WWE: R-Truth and 9 Other Wrestlers That Work Better as Heels Than as Babyfaces
It is incredible that a simple change in character from lovable rapper to delusional psychopath can transform a career and prevent R-Truth from winding down his wrestling career in forgettable fashion.
The IWC exploded in outrage when R-Truth was scheduled to compete with John Cena and The Miz for the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules.
A few weeks later, wrestling fans are now waiting with anticipation to witness Truth's first pay-per-view main event in a title match with Cena.
This transition has come about due to Truth's heel turn and the man formerly known as K-Kwik is not the only wrestler that functions better in the role of a heel.
It is well-known in the wrestling business that to draw top money as a babyface, it is necessary to have had a good heel run as John Cena, The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin will testify.
However, there are some wrestlers that are clearly better suited to the "dark side" and struggle to get over as babyfaces.
There are also wrestlers that engender huge support as faces, but are substantially more entertaining as heels.
The following is a list of 10 WWE wrestlers, past and present, that enjoyed the best runs of their careers as heels.
The WWE have been trying to turn Orton into the next "Stone Cold" Steve Austin for some time and they have been partially successful.
Orton is very popular with the fans despite his somewhat evil tendencies and his "anti-hero" characteristics.
But the "Viper" does not have the charisma or the promo skills to match the "Texas Rattlesnake" and his moveset and persona are much better suited for a heel.
Orton has been much more memorable as a heel enjoying hugely entertaining feuds with John Cena, Triple H and the Undertaker.
The sadism behind Orton's patented punt has lost its importance in Orton's role as a top face.
Orton still shows a sadistic side, but he cannot afford to engage in too many sadistic acts or he risks turning heel again.
But Orton was not only an entertaining heel as the cold-blooded vicious "Apex Predator".
The "Legend Killer" character where he portrayed an arrogant, narcissistic, ultra-talented wrestler established a young Orton as a main-event contender.
His role in Evolution also developed his heel skills and his often one-dimensional mic skills are better adapted for a heel persona.
Orton also has an evil look and he was the perfect foil for the "Superman" character of John Cena.
The younger fans could really believe that Orton had legitimate problems controlling himself and that he was capable of vile acts.
There is a potential for Orton to turn heel again if Chris Jericho returns and calls out Randy for punting him off television.
A feud with a returning Y2J could re-establish Orton as a super-heel.
John Bradshaw Layfield was a heel for the majority of his WWE career with the exception of a tag team babyface run with Ron Simmons as the APA.
Bradshaw was a beer-swilling, card-playing, bar-frequenting big man who was not expected to ever break out of tag team wrestling and ever draw money as a singles star.
But when he became the arrogant, superior and self-satisfied millionaire, JBL, his career transformed and he became the longest-reigning WWE Champion in SmackDown history.
He had just the look and the personality and the mannerisms to make the crowd hate him.
Even his drawling voice made him into a hated figure that memorably feuded with Eddie Guerrero, John Cena and Rey Mysterio.
JBL was infinitesimally better as a heel and he became one of the greatest heel color commentators in wrestling history.
His recent return out of nowhere still drew heat from the crowd which demonstrates how unpopular he was during his run.
Triple H will always be hugely popular with the fans due to the longevity of his career and his legendary status as a 13-time World Champion.
But it was his run as a heel during the "Attitude Era" when he feuded with Austin, Rock, Undertaker, Foley and Jericho that he truly cemented his "Hall of Fame" legacy.
Triple H could be brutal and the sledgehammer that he brought to the ring only emphasized the fact that the "Game" was capable of inflicting pain.
He also had a pivotal role to play in three memorable heel factions and helped establish their unpopularity.
Degeneration-X, the McMahon-Helmsley Faction and Evolution all utilized Hunter Hearst Helmsley as the leader that would use the other group members to secure his own goals.
His skills as a heel helped establish Batista and Randy Orton as main event talent with Batista's incredibly successful babyface run largely due to his feud with the "King of Kings."
The "Cerebral Assassin" enjoyed his best years as a heel and many fans missed that side of Triple H while he was pandering to the crowd and flogging merchandise in the final run of DX.
Edge was a popular babyface, but his feuds with Chris Jericho and Kane during his last run with the company did not bring out the best in the "Rated R Superstar."
His sleazy and arrogant character was someone that the fans could not understand and Edge may go down as one of the most hated characters in wrestling history.
His real-life personal problems with Matt Hardy over his affair with Lita turned Edge into a super-villain that would be jeered out of the building every night.
It was instrumental for his career and when he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on John Cena, his legacy was assured.
His feud with Cena was legendary and he has since worked with all the top babyfaces in the company.
