WBC Top 5 Series #4: Top 5 Turns
by, 05-03-2012 at 10:05 AM (5127 Views)
What is up everybody! It is time for another edition of WBC Top 5 Series. This week, the champ, RatedATB takes on a new comer to blogging, Tommy Thunder. For those that don't know Tommy, he is one of the owners of EWNCW which is one of EWN's top efeds. This should definitely be a good match up, but, before I get into their top 5's, I want to share something.
State of Uncooked
So for two weeks now, there has been no Uncooked posted. I know last week some of my usual readers were wondering where it was, and when I sat down to write this weeks, I started to really think. While some people may not be happy with the product, I am not one of those. I am enjoying what I've been seeing, and so I've decided to take a hiatus from blogging on Raw. I am in the process of running ICW, a new efed on EWN, working, spending time with my daughter, and just other stuff. Plus I feel like right now is a time to just enjoy the product, and not analyze everything. I promise those regular readers of Uncooked, it will be back. Knowing me, probably sometime between Summerslam and Survivor Series. Until then, keep an eye out for the WBC blogs, as well as the random blog that comes to my mind. Now..with that out of the way, let's get into the champs list first!
Alright folks, let me start this off with a big thanks to those that made me a 2 time Top 5 Champion! This week looks to be a tough list to compile and I ended up with more heel turns than face turns, but what can I say, heel turns are just so much cooler! I wont waste anymore time, so good luck to my opponent, and let's do this!
5. Edge Turns Heel in 2004When Edge broke his neck in 02 it really put a screeching halt to his major push. He was well on his way to the main event and could have been champion a lot sooner than he was. When he came back he just didn't seem the same. He was almost boring to be honest and he really wasn't able to work like the babyface he once was, considering how much he bulked up. As he said in his dvd, he was boo'd in his hometown at SummerSlam in 04 and that was really a precursor to his eventual turn. He finally pulled the trigger by ditching Benoit in a match where the two were defending the tag titles. From there he adopted the crazed man that believed he deserved to be champion, which he did. He went on to become one of the coolest characters, and the most hated man in the entire industry. He had an amazing run, holding multiple World and WWE titles, had amazing feuds with John Cena, DX, Batista, and the Undertaker.
4. Chris Jericho Turns Heel in 2008When Chris Jericho returned in 2007 it was apparent that something was missing. He was doing a return act and it just wasn't working, he wasn't as over as he had been when he left and something needed to change. So what better way to do that than by bashing HBK's face into the Jeritron and turning full fledged heel. He did some dastardly things, such as punching HBK's wife in the face right in front of him. He went on to hold the World Title multiple times feuding with Batista, Punk briefly, John Cena, and HBK himself. He had classic matches against HBK and Rey Mysterio. He even had an amazing run as tag champs with The Big Show where he two resurrected the titles and the division for a short period of time. It was without a doubt the best run of Jericho's career, and he helped carry the Raw and Smackdown brands for 3 years.
3. John Cena Turns Face in 2003When John Cena was named a part of Team Angle for the Smackdown Survivor Series team, I was a bit taken aback. The two had just feuded and it didn't make much sense. However, he was ready for a face turn and so were the fans. He went on to team with Benoit very briefly and had another small feud with the Big Show. The result would be Cena capturing his first title, and becoming United States Champion. This is where Cena really found himself as a character and came into his own. He held the title off and on for the rest of the year until capturing the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 21. He was officially a main eventer and went on to hold the WWE title more times than anyone. I don't need to explain why this pick makes sense. It's one of the most impactful face turns of all time, and was done to perfection up until they turned him into a super hero. He's now the face of the company, and he and the WWE haven't looked back sense.
2. Bret Hart and Stone Cold Switch It Up in 1997Not only was this one of the greatest matches of all time, but it produced something rare and magical. By the end of the match the crowd was booing Bret Hart, the face of the match, and heavily cheering Stone Cold, the heel. The crowd was ready for something new, and that something was a strong anti-hero like Stone Cold, and it's exactly what they got. Bret Hart would go on to lead the reunited and revamped Hart Foundation and became Canada's hero and America's villain. He would hold the World Title once more before being screwed in Montreal and going to WCW, finding some success. Stone Cold on the other hand, would go on to win the World Title in only a year and became one of the most, if not the most successful wrestlers in history. He saved the WWE in the Monday Night Wars, outsold anyone in merchandise, and became the face of the company.
1. Hulk Hogan Turns Heel in 1996One of the single biggest shocks in the history of the wrestling industry. The man that told everyone to train, say their prayers and eat their vitamins had turned on WCW and everyone by aligning himself with the nWo. And to be honest it was more than past due. Fans had been growing tired of Hogan and change was needed. So when he dropped the leg on Macho Man and shot that promo running down everyone and their grandma, he changed wrestling as we knew it. He ran the whole company and became the most despised man in wrestling. He made the nWo as big as it was and had it not been for him the group might not have worked. So it could be argued that it's because of him that WCW became as big as it was and what caused the WWF to change the product and start improving the quality of the show. Whether you like him or not (and I do not), Hulk Hogan made the wrestling industry what it is, and part of that is his run as heel in WCW.
