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Justifying Heel Actions


Thomas Bugg
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Kevin Owens turned on Sami Zayn because he has a family to feed and he couldn't afford to wait to earn a title match. Just look at the guy--you think anyone else in that family is getting second helpings of meatloaf when he's around? His kids were wasting away.

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Um no, Martel's return was the Wrestlemania match, it was even hyped as such going in. Martel had no TV matches previous. It was an ut of nowhere heel turn

 

James

 

Cagematch has Martel squashing Iron Mike Sharpe and Jose Estrada on TV a month before Wrestlemania, winning a couple of squashes at the beginning of the year, and participating in that year's Rumble.

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Pistol Pez turning on Boggie Woogie.

 

This a million times. "The best black athlete" Why can't he just be the best athlete!  Literally one of the first things that got me into wrestling. My uncle that I idolized was super pissed that Jimmy Valiant said that and that turned me into it. I hated Jimmy Valiant for years after this.

 

Pez's turn had nothing to do with racism.  He was actually angry that Valiant and the booker were dragging him into the neverending Paul Jones/Boggie Woogie Man feud of suck.  No one who sat through that entire feud could blame him in the slightest.

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Anybody who turned during Hogan's initial 4-year reign probably got wise to the idea that Hulk's friends weren't getting booked in main event title matches. And history has justified them all.

 

Hogan is the benchmark for justifiable heel turns.

 

Sid at Rumble 92 is another, "every man for himself" my ass.

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I wish to God I could remember those Martel squashes and Santana asking him to team again sots but I'm drawing ablank. He was in the Rumble didn't do anything of note. Huh... can't argue with facts.

 

James

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To this day, every time he sees him, Barry Windham should punch Dustin Rhodes right in the fucking face.

 

When I was a kid this was my favorite tag team at that particular moment, particularly after they managed to take down Gordy and Williams.  I was screaming at my tv over Dustin's sheer stupidity and cheered wildly as Barry beat the hell out of him.  This was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the topic title.

 

And yes, the Sting walking out deal was great because virtually the whole year beforehand was spent with Sting refusing to stop believing in Lex Luger despite all the various bad things he was doing.  Hell, if you look at Sting's entire career his fatal flaw is that he is just willing to believe in someone no matter what, which resulted in all those times he got turned on.  For someone to turn around and say that they don't trust or believe him, and for that person to be Lex of all people after the previous year really was just about the worst way you could insult Sting.

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Pez was a black celebrity in the Carolinas. Having a gimmick to defend himself at all times was totally justified.

 

Why does he have to be a black celebrity?

 

Also, if Kerry Von Erich had just pinned Ric Flair when Michael Hayes told him too, we could have been spared all that bloodshed.

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The Hayes/Von Erich playes in to what Hayes philosophy on heel psychology that no matter what lengths the heel will go to, in his mind he is doing the right thing

 

Jsmes

 

 

Good rule of thumb for the villain in any form of storytelling, really.

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I agree that Russo havign people constantly turn killed the effectiveness of a heel turn.

Hell didn't Carlito turn on Chris Masters at one point in 07 and it should have effectively made Masters a face but then they just ignored it the following week?

I mean it wasn't Russo who booked it but it kinda hammers the point in

 

James

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i want to appreciate Mick Foley in here. He's justified most of his heel turns (pre 2000) in the ring, and it just makes sense. It always felt like he put a ton of thought into his character's actions and worked to express that to the audience.

the one that always sticks in my mind is the "i was getting beat up and you fans chanted, not for me to fight back, but for some other guy to come in" which led to his feud with Austin.

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God Foley begging Tommy Dreamer to leave ECW and take a WCW contract in order save himself from the ECW fans ended being so prophetic. His claim of "THESE ECW FANS WILL BE THE DEATH OF YOU!" rings in my head to this day.  

