Why Faces And Heels Are Important

I’m on Aaron Rift’s YouTube channel, and he has his friend Noah Donish on there flapping his gums about why faces and heels is a dated concept. He says the fans should tell the WWE who they want to cheer for and who they boo. Each and every fan that thinks like that is a moron. I myself have once said similar things. I may have even posted those thoughts here. As usual, fuck you on me actually finding it and posting a link. I have been smartened up to the business. And now allow me to smarten you up.

In my head as I typed the last paragraph are three names: Randy Orton, Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar.

Randy Orton is a very polarizing figure for many reasons. Some people will never ever forgive his dishonorable discharge from the Marines. People think the way he talks and everything about his work except the RKO out of nowhere is boring. He’s been the same character since around, say… 2007, so maybe the whole “Viper/Apex Predator” thing needs to evolve or change up. On the flip… he is very athletic with great timing. He makes it look so easy. He doesn’t do the white meat babyface thing, he is more anti hero, in line with say, Stone Cold. He does do interesting (read: he switches up WHERE/WHEN he does) things with his powerslam, the suspended DDT etc. At his best, he gets huge pops or heat depending on his alignment. At his worst, he comes out to crickets. (Then many wrasslin fans are too dumb to get that A) most WWE audiences suck in terms of heat and B) WWE will lower the volume from time to time) Orton is like most wrestlers, he is susceptible to how well he is booked and presented because he doesn’t really change much about how HE presents himself in terms of promos and work.

Brock Lesnar is a guy who is the definition of neither face nor heel. He doesn’t do chickenshit heel things. He doesn’t take shortcuts in his matches. Paul Heyman is there to get heat on him and as great as Paul Heyman IS… he fails. People love HIM, and people love his client. People play sing a long with the “My name is Paul Heyman…” beginning to his promo. And “the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE heavyweight champion of the world” thing. The thing is… this works for Brock BECAUSE he only appears before us like 15-20 times a year. He might get physical 7 of those times, not counting his matches, which, since his return, he works four a year. So, wrestling fans who like “wrestling” can TOTALLY overlook that Brock spams suplexes and F5s and occasionally uses the Kimura. Then criticize Roman for largely using two moves. Even though Brock used two moves. With slight variation on the suplexes. Again, the difference, is that we see Roman’s two moves every week on Raw and SmackDown. It’s so much more exciting the four times a year we get to see Brock use his two moves. So YAY we cheer him even though his big ass F5’ed the shoe off of Michael Cole and pushed a table on JBL and Booker T and beat up a cameraman. Almost anyone else does that and they’re a bully. We LIKE Brock Lesnar picking on the weak. Again… this cannot and will not work for everyone.

Seth Rollins is an interesting case because… when I really think about it, his personality, the cadence he speaks at, that smarmy voice of his… he is meant to be a heel. And then there is his TRUE work style, the Phoenix Splash, that knee off the top rope, the elbow on the announce table, the front flip over the top rope and landing on his feet… is that of a babyface. He wouldn’t last long as someone fans hate and boo if he didn’t largely put shackles on his workrate. So, EYE largely wait for him to turn face so he can return to his more exciting high flying style. But… almost a full year has passed since he turned on The Shield and he still gets “you sold out” chants. WWE (un)creative passed the chickenshit puppet of The Authority mantle from Orton to Rollins and where Orton got “we want to cheer you but you’re a weak, beatable champion heel” non heat most weeks, Rollins gets roundly booed in every precinct. The presentation is THE. exact. SAME. but the way Rollins presents himself is that he doesn’t want to be a cool heel. He doesn’t care how he looks to US, all he cares about is himself and he really has bought in and these are the results. (As an aside, WWE’s PR idea of banning the Curb Stomp to present themselves as being anti head injuries when guys are still doing DDT’s, stiff punches and kicks to the head, running head first into posts and so on and so forth is in a word: retarded) I think Rollins would go back to using the Phoenix Splash as a finish… but that would get cheers, so he won’t. All in.

