Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Rhino, Brother Ray, Douglas Williams, Matt Morgan, Abyss, Jeff Jarrett, Generation Me, Sting, and the anti-Christ of professional wrestling, Jeff Hardy; what do they have in common?
These are all men who within a six-week span have switched over from darkness to light, or from light to darkness.
It begs the question; Why have there been so many face/heel turns in TNA in such a short period of time?
Is it for shock value? Are they expecting an increase in ratings? Do the bookers even realize there have been so many turns? I believe the answers to these questions are yes, yes and yes!
I will give them partial credit for the formation of Immortal (THEY). Yes, it was shocking to see Jeff Hardy turn on his fans, and it did get them a lot of buzz on the Internet, slightly increased their ratings and sent shockwaves through the industry.
With Hogan, Bischoff, Jarrett, and Abyss it was more of the same, but Jeff Hardy turning was a big deal. Hardy was even presented with his own custom TNA World Title (Yes, even the damn belt went rogue!).
Then Brother Ray decided he was tired of “carrying Devon" so he turned, then Matt Morgan felt compassion for Ken Anderson after his concussion so he turned, then Douglas Williams turned, then Generation Me decided to turn (sigh). Have I lost you yet?
Don't worry. You are not the only one. Please forgive me if I have gotten order of these turns wrong. They all kind of run together after a while.
I just have one question; what is the point of all these turns? Is it to spark interest in the TNA product? (okay, that's two questions) If so, it is not working. The only thing that all of these face/heel turns do is confuse people.
Say what you want about WWE not turning Cena into a bad guy but at least they are putting thought into turning him. While Cena might be long overdue for a heel turn, at least WWE is taking their time with it, and when they do finally turn him, it will have some meaning to it.
I cannot think of one wrestler in TNA who if they turned into a heel or face it would have meaning or that I would care about. TNA has bastardized face/heel turns to the point that they are not shocking, they serve no purpose, and they do not progress storylines.
Batista was an established character in WWE when they decided to turn him heel. He was one of the most identifiable men in that company one could always count on him to do the right thing, when others would not.
Once his “good guy” character began to get stale, WWE decided to go a different direction with him. When the time came for Batista to turn on Rey (You’re supposed to be my friend!!!), it sent shockwaves down people’s spines.
Here is a guy, who for the greater part of the previous four years, was someone who sold a lot of merchandise and made a lot of money in WWE as a good guy.
When he did turn heel and became the Kanye West of WWE (Kanyista, as I affectionately called him), it breathed new life into WWE.
The thing is, WWE was strategic with his turn. They waited until Batista’s face character became stale and there was nothing left for him to do as a face.
With TNA, they seem to do these turns at the drop of the hat. While some planning may have went into the formation of Immortal, the turns of Douglas Williams, Generation Me, Rhino, and Brother Ray feel pretty random and done as temporary fixes.
They turned main-eventer AJ Styles into a heel earlier in the year, and now he is floundering in the mid card without being attached to any significant storyline.
Was this apart of their “grand design” with Styles? To take a bonafide main-eventer and turn him into a glorified lackey for Immortal?
TNA seriously needs to work on establishing their talent in prominent roles that people will identify them with.
If Dixie Carter is on the side of good, then that is fine but I do not want to find out in a few weeks that she was on Hogan and Bischoff’s side the whole time and everything that happened up until the point of her heel turn was a big ruse.
At this point, the most shocking thing TNA can do is develop the roles of their characters. Face/Heel turns in that company are not shocking, taboo or interesting.
If I go a lifetime without seeing another one, it will be too soon.