Great top 5 from the champ. Lets get right into Tommy Thunder's top 5!
First of all, thanks for being invited to take part in this. Very excited as I've been thinking of starting to blog for a while, and this is a good chance to get a taste of it!
Secondly, I must concede that my knowledge of wrestling history is sketchy the further back in time we go, so bear please forgive me if I don't choose some obvious ones from way back, but I'd rather talk about stuff I actually have a good deal of information on!
With that said, let's try ranking the top 5 face/heel turns!
5. Steve Austin 2001 heel turn.At Wrestlemania XVII, Stone Cold Steve Austin beat The Rock for the WWF Championship in a no DQ match. Austin beat The Rock by hitting him numerous times with a steel chair. After the match Austin would shock the world by shaking hands and sharing a beer with Vince McMahon, thus turning him heel. During this run, we'd see Austin shed his rebellious character, becoming somewhat of a kiss-ass, pandering and going to great lengths to impress McMahon by bringing him presents and hugging him. He'd go on to form the 2 Man Power Trip with HHH, and they'd hold the WWF tag team titles, the WWF title (Austin) and the Intercontinental title (HHH) simultaneously.
This turn was great to me because of the shock value it served up. Nobody expected it, and everybody hated him for doing it. We had the ultimate anti hero in Austin aligning himself with the man that everyone hated in Vince McMahon. But Austin was very successful during this time too as I pointed out with his WWF championship reign and tag team title reign.
4. Hulk Hogan 1996 heel turn.At the 1996 WCW ppv; Bash at the Beach, Hulk Hogan attacked Randy Savage in a tag team match which saw the Outsiders (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) and Hogan (entering the match later) taking on Savage, Sting and Lex Luger, thus turning Hogan heel for the first time in 10 years. This of course led to the formation of the NWO, arguably the biggest, and most influential stable in wrestling history. During this time, Hogan was arguably the most influential player in the wrestling business. He won the WCW World Championship on 4 occasions, and had several rivalries with the likes of Randy Savage, Sting. The NWO era was a special one, and I don't think I need to explain why. But Hogan's heel turn was an unexpected one, given that he'd been a face for 10 years prior, and he was the driving force behind the NWO and the 'Hostile Takeover'.
On the 2nd of December 1991, The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels superkicked Marty Janetty and threw him through the glass window of Brutus Beefcake's Barber Shop, thus ending the highly successful tag team of The Midnight Rockers. This would lead to HBK becoming the cocky villainous character that in my eyes spring-boarded his career.
3. Shawn Michaels 1991 heel turn
He was paired up with Sensational Sherri, and would become 'The Boy Toy', and eventually, his best known nickname, 'The Heartbreak Kid'.
During this time, he went on to receive shots at the Intercontinental title against Bret Hart in what would be the first ever ladder match in WWF history (in a losing effort), and then against British Bulldog on October 27th 1992 on an episode of Saturday Night's Main Event, where he won the title, making it his first singles title in WWF. He also received WWF Championship shots during this time, against Randy Savage in a losing effort and again facing long term rival Bret Hart in a losing effort. After a spell with cross promotional work with USWA, he returned to feud with Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental title again which cumulated with a ladder match at Wrestlemania X (where Michaels lost) in what is regarded by many as the best ladder match in history. Michaels also enjoyed tag team success during this heel run after being paired with real life friend Kevin Nash, known as Diesel during this time. After accidently superkicking Diesel, and going through a rivalry with his one time partner, Michaels won the 1665 Royal Rumble and went on to challenge Diesel, who was the then WWF Champion, at Wrestlemania XI. Michaels would loose this match even though he recruited Psycho Sid as his new bodyguard. Sid would turn on Michaels the following night after Wrestlemania, and Miachels would become a fan favorite after taking time off, ending a near 3 and a half year heel run.
During this heel run, Michaels would become one of THE villains of the 90's. He was getting some legit heat and was hated by everyone. He enjoyed a great deal of success and had some memorable rivalries and matches. A defining period in his career for me.
2. CM Punk 2011 face turnThis is a recent one that had big implications.
After floating around with the Straight Edge Society and then the New Nexus groups, it seemed as if we'd never see CM Punk fully utilized as a true main event star. Even though he'd already won the World Heavyweight Championship three times, it still seemed that he wasn't regarded in the top tier of the company. However, all would change after one night.
