Given that all the MITB contestants for the WWE title are faces, and all the contestants for the World title MITB are heels, do you think we're moving into an era where there are no faces/heels, just characters? Take also into account the WWE/John Cena himself finally and repeatedly acknowledging the boos he gets, Ziggler and others' heel/face behaviour and tweener status, the fact that they had a hard time turning Punk/Bryan heel, and the fact Sheamus is a huge babyface who behaves like a terrible heel.
Call me crazy, but I think it could work. Just let the characters breathe and be themselves and the crowd can cheer/boo who they want. Or does the super lucrative kiddy market need to be told who to cheer/boo in order to keep watching?
Given that the entire basis of most storytelling is "good guys v. bad guys", I'm thinking they would stupid to do away with the concept now. That being said, no, heels and faces aren't going anywhere. I LIKE being told who to cheer and who to boo sometimes, because that's how you follow the storyline if you're not crazy hardcore fans like the people on the blog. Otherwise you're just Vince Russo, and no one wants that.
I see this "no more heels/faces" shit on forums all the time, and I just shake my head. These people seem to have no grasp on the basics of pro wrestling.ReplyDelete
Perhaps this is over-simplifying it -- but, without heels and faces pro wrestling would be just a bunch of guys rolling around in their underwear.
I think it's an interesting idea to have a bunch of faces in one match and a bunch of heels in a second match. I'm curious to see how it plays out.mReplyDelete
I don't think you need to get rid of heels and babyfaces, I think you need to get rid of WWE heels and WWE babyfaces.ReplyDelete
It's the homogenization of characters. It's making every babyface team up, and every heel being willing to sneak attack every face anytime they get the opportunity.
I think the audiences can handle additional complexity, because it'd make the characters feel like people, and not black hats vs. white hats.
They've been toying with it a bit lately, to be honest, at least in things that don't involve John Cena. They've ever had the dreaded heel vs heel match, which is I think something even Russo tried to avoid.ReplyDelete
I don't think it's necessary to have alignments, but this makes booking the shows an absolute chore, as you need reasons for everyone to be fighting someone. Instead of "he's good and he's evil". And you still have to avoid having two guys the crowd hates fighting each other, because it's death.
Legit sports have heels and faces; the fake sport can't do without them. Before Manny Pacquiao imploded, the reason people wanted to see him fight Mayweather was because people wanted someone to finally shut up that arrogant dick. Boxing is damn real (the action, not the judging). A Tweener is a temporary state where a character figures out whether he is a face or heel; that's it.ReplyDelete
spoiler: a face will win the wwe title one, a heel will win the world title one.ReplyDelete
I liked Vince Russo's version and vision of no faces and heels a lot more than whatever the hell WWE is doing these days.ReplyDelete
Agreed. Also, Paul Heyman's SD run had tons of shades of gray in it. I think that makes more sense. Especially considering the way shows like Game of Thrones are doing away with the good/bad guy archetypes, it might be time for wrestling to change with the times a bit.ReplyDelete
Why can't pro wrestling change?ReplyDelete
Agreed. Kingsolver is a tweener who behaves like a heel but has started getting some pretty big babyface popsReplyDelete
Heel vs heel doesn't have to suck. Check out Savage vs Roberts IC title match from SNME.ReplyDelete
It's not pro wrestling. It's Sports Entertainment.ReplyDelete
Even the downvoters know that's true.
Wrestling without Heels and Faces is MMA, and even they have the heel/face dynamic.ReplyDelete
Told you that Jake would fall off the wagon again.
Within a storyline, heels and faces should always exist. But i'd like to see a return to the Russo/Heyman days where, for each individual storyline, a person might be on the heel or the face side of it, and it all depends on what the issue is and their motivation. Still kind of gives the implication of shades of gray, but at the same time still has the simple good vs. evil dynamic. So for instance, when Del Rio is fighting the racist Swagger, he's in the right, but when he's battling the underdoggish Ziggler, he's not. It doesn't have to be a major shift in motivation, just different takes for each issue.ReplyDelete
And the Starks have put quite the beatdown on Jaime. It's time for him to get the hot tag.ReplyDelete
Must feel really good to be right.ReplyDelete
I liked the fact Ziggler hit Jericho last monday. Just because the fans started to cheer him doesn't mean he should change who he likes and who he hates. It's ok for Ziggler to date the heel AJ. What Henry should have said last Monday was "I wanted a WWE title shot and I figured that if I bought up the champ that I would get one."ReplyDelete
You don't remember the Toughman Contests they ran throughout 1996 and early 1997? Russo LOVED heel vs. heel.ReplyDelete
The worst face is Sheamus. Everything he does is heelish from destroying cars to hitting them when their back is turned to hitting people numerous times while they are in the ropes.ReplyDelete
Not so much satisfied with myself as vindcated in saying that he was beyond help.ReplyDelete
You can't fix yourself in an "Accountability Crib" He is just trading one prison for another. He has to find his own reason to change, and if he does it won't matter where he stays.