Some guy, can’t bother to remember his name, wrote that the Divas fail to get over no matter how much time they’re given in the ring because they are given NO creative beyond “she’s crazy”. Hmmmmmmm. There is TOTALLY a guy who writes on itsstillrealtomedammit.com who’s been saying that shit for YEARS. HMMMMMMM. That same guy is still pissed they (Vince) insult our intelligence by just having Brie and Nikki playing one happy family after months of insults like “I wish you died in the womb”. And now inexplicably they were presented as babyfaces. They turned Naomi heel for no reason when ALL the Divas present as heels. Natalya works like a face, but is heel with the tag champions. When The Usos return, will Naomi be a face with them and a heel in singles? Hey guys… remember when WWE wanted Cesaro to be a face, so they put him with Paul Heyman, a heel manager who next to never even spoke of him, but constantly spoke of Brock ending The Streak, then inexplicably left him and then Cesaro lost ALL the positive momentum he gained from winning TATGMBR? (Yes, I’m not typing all that shit lol) Where Vince dulls his brilliance is by insulting our intelligence by expecting us to cheer someone no matter how shitty their presentation is. At the end of the day, WE DO NEED TO BE TOLD WHO TO ROOT FOR WITH STORIES!!!

A mistake WWE made with Cena, and seems to be making with Roman, is by having the announcers constantly point out that some fans don’t like the top babyface. THAT’S NOT BEST FOR BUSINESS. You CAN literally MAKE us all cheer for a guy, and that’s by putting all the heat on a heel. Tonight, in Rosemont, Illinois (I wish they’d stop lying and saying they’re in Chicago when they’re in Rosemont and the last time I remember them working CHICAGO was SummerSlam 94) fans are going to shit all over Roman’s match with The Big Show. Because WWE has dropped the ball in their presentation of both men, so called smart fans will show their disapproval with chants and booing. The actual STORY is good money. The Big Show has taken it upon himself to prove Roman is a bust (doing these reality based storylines does NOT work on fake smarks, if anything it reaffirms their belief that Roman is being forced down our throats as the new Mr Never Give Up) and he brutalized him on that vehicle in the UK then they did not touch again. Good. Classic booking IS get the heat on the heel then wait for the big  match to see the babyface get revenge. I fully expect the fans to defecate all over it tonight.

And that last paragraph is something WWE doesn’t present WELL on TV: SOME audiences love babyfaces, some audiences love heels, some audiences love tweeners, some audiences love workrate etc. Very few stars in the history of the business got consistent heat or pops wherever they went. Ric Flair can be a heel but in Norf Carolina? HA. John Cena typically gets booed out of Boston. Just because sometimes the crowd chooses to not give a fuck if you’re a heel or a face DOES NOT MEAN there is money in not having faces or heels. There isn’t. There NEEDS to be a clear hero and a villain for there to be real heat. You can have your shades of grey for variety’s sake. By and large: we wrestling fans NEED to be told “cheer for this guy who fights with honor and boo this guy who always lies and cheats” The irony of ironies is when wrestling fans complain about how dead crowds are in terms of heat when only one thing GETS heat.

Why Division Is Important

I recently got into a debate with one of my followers on Twitter about why the cruiserweight division needs to come back. Though I disagree with him wholeheartedly, I get his point about it not helping many smaller wrestlers. It’s all in the presentation, not saying things like “he can’t do anything with heavyweight x because he’s a cruiserweight” and such. The reality is, not everyone is supposed to be a world champion on your roster ANYway. Not everyone SHOULD main event. My entire point was and IS “divisions give the people in it something to do other than jobs.”

