With Sami Zayn turning heel by saving Kevin Owens then putting him over Shane O Mac for the pin, it would be the third heel turn that I correctly predicted to happen back in May. (A fourth turn involving Roman Reigns didn’t turn out as I had hoped – as everyone thought a double turn occurred after the ambulance match in July.) Four of the face turns also got predicted correctly but three went de facto.
Before I go on, here is the turns that correctly got predicted and why it was needed:
Bobby Roode face turn – for him to make it to the main WWE roster a face turn for this egoistical heel was necessary for a variety of reason – his current gimmick had made him very popular in NXT and the WWE Universe was giving him a lot of sympathy because of his age (at 41 making a debut in the main roster is typically considered a late bloomer and fans are more likely going to cheer for such a player). Almost as soon he made his Smackdown debut, Dolph Ziggler mocked him and that led to a match at HIAC – following the match Ziggler cheap shotted Roode, all but cementing Roode’s face turn despite the fact Roode pulled tights (and virtually caused Ziggler to moon the crowd) for the pinfall.
Future: expect Roode to remain in the mid card for now but a possible feud against hot heel Jinder Mahal is out there given the way the WWE Title being used as mid card fodder in the Smackdown PPV brand. Do not expect major changes to Roode character at this time.
Breezeango face turn – Their comedic heel gimmick with the Fashion Police made them popular and their face turn went de facto due to injuries on the tag team front earlier this year set them up against the heel tag team champions The Usos for the titles.
Future: another tag team title shot is possible but only if The Usos hold on to the titles.
AJ Styles face turn: This turn also went de facto when he cross paths against Kevin Owens for a US Title shot. Style’s heel turn didn’t go the way the creative team had planned, partly because it came too soon after Jericho stabbed him in the back. Since the turn back to face Styles have been in the mid card, however, but had been putting on quality matches.
Future: a possible WWE Title shot given the champion is an heel but don’t expect him to win the belt. Expect him to be in the mid card area for some time until a trade to the Raw brand happens.
Titus O’Neil Face Turn: The Titus Brand had gained a cult following and the turn happened when he started managing a cruiserweight that pulled off an upset of an heel Neville. (Neville has since turned face.)
Future: expect this comedic act to remain mid card and possibly on 205 Live but because O’Neil is above 205 pounds the crusierweight action will likely be limited to managing.
Big Cass heel turn: As expected this one happened a few weeks before Summerslam and just as Cass was getting momentum following the turn he ruptures an ACL and is now out until Wrestlemania.
Future: sadly this was an turn that didn’t go as planned largely because of injury that was poorly timed. Since his injury, Enzo made his own heel turn as a part of a double turn with Neville and I hope Cass returns as an heel himself.
Hideo Itami heel turn: This turn was necessary because Itami’s gimmick had gone stale after returning from an injury and this has allowed him to get a fresh start in NXT.
Future: expect a gimmick change to occur at some time later this year. Itami is expected to make his main WWE roster debut as an heel late 2017 or early 2018, and he is eligible for 205 Live action.
Sami Zayn heel turn: His underdog babyface gimmick had gone stale months ago and the WWE Universe did not want him beat the crap out of Kevin Owens any longer. He was a character that needed a heel turn in the worse way and “saving” Owens at HIAC and then putting him over Shane O Mac for the pin might be the way it happens.
Future: Zayn finally gets his fresh start that he needs with the heel turn.
Below are the turns that appeared to happen but failed to pan out:
Roman Reigns heel turn: everyone thought the outcome after the ambulance match was a double turn. Since that match Reigns has feuded with Cena but also with The Miz and has supposedly reunited the Shield to battle the newly minted heel stable that The Miz had formed with Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas. The heel turn possibility is still out there.
Braun Strowman face turn: since the ambulance match – The Monster Among Men has feuded with Samona Joe (another heel) and beat newly minted heel Enzo to a pulp. For a while he was the number 1 contender to the Universal Championship that was being held by an babyface that creative had no plans on Lesnar dropping the belt for any reason. For now, Strowman is a tweener that could be a face one week then a heel the next for no reason whatever.
Now, with no further ado, these are the turns that need to happen (note that the projected turns that I posted in May that have yet to happen are not being mentioned here):
Jason Jordan heel turn – by all means get this done and over with. Against the Miz, the WWE Universe heavily cheered the heel Miz on, partly because the PPV match was in Hollywood where The Miz is a regional favorite, and that was despite the fact The Miz is a very good heel that can get crowd heat at will. With the Kurt Angle thing happening, an heel turn is certain at some point just a matter of when it happens. Following that heel turn, an gimmick change is certain.
Cesaro/Sheamus face turn: While their heel turn was just a few months ago, their new gimmick has made them popular and one of two things will likely happen: The Shield will disintegrate or Gallows/Anderson becomes the main threat in the tag team division. While I would prefer Shemaus and Cesaro to pursue singles careers the reality is that Cesaro has a bad shoulder and a Raw roster decimated by injuries (just like late 2015) is the only way the creative team will put them into singles.
The Brian Kendrick face turn: main reason this is being put out there is that he was one of the few cruiserweights that didn’t attack Enzo during the Neville/Enzo double turn that happened recently. Gallagher had just turned heel himself and it will be a matter of time when Kendrick and Enzo do cross paths.
Bayley heel turn: her push stalled after an injury and an attitude change may be what she needs to get to the top of the Raw womens division but there is only two people that she can attack – Sasha and Mickie. As a result expect this turn come out of nowhere.
Asuka face turn: The main problem right now is that the Raw Womens Champion is currently an heel that will remain for the time being. Asuka Raw debut got put on hold after an injury – but the WWE Universe wants her to do the first thing she makes that debut is to challenge for that title.
Rusev face turn: It is time for Rusev to get a fresh start, as his hot heel gimmick as a foreign type heel had went stale and creative was booking him lose PPV matches. Give Rusev his Lana back and let him feud with Jinder Mahal.