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The basic thing that got guys over


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#76
The Choc

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Who apologizes?

All I see is twitter accounts that go Keyfabe. I've never seen a wrestler go out and apologize for a promo.

And I disagree. Being racial is cheap heat. Anyone with an ounce of cleverness can do better.

Andy Kaufman got some of the biggest heat ever. So did Hogan when he went bad. How about HHH for the entire attitude era? None of them had to do anything that needed to be apologized for out of context to the smarks.

Give me an example or I'm going to think you're mad about the bros who got shot down by making Racial Slurs at Kari Sane at the rumble. Who hurt you? Cause right now you're the boy who cries snowflake that's the most butthurt!
 

This is why Reigns should be turned totally heel. You do a story where some wrestlers comes out and is like "Roman has been handed everything cause he's close with the McMahons he is their golden boy". Reigns denies it, Vince denies it. Then it's proven to be true. Then Reigns totally aligns wiht the McMahon's. The fans who like him now would completely turn on him. The fans who hate him now, although they'd probably like the heel turn, would still boo him because he'd still be in main events despite not "deserving it". You could make a great heel.The McMahons could do alot of the talking for him. 


Worked for Rock and HHH.

 

Therein lies another problem. When Vince became "Mr McMahon" and started basically the evil booker character it's made it impossible to not have such a character central to the show. Prior to this no one ever asked nor cared about "who booked the matches". They simply came down from upon high. Once Vince was made booker in storylines from that point on there always has to be a booker in storylines. Because obviously someone is booking the show and making the decisions.

 

For smaller periods you can have a good guy booker character but that doesn't really work. You aren't trying to create obstacles for the heels to overcome. You are trying to create obstacles for the good guys to overcome. Most main event storylines have somehow had a character who is rebelling against some evil booker character for 20 years now. Its the same thing over and over. 



#77
Tank

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Seriously you couldn't have picked a worse example to argue your point. You wanted an example, and I give you Andy Kaufman. Who you mentioned. You apparently know nothing about him other than the fact that he used to be an actor before he became a wrestler

And I don't even know about racial slurs at the rumble nor do I know who Kari Sane is.

Feel free to be outraged at whatever, though. Never gets old. I would hate to deprive you of that.

Settle down, Snowflake, no one is outraged. You can be wrestlier than thou, I'm cool with that.

I was thinking more of Kaufman and Lawler, the Letterman appearance, all his promos talking down to stupid southerners-- doing exactly what I said. I didn't know the women wrestling was shoot-- not sure I fully buy it, but even if that were true my point remains--

You seem to blame any change you don't like on the big meanie SJWs. I asked for a modern example that fits your argument cause I haven't seen it.

You call me outraged but you're the one getting all worked up. Show me on the Hulk Hogan doll where the SJWs are hurting you. What is it that can no longer be said that makes you so mad?

I thought we were having a fun debate, but you really don't like being challenged. Relax!

#78
Tex

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Ah, I'm not mad about anything.  I was just saying that PC/PG wrestling is much tamer than the old product.  I understand why they do it that way now, it's just not my cup of tea.  I spend a lot more time listening to old farts like myself talk about the old days on podcasts than I do watching modern wrestling.  The one constant in wrestling is that it's always changing, and from my experience most people prefer the era of wrestling they remember when they first got into it.  I'm no exception. 

 

But if you want some examples of stuff that wouldn't fly today that were no problem back in the day, I can think of a few:

 

1.  Roddy Piper mocking Jimmy Snuka's culture/ race before bashing his head with a coconut.  It got Roddy a ton of heat, which elevated him to a program with Hogan.  No way they let him say what he said then now.

 

2.  Rick Rude calling fans fat slobs.  You'll never hear wrestlers fat shame the audience anymore.  It worked so well for Rude, though, and totally got him over as an over the top cocky heel.

 

3.  Ted Dibiase belittling a young kid.  LDH mentioned this one earlier, but the Dibaise bit when he told a little boy he'd pay him 100 bucks to bounce a basketball 15 ball only to kick the ball away at 14 would probably be considered too mean by today's standards.  It did such of good job of getting the Million Dollar Man gimmick over, though.  Today they just can't (or won't) do that stuff anymore.


