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Playing Against Type / Professional Wrestling

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  • In contrast to being typecast as a heel in Japan after getting heat from the wrong people, Kana aka. Asuka spent much of her time in America was spent working as a face. NXT merged the two when she debuted as Asuka - who was a Wild Card. She eventually turned heel properly on NXT, but reverted to her previous Wild Card role as of her main roster debut.
  • One of the main criticisms as The Authority storyline was Triple H's depiction across brand lines. On Raw and Smackdown, Hunter's the Corrupt Corporate Executive that many have believed him to be behind the scenes. In NXT however, he's the Benevolent Boss and A Father to His Men and Women who's pet project beloved to the point of fans begging for Vince's retirement for HHH to take over the company.
  • AJ Lee was almost always a Plucky Girl face on the indies, due to her small stature. However she made a Face–Heel Turn in FCW to hold both titles and, while she was called up to WWE TV as a face, she found all of her success as a Yandere. She only turned back face in the last couple of months before she left.
  • Paige was essentially a bratty, clownish heel whenever she wrestled as Britani Knight. She says she's suited to being a heel because she looks fake whenever she smiles. Well in WWE she was never able to make a heel run work for very long, crowds loving her dark Anti-Hero image.
  • Taeler Hendrix was trained to be a heel in OVW but got called to do TNA's Gut Check as a face. She even visibly switched to a heel moveset during her match. And when she appeared for an all-Knockouts PPV, she entered as a face but turned heel during her match.
  • Madison Rayne was always a face on the indies, but really found her niche in TNA as a screaming Alpha Bitch. Numerous critics had insisted that she wasn't right for the face role, and held her eventual TNA pushes as proof.
  • Becky Lynch only ever played a face in her native Ireland if she was in an intergender match. She was a heel pretty much everywhere else, SHIMMER fans especially coming to know her as an obnoxious Boisterous Bruiser. She also had an Oireland gimmick, which did not go over well at all when she tried it on WWE TV. Since getting signed to WWE, she has not been able to get booked as a heel; fans loving her natural likeability and Genki Girl personality, making her one of the biggest underdog faces of the New Era. Becky herself lampshaded this on Talk Is Jericho, talking about how she had never liked playing a face in her indie days, but had come to embrace it after joining WWE.
  • Wrestlicious featured a few indie girls using their own gimmicks Up to Eleven (Daizee Haze as a hippie for example) but a few of the characters were played by women departing radically from their usual routine:
  • Evan Bourne is normally a face wherever he goes, and his heel runs are usually restricted to tag teams or stables. He was a singles heel in Wrestling Society X.
  • Ivelisse Vélez was typically a Dark Action Girl heel prior to getting fame from WWE Tough Enough. In most promotions she ends up getting over due to Evil Is Cool and inevitably turns face.
  • Lucha Underground features this for many of its performers:
    • Matt Cross is typically a flippy, high-flying face and has never been able to make a heel run work for long. He plays the masked heel Son of Havoc, but ended up turning face by the end of the first season. Hilariously enough while paired with Ivelisse mentioned above.
    • Karlee Pérez was a screaming Dark Action Girl on NXT, and was a Violently Protective Girlfriend towards her male love interests. She portrays Catrina, a more reserved and manipulative Femme Fatale - who acts only as a manager.
    • Jeff Cobb is a former Olympian wrestler who used that background to play a likeable babyface on the indie circuit. Naturally, him playing the masked monster Matanza Cueto is a bit of a change.
    • Angela Fong was a Genki Girl face when she wrestled in FCW. She portrays Black Lotus, a dark and ruthless determinator out for revenge. She does so by forming an Amazon Brigade, rather than stepping into the ring herself.
  • Jessie McKay was a Girl Next Door and Cute Bruiser on the indies, calling herself "Everybody's Favourite Girlfriend". Surprisingly enough since getting signed to WWE as Billie Kay - she has been pushed almost entirely as a heel with a Femme Fatale gimmick.
  • Sasha Banks was likewise mostly a face on the indies, and debuted on NXT as such. However she didn't achieve her stardom until she turned heel and adopted the ruthless Alpha Bitch persona known as 'The Boss'. However due to Evil Is Cool she eventually turned back face - albeit in more of a Good Is Not Nice image.
  • Katey Harvey played heel for the first two years of her career, and was booked as such in Ireland and the UK. however brought her in entirely as a face.
  • Fans of Laura "Cherry Bomb" Dennis were really shocked when she debuted in Impact Wrestling as Allie, a mousy villain that was a far cry from her Alpha Bitch act in Smash Wrestling and the indies. Her face turn into a Plucky Girl and subsequent teaming with Rosemary made it ironic since Cherry Bomb was responsible for turning Courtney Rush into Rosemary.
  • Another shocker was Ruby Riott's debut onto the main roster as a heel after both her NXT career and her indie days as Heidi Lovelace were largely spent as a face.