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Babyfaces and the Attitude Era


Yodahew

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Unfortunately it seems every character is better as a heel. All the babyfaces are the same. With the exception of Ambrose and Reigns who walk that line of lunatic/anti hero type of aura and people cheer them.

 

Take Orton as a prime example. He is terrible as a face but amazing as a heel. Punk's entire face run was based off a his pipebomb, a heel thing to do, which turned him into a anti hero. Pretty much ever since Austin the best faces are the anti heroe type faces which is a fine line between face and heel. That era of wrestling (mid to late 90's) made it cool to cheers the bad guys. the NWO, DX, Austin etc all got cheered for being bad guys.

 

Yes I do think Austin was a heel during the attitude era but he was up against a bigger heel and authority figure in Vinnie Mac at a time when it was cool to fight authority and stick a middle finger up to 'the man'.

 

On the Rusev, Lana, Ziggler, Summer angle I wish it had never happened its a real mess of a storyline.

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Yes I do think Austin was a heel during the attitude era but he was up against a bigger heel and authority figure in Vinnie Mac at a time when it was cool to fight authority and stick a middle finger up to 'the man'.

 

Now to me, Austin fighting authority and sticking it to the man was the thing that made him a face?

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Not even an Anti-hero, a term people use massively erroneously. Wikipedia even use Austin as the Anti-hero example but in reality Austin's actions and methodologies are typical babyface fodder. It's only his crude mannerisms that made him different. To be honest the best anti-hero in WWE/F history is the Ultimate Warrior, undoubtedly the character with the least coherent modus operandi there's probably ever been but still cognitively not a bad guy.
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He was a face by proxy is what I meant. He laid out non wrestler authority figures who were totally incapable of fighting back fairly. Dont get me wrong I loved me some Stone Cold back in the day and even now but what propelled him to absolute peak was a bunch of douchebag moves against a old man. He was cheered for it because that old man was an even bigger heel than Austin was hence he was a babyface.

 

Look at Cena in comparision. Yes he had a match against Laurenitus but since then he fights clean and fair and against people and is a true 'face' in every sense of the word. We hate him for it though. Austin threw some heel mannerisms in there and created something everyone has tried to replicate since. The best example of it getting close to succeeding is CM Punk for me. Noone else has got close to what Austin achieved by blurring the line between face and heel so well. Austin in the attiude era was the start of the reality era.

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Hogan used complete heel tactics during his 80's WWF run, he was still a babyface. He would use closed fists, bite, scratch, bring managers into the ring and beat them up, hit women, use powder, use foreign objects, pull trunks, ignore referees. Didnt matter because he was a babyface.

 

As for Austin, yeah he laid out an old geezer, but he had to get through armies of capable wrestlers before he got to the old man including crooked referees and all that other nonsense.

 

Its funny, Austin and the Attitude Era were awesome to watch (even though there are TONS of awful shitty things that happened that people seem to gloss over) but it was the start of the massive downfall of what wrestling has become. An overbooked, rushed, promo-heavy pile of unwatchable garbage with the authority figure STILL the top thing on TV, 15 years after its sell by date.

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I can only use the earliest instances that I witnessed but if Hogan did those things in the 80's then my thought process would extend to him as well.

 

Dont get me wrong I loved the attitude era, I grew up watching it but you are right @The Beltster there was a lot of dross in there as well.

 

It was the biggest boom wrestling has ever produced and 15 years later it is still fresh in many fans minds and that is what they want it returned to. They forget the dross and remember Austin vs Vince, the emergance of Rock, DX, Mankind, Taker, Kane and the like and they are trying to recreate it. The thing that created it in part was the emergance of WCW as a competitor. The closest WWE have to that now is TNA which is nowhere near the level WCW was at any point of its lifespan.

 

WWE is now a child orientated PC focused mass marketed product which also has had too many things happen to water down the product. I like a bit of colour in matches if the match deserves it. I like Hell in a Cell but only if the feud deserves it. I understand about the blood thing but if the wrestlers are tested for diseases etc and they are clear why not allow blood as a special every once in a while? Stop the gimmicky PPVs and just focus on story telling and allow the gimmick matches when the feuds have earnt them. If you tell the stories correctly you can utilise the likes of Survivor Series as a blow off etc.

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The blood and PG thing doesnt hurt wrestling if the booking is strong, but it isnt. The best period of time EVER in wrestling and more specifically the WWF, was 1985 - 1990 in my opinion, and that was PG stuff generally marketed towards kids, but it was booked to make sense, had belts that actually meant something, lots of guys who all looked and wrestled differently, wasn't as ridiculously over-scripted etc.

 

The PG rating and who its marketed to isnt the issue, the issue is the booking which is the absolute shits.

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