Is this what its come down to?
WHY ARE YOU NOT BOOKING WRESTLING!?!?!ReplyDelete
change it to what?ReplyDelete
I actually don't remember this. Stone Cold does get a pop, though. I'll probably go on Youtube and find 200 Russo heel vs. heel matches now. Like Hardcore Holly vs. Mideon or something.ReplyDelete
inb4 Sheamus beats up Rhodes on the way to the ring to win SD MitB as a 'face'.ReplyDelete
Change we can believe in.ReplyDelete
He had a few drinks, felt totally shit about it and actually stopped himself going too far. He's more angry at himself than DDP is. You think he's not changing?ReplyDelete
And seriously, what a fucking terrible thing to have an "I told you so" attitude about.
So now we can take everything Jake says at face value?ReplyDelete
Read between the lines of the video description.
The dynamic is screwed up, though. All the faces are up for a title shot against a face champion, and all the heels are up for a shot against a heel champion. While I can see Del Rio losing the title before a cash-in, I honestly don't see John Cena not being champ when Daniel Bryan cashes in the briefcase.ReplyDelete
You always need heels and faces, because that is what creates the emotional involvement in the match. What you need is unique and compelling characters, that logically develop and interact with each other. Depending on who you book them with and what their motivations are, that will determine if they are heels or faces. Russo was completely write about this, whether or not he actually executed it well.ReplyDelete
The Rock from 1997 to 1999 is a great example. He starts off as a character who wants to live his dream, become a wrestler and be popular - a people's champion. He tries to be the lovable babyface, but the fans shit on it. This makes him bitter and turn on them. He develops the egotistical Rock character and is an effective heel. However, his natural charisma and the fact that he is quite amusing makes the fans slowly start to cheer him. The Rock then makes a plan with Vince McMahon to be his corporate champion and in doing so, by turning on the fans he can stick it to them because as he says on the Raw after Survivor Series, "Die Rocky Die...Rocky sucks? You think the Rock forgot that!". Then he is the corporate champion and his sense of pride gets him kicked out of the corporation and around the same time, the people also start cheering him again and he finally goes along with it, as that's what he's always wanted - really. Like the WWF didn't consciously plan this out, but that's the way they basically allowed it to develop.
The WWE currently changes someone's entire character when changing their alignment. This isn't effective because it doesn't ring true to what we've seen previously. Prior enemies become friends just because they're good/bad. It's lazy writing, insulting to the audience and far less compelling to watch.
"The decision to release these videos was made after much consideration. There has been a tremendous flood of positive media coverage surroundingwhat happens at the Accountability Crib, and while many things that happen may be kept private, we cannot allow a false image to be portrayed.ReplyDelete
As much as we hate seeing people fall, we still believe that anyone can make the decision to get back up. We're not a rehab center and we're still learning so much about addiction. We only are here to support our friends if they are willing to do the work necessary.
Please be patient as we are trying to condense hours of footage into a shorter format."
Tell me what part of this you think supports your viewpoint?
Call me silly but don't you book the guys people cheer as faces and the ones they boo as heels? Being told who to cheer/boo is one thing but if it they can't get people onside shouldn't they accept and go with it? WWE didn't make millions pushing Austin as a bad guy and The Rock would have been gone if they didn't let him go heel and carry on being the smiley goof they tried out.ReplyDelete
Like Cena questioning Big Show for helping Jonny Ace because he thought they were friends, conveniently forgetting Show once threw him into a spotlight and Cena making a career A.Aing Show every time they need to boost Cenas invincibility.ReplyDelete
With all these Hollywood types on the writing team you think they'd learn from cable TV and allow some complexity. Take The Shield for example (the TV show not the tag-team).ReplyDelete
Vic and Strike Force move between face and heel depending on who they are interacting with - but all the time their characters and motivations remain consistent. So when they are ripping off the money train they are faces, but when they go up against someone like Claudette and Dutch they are heels. And even the characters clearly defined as faces like Claudette and Dutch occassionally have to cross to the dark side to get the job done.
