I’ve seen some debate about this across the interwebs, and since I’m honestly not sure of the answer myself in at least a couple of these cases. So I figured I’d throw these heel/face turn questions from the Oct. 29 SmackDown out to the community for discussion here.
Blackheart turn was obvious. It had been rumored, and there’s not much open to interpretation when you viciously beat-up a person who’d been cheering you on moments earlier and was trying to help up after your match.
But what about that person who was cheering Shotzi on, then getting destroyed by her?
Sasha Banks was a heel throughout her one-on-one feud with Bianca Belair this year, but has been something of a tweener since returning at Extreme Rules to work with Belair (a clear babyface) and Becky Lynch (a pretty unambiguous heel, despite some lingering crowd support). All of her actions last night read pretty face, but with the swagger we’ve come to expect from The Boss. Cutting off the champ to demand a title shot could be a heel move - if Sasha didn’t have a legitimate case for one, and if Charlotte Flair wasn’t one of the biggest kayfabe & shoot villains in the company right now.
Sasha recently spoke about how her - and other members of the WWE women’s roster like Lynch & Flair - character is essentially above alignment at this point, as fans will cheer or boo her various reasons that don’t always have to do with the storyline. And she’s right. But with The Queen looking like the big bad of the SmackDown women’s division, don’t be surprised if we see a more virtuous Boss in the months to come.
And then there’s untitled authority figure Adam Pearce. We’ve coasted by without an evil general manager-type on WWE television for a while, but Pearce’s partner Sonya Deville already dabbles, and it looks like old Scrap Daddy is fixing to join her on the dark side. If Zoom-ing in* to the show to announce Brock Lesnar’s fine Dr. Evil style wasn’t enough, I’m not sure how else to explain referring to himself as “the heart of this corporate engine”.
Heart of the corporate engine. pic.twitter.com/HAAHgOFVgn— Adam Pearce (@ScrapDaddyAP) October 30, 2021
Maybe Pearce, like Deville, will only lean rudo in certain storylines? It’s possible, as WWE may think they need to pull out all the stops to get people used to cheering Brock, and having the on-screen avatar of the company work against someone is one of their favorite tricks.
We shall see. Let us know whether you think Banks and Pearce broke bad last night.