The WWE Draft has come and gone and with it hopefully comes some fresh matchups. Usually every time there’s a draft, you can count on at least one character change.
We have already witnessed that with Shotzi turning heel on Smackdown last week. I think the matches between Shotzi and Sasha Banks will be excellent. Shotzi is somebody I thought was a natural babyface that shouldn’t turn heel but then again, I also thought the same about Sami Zayn and he’s been killing it as a heel for four years now. So it got me thinking. What realistic possibilities do we have to turn Babyface or Heel in 2022? I have come up with ten possible Heel and Face turns for the end of this year in the final thoughts and then as we head into 2022. I avoided picking Sasha Banks because based on her Big Show-like history of turns, she’ll probably be heel and face at some point in 2022. Let’s get to it.
Superstars Likely to Turn Heel
#5: The Viking Raiders
Ever since The Viking Raiders came up from NXT, they have seemed to just float around with no direction. Sure, they achieved a little success, but mostly they’ve been stagnant. Ivar got injured and missed a bunch of time. I feel like a change might be in order. With the lack of dominant heel tag teams, I feel like a heel turn for The Viking Raiders may be coming in 2022. It would give them fresh opponents. Their style and the way they work lends them to a more heelish tag team anyway. I think The Viking Raiders turning heel would be the spark they needed.
#4: Damian Priest
This one may not even make it to 2022. You saw the glimpses of a more aggressive Priest this past Monday on Raw. I feel like it will get progressively worse until the heel turn is complete. He played a heel early on in NXT, but he’s been a babyface his entire time on the main roster. They’ve already planted the seeds. They changed his music and took away the Arrow pointing from his entrance which was always designed to get a pop. Based on WWE’s history, when they start stripping everything away that made you a likable babyface, that usually means a heel turn is imminent.
#3: Dominik Mysterio
This is another one that I don’t think many will be surprised to see. They’ve been planting the seeds for a Mysterios split for months now. It seems inevitable that we are going to get Rey Mysterio vs. his son Dominik Mysterio at Wrestlemania in Dallas. It is a money match if played right. I feel like eventually, Dominik is going to get tired of his dad always messing things up for him until eventually, he snaps. Based on the father and son dynamic, it could be one of the more fantastic and emotional turns in recent memory if WWE plays it right. I think Rey re-signed his contract last year so he could get Dominik ready for this moment. I’m not sure what the future holds for Rey Mysterio, but a loss to Dominik at Wrestlemania 38 seems to be his immediate future.
#2: Alexa Bliss
I feel like Alexa Bliss may not come back as the one we last saw. I feel like the old Alexa Bliss may return sooner or later and the old Alexa Bliss is not a very good babyface. The Alexa Bliss of 2016-2018 was some of the best stuff from a heel in the Women’s division that I’ve seen since Trish Stratus turned heel at Wrestlemania 20. Alexa is a natural heel if she is in her “Goddess” persona. Raw right now has plenty of babyfaces with Rhea Ripley, Bianca Belair, and someone I am going to name shortly. Alexa turning heel and reverting back to her “Goddess” persona and blaming the fans for turning her into that creepy version would be perfect to establish her as a top heel again.
#1: Randy Orton
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. As soon as RK-Bro formed, the countdown started on when Randy Orton would turn on Riddle. I think it happens soon. The Royal Rumble is in St. Louis, the hometown of Randy Orton. I think RK-Bro loses the tag team titles before that show. I also think Randy Orton does not win the Royal Rumble. Maybe he accidentally gets eliminated by Riddle. This will cause Randy to snap, either at the Royal Rumble or the next night on Raw because he didn’t win it in his hometown. I think Randy Orton vs. Riddle is the plan for Wrestlemania 38. Having Orton take Riddle out for a month or two in the lead-up could be enough to keep it fresh without having them confront each other every week for three months. I think Randy Orton has taken a liking to Riddle and is going to do everything he can to make Riddle the next babyface star at Wrestlemania. Reverting to his more comfortable heelish ways is the perfect way to do just that.