As I type this, I’m watching Survivor Series 88. In this match I’m watching they’re having a tag team elimination match. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels are in it. Back in 88 they were midcard guys. A few years later, they were the main event of WrestleMania. That does not and will not happen for everyone. But when you look at them, they are guys who got the big push that their tag partner never got. I say this to say: WWE breaks up good tag teams all the time where both guys are nothing more than tag team wrestlers. They’re not going to be a midcard champion, much less world champion. In the future, WWE is going to pointlessly break up The Usos, even though we can’t tell the difference between them. They should stay a tag team forever. Not break up and feud just because it is tradition. That’s why the tag team division in WWE sucks. They slap midcard acts or main event acts working the middle together and break them up months later, until there is but three or four true tag teams in the territory. The New Day is probably going to get broken up soon, purely because they’ve failed so horribly at getting over. And that will leave The Usos, Kidd and Cesaro (who will inevitably break up) Los Matadores, The Ascension, The Lucha Dragons, and The Prime Time Players (who they did nothing with then broke up for nothing just to put them back together again) as the only tag teams in the promotion. Stop it. Put tag teams together and give them YEARS. That way, if one of the members of the team merits a singles push, it will mean more if you go the tired route of making his former partner his first feud.

The Divas division can be summed up with “there’s some good talent on the roster and in NXT, but WWE does not give more than six of them any regular TV time at a time.” Many wrasslin fans are derisive of the Divas division but last year I remember Paige and Naomi had the best wrestling match on a pay per view card. I believe it was Money in the Bank. I refuse to fact check. Anyway… there is good talent THERE but not only will fans not give the Divas a chance, WWE refuses to give them time to work or camera time to get any sort of personality over. Paige debuted wrestling good matches. Let me tell you workrate fiends something you fail to realize: wrestling for wrestling’s sake is boring. As much as the 24/7 news cycle in real sports is overwrought and much ado about nothing, the stories in and around the games are infinitely more interesting than the games themselves. So, when WWE had Paige out there wrestling good matches with no story other than “I’m new here, debuted and won the title, so now these bitches is jellis” it was no wonder she wasn’t getting over except for the workrate marks. In SAYING this, I’m saying I appreciate her WORK… and saying she’d be over if they gave her more than “she’s crazy” in terms of personality and character development. She has been around over a year now and her only character development in that time was a reprisal of Mickie James impersonating Trish Stratus with the now retired AJ Lee. WWE did a lovely episode of the Monday Night Wars talking about how the women can be an important part of the show and… now which one of them is important now that AJ is gone?

I really hope Daniel Bryan is not seriously hurt and his career isn’t ending soon. Contrary to what many think, I like him and appreciate what he does. WWE will suffer a great blow if he has to retire due to injury. My only thing with him is I do not see him as a guy meritorious of winning the Rumble and main eventing WrassleMania annually like the workrate marks. And this is a direct result of accepting that WWE refused to use CM Punk in that role. Many wrasslin fans are guilty of seeing this world as they wish it was. I see it the way it IS. Back in the 80s a guy like Bryan would have done well to even win the IC strap. Here in 2015, I hope he is able to defend that belt and hold on to it for the foreseeable future. As I alluded to at the top, the midcard is home to guys who should only work the middle, and guys who are main event level that work the middle until it’s their turn to main event again. Bryan and Cena are obviously the latter and I’ve really enjoyed Cena as the fighting champion coming out and taking on anyone who would challenge him for the belt. With guys who are such high prorities in the territory, it naturally elevates all who work with them in importance. Then, it raises the standard for who should be the next champion. You can’t just have Kofi Kingston win by Fruit Rollup. We would all repudiate such booking and excoriate WWE via social media. At the moment, only guys such as Reigns, Rollins, Sheamus and Rusev should even be considered for divesting Bryan or Cena of the gold.

This brings me to my dream: the return of the cruiserweight division. Names like Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, and Rey Mysterio have held that title and gone on to win or defend a world title at WrestleMania. The point of this division is NOT to keep guys from main eventing or to elevate guys to main event status. It’s to give Neville something to do other than job. Hideo Itami, Tyler Breeze, Finn Balor, Sami Zayn and others in NXT are in danger of getting called up to the main roster just to do favors to make Roman look strong. A guy like Tyson Kidd could shine as cruiserweight champion. Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins would be good cruiserweight champions between pushes at the main event level. Heath Slater is criminally underutilized as a comedy jobber. He is entertaining and a good worker. I have been saying here since I’ve BEEN here, he’d be a dope chickenshit heel champion. Kofi “Birdchest” Kingston would be dope in cruiserweight battle royals and ladder matches. As I keep saying, the talent is there, it’s just not being used right.