Edge's moniker of the "Ultimate Opportunist" fitted in perfectly in with his character who would seize the moment to cash in Money in the Bank not once but twice, and who would often cheat to win.
He could be a cowardly heel like The Miz or Alberto Del Rio but he also had a sadistic side as was proved with his various "Conchairtos" over the years.
Edge also cut so many brilliant promos over the years as a heel but his mic skills suffered when he was a face as has been the case for so many others.
Edge will be remembered as a legend but there is no doubt that he would not have won 11 world titles as a "whitemeat babyface."
Ric Flair revolutionized the wrestling business in so many ways. He formed the first-ever wrestling stable in the legendary Four Horsemen and he was the first wrestler to strut his stuff so effectively on the microphone.
In the NWA, Flair would give so many iconic interviews, coining so many timeless catchphrases and paving the way for the future stars such as The Rock to follow in his footsteps.
This was Flair in his prime feuding against such legends as Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat and Sting. These rivalries were well-constructed and Flair's interviews added so much.
Well-known Flair trademarks such as, "To be the man, you gotta beat the man," and, "Shut up, fat boy!" came about at this time and this was also when the Nature Boy started referring to himself as the "wheeler-dealing, kiss-stealing, jet-flying, limousine-riding son of a gun!"
He lived his gimmick as an arrogant millionaire that lived the life on the road and it inspired so many countless unforgettable moments.
He was the best mic man of all time and never was this more evident than his "Nature Boy" character of the 1980s where he was the wrestling business' top heel.
One of the best promo men of the modern era, Jericho was able to hold his own as a babyface competing with the Rock and Austin during the "Attitude Era."
Jericho was one of the highlights of the WWE in those days providing comedy in abundance as Y2J never had problems making people laugh.
But it was the more psychotic and sadistic incarnation of his character that brought out the best in Jericho.
Jericho was the top heel in the WWE from 2008-10 and provided some extremely entertaining feuds with Shawn Michaels in particular.
The arrogance and the narcissism that he was trying to portray was extremely convincing and the intellect with which he insulted the crowd led to one of the most convincing heel turns of all time.
The change in expression during HBK's appearance on the "Highlight Reel" started what was arguably Jericho's best run with the company as he was involved in most of the memorable feuds of the PG era.
Batista was a babyface whose popularity was on a par with John Cena's but when he turned heel, he earned much respect and admiration from the "hard-to-please" Internet Wrestling Community.
Those fans had previously criticized Batista for his limited in-ring ability and the lack of depth to his character.
In 2009, Batista was one of the characters that most people thought would be impossible to turn heel.
But after he turned on his best friend Rey Mysterio, the "Animal" would start a run that included some of the best work of his career.
He finally found a voice and definitely delivered the best promos of a career that will not be remembered for charisma.
His final feud with John Cena made for some surprisingly good matches and an interesting storyline.
Batista's heel run allowed him to become the complete package and, in my opinion, Batista should continue to play a heel if and when he returns.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Jake Roberts portrayed a rebel that was anti-establishment, and he pioneered the concept of the anti-hero in professional wrestling before Austin broke into the business.
His many promos and interviews always appeared real and natural, which was essential in a world where the business was viewed as reality.
He had a unique way of expressing himself, and he could get himself over as a "bona fide sicko," in the words of Gene Okerlund, with surprising and disturbing ease.
His in-ring psychology was a well-versed art form, and in the words of Ricky Steamboat, he was able to break it down into an "exact science more than anyone."
Every feud that he was involved in seemed important and was impossible to look away from.
Andre the Giant, Ted DiBiase, Randy Savage and Rick Rude were all involved in memorable feuds with the Snake that produced countless unforgettable moments.
But it was his snake-like persona and his intense promos that made Roberts such a hit in the WWE.
Christian's recent heel turn will establish him as a legitimate main eventer on SmackDown far longer than his sometimes generic face character would have done.
Christian has always been able to rile the crowd dating back to the days of E and C and Christian's run with Tyson Tomko as his bodyguard.
Christian has Edge's ability to look smug and arrogant and his impressive mic skills are far more evident as a heel than as a fan favorite.
SmackDown needs heels and Christian's turn makes it more than likely that "Captain Charisma" will not retire as a one time World Heavyweight Champion.
R-Truth is very convincing at portraying a demented and psychopathic man desperate to overcome a non-existent "conspiracy" against him.
He has elevated himself to main event status which he could never have achieved in his previous incarnation as a rapper that danced his way to the ring.
Even R-Truth's rambling promo technique now is the perfect fit for his new character and his habit of muttering to himself further establishes his mental failings.
He was able to appear violent and dangerous in his destruction of John Morrison and Rey Mysterio and he is probably the most over heel in the company right now.
His PPV main event date with John Cena can only lead to more good things in the rejuvenated career of Ron Killings.