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Favorite Version of a Wrestler's Character


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Wasn't my favorite at the time but I really appreciate Eddie's run as sleazebag frenemy right before his death. He had to go so far out to get booed and then rode it all the way back.

 

I was also going to mention this, going from terrible, child stealing, heel to world's most loveable babyface was awesome. There have also been a few that I have liked from Punk, the original Summer of Punk, Straight Edge Society, 2011 Summer of Punk and WWE title run were all tremendous. I may be in the minority here, but I also thought that Christian's run in TNA as world champion was pretty good from a performance aspect. Clearly the material was at times lackluster, but in terms of performance I liked seeing Christian in that role. 2000-2002 era old man Tenryu was also pretty awesome. 

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Hogan & Edge was the only time I ever appreciated Hogan.  Still begrudgingly, but it was hard to hate him then, and I'd hated the guy since literally (born in '81) before I can remember. 

 

Surfer Sting was wonderful when I was a kid, but I watch that stuff now and wow, what a dork.  I almost don't like seeing it, because he was my favorite face as a kid.  The early Crow stuff is still great theater, though.

 

Non-goofy Angle never worked for me.  In the 'rasslin tradition of trivializing 9/11, I'd say that it was the worst thing that could have happened to Kurt Angle's character.

 

Conspiracy Victim/Unified TV Champion Chris Jericho was the best thing on WCW and better than all but the top 3-4 acts in WWE back in 1998. That year long run basically set up his entire career. Even though it sucked when he first came to WWF and tried to redo the gimmick with Howard Finkle playing the part of Ralphus.I never hated WCW (I even bought their ppvs until the bitter end) but the fact they wouldn't even give Jericho a friggin' squash match against Goldberg after he single-handedly set up the most interesting angle Goldberg ever had in WCW pretty much convinced me those idiots deserved to go out of business.

 

 

Chris Jericho: Crusierweight/TV champion. Not only one of the best comedic runs of all time, but it was probably the most credible in-ring stretch he ever had too. 

 

Heel Jericho from Souled Out '98 through the rest of his WCW run is my favorite character ever.  Easily the most hilarious comedic heel run by a wrestler ever, and yeah, the matches were excellent.  I remember being infuriated that they wouldn't even let Goldberg come out there and squash him.  I was so hyped up for his WWF appearance that I lost my voice shouting at the TV the night he appeared, but it was never the same after that one amazing entrance.

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As great as Jericho's heel run in WCW was, I liked his first face run in WWE where he was feuding with Stephanie McMahon, which was about the only time Steph was ever tolerable as an on-screen character. The memory of Jericho and Rock cutting dueling promos bagging on her (culminating in Rock saying "motherfucker" on tv...oops) is a lasting one.

 

Crow Sting, definitely. If only that character had had a lengthy title run when he should have.

 

Flair from the early 80's through the end of his first WWF run. It's a testament to the greatness of Ric Flair that his "best run" was a fucking decade.

 

Macho King Randy Savage.

 

HBK and HHH from DX v1.

 

Singin' Steve Austin.

 

Straight Edge Society CM Punk.

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Lying/cheating/stealing face Eddy.

 

Milk truck driving goofy face Kurt Angle.

 

Reeking of Awesomeness Edge and Christian.

 

Deadman-Taker. Look, I get that a lot of people liked BikerTaker as something different, but really this is the iconic version of the character for a reason.

 

Team Hell No Kane. Most interesting he's been in anything that didn't involve Taker, and probably the most complex version of his character.

 

Early Mankind, when he first started developing his character and feuding with Taker.

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I hated Jericho's heel persona in WCW. Found it totally obnoxious. So it worked. Funny how sometimes you'll get totally worked by a great heel, and other times you'll totally embrace them. Anyway, I never really liked Jericho again after that.

 

Whoever said Rock is a terrible babyface is bang wrong. By 2000 he was a really good working babyface, super sympathetic seller and timed his comebacks really well. And charismatic of course. I always found his character annoying though, so my favourite version of the Rock is probably sporadic comeback Rock. I can just appreciate him more that way.

 

Some others:

 

1997 Bret is my favourite character/run ever

Mankind from his debut up to about mid-98

King Bookah

Veteran superworker Goldust from (was it?) 2011

Power of the punch Regal/Ruthless Roundtable Regal

ECW champ Christian (yeah, ECW was awesome)

WCW heel Eddy

Paranoid attention-starved Steve Austin

Pillman was a much better babyface worker, but I always loved his heel characters. Hart Foundation era is probably the best version, but the beginnings of that character as the Loose Cannon Horseman was top notch too

Horseman Windham

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Could the case be made for the /Flair/Arn/Sid/Windham horsemen to be possibly the best drawing configuration?

 

In hindsight it seems like a supergroup with relatively little downside.

 

This was the Horsemen line-up when I first started watching WCW, so they've always been my favorite version. 

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I could very well be alone in this, but I enjoyed D-Lo as European champion.

 

I think everybody loved D'Lo around that time.

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What about Mark Henry: Hall of Pain. Thats gotta be everyones favourite version.

 

While current Mark Henry is awesome, I've always been partial to poetry spouting Sexual Chocolate myself.

 

One of the ways you can always tell a guy has that "It Factor" is when they're given a shit gimmick and still manage to make it work. Vince and co. saddled him with that gimmick in order to discourage and bury him yet he got it over to the point people still remember it fondly to this day. I couldn't believe that in the middle of a wrestling war, they kept escalating the gimmick until we had Sammy the Transvestite and May Young's hand in order to bang it over people's heads, "We hate this guy! You should treat him like a joke, too!"

 

It sucks that it took 13 years for WWE to realize the guy's obvious charisma.   

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During. It was after his match against Dan Severn during the '98 KOTR qualifier he started using it. He won the Euro belt in July. So, technically, before and during.

 

Discovering the greatness that is mid-to-late '70s Buddy Rose, that is so much better than morbidly obese Buddy.

 

Although...

 

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JBL as WWE's JR Ewing: so simple, so genius

 

Straight-Edge CM Punk: I just wish it had been taken further, with him turning into a total cult leader sort

 

Hollywood Rock burying entiring cities in song

 

MVP as WWE's Terrell Owens: again, a simple idea that was carried well

 

Rock and Jericho's bagging on Stephanie and her ridiculous boob job: always good for a laugh

 

Kane during his engagement/marriage with Lita: a case of an otherwise silly angle working on the strength of Kane 100% selling it

 

Heel Batista at the end: just a nasty piece of work who worked perfectly

 

Mark Henry and anytime he's heel: Henry just IS, and it's great to watch.  Anyone who threatens to charge others for breathing has my respect.

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Could the case be made for the /Flair/Arn/Sid/Windham horsemen to be possibly the best drawing configuration?

 

In hindsight it seems like a supergroup with relatively little downside.

I always thought Flair/Arn/Tully/Windham was considered to be the best incarnation but man, that's still a freggin' awesome combo.

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I'll throw one more out there- 1988 Varsity Club Mike Rotundo.  Loved that gimmick so much better than anything else he ever did.

 

The whole Varsity Club gimmick was great.  The first time around, that is.  The less said about the Russo version, the better.

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