10 Most Shocking Heel Turns In WWE
Celebrate this Fourth of July by stabbing a friend in the back.
Happy Fourth of July to all of Cultaholic's American readers and fans!
And the same to all the weirdos from elsewhere who celebrate the holiday too, for whatever reason, I guess...
Wrestling and Independence Day have a lot of history, from the birth of War Games at the Great American Bash, to Lex Luger slamming Yokozuna on the USS Intrepid and a whole load of patriotic shenanigans before, after and in-between.
Hell, it's also Barry Windham's birthday, so 'happy birthday' to the former Four Horseman.
The Fourth of July is also the day that Monday Night Raw happened to land on back in 2005. A relatively restrained affair considering the date, the show at least ended with a great hook, as Shawn Michaels turned heel for the first time since his 2002 comeback, dropping tag partner Hulk Hogan with a Sweet Chin Music after they had won their match against Kurt Angle and Carlito.
It was unforeseen by just about everyone, as Michaels had long expressed a desire to remain a babyface in light of his Born-Again ways and dedication to living a virtuous life.
With a programme and blockbuster pay-per-view main event with the legendary Hulkster dangled in front of him, the Showstopper agree to temporarily turn to the dark side, which began with him smacking terrible Terry in his chops with that magic right boot of his.
Heel turns, when done well, can be a thing of beauty, and they can be at their most effective when nobody suspects they will happen.
So light some fireworks, grab a hot dog and join me as I look back at ten of the most shocking heel turns in WWE history.
And if you're reading this on a day other than the Fourth of July, light some fireworks and eat a hot dog anyway! Because why the hell shouldn't you?
10. Rock Gets Punk'd
Raw 1,000 was a spectacular occasion that really had to be capped off by something truly special.
In the show's main event, John Cena cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and took on CM Punk for the WWE Title.
The Straight-Edge Superstar had held the title for an age and was on a roll as one of the top babyfaces in the company. The two had an exciting, back-and-forth match, as they tended to do, with both men looking like they could walk away as champ.
Cue a referee bump and then Big Show, slinking out to (eventually) cause the disqualification, giving Cena the victory but ensuring that Punk retained the gold.
That was the signal for The Rock to sprint out, take down the World's Largest Candy Ass and set him up for a People's Elbow.
As he went to complete the move, however, Punk re-entered the ring and blindsided The Great One with a diving clothesline, followed by a Go To Sleep as a stunned crowd looked on in disbelief.
Punk later justified his actions by saying that he was tired of being WWE Champion while still being overshadowed by the likes of Cena and 'Dwayne'. He would soon truly cement himself as a villain by joining forces with Paul Heyman and had a hell of a run as a top-tier bad guy.