With Roman Reigns sidelined indefinitely as he battles leukemia, WWE decided to go ahead with multiple significant turns on Monday’s Raw – including making Braun Strowman a babyface again, turning Elias face and Dean Ambrose heel.
Ambrose’s turn was talked about and planned all the way back since last year, however, an injury sidelined him and the idea. When Ambrose returned this summer, an eventual heel turn was back in the plans but as per Dave Meltzer on Observer Radio, it doesn’t appear to have been originally scheduled for this week and likely happened prematurely due to the Roman Reigns announcement. To some it may have seemed counter-intuitive to turn Ambrose heel on a show where Reigns revealed he would be leaving for a while, but according to Meltzer there are people in WWE who feel doing something like that is good for business.
Meanwhile, the reason Elias’ turn (as well as Braun Strowman’s) likely came about is because with top babyface Reigns gone and with Ambrose turning, Raw went from a situation where they were short on heels to being short on babyfaces. It was also suggested that it’s possible WWE calls up some wrestlers from NXT soon as well to help recover from the loss of Reigns.