Between Raw and SmackDown, you have five hours of TV. Lately they haven’t been shoehorning in superfluous celebrity segments and terrible attempts at comedy as much. Cut down on the melodramatic monologue promos wasting segments and have tournament wrestling. What if they did tournaments starring the midcard on both Raw and SmackDown culminating in a title match at the PPV? That would be dope. You don’t always need to have soap operatic Shakespearean storylines… after all this IS sports entertainment, right?

I Haz Much Excite

First things first… the Anoa’i family been tripping making mad headlines about being mad about things. They kinda have a point in being mad about Roman not being given the title at Mania as we all saw coming for like 2 years. Anyone saying “Lesnar can’t believably be beaten by Reigns” is full of shit. Yes, you Quinn. In real life I don’t think Seth Rollins versus Lesnar one on one will be anything more than a squash match and I consider Rollins THE best wrestler in the world. So if Rollins is champion by SummerSlam I expect Roman to cash in MITB before they get underway, making it a triple threat in some sweet karmic parallelism. And at that point I think this story is almost complete. But it won’t be all the way done until Lesnar wins the Rumble to face the champion Reigns at Mania. Where he’ll finally take that L.

The thing I love most about wrasslin is the fun you can have fantasy booking. To be honest, I could see Rollins losing the title to Orton. As much as I think that would be ‘same ole shit’ I also have a reason to root for it: I want to see Randy Orton go to Suplex City and somehow hit a RKO out of an F5. Then still lose. Yanno, Lesnar has had four matches with Cena in them. Three with HHH. One with Big Show. One with Undertaker. Two triple threats with Rollins (so far) and one with Reigns. In more same ole shit news, there are other people I’d like to see Lesnar work with. Orton is one. I’d like to see Batista come back, however unlikely, to take that L. I think Sheamus would put up a hell of a stiff fight before succumbing to the F5. IMO it’s a waste of Lesnar as an attraction to have him disappear for months only to feud with the same 3-4 people.

In more same old shit news, HHH and Sting totally should go one on one. LEGIT ONE ON ONE. at Survivor Series. The mark in me did not and does not give a fuck that nWo and Sting feuded. That X-Pac is friends with Hall and Nash or that he was IN nWo. That HBK is another friend of Hall and Nash. LOL @ Hogan not having no friends. I totally understood the whole “Monday Night Wars” aspect and like many, thought it was petty to do it just so JBL can crow “Sting lost two wars.” I would have put Sting over, but then again, if they have a three match feud at say, Mania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series where Sting goes over twice, it’s all to the good IMO. If that was IT… that shit was trash, b.

I think it’s funny that Aaron Rift actually had to answer questions about Neville being buried by losing his second match. LOL. Then he pointed out when someone asked what star lost their debut: John Cena. LOL. ANYWAY… I DO see a burial coming soon if WWE doesn’t bring back the cruiserweight division. Hell it’s Extreme Rules. It’d be nothing to have a ladder match with Neville, say… Kofi “Birdchest” Kingston, Heath Slater, Los Matadores, the healthy Uso, the Lucha Dragons…. wooo nigga tell me that wouldn’t be one hell of a spotfest nigga! NIGGAAAAAAAAA!!! LOL. Anyway… without a cruiserweight division, WWE likes feeding little wrasslers to guys like Roman to make them look strong and hit his two moves of doom on high flyers midair for trying it. I think they deserve better than that because not all cruiserweights can BE Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero or Daniel Bryan. Oh… it would be kinda cool if Bryan helped elevate all the other little men on the roster because hey, this is a multitime world champion and beating him WOULD mean that one day, that superstar too can rise above his diminutive stature and have dummies thinking he can have a good match against Brock Lesnar. Lol.

