately scary for the first time since he removed his mask.
2. Ricardo Rodriguez (Heel-Turn Index: Hot)
There's no way WWE has long-term plans to make Ricardo Rodriguez a babyface. In addition to the fact that RVD never really needed a manager, the babyface manager has always been awkward.
It's not very becoming of a babyface to get help winning matches from outside interference. And as the rivalry between Rodriguez and Alberto Del Rio rages on, expect a reunion of sorts at Night of Champions.
Del Rio and Rodriguez need each other, still. Each character is too one-dimensional in his current position to be effective. If and when Rodriguez goes crawling back to Del Rio, the charismatic duo will have earned a much-needed boost in relevance.
1. Cody Rhodes (Heel-Turn Index: Hot)
The hints surrounding Cody Rhodes coming back to support The Corporation are almost impossible to ignore. Rhodes' marriage was brought into a storyline to underscore the importance of having financial support for his family.
As such, Rhodes' firing will end upon his return to the WWE, as a member of The Corporation.
Like Big Show, Rhodes will be forced into a position where he must provide for himself and his family through questionable means. Rhodes came very close to defeating WWE champion Randy Orton.
WWE's emphasis on Rhodes prior to his exit was designed to create sympathy, thus making a subsequent heel turn that much more despicable.