The best heel turns are where the turn is consistent with the character's known motivations. This is why Bret's turn was so believable because it had a logical motivation and what he said as a heel was consistent with much of what he used to say as a face.
Faces can act as heels for short periods of time when there is logical reason - the Bret vs Diesel match at SS was a great example. Faced with repeated run-ins and screw jobs in previous title matches, Bret finally snaps and signs a no-holds barred match for the title. The match itself is then filled with all sorts of little clues such as him dicking with Nash's boot laces and removing the turnbuckle pads to differentiate it from Bret's normal style. But faces should ever act as heels for sustained periods of time, it just screws the dynamic up.
I didn't think Holly was a Heel I just thought no one liked him ;)ReplyDelete
Having two guys you don't feel about very strongly about one way or the other, but you respect their work rate, having technically proficient matches.ReplyDelete
I love the irony of a thoughtful comment from this by the screenname "Tommy_Wiseau". :)ReplyDelete
That one article linked here last month seemed like he was kinda flippant about the whole thing, and might just be carnying DDP for a place to live. But regardless, no one's ever really "cured" from addiction, they always have the potential to relapse and its pretty common.ReplyDelete
So basically you the WWE to become ROH, because in the whole story of Capital Sports/Titan Sports WWWF/WWF/WWE, its always been showmanship, glitz, glamour and charatcer over workrate.ReplyDelete
If you want that to be your pro wrestling, then watch ROH cuz thats what they do.
Mick Foley made the circus comparison: if you don't like the clowns you have the guy getting shot out of a cannon or the trapeze act. The current WWE is the equivalent of the same thing with a few cosmetic differences (and then you have CM Punk and the Shield who are very different).ReplyDelete
I was less certain he'd screw up in the "Accountability Crib" and more concerned about what happened when he left.ReplyDelete
Strike Team. Not Force.ReplyDelete
Sorry to pick nits. Carry on.
At some point, yes, they should acquiesce to how the crowd is responding to certain guys. And they often do. See the face turns of Bryan, Ziggler and Punk this year alone.ReplyDelete
But as foolish as it would be to ignore your fans, it would be just as foolish to knee-jerk react to a few crowd pops. I picked those three examples because not only are they the most high-profile but I think they did/are doing a masterful job letting them get there organically rather than doing a complete 180 with them right away. I love that Daniel Bryan had to go through this quasi-self discovery to get where he's going. I love that Dolph's transitioning to facedom via this out-for-myself, Pillmanesque loose cannon character. I love that Punk's either conflicted about his loyalty to Heyman or trying to stay a step ahead of him even though we know where it's going.
There's a fine line between giving the fans what they want and telling the fans what they should want. Too far to one side, and you're caving into every stupid crowd pop, and you get shit like Randy Orton turning face in 2004. To far to the other and you're shoving things down our throats. For the first time in a long time, I think they're actually waking that line well, and with the three best performers on their roster, arguably, to boot. Here's hoping they don't fuck it up.
Be a star!ReplyDelete
So much wrong with this question.ReplyDelete
1. "The super lucrative kiddy market." Yeah, the kids eat up Cena to the point where it's silly to turn him heel or remove him from the top of the card. But no matter who the show is allegedly aimed at in the PG era, their bread is still buttered with the 18-34 males. And they know it, which is why they're giving us Punk, Bryan and Ziggler.
2. Faces have always been jerks. Always. (Or, at least for the last 30 years, which basically constitutes "always" in the context of what wrestling is as a product in the so-called modern era.) Hogan was a hypocritical dickhead who, in kayfabe, was a terrible friend to every ally he ever had. Savage was an insane person even as a face. Ultimate Warrior was even more insane. HBK was an arrogant male stripper. Austin was a redneck felon who savagely beat an old man on a regular basis, drank on the job and flipped off everyone. The Rock was a stereotypical jock who made fun of those weaker than him. The Undertaker is basically the fucking devil. Eddie Guerrero became beloved for lying, cheating and stealing. Where's the list of characters who would really be loved if they were a real person? Bret Hart? And really, isn't this how it should be? We don't cheer wrestlers because we love what they are and what they stand for. We cheer them- whether they're aligned as a face or a heel- because they project the larger-than-life qualities we wish we had in ourselves.
