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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

The Ten Count 1.12.14: The Top 10 Heel Turns
Posted by Evan Daniels on 01.12.2014

Welcome back to the Ten Count. As always, thank you for reading last week's column. And here we go…

There were so many really good….er, interesting comments about last week's column I wanted to spend a good amount of time on them. You guys were in rare form in the comment area, must have been all that holiday cheer or something.

Scott Bland says: "First of all….any match I need to watch on Hulu Plus doesn't count in my book" Then stop writing for this site. Or at least stop writing about WWE. NXT is a part of WWE, and if you can not keep up with the product you have no business writing about it. That match was praised on here several times, there was no reason for you not to have known about it.

MY THOUGHT: I did hear about the match and I knew that it was great according to a lot of people on many different sites. The concern is that I don't watch the product on a weekly basis so I wouldn't know if there was a better match in my opinion. That wouldn't be fair and honest in the column by including something that I am not as familiar with.

Stan W. says: I'd rather have a guy be honest about what he does and doesn't watch. There are already enough guys here who pretend to be experts on wrestlers and organizations that they've never actually personally seen (and instead rave about based on reputation and buzz). For the vast majority of the fanbase, if it's on Hulu Plus it doesn't exist. There's nothing wrong with admitting that. In fact, I admire the honesty.

MY THOUGHT: Thanks for sticking up for me. It is the reason why I try to make sure that I am as honest as I can be about my fandom. I am not Larry and the others that watch everything and never will be. I have a 2 year old and enjoy sleep when I can get it.

Ice Dagger says: Would a column of Top 10 NXT Matches be asking too much?

MY THOUGHT: Yes it probably would be since I don't watch NXT. I will gladly publish other people's list if they would like to do it in the comment section.

Mark of Excellence says: I don't see how it's possible to not have Bray Wyatt on this list.

MY THOUGHT: Good choice and was a pretty big player this year but since name didn't cross my mind as a top 10 guy. Thinking about it, he could have been but I just don't see it.

Manface says: If anyone took your football betting advice, they just lost serious money

MY THOUGHT: If you took my real advice and bet the opposite you would have won some good money. That means I did exactly what I was supposed to do. Also, I think I'll pick all the games next year for fun and ridicule.

Hitman 2013 says: Honorable Mentions : Big E Langston, Antonio Cesaro. Sky's the limit for these guys and if given right angles and push, we could see them on this list next year.

MY THOUGHT: Absolutely agree. I didn't watch that much ROH so how good of a promo is Cesaro? Both guys need to hone their speaking ability and continue to show the aggression in the ring. I can see Cesaro getting some championship matches while Langston needs some more seasoning.

Will1225: Goldust should've been on this list even if he had to share his spot with Cody Rhodes who was nothing special till Goldust showed up anyway and The Shield should've been at number 1 (you seemed to think that too and should've just done it instead of giving it Bryan who while great for most of the year finished the year in a bit of slump).

MY THOUGHT: Goldust had a great 2nd half of the year. If he can keep this up he will be on the list next year. Yes, I really thought about being "that columnist" and making them #1 just to spark the comments but Daniel Bryan really had the best year of anyone.

Ice Dagger says: Orton? A Top ANYTHING Personality? Seriously? There are NXT guys with more personality in their haircuts than Orton has in his entire being.

MY THOUGHT: Personality, yes. IT, no. Randy Orton has "IT" and that can't be taught.

Eddied says: Alberto Del Rio had a better year than Mark Henry, Kane, or Cody Rhodes

MY THOUGHT: I think I just don't like his character after his face run. It just seems so stale to me. Just my opinion but I don't think he had that great of a year even with his world title runs.

Vagasaurus: Abeyance had a hell of a year... snubbed

MY THOUGHT: Well played, sir.

Recent Title History Must Not Be My Thing: Wait, when did the Rhode scholars won the tag titles? I must had missed that.

CORRECTION: You are correct I didn't have that one right. They never won the title. Also, you might have missed the grammar and spell check buttons as well. (no worries, I miss those all the time as well)

I shall be brief on the Browns this week by just saying that it seems like no one wants the Browns job. I mean no one. Josh McDaniels basically said thanks, but no thanks. There basically are no NFL coaches that want to even interview for the job. The team is just toxic at this moment, which is why I would rather not see them take a QB with the #4 pick. It just seems like a bad situation for a rookie QB. I would much rather continue to acquire skill position players and worry about QB another year. The question is who is going to be the head coach at the end of all of this, and I have no idea. What a freaking mess!

