WWE Stars Who Need to Turn Babyface or Heel in 2022

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2021

WWE Stars Who Need to Turn Babyface or Heel in 2022

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Change is scary, but it's important to try something new every once in a while to see if things can be even better.

    Even if a WWE Superstar has something great going for them as a babyface or a heel, sometimes the best thing for them is to switch.

    Other stars can find themselves running into a rut by playing the same character for too long, or they've tried to turn and failed so badly they should go back to what they do best.

    Lately, WWE seems to not know where certain characters are on the babyface and heel spectrum, but here are some Superstars who should be considered for turns over the next year.

Randy Orton Should Turn Heel

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    Credit: WWE.com

    RK-Bro is a wonderful duo and one of the best parts of WWE television every week, but nothing lasts forever. That is especially true with tag teams in this company, as splits are often the very reason people even get together in the first place.

    That appears to be at least part of the case with Riddle and Randy Orton. They have an The Odd Couple relationship where it seems like they shouldn't get along, but through some kind of miracle they have been great.

    The chemistry is there, and they're both having a lot of fun playing off one another, but it's inevitable they'll break up. The Viper doesn't stay babyface too long before growing restless, and once they drop those Raw tag team titles, he's likely to strike.

    This is all in the service of using Orton as a stepping stone to get Riddle over. The next challenge is for this to transition to a feud between the two, rather than a partnership.

    A heel Orton against a saddened babyface Riddle who is more hurt over his friend turning his back on him than even losing the tag titles sounds like a WrestleMania 38 match if there ever was one.

Naomi Should Turn Heel

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Naomi's one of WWE's more overlooked and underutilized stars in the women's division, which has even been a focal point in recent months.

    At the beginning of her feud with Sonya Deville, Naomi was being ignored on SmackDown and not even given a match for weeks.

    As her frustration grew, one of the things WWE missed an opportunity to do was have her align with The Bloodline and use The Tribal Chief's influence to correct this mistreatment.

    So much was made of Roman Reigns about how The Usos are responsible for doing the family proud and how everyone in this dynasty depends on them.

    What about Naomi? She's Jimmy Uso's wife and part of this family. Does her failure reflect poorly on Reigns' ego similarly to how he acts if Jimmy or Jey lose?

    It would be interesting to see what Naomi can do by turning heel.

    Let's see what she can bring to the table that Reigns is the head of.

Dominik Mysterio Should Turn Heel

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Dominik Mysterio has checked a few things off his list already. He came into the company to help his father, started working his way through training and even made history alongside Rey as the first-ever father and son tag team champions.

    Now what?

    Since dropping the belts, only two things have happened. Either Dominik is getting frustrated with Rey when they lose a match, or they wrestle for the sake of being someone's opponents and the focus is entirely off them.

    The next logical step is for Dominik to get so annoyed by his lack of progress and his father's advice that he turns on him. Then, we've got a story to tell.

    Bonus points if Dominik is able to unmask his father. Nothing would get him more heat than that.

Rhea Ripley Should Turn Heel

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Triple H has gone on record plenty in the past about how Rhea Ripley is one of his go-to Superstars who will lead the company in the future.

    Why is it, then, that after she won the NXT Women's Championship, everything went downhill and WWE hasn't been able to get her fully back on track since?

    It can be argued that's because she's not a heel, and WWE has a much easier time pushing a villain than a babyface who goes by the nickname The Nightmare.

    Her biggest success came at WrestleMania when she was playing heel against Asuka. Then, WWE promptly ignored her (even as champion) in favor of the heel Charlotte Flair, who won the title back, and Ripley didn't recover for a full year after tapping out to The Queen at WrestleMania 36.

    Much like the partnership between Orton and Riddle won't likely survive 2022, it's doubtful Super Brutality lasts much longer. Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. already lost their belts and are in a rut with losses mounting up.

    Sooner or later, they'll break up, and WWE will probably not be able to resist the temptation to turn one of them heel in the process. Of the two, A.S.H. would be more interesting but less likely.

    Also, if Raquel Gonzalez gets called up to the main roster, those two—close friends who enjoy working together—can fight in a different dynamic than when the roles were reversed the last time.

LA Knight Should Turn Heel

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Some people are natural heels or babyfaces. In LA Knight's case, there's a smugness to him that doesn't come across as well when he's supposed to be cheered.

    Knight returned to NXT in early 2021 as a definitive heel. For months, he was one of the most obnoxious characters on the brand, making enemies even with other heels.

    So far, his highlight has been the Million Dollar Championship feud with Cameron Grimes, wherein Knight was so obviously the bad guy that he helped turn Grimes babyface in the process and even made Ted DiBiase a hero, too.

    Lately, Knight's been a babyface, feuding primarily with Grayson Waller. Waller's got the ability to make people hate him, and it works for this feud. However, once that's done, it's hard to imagine Knight's next opponent will do the same.

    He's better off reverting back to his more natural self as a heel so he can keep the arrogance instead of feigning an air of respect.

Bayley Should Turn Babyface

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    Credit: WWE.com

    For the longest time, Bayley was the uber-babyface of WWE. That era ended when she ditched the ponytail, slashed up the inflatable buddies.

    In many ways, it was fun to see her try a new persona. She got to flex some muscles she hadn't been able to play with and become one of the longest-reigning women's champions in WWE history.

    When she returns, though, fans will be so happy to see her that it'll be difficult to maintain her heel visage.

    It happened to Sasha Banks, who is now a babyface, and it's happening to Becky Lynch. No matter what, The Man still gets cheered more often than not. If people like and respect you enough, they're going to cheer.

    "Ding dong, hello" is also a chant that fans could easily get behind and join in on.

    Maybe we can see Bayley keep this more sarcastic side, but have her turn it on the villains of the roster, rather than the heroes.

Mace And/or T-Bar Should Turn Babyface

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    Credit: WWE.com

    We've seen what Mace and T-Bar had to offer as heels both in and out of Retribution. Where's it gotten them?

    T-Bar is only showing up here and there on Monday Night Raw, while Mace has yet to really pop on SmackDown since the draft.

    However, Dominik Dijakovic was tearing it up in NXT and Dio Maddin was a promising up-and-comer who had the guts to stand up to Brock Lesnar while he was on commentary.

    Both of them could benefit from a change of character, especially since there is not a need for four of the tallest stars to all be villains alongside Omos and Commander Azeez. Let's see if either of them can present a challenge to those other giants, could be built up to face Roman Reigns or may just get their careers back on track in general.

Dakota Kai Should Turn Babyface

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Right now, Dakota Kai has a fun character with her more split-personality angle, but she's always made a great babyface, too.

    In all likelihood, she'll move on from the NXT roster sometime in 2022 and be brought up to the main roster. There, all bets are off as far as previous characters go, as WWE often abandons what someone is doing in NXT and repackages them as something else, for better or worse.

    Xia Li went from a brutal heel to a full-on babyface protector with a comic book backstory. Karrion Kross lost Scarlett and was given an awful mask and suspenders that even he hated.

    Kai's safest bet is to just be the version of herself that got her to this dance by being the plucky underdog. It's not the most sensational character, but since some fans only watch Raw and SmackDown, trying to explain her character shifts from over the years will probably be seen as too much work from WWE.

    That means they won't put in the effort, it'll be rushed and it'll flop. But if she's just "Dakota Kai, who you might know as one of the talented women in NXT that many people have loved for years," there's more of a chance it goes over well.

    Here's hoping whether it's a heel or a babyface run at any point that Kai has a great 2022, as she's more than deserving of winning some titles and having some big moments.


    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.