Most Shocking WWE Heel Turn: Shawn Michaels Vs. Seth Rollins?

As long as there has been pro wrestling, there have been heel turns. There’s no better way to make a crowd of thousands react than by taking a beloved fan favorite and steering them toward the dark side — and the more shocking the heel turn, the better. From Andre The Giant turning on Hulk Hogan to Evolution turning on Randy Orton to Bret Hart turning on the United States, we’ve been shocked time and time again. But two heel turns stick out more than any other: when Shawn Michaels ended the Rockers by throwing Marty Jannetty through a plate glass window and when Seth Rollins broke up the Shield by slamming a steel chair into the back of an unsuspecting Roman Reigns. But which one was more shocking?

To decide, we let two of our writers debate the topic in the spirit of Dewcision 2016. Here’s what they came up with:
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Shawn Michaels

Guys, I’ll give it to him: Seth Rollins killed a thing we all loved. He cracked Roman with a chair and he broke Dean’s heart. In an age of smartened up fans and sports entertainment, it was one of the biggest ‘holy crap!’ moments we’ve had in years. But it’s got nothing on the king of heel turns; after all, even non-fans know what you’re talking about when you bring up the legendary ‘barbershop window.’

HBK did more than break up The Rockers when he superkicked Marty Jannetty and then tossed him through a window. He superkicked our fragile little kid hearts too. Nowadays on NXT, Bayley has superfan Izzy, but in the age of trapper keepers and Sonic 6 bikes, The Rockers had thousands of Izzys across the country. With one dastardly act, Shawn Michaels told them all exactly where to shove their homemade tassels. One single act defined a career and coined the term “you’re the Jannetty.” When it comes to heel turns, nothing comes close. – Joe Starr

Seth Rollins

Sure, everyone reflects fondly on Shawn Michaels throwing Marty Jannetty through a window, because it looked awesome (and because Bobby Heenan’s commentary was perfect). But was the heel turn really shocking? The Rockers had been having communication problems in the weeks leading up to that, and anyone who’s watched wrestling long enough knows that’s a classic sign of a tag team splitting. With Seth Rollins turning on the Shield, however, it was completely unexpected and truly shocking — this was a team that had dominated the WWE landscape since their debut nearly 19 months prior, winning the Tag Team and U.S. Titles along the way. There had been little teasing of a breakup before Rollins’ betrayal, and the trio was coming off an incredible six-man tag main event with Evolution the night before. Seth Rollins truly stunned the WWE Universe with the chair shot heard ’round the world.

Let me share with you a small story: I make it a point to try and watch Raw live as it happens every week, but on that particular Monday night, I skipped Raw to go see a concert thinking I wouldn’t miss anything huge since there was a PPV the night before. Then, all of the sudden, during the show, virtually every friend I have who follows pro wrestling texted me at the same time, all with messages about how heartbroken and in disbelief they were. I was immediately sucked out of show mode and thrust into wrestling mode, and I raced home after the gig and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to see what had happened. Not only has there never been another heel turn as shocking as Rollins’, there has never been another moment in modern pro wrestling as immediately shocking that generated such a “Did you see that?” reaction from the masses. Not The Undertaker’s streak ending, not CM Punk’s pipe bomb, not even Daniel Bryan’s retirement. Seth Rollins truly takes this one. – Scott Heisel