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#79
Lord Darth Hunter

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The point of being a true heel is to push buttons. People have known that wrestling is fake since the 30s. The only way to get the crowd to hate you is to be mean as ****. Nothing is off limits.
Otherwise you have the Miz going through the motions on camera and then going on Sportscenter laughing about it like its no big deal. Doesn't work.
I'm willing to bet that you've never seen true heel heat. Crowds today barely react to the show, but back in the day it was chaotic.
Today heels cut a promo and then immediately apologize for it at the risk of offending anyone, thus defeating the purpose of being a heel.

The best example I can think of is Sgt Slaughter turning on America and siding with Iraq. Right in the middle of the Gulf War and there were no reality shows on E! or WWE networks to show people that these guys were all really friends off camera.

#80
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One more thing about the Dibiase thing with the kid.  Before they did that Dibiase wasn't getting over as a heel, because even though he was belittling people in various ways most fans were willing participants because they got paid in the end.  The thing with the kid, though, was the first time he didn't pay (at least on camera-  I think they gave his parents the money after the show), and is what truly got him over as an ***hole heel.



#81
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I remember that...

And I thought it was hilarious.

At the same time though, a lot of these gimmicks wouldn’t work today anyway because we’re simply tired of them. Vince McMahon the character pretty much stole DiBiase’s gimmick. Anything a rich tool could do outside of stuffing cash in people’s mouths he’s done. Piper (a true great heel of all time) was ultimately just aggro/crazy.

I guess my point is, this kind of heat is easy, and after 30 years they need new angles. They can be clever in new ways and don’t have to go for the easy shots. You’ll get no arguement from me that the PC era is a thing— but I think that has more to do with broadcast standards, the evolution of smarks on social media, and a younger generation of fans becoming wrestlers themselves than politics.

For me, the best heels were always the ones that I legit disliked then suddenly realized that was the point, and they got me— Angle, Eddie, HHH— they all did this.

I’ve been waiting to suddenly like Lesnar for a decade but it hasn’t happened.

Oh—

Lesnar: working stiff AF (just ask Holly)
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#82
Darth Krawlie

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This kinda thing works for more than just wrestling. Ive always thought the synth line between "don't you" and "forget about me" is what made the song great.


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#83
Lord Darth Hunter

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The best villains have a legitimate reason for doing what they do, at least in their own minds, even though they are going about it the wrong way. HHH is a great example. He used the "I was held back and buried because I was part of the Kliq that broke kayfabe at Madison Square Garden" angle to rationalize why he was breaking rules and using his D-X buddies to cheat his way to the title. When you pulled back and looked at his story, there was an air of legitimacy to why he felt he had to do what he did, even if you knew it is wrong. Andre the Giant, he felt he was never given the shot he believed he deserved. Undefeated for 15 years (in the WWF storyline) and always the great sportsman, yet Hogan was getting all the glory. So he decided the only way to get his due was to turn on his friend.
 
Now, WWE gets lazy and tries to make heels by having wrestlers just be a-holes for no reason. They'll show Big Show in his hotel stiffing the bellhop and kicking him out of his room after the guy helped bring up all his luggage. All of a sudden that's supposed to make him a great wrestling heel? That just makes him a douche.

#84
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I just think it's hard to get a heel over with kayfabe being as dead as it is.  Not that I lament kayfabe, because it's death was inevitable even before the internet, but it really is hard to get fans to truly hate a wrestler they are supposed to hate if the heel doesn't play the role 100%.  It's silly that wrestling is that way, but it just kinda is.  You can easily argue that it's basically theater and that actors don't stay in character when they're not on stage so wrestlers shouldn't have to either, but I think wrestling is a bit different.  The amount of disbelief you have to suspend to see one guy give another guy a suplex (who's clearly helping the guy pick himself up) is more than what is required of an actor playing a more realistic character.

 

When I first got the WWE network and watched some of the old stuff that I grew up on I was reminded of how much more energetic the crowds were back then.  The reason why is because the fans truly hated the heels.  The crowds today show much less emotion.  I'm sure that part of that is that they've seen it all and are harder to inspire/entertain/shock, but I think a lot of it has to do with them simply not hating the bad guys (Roman Reigns doesn't count because he's not supposed to be a bad guy).



#85
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I've also noticed a growing trend of having wrestlers float between heel and face. Braun, Asuka, Miz, Charlotte, Sasha, and Aliestar Black off the top of my head.

There's also heels who get huge pops from Smarks.

Then there's guys like Cena who get equal love and hate no matter how they arebooked.