I’m so excited about all the talent on the roster and hope that by next Mania the only attraction matches are Rousey/McMahon, Lesnar/Reigns II, HHH/Rock, Taker/Sting Double Retirement… or half the card LMAO. Rusev, Rollins and Wyatt are effective heels. Ambrose will be better as a heel. Reigns is the man. I believe that. LOL. But yeah… if they bring back the damn cruiserweight belt I think they can manage to not shit on all the NXT talent. Aw and I can’t ride out without addressing AJ’s retirement by saying: this just means they need Naomi to be a bigger star more than ever. Maybe Natalya might stop being an enhancement Diva. Then I really like Charlotte and Sasha Banks. I’m just all around excited about the nice mix of veteran full time and part time talent with young fresh talent HHH has put together. That cupboard was bare as FUCK just four years ago. Maybe three. Good on him.

Things Aren’t Always What They S’E’em!

 

Photo © 2015 WWE, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Photo © 2015 WWE, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Anyone that has known me over the last decade that has asked what is my issue with the McMahon’$ and the ‘E,’ my reply will be something along the lines of, “they are all about making moments instead of just letting them happen!” Continue reading Things Aren’t Always What They S’E’em!

No… You Are Not Awesome

Apropos to the up and down love we have for the WWE product, I both love and loathe the night after Mania crowd and how it hijacks the show. I feel like WWE needs to do a better job with how they portray the characters they want fans to cheer for. Roman Reigns is out there dying because in some fans eyes, he is “worse than Cena.” That is short for “Generic. blah. Nothing special. The chosen one, and the wrong choice.” The positive energy and love the hardcore fans have for good wrasslin enhances the matches. Most Raws are before absolutely dead crowds that only come to life to cheer and or boo Cena and Reigns, and pop for Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler. Maybe Ambrose.

I don’t like the audience going into business for itself. Putting itself over. Wrasslin fans are very fickle and short sighted creatures. Daniel Bryan has a fucked up neck. He only has so many bumps left in that diminutive frame of his before he goes the way of Edge. Nothing about him BESIDES how over he is with the fans makes him a candidate for being THE man. But, these so called smart fans think somehow he should have been the one to divest Brock Lesnar of the gold. They think he should win the Rumble and main event every year. These same people will complain about WWE’s overreliance on part time talent and how barren the landscape is as far as new stars go. These are the people who chant “same old shit”… while rooting for the same old shit to transpire.

I’ve been seeing a lot of complaints about Seth Rollins AND Roman Reigns “not being ready.” I read a post on WrassleZone yesterday where a fan said it’s weird that Rollins and Reigns are the new main eventers and they cannot see Bryan or Cena being used to put over young talent in the midcard. Again… these faux smart marks don’t understand the nature of the business IS that it’s cyclical. You need to cycle fresh faces in the top and you need steady hands working the middle, because… how was Bad News Barrett and Ziggler and Luke Harper and the like elevating the middle of the card? Spoiler Alert: they weren’t. Fans bitched and pissed and moaned that for many years, every PPV featured either Orton or Cena or both going for or defending a world title. And now WWE is giving new stars a chance and the fans who gripe “same old shit” want to see guys who have been at that level for years but not doing much with it continue to get opportunities to be meh on top.

