10 Failed Heel Turns Of Popular Wrestlers

In the wrestling business, it can be good to be bad... but not all the time.

Evil Rikishi

When the timing is right, nothing is better than an unexpected heel turn. Whether it's Hogan forming the New World Order or Shawn Michaels throwing Marty Jannetty through the Barber Shop window, an effective heel turn can be a thing of beauty.

However, not all performers are cut out for the life on the dark side. Rickie Steamboat, Rey Mysterio, and RVD are three great examples of athletes who are so skilled in the ring, there is just nothing to dislike. As such, these wrestlers were shackled to the role of babyface for virtually their entire careers.

Conversely, sometimes the turn is out of a performer's hands. Look no further than Roman Reigns or John Cena for proof of that. Switching a money-making babyface to heel can be a big decision and one that can often cause hesitation. Holding back can result in a half-cocked switch and compromise the entire run before it even begins. Similarly, when a wrestler decides to break bad for no reason, it can feel forced and make the entire turn appear contrived and nonsensical - neither is a solid foundation for a convincing heel persona.

Whether it's undying fan support, hesitation in the office, or poor reasoning behind it, some heel turns are simply destined to fail.

10. AJ Styles - WWE (2016)

Evil Rikishi

When AJ Styles finally made his WWE debut at Royal Rumble 2016, the hugely positive reaction he received in response was enough to instantly tell him - and Vince McMahon - that his jump to WWE was the right choice.

His TNA/NJPW fans were pleased to see him, while the WWE Universe unfamiliar with his talents were quickly converted. Styles quickly proved he was exactly what he said he was - 'phenomenal' - which made it all the more illogical when WWE decided to turn him heel.

With the spectacular Styles consistently churning out great matches regardless of opposition, he's a difficult character to dislike under normal circumstances. To make matters even more difficult, they turned him heel during a programme with the already polarising John Cena.

As such, WWE once again ended up with a scenario where the heel was cheered more than the babyface. The crowd erupted when Styles defeated Cena - particularly at SummerSlam. This trend would continue for much of Styles' heel run and few were disappointed when Styles defeated Dean Ambrose for the WWE Title at Backlash.

WWE eventually learned their lesson and went with the fans, turning Styles babyface post-WrestleMania 33.

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Occasional wrestler, full-time gym rat and lifelong lover of the grapple game. Would probably buy you a shot of Jack at the bar in exchange for witty banter...and preferably more Jack. @MartynGrant88 for more wrestling-related musings and weight room wisecracks!