The Biz: The Art of the Turn

Nick Perkins


One of my, and probably your, favorite things about professional wrestling is the “turn.” The “turn” usually involves a good guy becoming a bad guy, at the expense of another good guy, via a chair shot or some other act of treachery. A turn happened recently at a well known professional wrestling show, but you probably didn’t notice and/or care all that much about it. But I did.
It was this past Thursday’s Impact and it involved Stevie Richards, Abyss, and Raven. Now, granted, not many people care about the Richards-Abyss angle. I didn’t either before this show. But when Raven crossed the barricade I was excited to see him. I giggled (in a manly way) at the thought of Raven admonishing Richards and Richards losing the arrogance and being forced to once again become Raven’s lackey. When Raven took the kendo stick and hit Abyss, I was disappointed. In fact, I was agog. And then I was nostalgic.
Some of my favorite wrestling memories were caused by “turns.” Here’s a list, in no particular order, of my favorite “turns”:
1) The Rock turns on the fans and joins Vince McMahon’s corporation. I wasn’t a huge Mankind fan during this match that took place at the 1998 Survivor Series. I was a huge Rock fan however, and it broke my heart to see him join the despicable Vince McMahon.
2) Speaking of The Rock, payback was a b*tch at WrestleMania 17. It was the biggest match ever. It was the most anticipated match in WrestleMania history, at least in my mind. It was a battle between the two biggest stars of recent history. It was The Rock VS Stone Cold Steve Austin. It was the first dream match I ever saw. I watched this match with my best friend in the world, Eric, who might also have been the biggest Rock fan in the world. I was firmly on the side of Stone Cold. We both knew something big was going to go down on that night in Houston Texas. Neither of us could have predicted what though. As the match neared it’s conclusion, Vince McMahon sauntered down to the ring with his typical arrogance. We were both on the edge of our seats. Just as the Rock was about to get the pinfall, McMahon pulled out the referee. A few moments later, after destroying The Rock, thanks to the help of Vince McMahon, Steve Austin won the WWF Championship, but forever lost me as a fan. Well, at least until he was a good guy a year later. I felt betrayed. I felt nauseous. I felt kind of hungry. Stone Cold did the unthinkable and joined forces with Vince McMahon. It broke my poor little 13 year old heart.
3) D-generation X was always one of my favorite groups in pro wrestling. I became a fan of wrestling just as HHH and Shawn Michaels were hitting their stride. I become a devout follower after WrestleMania XIV. DX soon consisted of HHH, X-Pac, Chyna, and the New Age Outlaws. This was fine, but I salivated at the thought of HBK re-joining DX, thus rendering the entire WWF as just bit players. That opportunity crumbled just like X-Pac’s body after HBK nailed him in the head with a steel chair, joining The Corporation in the process. I cried Gypsy tears for a week.
4) Turns out HBK likes to turn on people, and most of those same people don’t like The Rock. On the inaugural episode of Smackdown, HHH battled The Rock in the main event, with Shawn Michaels as the special referee. Just as the Brahma Bull was about to drop the People’s Elbow on HHH’s candy ass, HBK did a little dropping of his own, via the sweet chin music. HBK turned on The Rock, and joined HHH for about a week, before disappearing again to find The Lord.
5) But when HBK finally came back, HHH was waiting with open arms. Finally, the moment I was waiting for had come to fruition. HBK was back in WWE and HHH was practically begging him to reform DX. Shawn agreed, and when the familiar music blared through the PA system I was on the edge of my seat. Shawn Michaels and HHH were back in black and green after four long years. All was right with the world. Until, after going through the now cliché Michael Buffer imitation, HHH kicked Michaels in the stomach and planted him with a devastating Pedigree. I may have thrown my dog. I’m not sure. But I was angry. Very angry. I’ve never fully trusted HHH again.
So, those are the five “turns” that I remember the most from the beginning of my wrestling fascination/obsession until now. Before you start flooding my inbox with useless, misspelled ramblings, I know I didn’t include some major turns. Yeah, Hulk Hogan becoming a bad guy was a big deal, but it was about a year before I started watching, so it didn’t matter to me. Up until that point, Hulk Hogan was just a guy with a neat mustache that fought Rocky. So yes, it was important to wrestling, just not me as a wrestling fan. I know there were other turns too that didn’t make the list, but that’s where you come in, dear reader. Send me one or two of your favorite “turns”- turns that really surprised, shocked, and/or angered you. If I like them, and most of your words are spelled correctly, with proper punctuation, I’ll print them here! Email me at and I’ll pick my favorites. Thanks for reading, and until next time, I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

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