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The Verdict: What Makes A Babyface? Action or Reaction?
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Old 02 Sep 2010, 01:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Verdict: What Makes A Babyface? Action or Reaction?

What's your opinion? Since the mid-90's, wrestling has gotten edgier and edgier, sometimes blurring the lines between good and bad in order to shock or surprise the audience. It begs the question; what makes a wrestler a good guy?

Guys like Eddie Guerrero headlined as faces, taking on heels and tricking them with illegal tight pulls, swerve DQ's, and various other tactics that would make Ric Flair blush, and yet we all embraced him as a hero of Mexico, just as he embraced his proud ring style of lying, cheating, and stealing.

Meanwhile we have a squeaky clean boy scout in John Cena who comes off reminiscent of old school 80's babyfaces. He plays by the rules, he sets a good example for children, he publically does charity work and embraces the creedo of hussle, loyalty, and respect, yet he gets the biggest mixed reaction out of anyone in wrestling history. Years ago when this happened to Rocky Miavia unanimously he turned and became a legendary heel.

Meanwhile, guys like Edge, JBL, Chris Jericho and various others follow the same game plan as Guerrero in the ring and get booed out of the building. And guys like Rey Mysterio who play it by the book and stand for the same morals as Cena get unanimous crowd reactions.

Why is this so? And which has more influence in your eyes over whose face or heel? A crowd reaction, or how a superstar's being booked? Which does matter overall and which should matter? Who truly decides whose heel or face? The booker or the crowd? And do actions dictate alignment?

Most thought out answer gets the 5 star treatment
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Old 02 Sep 2010, 01:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, In My Opinion, a good guy in the world of pro wrestling isn't someone who does everything by the book or suck up to the fans, by that I mean a good babyface wrestler is someone who the crowd loves regardless of rather they are a good guy or a bad guy, a great example would be for WWE, Eddie Guerrero, Eddie cheated most of his matches and did illegal moves to pick up the victories, but did anyone really hate Eddie, no we freaking love Eddie, he has a great passion for the ring and entertained us every time he stepped foot in the ring, another great example for TNA would be AJ Styles, this guy has ruthless aggression and rather he was facing a heel or face, he would always say how he is the best and he could do things that most guys could no do. A great face is someone who gets loved without sucking up to the crowd, or being the normal nice guys babyface. I really think that the fans decide who are the babyfaces and the heels in the world of pro wrestling, an example would be Edge, earlier this year Edge ''shocked the world'' when he returned and won the Royal Rumble, and he was supposed to get revenge on Chris Jericho, at that current time Chris Jericho was one of the top heels in WWE, but did the crowd give him huge pops no, I mean sure they cheered because he was the good guy, but they did not cheer and give him pops, like guys like John Cena and Randy Orton get.
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Old 02 Sep 2010, 01:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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In my eyes, a face or a heel is decided by the booker, sure Cena is a face, and sometimes gets a mixed reaction like he was a tweener, but in the end, its the booker on who really decides if the wrestler is a face or a heel.. Sure the crowd can indeed choose who they think should be the faces and heels, but it just wouldn't make alot of sense to me because then the majority of wrestlers would be faces. In the end it all comes down to the booker since he's the one deciding who's who and in my opinion, it's the booker.
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Old 02 Sep 2010, 02:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Reaction .

Your right on the fact that people like Eddie Guerrero and Ric Flair crossed the line and used illegal tactics to win the match . But no matter what they did, they were always good with the crowd, and got the reaction .

Months ago, you see Randy Orton, RKOing Stephanie McMahon and punting Shane McMahon . But a person like The Rock could of done the same thing, and the same reaction from the crowd would not have happened . So who makes a superstar a heel or a face ? The crowd .

And like I said before, Randy Orton is one time punting The McMahon Family and low-blowing the likes of Shawn Michaels and Triple H .

But another month comes, and you see people chanting Randy's name at Wrestlemania . I don't think this was meant to happen . But the WWE booking team just went with it and now look at Randy . Getting more pops than Rey Mysterio or even the Undertaker .

But look at action . People like Ric Flair had illegal actions . The same low blow and the same fingers to the eyes .

But he had the same pops week in and week out . But it depends on who it was against .

If Ric Flair hit Edge with a chair, the crowd would chant . But if he hit someone like The Undertaker, the crowd wouldn't like him anymore . But if Undertaker hit Edge with a chair, the crowd would still love him . So who is still making the wrestler the heel or the face . The crowd .

