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Thomas Bugg

Heels That Are Incapable Of Being Babyfaces

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13 hours ago, Go2Sleep said:

 

One current guy that isn't important at all but fits the question is Erick Rowan. That guy is just meant to be quiet, ugly muscle. Remember when they tried to make him a genius wine-maker?

The funny thing is that I am a winemaker and a cellist. 

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I am a big Ole Anderson mark, but a major part of his face run post-Horsemen was incorporating the novelty hit single "The Curly Shuffle" into his interviews and ringwork. The horror, the horror...

 

If anyone thinks that there is a single heel who cannot be booked as a babyface -and if they were ever any kind of an effective heel, an over babyface- then you really do not understand Thee Rasslings.

-RAF

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Iron Shiek is the first name that came to my mind

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19 hours ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

I absolutely hate the guys I mentioned because I think they're shit wrestlers. Miz has the added bonus of being a douchebag from the Real World, who has essentially been doing the "Hollywood A-List" gimmick for what feels like years now. As much as I love Bryan Danielson, I am beyond sick of his program with Miz. I would have been so excited for Bryan vs. Almas if it wasn't guaranteed to be used to further Bryan vs. Miz.

But that ties into the modern paradox that is doing more to kill pro wrestling than anything else:

If you are a heel, and you can't get the crowd to boo you, you're a TERRIBLE HEEL.

If you're a heel wrestler who is talented at their job of being the bad guy, eventually the fans will cheer you- and in the process, make you bad at your job. 

As such, the only heels who can be built around and pushed as top stars because they're heels are the one group of people fans will boo: People who are inept at their job and can't perform well. 

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I don't think the premise that pro wrestling is being killed—or the secondary conclusion that you have to push “bad” wrestlers to get the right reactions, and make money—is remotely evidence based. WWE got a tv deal that essentially makes them bulletproof while having top faces booed for a decade; New Japan’s doing their best business since the Musketeers era primarily because two heels—Naito and Omega—became such overwhelming fan favorites; of course Mexico was ahead of everyone in realizing rudo fans spend money too.

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11 hours ago, BrianS81177 said:

Iron Shiek is the first name that came to my mind

If you had him renounce the Ayatollah and or be turned on, he could have been a babyface. If Sarge and Adnan had turned on him and he was rescued by a babyface Nikolai Volkoff, that could have worked. 

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13 hours ago, thee Reverend Axl Future said:

I am a big Ole Anderson mark, but a major part of his face run post-Horsemen was incorporating the novelty hit single "The Curly Shuffle" into his interviews and ringwork. The horror, the horror...

 

If anyone thinks that there is a single heel who cannot be booked as a babyface -and if they were ever any kind of an effective heel, an over babyface- then you really do not understand Thee Rasslings.

-RAF

It's not that you can't book those guys as babyfaces, it's that they wouldn't be particularly successful babyfaces. Greg Valentine was a dude that was just born to be a heel. Could he be booked as a face? Yes and he was ok in that role. But was he as over as he was when he was a heel? Hell no b/c he's a guy who looks like an asshole, wrestles like an asshole and gives interviews like an asshole. On the flipside, you could book a guy like Steamboat as a heel and would he have done well at it? Perhaps b/c he's a talented mofo. But would he have been a convincing bad guy? Prob not b/c he's comes across as too nice.

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3 hours ago, odessasteps said:

If you had him renounce the Ayatollah and or be turned on, he could have been a babyface. If Sarge and Adnan had turned on him and he was rescued by a babyface Nikolai Volkoff, that could have worked. 

Imagine Sheik getting attacked/betrayed around 1986, and him morphing into a suplexing brawler who worked lots of violent gimmick matches (essentially no longer waving a flag and shouting IRAN NUMBER ONE). I think that guy gets cheered, particularly in the northeast.

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On 8/31/2018 at 8:38 PM, OSJ said:

Sully started as a babyface. Power-lifting brawler from Southie; wasn't bad, just pretty generic regional babyface sort. He obviously had to do a heel turn, you're not going to get an Irish dude with a Boston accent thicker than chowder over in the deep south. Now on the other hand, a goof rolling his eyes, talking to imaginary friends (or fiends, as the case may be) and spouting random nonsense from the Lewis Spence Encyclopedia of the Occult ... That's money. Sullivan was also fortunate in having Bob Roop and Mark Lewin to work with (two guys every bit as eccentric as he is). True story: Roop actually spent a couple of days on the telephone calling up cosmetic surgeons to get quotes on reversible surgeries that he and Lewin could have done that would make them look really grotesque. Now there's dedication to one's craft and then there's Bob Roop and Mark Lewin...

He did have a long babyface run in Knoxville back in the early 70s.

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If you look at early pictures of Khosrow Vasiri with full head of hair and no mustache, you can totally see him as a face instead of as Sheiky Baby.

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3 hours ago, RolandTHTG said:

The Warlord could have been a stretch.

Powers of Pain were faces when they first entered the WWF. They even got a good reaction during their entrance at the 1988 Survivor Series when they did the double turn with Demolition. Going back and re-watching it, their heel turn definitely wasn't clear at first. It looked more like a face turn for Mr. Fuji before they starting doing increasingly more heelish things, like continuing to beat down the Young Stallions after the match until Demolition comes out for the save.