After beating WWE champion John Cena on Raw, Rey Mysterio at capitol Punishment and Alberto Del Rio and Rey Myeterio in a triple threat no. 1 contenders match, it seemed like the tide was turning, but then something else happened. Punk would cut a promo on Raw where he would shoot on the way WWE was run, ripping into HHH, John Cena and even owner Vince McMahon, and echoing the thoughts of many hardcore wrestling fans. He also revealed that his WWE contract was expiring on the night of the Money in the Bank ppv (where he was scheduled to face Cena for the WWE title) and vowed that he would leave WWE after winning the title that night. With the ppv being in Chicago, the crowd was fully behind Punk of course, which completed the face turn of the character. After an excellent match, Punk won the title and proceeded to scale the stairs, even stopping to blow a kiss to Vince McMahon, and leave the building and the WWE with the title.
Of course, Punk did indeed return to WWE a couple of weeks later and went on to become the undisputed WWE Champion by defeating John Cena at Summerslam.
This face turn was remarkably done, and that CM Punk shoot will live long in the memory no doubt. It has meant that Punk has now cemented himself as a top tier star in WWE. He his his own tour bus (a privilege only very few WWE stars get), and has since gone on to become a 2 time WWE champion. He also went on to become the top merchandise seller in WWE, dethroning John Cena's multiple year reign at the top of that respective ladder. Punk is currently in serving a 164 day (and counting) reign as WWE champion, and is now seen as a valuable member of the top of the roster.
A face turn that changed the WWE, and perhaps changed the career path of CM Punk. Having been a very over heel (think back to the heat he was getting during the SES days, and during the Mysterio feud), he's now one of the most over faces in the business, loved by all fans. A fantastic transition.
After HBK returned to WWE, he was placed on the Raw brand, and was followed by HHH so that they could re-form DX on the brand. On their first night back together however, HHH turned on HBK during their trademark DX promo. This was the start of a bitter rivalry that saw both men square off in an unsanctioned street fight at Summerslam (HBK's first match back in WWE after his 4 year hiatus). Despite loosing, HHH would take out Michaels with his sledgehammer after the match. After this, Brock Lesnar, the then WWE champion, was sent to the Smackdown brand, and HHH was awarded the World Heavyweight championship (thus becoming the first holder of the title under the WWE banner). He would defend this title against RVD at Unforgiven, thanks to interference from Ric Flair.He then went on to feud with Kane where the World Heavyeight Championship and the Intercontinental Championship was at stake. HHH would eventually ein out the feud by unifying both titles at No Mercy. Shawn Michaels would then come back to haunt HHH by winning the World Heavyweight Championship inside the first ever Elimination Chamber match at Survivor Series. HHH would then however regain the title at Armageddon, beating HBK in a 3 stages of hell match.
1. HHH heel turn 2002.
As we arrive on January 2003 HHH formed one of the most influential stable of this era in the form of the villainous group Evolution, which consisted of Ric Flair, Batista, Randy Orton and of course HHH himself as the leader. With the group, HHH would be World Heavyweight Champion for the best part of 2003. After dropping, and again regaining the title from Goldberg, he would restart his feud with HBK, facing him in a last man standing match at the 2004 Royal Rumble, a match that ended as a double countout, thus with HHH retaining. He would drop the title to Chris Benoit at Wrestlemania XX, and fail to regain it in a triple threat involving HBK at Backlash. He'd then end his feud with Michaels in a Hell in a Cell match at Bad Blood, a match that is regarded as one of the best HIAC matches of all time. After the title became vacant, HHH would win it back at the Elimination Chamber match held at the 2005 New Year's Revolution ppv. This would be HHH's 10th world title reign. He however dropped the title to Batista at Wrestlemania XXI, and after 2 unsuccessful attempts to regain it, he took a 4 month hiatus to heal from injuries.
Upon returning, he began a feud with former Evolution partner Ric Flair, and challenged him for his Intercontinental title in an unsuccessful attempt inside a steel cage at Taboo Tuesday. He did however beat Flair later in a non title last man standing match at Survivor Series to end the feud.
After a series of unsuccessfull attempts at winning the WWE Championship, including a submissions loss to John Cena at Wrestlemania XXII in 2007, HHH would start a feud with Vince McMahon (blaming him as the reason for his WWE title shortcomings). This would eventually lead to HHH turning face for the first time since 2002, ending a lucrative 5 year heel run.
This was one hell of a long heel run, and one during which HHH won MANY a championship. Multiple World Heavyweight Championship reigns, including his 10th, and an Intercontinental title (unified with the WHC) mark this as HHH's most successful run. He also had some classic matches during this time, most prominently the HIAC match with Shawn Michaels, but also the Street Fight they had at Summerslam 2002, the match with Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XX, the Last Man Standing match with Flair at Survivor Series 2005. All excellent matches.
A very lucrative period for HHH, and this 5 year heel run probably defined his career for me. We got to see him at his best. He was always a better heel for me, and he did get some great heat during this run, winning several titles, and having several top matches.
Well there's my thoughts! Thanks or reading, and let's see if what I said made any sense!
For a first top blogger, a great top 5. Now it is up to you the reader. Make sure to vote for which ever blogger's top 5 you agree more with!