Understanding the Double Turn in Professional Wrestling

Discover the dramatic world of double turns in professional wrestling and how they shape storytelling and character dynamics. Explore memorable examples and their impact on the wrestling landscape.


Professional wrestling is a form of entertainment where competitors engage in scripted matches that often involve intricate storylines and character development. One common storytelling device used in wrestling is the double turn, where the roles of the hero (babyface) and villain (heel) are reversed during a match or feud. In this article, we will explore what the double turn means, how it impacts storytelling in wrestling, and provide examples of some memorable double turns in wrestling history.

What is a Double Turn?

A double turn is a narrative device used in professional wrestling where a hero transforms into a villain, and a villain becomes a hero during the course of a match or storyline. This shift in character dynamics creates dramatic tension and can lead to unexpected outcomes that engage the audience and heighten the emotional stakes of a rivalry.

Impact on Storytelling

The double turn is a powerful storytelling tool that allows wrestling promotions to subvert audience expectations and create compelling narratives. By flipping the roles of the hero and villain, wrestlers can explore complex themes such as redemption, betrayal, and moral ambiguity. The double turn also gives performers an opportunity to showcase their versatility and range as actors, as they must convincingly portray both heroic and villainous traits.

Examples of Double Turns

One of the most famous double turns in wrestling history occurred at WrestleMania XIII in 1997, when Bret Hart faced off against Stone Cold Steve Austin. In a brutal submission match, Hart, who was supposed to be the hero, viciously attacked Austin after the match, turning heel. Meanwhile, Austin, who was the villain, displayed incredible resilience and courage, earning the respect of fans and turning babyface in the process.

  • Another notable double turn took place in 2013 between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. Bryan, who was a fan favorite, was betrayed by his mentor Triple H and Orton, leading to his transformation into a resolute hero fighting against a corrupt authority. Orton, who was the arrogant villain, aligned himself with Triple H, embracing his dark side as the new face of the Authority.


The double turn is a compelling storytelling device that adds depth and complexity to wrestling storylines. By flipping the traditional hero-villain dynamic, promotions can create engaging narratives that resonate with audiences and elevate the performances of wrestlers. Whether through acts of redemption, betrayal, or defiance, the double turn is a potent tool that continues to captivate fans and leave a lasting impact on the world of professional wrestling.

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