I think in a post Austin/Rock era where your top names frequently flipped sides and got pops no matter what, it's just a different game.

#86
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Actually, Tex— thinking about it... instead of crying about the PC police I think you could just point the finger at wrestling transcending itself. It has nothing to do with being PC and everything to do with Wrestling getting so big that everyone is a smark at this point. We’re not just programming for hicks in the sticks anymore.

Cena is a great example. People love him because at this stage he’s been an A-lister for over a decade. But he also gets legit heat because people are tired of him winning all the time... but you can’t tap into that and make him a heel when he’s out in the world being goofy in movies and giving more charitable donations than anyone else in the world outside of Bill Gates. You can’t make the dude who bankrolled Make A Wish for a year a villain— no one would buy it.

The Rock, one of the best heels ever, only comes back on occasion and is the highest paid movie star in the world— you can’t expect the masses to boo that.

I think a good worker can still draw heat, but the days of getting lynched at the airport by angry fans is gone.

#87
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Well I think a lot of it has to do with the WWE/WWF/WWWF always being a babyface friendly territory.  Most were not.  The other territories preferred the model of having a heel champion that was always being chased by pretty boy good guys.  For whatever reason Vince Sr. went with a babyface champ, even prior to the Sammartino days, and I guess you can't fault him for that because it obviously paid off for him.

 

Vince Jr is still married to that concept, and the fans are used to it as well.  When they brought Brock back he was supposed to be a heel but I think fans cheered him primarily because they're so used to a babyface champ.  Rock was supposed to be a heel but he was too charismatic not to be a face.  Same thing with Austin.

 

So I guess I'll just blame lazy booking on the lack of good WWE heels.  I know they'd take a big hit in merchandise sales if they gave a heel a long run with the belt, but they can take it.  It would be nice if they tried that rather than feeding heels to the babyface champ.   Doing so has wasted a ton of talent.  I often laugh about John Cena having 17 or so WWF/WWE world titles compared to Piper, Perfect, Rude, Jake Roberts, Orndorff, and Dibiase having precisely none. 


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#88
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I know they'd take a big hit in merchandise sales if they gave a heel a long run with the belt, but they can take it. . 

There was a time when this did play a factor, but is that really the case nowadays? 



#89
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I think it’s a bigger concern now than it ever was. There’s not big money in house shows. There’s money to keep the machine moving with TV deals— they made their real money of Pay Per Views for the longest time. Now they have the WWE network with offers a ton of content for a small fee— which nets them a ton of money since they own their content outright. The only limitation they have is the wait time to re-stream Raw.

It’s actually very similar to Star Wars, the vast bulk of the money is made from merchandise. Merch doesn’t mean selling t-shirts at the arena, it’s about licensing the IP to as many markets as possible. Toys, breakfast cereal, clothes, endorsements, music cross-platform streaming. Like Star Wars, you hve to basically look at the TV shows as long form commercials to sell products.

#90
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Yeah I also think the merch thing is still a big deal. They don't mind Cena and Reigns getting boos as long as the kiddies buy all of their crap merch.

So it makes it even harder to get a heel over, because they want as many marketable wrestlers as possible. If a guy is truly getting over as a heel no one is buying his T shirt.

I truly believe, though, that if they had better heels they'd be more apt to get the fans behind the Cenas and Reigns of the world. Ultimately Vince knows he's the only show in town and that people are going to watch his product regardless so he just does whatever he personally finds entertaining.

#91
The Choc

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The problem is people like us watch the show from the outside. We don't eat what they give us with a spoon any more. When there is a good heel fans like us will cheer that heel in appreciation for doing a good job. Just how it is.

 

Also, it wasn't very long ago that CM Punk, who was certainly a heel had the belt for over a year. 



#92
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I just mean in the sense that in order to have strong merchandise sales you need a great babyface champion. There was a time when you needed the belt on Hogan to market the hell out of the All American hero fighting off all these faceless behemoths like King Kong Bundy. But did it really hurt merch sales when Hogan went full heel in WCW? 

 

One can definitely argue that if Cena went heel all the little kids who still believe wrestling is real won't want to buy his stuff anymore. But if you have a strong face like the Rock chasing a strong heel like HHH, I don't think Rock merchandise suffers just because he doesn't have the belt.



