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WWE Extreme Rules 2018: Bobby Lashley and the Most Likely Heel and Face Turns

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2018

Bobby Lashley might not be embracing the audience for much longer.
Bobby Lashley might not be embracing the audience for much longer.Credit: WWE.com

WWE Extreme Rules 2018 could feature the most star-studded card in the event's illustrious history dating back to 2009. This Sunday, Superstars from SmackDown Live and Raw will come together on what is typically known to be the most "extreme" night in WWE all year, looking to settle scores and take ruthless rivalries to new heights.

Although the build to the pay-per-view has left a lot to be desired, a number of the advertised matches have the potential to steal (and salvage) the show. More importantly, a character change or two could be what WWE programming needs right now, and Extreme Rules would be a fitting place for certain stars to switch from face to heel or vice versa.

Several turns have been brewing for a while on Raw and SmackDown, but these three are the most likely to take place at Extreme Rules 2018.

   

Bobby Lashley

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Credit: WWE.com

Anyone who watched Bobby Lashley's run in IMPACT is well aware that his best character work came as a heel, both in the ring and on the mic. He was never given the opportunity to embark on a heel run during his initial stint with WWE, but there was a chance he'd be brought back as a bad guy earlier this year.

Unfortunately, WWE wasted no time in reintroducing Lashley as the same smiling babyface he was before he departed the company over a decade ago. The issue is that he had a short shelf life with that shtick the first time around, and so far, his second stint with WWE has been no different.

His feud with Roman Reigns hasn't had much juice up to this point, but a heel turn from Lashley would make fans care more about his character and the rest of their rivalry. In fact, the former ECW and United States champion relegating to underhanded tactics to beat Reigns would be an ideal way of turning him.

Furthermore, Raw is lacking credible villains, with Kevin Owens, Jinder Mahal and Baron Corbin all being booked to look like losers. Therefore, Lashley is the top heel Raw needs.

   

Rusev

Credit: WWE.com

Rusev becoming a full-fledged babyface has been a long time coming. That was apparent as early as December 2017 when his "Rusev Day" gimmick got over with the audience as huge as it did, but WWE never felt the time was right to pull the trigger on the turn.

It wasn't until recently that he began being featured toward the top of the card and earning the opportunity to vie for the WWE Championship. He has stacked up a number of notable victories over the last month, but it will still be seen as an upset if he manages to knock off AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules.

That said, it isn't imperative for Rusev to walk away with the gold on Sunday. Styles keeping the title heading into SummerSlam is the best bet, but that doesn't mean Rusev can't be made to look strong in defeat against Styles.

In doing so, the Bulgarian Brute can emerge from his outing with Styles as a revered babyface. He already has the fans on his side, so all WWE needs to do is put him up against heels to make the turn official.

   

Kane

Credit: WWE.com

Kane's return to the ring and reunion with Daniel Bryan last month sent shockwaves throughout the SmackDown Live tag team division. Team Hell No has run rampant on the scene by battling The Usos, The Bludgeon Brothers and SAnitY en route to challenging for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.

It has been a fun final run for Bryan and Kane as a tandem, but it surely isn't meant to last and should end as soon as Sunday. While that would allow Bryan to re-enter the WWE Championship picture, it's unknown what would become of Kane if they were to go their separate ways.

Kane has a history of befriending people only to turn on them soon after; just ask The Undertaker, Rob Van Dam and Big Show. Bryan might not be an exception to that, especially if they fall short of capturing the twin titles.

Of course, Kane betraying Bryan and turning heel for the umpteenth time would be the worst case scenario, if only because we have seen it happen so many times before with him. However, you can't rule out the obvious with WWE, so don't be surprised to see The Big Red Monster journey back over to the dark side on Sunday.

   

Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.

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