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8 hours ago, SorceressKnight said:

But that ties into the modern paradox that is doing more to kill pro wrestling than anything else:

If you are a heel, and you can't get the crowd to boo you, you're a TERRIBLE HEEL.

If you're a heel wrestler who is talented at their job of being the bad guy, eventually the fans will cheer you- and in the process, make you bad at your job. 

As such, the only heels who can be built around and pushed as top stars because they're heels are the one group of people fans will boo: People who are inept at their job and can't perform well. 

 

I eventually figured out that this was why Justin Credible was intentionally lame in ECW, and why Paul E. stuck with him (along with everyone better than him got raided by WCW/WWF).

Justin Credible was well-designed to never be cool enough to have a "smart" indie crowd like ECW turn him babyface.  His ring name was stupid.  His ring gear was technically unique but derivative and unspectacular.  His signature foreign object was plagarized from a more popular worker in the territory.  He was paired with Nicole Bass and Jason rather than any of the cool managers/valets.  His catchphrase was hokey and whenever he uttered it, he shoehorned it into his promo, rather than working towards it organically.  He was the one guy who couldn't sell out because nobody else wanted to buy him.  And they kept having "better wrestlers" put him over.

And so he kept getting booed.

 

Anyway I guess this means Justin Credible is my answer.  Since I feel like basically all managers are ineligible for this topic because manager role is traditional so incompatible with babyface roles (though paradoxically most successful managers get a token face run by the end once they get "love to hate" enough).

Otherwise I'd name every legendary manager here.

4 hours ago, cwoy2j said:

It's not that you can't book those guys as babyfaces, it's that they wouldn't be particularly successful babyfaces. Greg Valentine was a dude that was just born to be a heel. Could he be booked as a face? Yes and he was ok in that role. But was he as over as he was when he was a heel? Hell no b/c he's a guy who looks like an asshole, wrestles like an asshole and gives interviews like an asshole. On the flipside, you could book a guy like Steamboat as a heel and would he have done well at it? Perhaps b/c he's a talented mofo. But would he have been a convincing bad guy? Prob not b/c he's comes across as too nice.

The irony is that Ricky Steamboat's real name would make such a fantastic heel work name.

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On 8/30/2018 at 3:31 AM, CreativeControl said:

Rick Rude is the go-to name for me, the most naturally gifted heel of all time. Talking of naturally gifted I'd have put Triple H up there too tbh, I'm amazed he ever managed to be a face again after his mid-00s run at the top

Rick Rude seems like he should be an answer to this question but, although I'd agree he seemed like he'd always have been a better heel than a babyface, and was a natural heel, babyface Rick Rude doesn't quite seem unfathomable.  Very much could've/would've been a babyface in the Attitude Era if he'd been around for it.

Also, there's this from Memphis(?)

don't know how long this turn lasted or if it was just an anti-Jimmy Hart thing but he's clearly a babyface here.

 

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Wasnt Rude nominally a babyface when he was doing commentary in ecw? 

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Abdullah the Butcher got over as a face in Puerto Rico by dancing. That can work for any monster or crazy heel. Your unlikable asshole heels might not get the same results.

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22 minutes ago, odessasteps said:

Wasnt Rude nominally a babyface when he was doing commentary in ecw? 

that does sound familiar (and illustrates my point about him being an ideal "attitude era" style face), though I think the masked ECW commentator bit was ultimately an extended swerve.

Supposedly WCW was also considering a Rick Rude face turn that never got a chance to happen due to the injury.

there's this too, although I'm not sure how much jobbers count as having an alignment at all, but Rude gets some offense and it's very babyface-oriented

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Jarrett was talking on his podcast on trying to bring Rude out of his shell while he was in Memphis. 

"Are you proud of how hard you worked for that physique? Let people know it " 

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Yeah, Rude was on his way to a face turn and feud with Vader before back injury #2 retired him.

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Rude all but turned face in 94. If the back injury didn't happen, he was clearly the face against Vader, but still heel vs Sting on the road.

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15 hours ago, BobbyWhioux said:

Rick Rude seems like he should be an answer to this question but, although I'd agree he seemed like he'd always have been a better heel than a babyface, and was a natural heel, babyface Rick Rude doesn't quite seem unfathomable.  Very much could've/would've been a babyface in the Attitude Era if he'd been around for it.

Also, there's this from Memphis(?)

don't know how long this turn lasted or if it was just an anti-Jimmy Hart thing but he's clearly a babyface here.

 

I'm watching this run at the moment. He was tag champs with King Kong Bundy, but when they lost the gold due to a mistake by Rude, Bundy squashed him and walked out with Jimmy. I'm only about two weeks into him being a face, so not sure how far it lasts, but so far he has been mistakenly burnt by a Lawler fireball, and then was special referee in a Lawler vs Bundy match in which he counted Bundy down and let Lawler win the title.

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There seems to be a bit of confusion here, the topic isn't heels who have never been babyfaces, it's heels that are incapable of being babyfaces. For example, I'd put Randy Orton on this list as I've never once got behind him as a face whereas I think he's a natural at being a dick.

Whether Rude was going to turn face or not prior to retirement is debatable (I vaguely remember a promo about Vader where he said it would be two bad men going face to face), if he had he'd still be incapable of being a face as he just is a pure heel.

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