#93
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Lord: I agree with you. I just think Vince is married to the concept of a babyface champ, primarily out of spite. He's fully aware of how wrestling used to work but is determined to do it his way regardless, and he he knows he can get away with it because he has no competition. People always say he's a wrestling genius, but I disagree. He's simply a great promoter. He's ashamed of being involved with wrestling and would easily peddle monster trucks if it paid the bills. Hence the WBF, hence the XFL, hence the horrible movies, the impending revival of the XFL, etc. I know there was an icopro in there somewhere, but whatever.

Choc: Punk was a heel in name only. If anything the attempt to portray Punk as a heel kinda proves my point, because everyone loved him anyway. He was only a heel to Vince. All they did was use him as an excuse to make the world title a mid card ordeal so they could send the kiddies home happy with a babyface win in the last match.

#94
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I don't watch wrestling as often as I used to, but it seems to me that there are some wrestlers the fans won't "allow" to become a heel because they like them so much.

#95
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And that's why heels should be allowed to be heels.

Can you imagine Die Hard without Hans Gruber? Star Wars without Darth Vader? One of the reasons why every SW movie made since 83 has suffered has been because they no longer have a solid bad guy.

You need to have a good heel in order for wrestling to work. They can do it but they're just lazy.

#96
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Hell all they would have to do is have someone do a Trump gimmick. Then have him go on twitter and berate everyone.

Give him a Hillary type as his manager just to make sure you piss everyone off and people will truly hate the guy.

#97
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Lord: I agree with you. I just think Vince is married to the concept of a babyface champ, primarily out of spite. He's fully aware of how wrestling used to work but is determined to do it his way regardless, and he he knows he can get away with it because he has no competition. People always say he's a wrestling genius, but I disagree. He's simply a great promoter. He's ashamed of being involved with wrestling and would easily peddle monster trucks if it paid the bills. Hence the WBF, hence the XFL, hence the horrible movies, the impending revival of the XFL, etc. I know there was an icopro in there somewhere, but whatever.

Choc: Punk was a heel in name only. If anything the attempt to portray Punk as a heel kinda proves my point, because everyone loved him anyway. He was only a heel to Vince. All they did was use him as an excuse to make the world title a mid card ordeal so they could send the kiddies home happy with a babyface win in the last match.

 

Everyone didn't love him, everyone like us did but a wide swath of fans did not like him. Just like everyone does not hate Reigns, a huge segment of the fanbase does like him. 


Hell all they would have to do is have someone do a Trump gimmick. Then have him go on twitter and berate everyone.

Give him a Hillary type as his manager just to make sure you piss everyone off and people will truly hate the guy.

Wasn't that basically Jack Swagger?



#98
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Lord: I agree with you. I just think Vince is married to the concept of a babyface champ, primarily out of spite. He's fully aware of how wrestling used to work but is determined to do it his way regardless, and he he knows he can get away with it because he has no competition. People always say he's a wrestling genius, but I disagree. He's simply a great promoter. He's ashamed of being involved with wrestling and would easily peddle monster trucks if it paid the bills. Hence the WBF, hence the XFL, hence the horrible movies, the impending revival of the XFL, etc. I know there was an icopro in there somewhere, but whatever.

I'm so glad that Stephanie turned out to be the kid who loved the business she grew up in so much she wants to take it over and even better, she married a guy who lives and breathes wrestling.

Everyone didn't love him, everyone like us did but a wide swath of fans did not like him. Just like everyone does not hate Reigns, a huge segment of the fanbase does like him. 

I don't care for Punk or Daniel Bryan.

And yes, that basically was Jack Swagger. But I think Swagger's portrayal along with Zeb, was too on the nose and that wears off quickly. It needs to be more subtle. I think back to JBL's championship run in the mid-2000's. He played his character right in the middle of the George W Bush presidency but didn't do a direct copy of Bush. He played it off more llike JR Ewing and because of the times it resonated.

#99
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Good lord no. Jack Swagger had no swagger and Jeb Coulter was no Hillary. No disrespect to ole ditrty Dutch Mantel but that gimmick was doomed to fail. And all of that happened pre election, as you know.

The way to make that gimmick work would be to repackage an older talent who knows how to work with a "make WWE great again" thing with a fat old hag manager who's got a Hillary haircut who just smiles and waves a lot when she's not providing outside interference.

I'm sure it's been discussed in closed doors, but it won't happen because Vince doesn't want to piss off his buddy Trump.

#100
Lord Darth Hunter

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Not to mention Trump gave Linda McMahon a job.



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