So Action or Reaction ? Its all about the reaction, my friend .
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Old 02 Sep 2010, 02:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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well heel and face have classical definitions and i think it still falls under those two. if you a star is written to steal a title with MITB heel steals from a face and vice versa. i dont think Miz will strike till a face wins the title, which i think will happen if Cena or Orton are pulling to win. C.M. Punk went heel after stealing the title from Jeff hardy but seen as a face when he yanked it from Edge. when it comes to Action/Reaction it would fall to action. best example would be the brett hart/Stone cold fued a while back. Hart was set to be the face but he was always booed because people liked Stone Cold more.
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Old 02 Sep 2010, 02:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Actions determine heel/face status, not crowd reactions. Far too many fans seem to be under the impression that cheers = face. Randy Orton is no more a face for the cheers he gets than John Cena is a heel for the boos he gets. ACTIONS determine that status. Faces do play by the rules, fight fair, and never take shortcuts. John Cena and Rey Mysterio are the only main event faces in the WWE right now. Big Show is borderline but he knocks out his opponents with punches which is against the rules (or is supposed to be). And Christian isn't a main eventer.

Wasn't that long ago when the definition of heel was rulebreaker meaning somebody who broke the rules. Nowadays that definition is out-dated because there really aren't any specific rules anymore. Guys can eye-gouge, low blow, uses weapons, toss opponents over the top rope, do run-ins, and pretty much everything in front of referees now. Things that caused DQs and heel status in the old days get cheered these days. Rather, the guys that do them get cheered. About the only thing left that USUALLY causes DQs these days is attacking the ref (as opposed to the ref getting in the way and getting run over by accident).

We can excuse Eddie's dirty tricks as Eddie just using the heel's tactics against them after they were done to him first. Eddie wasn't trying to screw over the heels (like a heel would do), he was just giving them a dose of their own medicine (which, in the old days, used to get tremendous pops). Eddie...lightened things up by being funny about teaching the heels a lesson by using their tricks against them.

Fans these days don't seem to want heroes in wrestling. They don't seem to even want goody two-shoes babyfaces anymore. They just seem to want to see a bunch of guys doing dirty tricks to each other without any sort of rhyme or reason to it. The screwed-over face deserved it because he's boring and he sucks. The screwed-over heel gets sympathy because the face kissed Vince's a*s to keep his spot and buried the heel. Faces don't win matches, they bury their heel opponents. Bizarre...

The most effective babyface in the entire business is John Cena. He doesn't whine and complain, he never gives up, and never refuses a challenge no matter the odds. If he loses, he owns up to it. Then gets right back in the ring. But that's not the only attributes that make him the most effective face in the business.

Seems most fans today don't understand what a babyface really is. Um, he's the good guy, duh! Yeah, but do you know WHY he's the good guy? Um, somebody's gotta do it? Well, yeah, you have to have a good guy and a bad guy, but do you know WHY? Um... That's right, young Grasshopper, for CONFLICT. Without conflict you don't have a story. Uh, okay... Let me illustrate...

Midcard Babyface Kofi Kingston gets tired of being screwed over, gets angry and goes after one of the guys doing the screwing. Main Event Heel Randy Orton sneers at the young upstart. Kofi gets determined and pulls off the upset win. Fans are shocked. Mini-feud ensues with Main Event Heel Orton eventually getting the decisive win to end the feud. Nobody cares and just writes it off as Orton doing a good thing (letting Kofi beat him). Nobody expected Kofi to win the feud because he's not at Orton's level so the fan interest wasn't there. Wasn't much conflict at all. Those two weren't equals.

Now substitute Main Event Babyface John Cena for Midcard Babyface Kingston and the interest goes WAY up. Cena and Orton are on an equal level and there's a World Title (or contender spot FOR a World Title) at stake. Two guys wanting the same thing, equally qualified, with diametrically opposing methods of obtaining it. The conflict is THERE.

What most fans are missing, and what I've been trying to get across for I don't know how long now, is Cena HAS to be there. He's the hero, the pillar of rock-solid morality and strength opposing the bad guy (Orton). Kofi couldn't provide that because he's not on Orton's level and nobody believed he could or would beat Orton. Cena, though, is stronger than Orton, physically, mentally, emotionally. Orton probably takes him psychologically, but in every other way Cena is stronger. Orton knows it, WE know it. So Orton has to cheat, do dirty tricks, take shortcuts, and get outside help for any hope at success. Yeah, Cena is the boring goody two-shoes but he provides the rock-solid tower of strength against which Orton can do his cool and entertaining dirty tricks. Cena doesn't cheat, rarely retaliates in kind, and plays by the rules to show THAT'S the right way to succeed.
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