 

James

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i want to appreciate Mick Foley in here. He's justified most of his heel turns (pre 2000) in the ring, and it just makes sense. It always felt like he put a ton of thought into his character's actions and worked to express that to the audience.

the one that always sticks in my mind is the "i was getting beat up and you fans chanted, not for me to fight back, but for some other guy to come in" which led to his feud with Austin.

 

Foley has his own version of the "the heel should always believe he's in the right" maxim [credited upthread to Hayes] in one of his books (the first one, I think, since I don't think I ever read the others), as he relates a story about how he learned it early in his career and has espoused it ever since.  Don't remember who he credits with teaching him though.

 

And as I recall, he certainly stuck to that in his career.  The various incarnations of Foley always had a logic to their turns.  Sometimes it was insane logic, but a logic nonetheless, and "insane" befit both Mankind and Cactus Jack anyway.

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Had there been dissension between Rhodes/Windham before the match where Windham turns?

To a degree, minor things like Barry taking all the belts after the title win. Minor dissension at Halloween Havoc. 

Barry was justified the second Dustin stopped him from pinning Steamboat. He made a decision for the team that openly disrespected his partner. Barry was not trying to maim or cripple Steamboat. Simply trying to pin him and end the match. Then Dustin leaves his partner and friend in a handicap match. 

Barry was justified in beating Dustin up and to a lesser extent, bashing Steamboat and Douglas brains in. 

Now for Hulk Hogan and various run ins with friends. That people think they are justified, is a product of young minds brainwashed by the magazines. People never get that Jesse was 95% full of shit. The things he was right about was to give him some credibility. The problem is Vince and Gorilla for whatever reason did not call him out on it. It was off putting when Schiavonie was doing it at Summerslam 89.

Savage was in no way justified for his actions. Without Hogan, Savage would not have been WWF champion. Dibiase would have won the title at Wrestlemania 4. Now you can question whether Hogan saved him because he cared about Savage or hated Dibiase. i think it was a mixture of both. 

Hogan saved Savage from the Mega Bucks during the summer. Without Hogan, Savage would have been overwhelmed by Andre and Dibiase.

Not that Savage did not try to be a friend to Hogan. He did help him against Akeem and Bossman, but even then it seemed like Hogan was bailing him out. 

The problem was that no matter what Savage did as WWF champion, he could not forget he never beat Hogan for the title. That Hogan was always bailing him out. He had to attack Hogan to preserve his tenuous grasp on sanity. But he could not outright say he felt like a paper champion with Hogan around. So he starts saying Hogan wants Elizabeth, which was ridiculous. 

Hogan did not care about Elizabeth beyond her being Savage's manager. If he wanted her why did he not use her as a manager? 

Andre turning heel had nothing to do with challenging Hogan, it was making Heenan his manager. Why was the Ultimate Warrior not a heel for challenging Hogan in 1990?

Orndorff is more of a sad case. He is a bad guy to his core, but he wanted to do good. Heenan knew it was only a matter of time before he cracked. So Heenan added pressure and knew exactly how to get under Orndorff's skin. That he made it a year without snapping was impressive.

But Hogan was a busy man with lots of responsibility. He could not babysit a grown man all the time. 

Sid was justified to be angry about the Rumble. But not for his actions leading to WM 8.

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Yeah it was in Foley's first book about the psychology of a heel coming from Hayes.

 

Another example of the Heel psychology ala Hayes: The Road Warriors turn on Sting. It was supposed to be the Roadies and Dusty defending the 6 Man titles but Dusty blew them off for a charity event and Sting subbed for him. The Roadies took their anger out on Stinger and laid the blame at Dusty's feet, saying he didn't care about the 6 Man championship and in turn showed how some "stupid kids" were more important than the titles. For weeks everyone waited for Dusty's response. This led to the eyegouging incident on TBS and then the Starrcade tag title match. Dusty wanting revenge for his eye, Sting wanting revenge for his neck and the Roadies just wanting to beat the crap out of both.

 

James

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