  • How great were all…..ummm 3, of those games last weekend? Let's take a look at my picks:
  • KC/INDY, take KC +2.5 (ML is good as well) and under 47 (so close, 1-1)
  • NO/PHI, take PHI -2.5 and under 54 (not good and a winner, 1-1)
  • SD/CIN, take CIN -7 and under 47 (what was I thinking? 1-1)
  • SF/GB, take GB +3 (I think they might lose though) and over 48 (not very good, 0-1-1)

    Here are my picks for this week, remember to take the opposite to make your money:

  • NO/SEA, take NO +7.5 and under 46
  • INDY/NE, take NE -7 (buy a hook if you can) and over 53
  • SF/CAR, take SF +1 and under 42
  • SD/DEN, take SD +9.5 (buy that hook if you can) and under 55

    I think Carolina is the only home team to lose so Ric Flair will be happy.

    This week was the official announcement of the WWE Network and I can't be more excited. I had a conversation with some fans about the amount of money I'd be willing to pay and the price is WAYYYY lower than my limit.

    I was thinking if it was $29.99/mo there would have been some questions from my wife. I don't think I would have paid that. At $24.99 I am not happy but I am paying it. At $19.99 I would have gladly shelled that one but $9.99 and I get WrestleMania is insane!

    The only thing I am worried about is the speed of the connection, which I'm sure, will be slow at the beginning. There will be issues with shows and the on demand library at launch. As long as people are patient they will be rewarded.

    They kept saying that the shows would be unedited so does that mean the music will be there? My guess is no since that will cost a ton of money. I actually liked the music they used on WWE Classics on Demand so I'm not that upset at it. Also, I am happy to hear that Chris Benoit will be a part of the presentations as there were some great matches with him.

    I have not been more excited for anything that the WWE has done since the final night of Monday Nitro vs. Monday Night Raw. I might need to take the 25th off from work as I'm sure I'll be awake for a long time on the night of the 24th. As Bart Scott would say, "Can't Wait!".

     photo TenCount_zps6b46e6e2.png

    Here are the Ground Rules
  • The turn doesn't have to be in 1 discernable moment but can be a build to a moment.
  • A great moment as the initial turn is worth extra points.
  • Had to lead to a jump in "box office" results.

    Without any further ado…

    *The Top 10 Heel Turns of All Time *

    #10. {Larry Zbyszko - 1980}

    This is a turn that was brewing for years as Larry was brought into the WWE as the real life protégé of the legendary Bruno Sammartino. Over the course of the next couple of years, Zbyszko was squarely in the shadow of the legendary former world champion. Finally, Larry challenged Bruno to a match on television to see who the better wrestler was. Bruno dominated the early part of the match and Larry got very upset to the point of hitting Bruno with a wooden chair. The turn was complete and it led to some huge gates including over 35,000 people at Shea Stadium. The feud made Larry a star in the industry and was the true launching point of his career.

    #9. {Ric Flair - 1985}

    I know this might be a stretch but follow me here. Flair was a classic tweener in Jim Crockett Promotions over the previous 2 years. He would face the popular guys (Steamboat, Magnum, Dusty) and the really bad guys (Blanchard, Koloff, Landell) so he was pretty much right in the middle. Everything changed on this night in The Omni when after a match with Nikita Koloff he turned on Dusty Rhodes. Arn and Ole Anderson along with Flair broke Dusty's leg and started down the road to the formation of the 4 Horsemen. Flair would only face "good guys" from this moment on until his face turn in 1989.

    #8. {Paul Bearer - 1996}

    Within the first couple of months that The Undertaker was in the WWE, Paul Bearer appeared at his side. The 2 men were inseparable for the first 5+ years of Taker's career. No one could imagine Paul Bearer without his Undertaker. It wasn't until the threat of Mankind came to the WWE in 1996. It seemed like Paul Bearer was making a good number of "mistakes" during matches and costing his man many wins against his hated rival. At SummerSlam 1996, Mankind and The Undertaker faced each other in a Boiler Room Brawl in Cleveland (I know, because I was there). The object was to fight all the way back to the ring and get the urn from Paul Bearer. That should have been the dead (see what I did there) giveaway. It took a while to develop but this moment led to the debut of Kane.

    #7. {Bret Hart - 1997}

    This might be my favorite heel turn of all time. I loved the summer of 1997 and the Canada vs. USA storyline. Bret Hart had been a good guy for close to a decade fighting off all challengers in the tag team and singles division. The country was starting to change and the fans wanted more aggressive, attitude filled storylines and were tired of the "good guy vs. bad guy" stuff. Bret was starting to get left behind as the Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels were taking off so something had to change. That change was Bret turning his back on just the USA and saying all the things he always wanted to say in defense of the Canadian Way. In the end, Bret's turn also laid the groundwork for another turn on this list.

