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Old 05-07-2018, 04:52 PM   #1
hb2k
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Worst Turns in Wrestling History

So, for this weeks podcast, we're looking at the Worst Turns in wrestling history, and we want to get some feedback on which ones you think rank at the bottom.

Which turn from face to heel or vice versa stands out to you as the all-time worst? You can base it on the conception of the idea or the execution itself, but we'd like to know WHY you consider it the all-time worst.

As always, the best contributions will be read on the show and you'll be credited accordingly. So what's your pick? Is it an obvious one like Austin at Mania 17, or is there one that personally bothered you more as a fan?

EDIT - The show discussing the Worst Turns in Wrestling History, featuring many of your contributions, is now available at the following link: https://squaredcirclegazette.podbean...ng_History.mp3





Crazy Like A Fox - The Definitive Chronicle of Brian Pillman 20 Years Later
**Featuring interviews with members of the Pillman family, Dave Meltzer, Kim Wood, Raven, Jim Cornette, Mark Madden, Shane Douglas, Mark Coleman, Alex Marvez, Les Thatcher and many more close friends and colleagues**
Available on Amazon now:
http://amzn.to/2h93SxL

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Old 05-07-2018, 05:10 PM   #2
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Remember that time Big Show turned?

* The obvious one is Austin. When Steve Austin shook hands with Vince McMahon, wrestling was finished for a lot of people.

* The Road Warriors turning heel may not have been Dusty's best idea. It's often pointed to as a symptom of the downfall of Jim Crockett Promotions, which we are still dealing with the ramifications of today.

* Rikishi turning heel in 2000 is an obvious one. This is about the time I started getting into wrestling, and it became very apparent to me that I had missed the boat on it being cool. Stephanie's first creative decision proved that she was put into a position of power long before she had proven she had the mind for it, and symbolically, Rikishi trading in his dancing to become a prince among thieves and crooks marks the death of fun in the WWF. And no, Albert's babyface turn in late 2001 as the Hip Hop Hippo was no substitute.

By the way, Albert in 2001.

* If WCW had a chance of turning itself around in 1999, which some might argue it didn't, that may have gone right out the window with Flair and Hogan's double-turn.

* Jim Cornette turning heel on the Dynamic Dudes is always hilarious to watch. They were different times. People were more homophobic then, and everyone knew that Johnny sucked Shane's dick.

* Also in the less serious basket, The Miz's face turn whenever that was is so memorable for how unmemorable it was, I can't even tell you what he did during that period of time, or when it was. I seem to remember him beating Wade Barrett at a WrestleMania, which I guess would have to be 28 or 29 for a one-day IC Title reign. It didn't do any long-term harm to the business or anything, and I don't even think it really warrants discussing, but I just think it sucked. That's one to be blanked out of the memory banks, and this time it's not because of your chronic alcoholism, Old Man Jones.

* Triple H's babyface turn in 2006 may not have had major ramifications on the business, but it was pretty awful. The DX period of Shawn Michaels' comeback was his worst stuff. Triple H acting like he's cool and funny might be true to his real personality, but it doesn't make for great television. We get it, Hunter -- sometimes a rooster can be called a cock. That's where we get the slang "cock" from. You cock. Triple H, specifically, came off like a naughty school boy talking behind teacher's back during the DX stint, and when the funniest part of your act is the unintentionally hilarious visual of Vince McMahon's bloody face being shoved into Big Show's rectum, you're not exactly creeping up on the sophisticated writing of an Arrested Development or Fawlty Towers. This is all compounded by my general disinterest in Triple H, but there was something particularly irritating off him glumming off Shawn Michaels for that period. He then stayed a babyface for seven years or so, and during that extended run we got "The Ass Kicker," him inserting himself into John Cena's comeback in 2008, and him making #20 on the Boston Phoenix's Unsexiest Men of 2011 after jamming himself into the Summer of Punk. If you ever return to the "Better as a Face or Heel" concept, Triple H is one unlikely to be discussed, because as a babyface, he is just downright awful.

