Promises are always made in professional wrestling but more times than not, the promises are not kept. A prime example of that happened to Bam-Bam Bigelow when he was working for the World Wrestling Federation in 1995.
Bigelow made a name for himself working alongside Hulk Hogan back in the late 1980’s before leaving the promotion and returned to the WWF in 1992 as a bad ass heel. Bigelow, as a heel, had top quality matches with Bret Hart and had a lengthy feud with Tatanka. Eventually, he was put in a low midcard heel role teaming with several members in the Coporation. Instead of re-pushing him as a heel the idea of making him a top babyface was deemed the best idea.
After a three year run as a upper card heel, Bigelow was given a babyface push after he lost to Lawrence Taylor at WrestleMania XI. He would split from Ted DiBiase and the Corporation and align himself with then WWF World Champion Diesel and Shawn Michaels. The babyface turn officially happened on the April 24th, 1995 edition of RAW when Bigelow lost to Diesel and the Corporation turned on him.
At the time, there wasn’t exactly a need for a top babyface. Including Diesel and Michaels one can’t forget about Bret Hart, the Undertaker, Razor Ramon, Lex Luger, and Davey Boy Smith. That would make Bigelow, realistically, the eighth best babyface on the roster.
Compare that to the heel side of the roster which consisted of Sid, Yokozuna, Owen Hart, Jeff Jarrett, IRS, King King Bundy, Kama and Hunter Hearst Helmsley. I found it to be rather interesting that Bigelow would switch roles. The heel side is incredibly weak compared to the babyface side.
Bigelow’s primary feud was with the Corporation and more specifically Psycho Sid. The push started in April and yet by July Bigelow is working with Henry Godwin, left off of SummerSlam and by the fall he is losing to the British Bulldog, who was fresh off of a heel turn and in his last pay per view appearance, Bigelow would lose to Goldust at Survivor Series 1995.
So, I ask… why would they decide to push Bigelow as a top babyface and proceed to give up on him after four or so months? They must have come to the realization that Bigelow was destined to fail as a babyface. There were too many guys better than him in the babyface role to allow Bigelow to rise up the card.
Besides, the way they presented the character was rather silly. Bigelow had been made out to be a tough guy and a no nonsense type of fighter. However, once he turned face he would wear an outfit that would spit out fire and he would do a cartwheel. That’s right, they had Bigelow do a cartwheel. Unfortunately for Bigelow he couldn’t do a good enough cartwheel and it looked pathetic, really.
Looking back on it, if I had the ability to write for the WWF in the early 1990’s Bigelow wouldn’t have been changed into a babyface. Sure, he lost to Lawrence Taylor at WrestleMania XI but I don’t feel like the lost to LT was a damaging blow to his career in a heel role. He still had several guys he could have feuded with that were fresh.
Lets take a look at a few of the feuds that Bigelow could have worked if he remained a heel. First off, Bigelow should have had a major feud with the Undertaker. Since Taker was feuding with the Corporation for most of 1995, a final feud with Bigelow would have been a fine ending to never ending feud. Then, you got a guy like Razor Ramon. I’m fairly certain Bigelow and Ramon had never wrestled in the WWF. I’ve always been interested in the idea of a babyface Ramon and heel Bigelow squaring off. Their gimmicks had a similar trait of them both being tough guys. Ramon was loved while Bigelow was hated. The brawls they could have had would have made for some great matches, in my opinion.
Not to mention Bigelow would have played a good big man for Shawn Michaels to work off of. It’s clear to me that Bigelow was capable of having far better matches with the babyface roster than he was with the heel side of the roster. It just seemed like the decision to make him into a babyface was completely misguided and doomed from the start.
What are your opinions on Bigelow’s babyface turn? Did you enjoy it?
Thanks for reading.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.