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Worst Turns in Wrestling History


Liam O'Rourke
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So, for this weeks podcast, we're looking at the Worst Turns in wrestling history, and we want to get some feedback on which ones you think rank at the bottom.

Which turn from face to heel or vice versa stands out to you as the all-time worst? You can base it on the conception of the idea or the execution itself, but we'd like to know WHY you consider it the all-time worst.

As always, the best contributions will be read on the show and you'll be credited accordingly. So what's your pick? Is it an obvious one like Austin at Mania 17, or is there one that personally bothered you more as a fan? 

EDIT - The show discussing the Worst Turns in Wrestling History, featuring many of your contributions, is now available at the following link: https://squaredcirclegazette.podbean.com/mf/download/n2pm9r/SCG_Radio_135_-_The_Worst_Turns_in_Wrestling_History.mp3

Edited by Liam O'Rourke
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It has to be Austin's at Mania X7 doesn't it? It made no sense, people hated it [and not in a good way], it made no sense, they decided to do it in Texas and, oh yeah, it made no sense. 

I know the tried to explain it as 'Austin was willing to do anything to regain the title' but still Austin aligning with his mortal enemy, and the guy that arranged for him to be run over and cost him a year of his career, completely shat on the previous 3 years of storyline. Also Austin initially changed absolutely nothing about his act so was therefore still cheered because.. well that's why people cheered him in the first place.

Honestly have no idea why they did it.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Snitsky's back acne said:

Honestly have no idea why they did it.

 

 

I’d like to think it was because by 2001, face Austin had run its course, run it again, run it three more times and then continued to run it while everyone else had moved to a different, more interesting course. All the great momentum and progress being made in 2000 stalled completely as soon as Austin came back in the autumn and started acting like the last year didn’t matter. All the midcard acts who’d been making progress were  sacrificed for cheap Stunner pops, and they were resorting to ever more ridiculous stunts to drag out pops for him (“what if Triple H gets in a car and Austin gets in a CRANE and lifts the car up and DROPS IT FROM THE CRANE, murdering his opponent in cold blood? Perfect!”) I know I’m way, way in the minority with this but heel Austin was a breath of fresh air, produced great moments and great matches, and did more for the likes of Kurt Angle than face Austin did for anyone in 2000, or 2002 for that matter.

 

Anyway, my pick is Randy Orton’s face turn in 2004. I liked Orton before then - the RNN news updates were fun, the Legend Killer stuff was cool, and he had one of the better runs of the period with the Intercontinental Title. Then they have him win the belt and go full sympathetic goody overnight. I just lost interest in Orton, and to be honest, I’ve never managed to get it back. Nothing he’s done since has really grabbed me and it all goes back to the sour taste of that terrible terrible face turn.

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I know I always answer Goldberg but I'm going to say it again. It was the most stupidly conceived idea you could imagine to turn a guy who had far from outstayed his welcome as a babyface and was, in fact, the only genuinely popular wrestler in the entire company. Add to which, he had never shown anything you'd require from a heel. WCW was probably already dead but this was a big nail in the coffin. Shocking for the sake of it and without any thought whatsoever put into "What's next?"

On Austin, I didn't mind him turning. He was rotten from his return in 2000 and Rock was THE guy now. The idea was the problem. The alliances with Vince and HHH and The Rock disappearing for months killed it. They had nothing for him to work with. So a couple of months later, you've got him killing Benoit and Jericho at KOTR.

 

 

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The Austin turn is a weird one, because at the time and looking back I have fond memories of it, and it was such a shock that I woke my mate up and he ended up bursting the lilo he was lying on. Obviously, going by the business, a lot just didn't want it and couldn't take to it. Folk always say they didn't have a solid babyface alternative at the time, which buggered it, but I just think the crowd still absolutely adored that 1998/1999 "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and were quite happy to see him do his schtick to death, even if the product was better without him - it's the complete opposite of when Hogan turned, where the yellow & red deal had run its course.

Rikishi's is the first that comes to mind. I appreciate they were trying something and someone new - and in fairness to big Kish, he was an over act in his day - but if you listen closely you can still hear the air coming out of that room. Rikishi, the fat dancer with the fat arse, now the man that "did it for The Rock". They tried but it just couldn't make any sense, and this in an era where sensationalism often stink faced logic. Of course after that Rikishi was dead because they took away his over act as a fat dancer with a fat arse, now all he had was a fat arse. In quick time, almost realising what a tit they made of the reveal, they had Rikishi thumped by anyone that mattered and then Triple H turned up to save us.
"Bad Man" is a boss theme song, though.