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Old 05-07-2018, 07:14 PM   #3
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Sgt. Slaughter's heel turn as an Iraqi sympathizer. Only because as a kid I didn't notice and still cheered him over Hogan.
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:15 PM   #4
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Hacksaw's heel turn was really dumb too.
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:33 PM   #5
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I mean, it's gotta be Rikishi right? You took a fun, charismatic, very likeable mid card baby face and turn him in a way that even kayfabe wise made no sense for his character, and then go nowhere with it, all while keeping him in his normal attire and never going anywhere with the turn.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:46 PM   #6
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I actually thought Rikishis music and look was cool when he turned heel. If he had attacked Too Cool after a loss while they were dancing and gone berserk, and gone around as if all the dancing was beneath him and he above it all, it would have been fine.

It was how they turned him. I did it for the rock is def the worst reason anyone has ever turned heel.

His moveset could be brutal though too and under different conditions, I could have bought him as an arrogant badass
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:22 PM   #7
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Hitting somebody with a car was lame.

I bet Lucha Underground could have made it work.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:23 PM   #8
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I feel like Mick Foleys heel turn in 2006 was pretty bad. He just came off an amazing match with Edge at Mania and the fans loved him but when he attacked mutual fan favorite and WWE work horse Tommy Dreamer. Fans were confused and didn't know who to cheer. Mick Foley didn't even get his comeuppance in the end.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:38 PM   #9
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Lol I loved heel Austin in 2001. It's my favourite run of his career.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:43 PM   #10
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I was just watching a 2002 episode of Metal on youtube and came across heel Godfather when he carried a cane and would attack people after the bell. I had totally forgotten about that run. Fuck was the bad. At least I could yell "pimpin ain't easy" when he was a face.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:45 PM   #11
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If it's eligible, I'd like to include Ken Patera as a face in 87. Lol the whole basis of his face turn was that Bobby Heenan didn't visit him in jail.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:54 PM   #12
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Matt Hardy turning heel on Jeff in 2009 was terrible.
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:31 AM   #13
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Sting's Heel Turn in WCW, complete with the hilarious video the day after trying to claim that Sting was to blame being the Hummer driving, nWo Sting, Vince Russo signing with WCW, the Fingerpoke of Doom, inspiring the guy from the Twins to pull Ron Gant off of first base, Childhood Cancer, and the rise of the Ottoman Empire.
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Switzerland View Post
Hacksaw's heel turn was really dumb too.
I think the worst part about it was the farmer's tan on his face from shaving the beard off to fully solidify himself as a heel. It was like reverse Hollywood Hogan action.
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Old 05-08-2018, 08:37 AM   #15
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Roman's heel turn was... wait.
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Switzerland
Hacksaw's heel turn was really dumb too.
Never knew he turned heel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad News Gertner
I was just watching a 2002 episode of Metal on youtube and came across heel Godfather when he carried a cane and would attack people after the bell. I had totally forgotten about that run. Fuck was the bad. At least I could yell "pimpin ain't easy" when he was a face.
I missed that!
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Old 05-08-2018, 03:01 PM   #17
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Lol I loved heel Austin in 2001. It's my favourite run of his career.
yeah that's kind of a tough one because his whole heel run is still better then a billion other things in wrestling. the whole thing was entertaining and a lot of comedy gold came out of it. Plus the Two Man Power trip was awesome.

So i don't know if i'd even put this on the list.


Brutus Beefcake turning out to be the guy who kept taking out Hulk in WCW and then fucking main eventing Starrcade 94 was pretty horrific.

Also, lots of the nWo heel turns during the whole "I'm giving you an ultimatum" thing by Bischoff. I remember WCW was brawling with the nWo on Nitro and Scott Norton just casually walks down the isle and just starts attacking WCW guys. so random
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Old 05-08-2018, 03:20 PM   #18
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Matt Hardy turning heel on Jeff in 2009 was terrible.
At least the Bossman committed and ate the damn dog.
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Old 05-08-2018, 03:44 PM   #19
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At least the Bossman committed and ate the damn dog.
Damn!
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Old 05-08-2018, 03:58 PM   #20
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This recent Nia Jax turn is really fucking stupid. I get that they're trying to connect with kids that get bullied, but it doesn't help that she looks like most kids that do the bullying. She's not like most girls though, or whatever. Thank god for that.
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:28 PM   #21
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Sting had a heel turn in 1999 that always stood out in my mind as being really terrible. He was headed towards a title match at Fall Brawl 1999 against Hogan who had himself recently turned face and gone back to his red and yellow, trunk-wearing ways after the nWo died out.