Superstars Likely to Turn Babyface
Sheamus has been a heel for the better part of the last five years. I believe, with the move to Smackdown, that a babyface turn may be on the horizon. Why is that you ask? Because I believe there is a real possibility you will see a reunion of The Bar with Cesaro. It gives another tag team that could work as heels or babyfaces. I think Sheamus turning face is more likely than Cesaro turning heel at this point. They’re both in the later stages of their careers. A world title run probably isn’t in the cards for either so why not pair them back up? I think Sheamus turning face and winning the one title that’s eluded him, the Intercontinental Title, is a strong possibility in the next six or eight months.
#4: The Usos
Let’s face it. The Usos never stay heel for very long. They’re too popular. The fans generally do not want to boo these guys. What they’re doing right now with Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman is some of the best stuff I have ever seen them do. To me, they’re the best tag team in the business. Not just because of the wrestling, but the storytelling and emotion and the connection with the crowd. Nobody compares. I think The Usos will ride the Bloodline train as long as they can until eventually, it is time to get off. The Usos never ride as heels for too long and two years may be long enough before The Uso Penitentiary makes its return to Smackdown.
#3: Becky Lynch
This is another one that never stays heel for very long. Becky Lynch returned at Summerslam and, to the surprise of everyone, effectively turned heel by beating Bianca Belair in 26 seconds. I think her heel turn was designed to eventually get Bianca over as a bigger babyface which I think it has. Bianca eventually defeating Becky will be a great moment for her. I also think that moment will be the beginning of a character change. The fans do not want to boo Becky Lynch. We found that out when she turned heel against Charlotte back in 2018. Fans will still cheer Bianca, but not boo Becky. It is a weird dynamic, but I believe Becky changes that next year by reverting back to her babyface persona. I think Bayley and Becky is still a feud that WWE wants to do. If you bring Bayley back as a heel, and turn Alexa heel as I mentioned earlier, suddenly you can afford to turn Becky Lynch babyface. I think, IF Bayley is healed in time (she might be), Becky Lynch vs Bayley is a realistic possibility for WrestleMania 38.
#2: AJ Styles
AJ has had a pretty good run with Omos as a heel. It is also the longest run he has had as a heel in WWE. It started in 2019 when he reunited with The Club and two years later, he is still a heel. I feel like that changes next year. Once his partnership with Omos ends, I feel a return back to his babyface character is in the cards. If Priest, Mysterio, and Orton turn heel as I predicted earlier, there would be more than enough heels to allow Styles to make that switch. I do believe you start to see a slow turn after Wrestlemania 38 and by the halfway point of 2022, a babyface AJ Styles will emerge and he’ll likely finish his career in that role.
#1: Roman Reigns
This one was a little tough as I feel Roman’s heel run has been the best of his career, including The Shield. He is the hottest star with the best storyline in the business. However, the crowd response will eventually be too much to ignore. I see parallels to The Rock. He came in as a babyface and the fans just didn’t accept him so he turned heel. After stints in The Nation of Domination and The Corporation, The Rock became one of the biggest stars in the history of the business when he turned babyface again because he finally found his voice.
Roman Reigns was not accepted universally as a babyface. He’s arguably the most popular he’s ever been now as the top heel in the company, so much so that I think that changes in 2022. It also depends on The Rock. WWE wants that Rock vs. Roman Reigns match so bad. If they can’t do it at Wrestlemania 38, I could see them keeping Reigns as a heel until the match at Wrestlemania 39. However, I also believe that Paul Heyman could be the catalyst for Reigns turning babyface. Having Heyman turn on Reigns for Brock Lesnar or even another heel on Smackdown, could be a great way to turn Reigns face. Reigns has found his voice on the mic so when he turns, he will be even better because of how comfortable he is on the microphone. Once Reigns turns, he will cement himself as the hottest and biggest star the business has seen since John Cena stopped being a full-time performer.
There you have it. Five potential heels and five potential babyfaces. Some are kind of obvious while some are risky picks. I think WWE has a chance to totally reset things in 2022. We will see if they can do it.
Thanks for reading. I’m on Twitter @GiftedMoney talking about wrestling among other things, so feel free to message me on there with any thoughts or comments.