I can pull out pieces I’ve written on here going back a year about how “Roman Reigns is the new Cena and that’s not good.” It cannot POSSIBLY be good for the bottom line if even half of your audience despises the person that you have positioned as the top guy in the territory. Even if people buy the merch because their kids like him or their girlfriend likes him, it’s not good to HAVE to book in a way that won’t get your shows shitted on. Many speculate that the only reason Rollins cashed in WAS to have Mania not end with fans booing and walking out on the big moment of him celebrating his victory. The problem is twofold: first… the nigga has had zero character development or story as a singles competitor. He’s just a guy with an ugly logo on his flak jacket. He was going to feud with Seth Rollins and I’d imagine he’d have been a part of Team Cena last fall. Those two storylines would have helped some. Then he came back and feuded with the Big Show and had a one off with Bryan. Meh. The other thing is… protecting a babyface too much to “make him look strong” is about as healthy as being the guy who is uncomfortable displaying emotion, who sees crying as weakness. There is an inherent power in healthy expression of emotion. Something about letting your eyes sweat gives you power to move forward past that which that has wounded you. Getting your ass beat is the same exact thing in wrasslin. The days of Hulk Hogan have ended. Fans are no longer moved by a guy who almost never loses, because he just takes the beatings and wins in the end. The thing that made Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock highly lucrative commodities in the late 90s to early 2000s was the fact that we saw them in peril. Stone Cold lost his title to Undertaker AND Kane. The Rock got screwed out the the title by Vince McMahon PERSONALLY at Mania 2000 and X7. There is a reason we don’t use the term ‘monster babyface.’ Because it doesn’t fucking work. There has never been a good movie or book about an imminently beatable villain and an unstoppable hero. That shit isn’t interesting. There is no drama. People like Batman more than Superman because you can actually shoot Batman in the face and kill him. So, if WWE wants fans to like Roman Reigns, he has to be in danger. The situation needs to be impossible. Hopeless. As I’ve written before, him versus Lesnar was that. Suplex city, bitch. No one else on the roster is Lesnar, so they need to use The Authority as a unit to oppress Reigns and JUST maybe, by SummerSlam fans will be more receptive to the idea of him as the hero.

Again, as I’ve previously written, if you watched the main event at Mania and didn’t think Reigns showed something, you’se a motherfuckin hater. If you don’t think Seth Rollins has been well placed as the chickenshit heel all babyfaces must chase, your ass is blind. The fact that so many so called fans are not here for those dudes is exactly why WWE fans are, in fact, not awesome.

I SAID We’re Here For The Stories

First and foremost, Seth Rollins is the best in the world and I hate his guts. He totally ruined the story I was here for, which was Reigns beating Lesnar. I actually would have been fine with the cash in after the match. Reigns acquitted himself well. But he is now blemished at WrassleMania. The biggest stage. Seth Rollins literally stepped on the back of his head and took his moment from him. Don’t get me twisted, I’m not angry. In fact I’m going to attempt to write this with no profanity.

I didn’t want Seth Rollins to lose to Orton but that finish? The single greatest RKO of all time? Yeah. I’m good with that. I DEFINITELY didn’t want Sting to lose to HHH and shake his hand afterwards. Even with the piece of sledgehammer factoring into the finish. Bray Wyatt losing to Taker. Meh. Back to the finish of the main event. That match was good theatre. The unbeatable champion seemed peeved that the unproven challenger kept absorbing his offense with a smile and even laughter. Brock F5ed Reigns seconds into the match after being hard wayed. Then he got hard wayed again. Several suplexes and two F5s later, he got hard wayed again. And again. Then Reigns was starting to hit Superman punches and spears and no matter how many it took, that match deserved a finish one on one before Rollins cashed in. That’s all I’m saying. Tonight, Rollins is champion. Reigns DEFINITELY proved he deserved to be in the spot he was ‘given’. And anyone who says different is a motherfuckin hater. Now that Reigns will be forced to chase Seth Rollins, we’ll see if he gets the karmic comeback of winning MITB and cashing in. But I’m pretty sure WWE will keep him away from the title for now. And many of Reigns’ haters will glory in that. Dumb so called smarks will call anything he does in the interim a step down. Because it’s TOTALLY not clear having your new top babyface chase the new top heel is the proven recipe for success. It’s Cena and Edge all over again except Edge wouldn’t even let Cena have his moment. Damn him to hell. LOL.

Some jabroni named Nic Johnson says this Mania was weak: out of the last 10, only 21, 23, 24, 30 and 31 were any good. Again… my only gripes are Reigns ain’t leave with the belt, Taker won and Rollins lost then won the damn belt. Not too shabby. I’ll be interested to see where we go from here tomorrow night.

It's Still Real to Me, Dammit!

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