So Sting and Hogan finally had mutual respect from one another after years of being rivals. That didn't sit well with Luger, who tried to drive a wedge between them. Luger kept telling Sting that Hogan was untrustworthy, and reminding Sting of all of the times he'd been double crossed in the past.

Ultimately, Sting was the one to turn and he sided with Luger. It just didn't work at all. The crowd had zero interest in booing Sting, the one guy they'd reliably been able to cheer from the beginning of the company. He kept getting cheered and the whole thing bombed.

Sting was back to being face by November, at which point Luger turned on him. Because of course he did.
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:54 PM   #22
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Sometimes people just don't want to boo certain individuals. They can be great at playing the role (Austin in 2001 is a sterling example), but people just don't want to boo the fat guy in a thong, the moody dude in make-up or the old man who takes his pants off and claims to be President of the World. Oh, and they definitely did not want to boo Goldberg either, despite what Nash says.

Most of the turns I keep thinking of, and it seems to be a theme throughout the rest of the feedback, are heel turns that didn't work. I think that's interesting. When a face turn doesn't work, you didn't connect, it didn't take off, it's time to go home -- whatever. When a heel turn doesn't work, often it's because someone truly beloved has betrayed the fans, is trying to force a reaction that doesn't want to come, and it can just be dreary. When the heel turn hasn't worked, the face run of the other guy likely isn't working either. It sets off an uncomfortable chain of miscasting that puts everything out of place by a little bit. When things are hot, it is just enough to knock them out of orbit and make things frustratingly cold.

To throw some more shitty face turns out there: How about Sheamus in 2011? With some of those stories about his Irish background, he was really putting the schitz in lip for a while there.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:25 AM   #23
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On a serious note Kane's turn after his run with "Team Hell No" was pretty dumb. Turn heel then leave for 2 months? Come back as a mild face then immediately turn Heel again? I feel like Big shows spot in the Authority angle was written for Kane.


Off Topic:

Every time I think of Big Show vs Authority I get pissed. He has an Iron Clad lucrative contract one day and the next day he can get fired for not punching Dusty Rhodes, is nearly broke, and apparently his wife called Stephanie and told her that Big Show is not performing well in the bed room.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:31 AM   #24
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Honestly, I have to agree with Noid.

Rikishi in 2001 was so stupid. The rationalization was a complete ret-con and they ruined fans' carefully cultivated relationship with Kish. His career from that point died a death and even though X7 was a success, things weren't quite the same for the company afterwards.

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Old 05-09-2018, 11:12 AM   #25
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As far as the turn itself, Randy Orton's face turn a few years ago was exceptionally badly executed. The guy gets curb stomped into steps by Rollins, is off TV for a while and then makes a surprise return to a huge pop ready to destroy The Authority... Then for some reason they have him re-join The Authority and drag it out, killing all the momentum from his return before "officially" turning him face. It was a disaster.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:12 PM   #26
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I actually thought Rikishis music and look was cool when he turned heel. If he had attacked Too Cool after a loss while they were dancing and gone berserk, and gone around as if all the dancing was beneath him and he above it all, it would have been fine.

It was how they turned him. I did it for the rock is def the worst reason anyone has ever turned heel.

His moveset could be brutal though too and under different conditions, I could have bought him as an arrogant badass
He was charismatic enough that once they turned him, they could've given him the Umaga move set and it would've been devastating. The sumo ring gear as a heel was ridiculous, tho. The music was great. Had the right attitude. But beyond that it was awful.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:25 PM   #27
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I was hoping they'd turn Rock heel and then have Haku join them to create that Somoan group I've been dying for them to create. Instead they just created a tag team that went nowhere.

Seriously though, USO's, Reigns, Joe, Nia. Fucking do it
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:27 PM   #28
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Agree with others on Rikishi being my pick.

Thought his heel turn was dumb at the time and made worse when the real surprise for the turn was him being nothing more than just another stooge for Triple H. Anything interesting about the turn quickly reverted to everything being about Triple H in the end.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:51 PM   #29
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Not that the face run was bad, but just in terms of the laziest turn ever, how about Sheamus telling Mark Henry "ill fight you fella".

That was literally all they did to turn Sheamus Face. No wonder WWE needs a whole staff of writers, complex character development!