    Flair vs Kerry pt.1 by NGMM

    #6. {Fabulous Freebirds - 1982}

    The Freebirds arrived in WCCW as southern style babyfaces and friends with the Von Erich family. They were held in such regard that Kerry was very comfortable with Michael Hayes being the 2nd referee for the huge 1982 Christmas Star Wars cage match versus Ric Flair for the NWA Title. During the match, Flair was all up in Hayes' face until he snapped and knocked out Flair. He then told Kerry to cover Flair and when he didn't the Birds turned on the Kerry and slammed the cage door in his face. This one move led to the most famous feud in WCCW history and propelled the Freebirds and the promotion to new heights. It is still one of the most famous turns in the history of the business.

    #5. {Shawn Michaels - 1992}

    The Rockers were an insanely popular tag team for years in many different territories from the mid-80s through the early-90s. After a team has been together for that long they just need to part ways both on camera and off. The Rockers had run their course and it was time for them to find their way to singles stardom. On a fateful episode of The Barber Shop the turn of Shawn Michaels was set in motion. Marty Jannetty was put through the window of the set and bladed (which was a big no-no back then). Marty went on to infamy as the nickname for the guy that was part of the tag team and didn't become a star after the breakup. Shawn Michaels became one of the biggest superstars of all time so I think he won this breakup. Vicious and final was this heel turn and those are the best kinds.

    #4. {Vince McMahon -1997/8}

    The heel turn of Vince McMahon in the WWE ( I know he was a heel in the USWA back in 1993) was a slow, slow, slow burn leading to the big explosion the week before WrestleMania 14. The 1st seeds were planted back in March, 1997 when Bret Hart threw Vince down on his ass after a steel cage match. It continued throughout the summer as Bret and Vince continued to get into each other's face. On a fateful night in September Steve Austin stunned Vince to the delight of the MSG crowd (I know, because I was there). This got Vince thinking that maybe something was there, maybe people didn't like him. The bomb was made during the Montreal Screwjob and interview afterwards but the explosion was when Vince was asked if he wanted Stone Cold to be the WWE Champion and he said "Oh Hell No!" At that point the turn was complete and the most profitable era in the history of the business was about to start.

    #3. {Andre the Giant - 1987}

    Hulk Hogan needed a BIG time opponent for WrestleMania 3 as they were trying to sell out the Pontiac Silverdome. The only man that fit that bill was Andre the Giant but he needed to be a bad guy for that to happen. Hogan and Andre had a long storied history including matches in the early 80s when Hogan was the bad guy but not since he won the WWE Championship. Hogan and Andre were great friends but Andre never got a title shot and that ate away at him. Andre made it clear that he wanted a shot and the match was signed. The reason why this was so important is that it was so out of the blue once it started and it did sell out that building and continued a massive storyline over the next 2 years.

    #2. {Sgt. Slaughter - 1991}

    This was very, very big back in 1991. Sgt. Slaughter turning his back on his country was something that no one saw coming and boy was it controversial. Back in 1991, it was the beginning of Operation Desert Shield and the country was completely against anything Iraqi. The WWE saw an opportunity to capitalize on the patriotism and build a new villain for their all-American superhero Hulk Hogan. How about turning "GI Joe" into that new villain? Slaughter came back and sided with Saddam Hussein to give Hogan that villain. This turn came at a big price to Slaughter and his family. There were death threats, there were threats to blow up Titan Tower, and the killing of Vince McMahon. That is how white hot the heat was and it all started with this heel turn. Slaughter about a year later went on his "I Want My Country Back Tour" and it all came full circle.

    #1. {Hulk Hogan - 1996}

    The biggest heel turn in the history of the business, one of the biggest moments in the history of the business, and one of the best promos of all time. This was the moment WCW became the leader in sports entertainment for the next 2 years. It made Hulk Hogan the most interesting person in wrestling once again. Hogan was getting booed like crazy for a while but he was still acting like a good guy. It was the right time, with the right guys, and the right reasoning to make this as perfect as anything can be. Hogan's 1996 turn is the biggest and best heel turn of all time and in my opinion it is not even close.

    So there you have it, the Top 10 Heel Turns of All Time! What is your opinion?

    Tweet Me: @EvanDaniels411
    Email Me: evan.daniels411@gmail.com
    Make Fun of Me in the Comments Section: Keep Scrolling

    The WWE Network is going to have all the PPVs from ECW, WCW, and WWE so I thought that I would do a top ten list of PPVs. I will be starting with the Top Ten WCW PPVs of All Time.

    Until then, remember it's all entertainment and shouldn't be taken too seriously. And I'm out.


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