After CM Punk’s heel turn turned WWE’s main-event scene upside down, news has started to emerge about the WWE Champion’s feelings on the matter, as well as the possibility of top SmackDown babyface Randy Orton turning to the dark side in the future.
In this week’s (subscribers-only) Wrestling Observer Newsletter Dave Meltzerdiscusses CM Punk’s reaction to his heel turn, noting he was perfectly fine with the character change, feeling his options as a babyface were extremely limited due to the overwhelming presence of John Cena (despite being champion for nearly a year, Punk has barely main evented pay-per-views, almost always taking a backseat to whatever Cena is doing at these shows):
Regarding Punk, he was very happy to go heel. Story is that Punk realized that he was never going to surpass Cena as the top babyface, but the No. 1 heel slot is wide open.
Randy Orton turning heel is also a matter that has been speculated on, with the star himself even noting in a recent Twitter post he overwhelmingly prefers being a bad guy. However, it seems the company isn’t too keen to turn him, mainly due to not having faith in World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus (also a babyface) to carry the SmackDown brand.
Orton has also made it clear he wants to be a heel and he can be top heel. The problem is, they won’t turn Orton until they are fully confident Sheamus can draw as the lead face without Orton being the real top star on the Smackdown television show and house shows.
It is interesting, but perhaps unsurprising, to note that WWE management aren’t fully convinced Sheamus is the cornerstone of the blue brand. While he is a good worker, has a fair amount of personality and remains steadily over with the fans, he really isn’t as over or as big a name as you would expect him to be.
Booking him in can’t-win scenarios, like they did at least week’s Raw when they put the Irish star in an interview segment with Chicago’s own CM Punk, a situation that guaranteed he would get booed heavily (which he was), doesn’t help matters.