And yeah Noid, some of those Irish fables were weird lol
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:29 PM   #30
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Not that the face run was bad, but just in terms of the laziest turn ever, how about Sheamus telling Mark Henry "ill fight you fella".

That was literally all they did to turn Sheamus Face. No wonder WWE needs a whole staff of writers, complex character development!

And yeah Noid, some of those Irish fables were weird lol
I couldn't remember the exact circumstances of Sheamus turning babyface. I thought it was against Mark Henry in the second half of 2011, but I can't be absolutely sure. That's not a great marker for its effectiveness.

Still, I remember people initially being excited about the prospect of a bad-ass babyface Sheamus slightly more than me. I was still pissed off they didn't give Christian a chance as a face for a little while before the heel turn. The wheels really came off when Vince injected his cheesy filling, like he does every Superman prototype.

Edge's face "turn" off his injury in 2010 that saw him as a heel and re-aligned with Jericho by SummerSlam can't be considered the best. Not so much a turn as the actual run though. He just kind of came back a babyface and failed to beat up the guy he came back for. Ironically, he totally Matt Hardy'd himself against Jericho's Edge.
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:51 AM   #31
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I was hoping they'd turn Rock heel and then have Haku join them to create that Somoan group I've been dying for them to create. Instead they just created a tag team that went nowhere.

Seriously though, USO's, Reigns, Joe, Nia. Fucking do it
Leave Joe out of it. He's not royalty in that sense, which makes him the perfect bad ass wrecking machine babyface to topple the group. Use their family ties as a way to get ahead while Joe has to claw his way up as the basis
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:52 AM   #32
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Or let them lure Joe into a false sense of security as a key group member, only to turn on him and using his commoner bloodline as the reason why he can't be apart of Samoan royalty in the E.
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:22 AM   #33
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The Miz and Alberto of the River. Both of them have highly punchable faces and are great chicken-shit, smarmy heels. Why the heck did WWE turn them face?
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:42 AM   #34
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I take back my Goldberg suggestion, I've been re-watching and there has indeed been worse turns. I will have to go with the common vote and say Austin at WM 17. Not because it was atrocious, because it wasn't. But because of the long term affect and how it neutered Austin for the rest of time.
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:21 PM   #35
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Leave Joe out of it. He's not royalty in that sense, which makes him the perfect bad ass wrecking machine babyface to topple the group. Use their family ties as a way to get ahead while Joe has to claw his way up as the basis
that's a good point. not really family. need a fourth though because four is always the best. too bad Umaga is dead
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:54 PM   #36
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I think Reigns as the top guy, Usos dominating the tag scene and Nia dominating the women's side works just fine.

God I'd love to see this. Writes itself.
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:58 PM   #37
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It'd never happen, but I'm imaging Joe hitting Nia Jax with a counter uranagi as she tries charging him. Shame that's a moment that'll never be.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:58 PM   #38
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Just wanted to thank everybody for the contributions - the show looking at the Worst Turns in Wrestling History is now available at the following link:

https://squaredcirclegazette.podbean...ng_History.mp3

Join us as we discuss nominations from you, the loyal listeners, we discuss everything from the obvious and glaring candidates, such as Steve Austin at WrestleMania X7, Rikishi doing it for The Rock, Goldberg at GAB 2000 and the disastrous Hogan/Flair double-turn of 1999, to the personal and obscure choice that have plagued your wrestling fandom, including Tatanka joining the Million Dollar Corporation, Dusty Rhodes joining the nWo, Eugene's two week stint as the hateable special needs grappler, Heel Godfather from 2002, Ahmed Johnson joining the Nation before being booted out weeks later, Brother Bruti becoming The Butcher, "Nature Boy" AJ Styles, Michael Cole and so many more. A fun show as always, let us know what you think!
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:03 AM   #39
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I'm glad Kieran pointed out that lack of writing ability in the actual writers. When you guys were discussing Seth Rollins, I kept thinking about what a passive character he is -- as both a protagonist and an antagonist. As a heel he was Triple H's stooge, and as a babyface he was upset because forces acted upon him and he could do nothing about it. The buck stops with Vince, I suppose, but if you want to call yourself fictional entertainment, at least be aware of how fiction is supposed to work.
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:33 PM   #40
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Sami had a dumb heel turn. Joining KO who tried to injure him 2 weeks ago?.....ok
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