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.