3. This question about whether or not faces and heels are a thing of the past has been asked for over 15 years, back to Vince's 1997 speech about the audience having their intelligence insulted. And yet, despite an offensive mounted by Vince Russo, by the rise of the "cool heel" bad guy and "anti-hero" good guy that has blurred the lines at times, the existence of faces and heels in wrestling has never faced any serious threat of extinction. Nor will it, ever. Even if it becomes more influenced by what the fans decide to cheer and boo, faces and heels will exist as long as storytelling exists. This is not a new thing, and no trend is developing.
4. Cena acknowledging the boos isn't even really a new thing. It's an acknowledgment- or perhaps an accusation- that those fans who boo him have decided to turn themselves heel, much like Bret Hart accused them of 16 years ago. Granted, Bret did so in the act of turning heel in the United States, which Cena isn't doing. It is a sign- much like them openly acknowledging the crowd cheering for Dolph cashing in the MITB and other such things- that they're somewhat sincere about the crowd being free to boo and cheer whoever they please, regardless of face/heel alignment. And that's fine and well, but it hasn't changed that they still present wrestlers as traditional faces and heels, as they should.
of course that only works when wrestlers HAVE real characters with a certain depth.ReplyDelete
"Given that the entire basis of most storytelling is "good guys v. bad guys" [...]"
that's why I disagree with that sentence.
many of todays' most interesting tv shows have gone far beyond "good vs. bad" (who are the "bad guys" on a show like "Boardwalk Empire"?).
you could argue that the WWE would never be able to pull something like "The Sopranos", "Mad Men" etc. off, though.
I think there's a reason that the more popular shows of today have an ensemble cast.ReplyDelete
Let's look at Game of Thrones. Some people's favorite character is Daenerys, some people love Jon Snow, some people are really invested in Stannis or Arya. And they'll watch the whole show for the characters they enjoy.
Have characters that appeal to every sort of fan. Decide who can (or can be turned into a guy who can) appeal to every demographic you want to get. And push them. Constantly have a story for them.
My current pet theory is that we've seen a complete flip in heels acting like faces and faces acting like heels. Think about how Sheamus behaves, why am I supposed to cheer him?ReplyDelete
I generally hate the "Face/Heel" system because it really can be oversimpified and illogical a lot of the time. Even as a kid I thought it was dumb for a Texas redneck like Terry Funk to pal around with the Iron Shiek just because they were both bad guys.ReplyDelete
That said, you still need to have some degree of good vs evil. I LIKE that Cena is a goody two shoes superman. What I don't like is that WWE thinks that all their faces have to be the same way.
Look at a show like Breaking Bad where it can be argued that NONE of the characters have redeeming qualities, yet it is a great show.ReplyDelete
Not really. Yeah, some guys like Sonnen go for heel heat, but most guys are themselves and the fans pick who they like.ReplyDelete
TNA has done some good heel vs heel stuff with Aries and Roode and later Aries/Roode vs Bad InfluenceReplyDelete
I wonder if they'd go for an angle where Heyman was on the up-and-up and Brock was in cahoots with Johnny Ace.ReplyDelete
I thought this is where they misfired with the Del Rio face turn. Leave him with the cars, the attitude, being a badass. Don't strip all of that away and make him a generic pandering face!ReplyDelete
He's full of wisdom.ReplyDelete
"And she lofs you too, as a person, as a human bean!
If everyone lofed each otha, the worl would be a better place to live
in. Let's go eat, huh?"
Jesse and Hank have basically become the faces of the show as it progressed, but Jesse was a loser junkie with no redeeming qualities at the beginning and Hank was a blowhard jackass.ReplyDelete
I thought the opening line showed my distaste for the idea, that's not what I want that's what wrestling would be if you throw away the dynamic of having a protagonist and antagonist in matches. Sorry if it was unclear.ReplyDelete