Edited by ColinBollocks
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The worst turn is The Big Show turn. Which one I hear you cry? Choose any of the 987 of them that there have been. When a wrestler turns it is supposed to make you interested in them. Not one of Big Show's turns made me, or anyone else give a flying fuck about the fat useless sack of fucking shit. Vince is supposed to know how to book big units, but the consistent shitehawk booking of Big Show destroys that myth. 

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One that pissed me off more than most was Monty Brown's in TNA in 2005.

He was a well built, good looking hot act with good charisma and promos that got the crowd pumped, plus everybody fuckin loved The Pouuuuunce. Period. He wasn't a former WWE guy, he wasn't someone they cherry-picked from ROH. He could've easily been the first homegrown top guy for them, but they bafflingly decided to put him in Jarrett's insipid and meaningless faction alongside Billy Gunn a less motivated than ever Nash - the guy made current Orton look like peak Austin. Anyway, Monty lost his fire and never regained it. Left for WWECW a year or so later and retired for family reasons not long after. What a waste.

Edited by sj5522
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Tatanka.

He was injured due to getting his arse handed to him in a streak ending battering at the hands of Ludwig & Yokozuna. He returned the following year and had a feud with IRS because he forgot to pay some taxes on his chief Jay Strongbow head dress or some shit.

I’m guessing he must have paid said taxes because he ended up joining the million dollar Corporation within a couple of months, but only after telling everyone that Lex Luger was being paid off by Dibiase. Lying bastard.

Anyway, he went from undefeated baby face, who was easily in the upper mid card, knocking on the door of main event for almost 2 years... to losing his streak, forgetting to pay his taxes on a head dress, joining the corporation,becoming a jobber and the fucking off in less than a year.

Nice one.

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The Demolition/Powers of Pain from Survior Series 88 was terribly executed. The spot they used for the turn with Fuji holding the rope down and Smash falling to the outside is perfectly set up to be the finish to the match. Instead they have PoP vs Conquistadors still going on and the crowd think it's Fuji who has gone face. Only after a minute when I think Warlord helps Fuji up do crowd start to catch on but even then it's still not clear until Demolition run them off at the end that its actually a double turn for the teams and not a face turn for Fuji. That's how i remember it without going back and watching. Utterly confusing and not the way to handle a double turn, or any kind of turn really.

Edited by MungoChutney
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I actually liked Austin's heel turn - admittedly, at the time, I'd have gladly eaten up anything the WWF fed me, and I'd missed a lot of Austin's time on top, but it felt like the act of a desperate man, psychologically dependent on the championship, that he would sacrifice everything he stood for to get hold of it.

The Triple H team lessened it, as did the lack of top level babyfaces for him to work with once The Rock left, but he did great work as a heel, and reverting to a more technical style in some of his matches was a breath of fresh air. All went to shit once he became the leader of The Alliance, though.

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Rusev's recent face turn to turn him back heel simply for the Undertaker match in Saudi Arabia. Also Alberto's face turn to turn him back for 1 week for the xmas show.

The Miz's face turn was bad, he never should never be a babyface.

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Alberto Del Rio turning face back in 2012 was pretty poor. I believe it was down to Ricardo Rodriguez getting a pasting off Big Show and Bertie coming to his rescue. Such a transparent attempt to appeal to the Hispanic audience by having Mexican babyface even though the guy in question was (and still is) completely unlikable.

 

 

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I was going to nominate Demolition/Powers of Pain, but as it's been done I'll plump for The Undertaker's semi-turn during the post-streak Lesnar feud.

It felt like such an odd direction to take the character in, after so many years of being a stoic warrior, to suddenly become a sore loser resorting to low blows and manipulating the ref to avenge a clean loss.

As late as it was to be attempting to turn audiences against the Phenom, I could have gotten behind a full-fledged heel turn if it hadn't undermined everything we'd come to know about him. It just seemed so paint-by-numbers and half-arsed, an inappropriate yet wasted detour that left an unnecessary taint on his persona.

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It was a symptom of a complaint I've had about The Undertaker for a while; they occasionally suggest that he's human, fragile, and actually quite a shallow, desperate man - John Cena goading him into another match, him hiding away and cutting all his hair off because he almost lost to Triple H, for years there was always this sense of him being a bit of a sore loser. So it wouldn't have been too unbelievable for him, post-streak, to become petty and desperate for revenge, but they never fully committed - never really made it clear if he was supposed to be a heel or not.

I'd have to make a case for Dusty Rhodes in the nWo, largely because - outside of one decent promo - it served no purpose whatsoever other than Dusty getting to hang out with the cool kids. He couldn't have been more at odds with the nWo, in terms of their style, their goals, and so on, and would have been a much better fit for Larry Zbyszko's role of the veteran babyface defending WCW against the invaders.

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