What I love about Professional Wrestling - Fantasy World
by, 03-23-2013 at 07:10 PM (2905 Views)
Chapter Two - Fantasy World
The real world is filled with good guys and bad guys. However the line between good and evil is often blurred, and it can be difficult to tell them apart, unlike the many stories we have read, watched, written, and played out in many fictional scenarios.
You have Batman vs Joker, Superman vs Lex Luthor, Cloud vs Sephiroth, Coon vs Mysterion, Doctor vs Daleks, the list could go on and on, but hopefully you got the point. Wrestling is exactly the same.
In the older days it was a lot easier to define the good guys and the bad guys, purely because people were more willing to suspend their disbelief (Or actually thought it was real) and allow these characters to shine. This is why wrestlers like Hulk Hogan were absolutely huge in their day, because the character of Hogan was so good, and patriotic, that he could get the whole world behind him. As wrestling has evolved, fans have better access to the wrestlers personal lives, and have been treated to excellent, athletic matches, which tend to give us a more negative outlook on these over the top characters who may not have been so athletic in their day.
In wrestling terms, they are called Faces and Heels.
Faces - The good guys in wrestling play to the crowd. If they make an entrance and get no reaction, then they (Or the company) is not doing their job of getting them over. Faces usually get beaten up throughout the match by the heel in order to get the crowd behind them. Faces are more likely to taunt the crowd to get the fans to get behind them, and will use high-flying moves, and avoid cheating. There are exceptions though.
Heels - Fans usually forget that a heel wrestler is doing their job if you hate them, tell them they suck, and that the company should fire them. The worst heel is a wrestler who the fans don't care enough to boo them. Heels will do anything and everything to make you boo them, as that makes the faces look good when they beat them. It seems heels are easier to portray nowadays, because all you need to do is employ cheap heat (even if that means referencing someone who has died recently), steer away from being entertaining in the ring, and cheat as much as possible.
In today's wrestling, it has become easier for a wrestler to do a heel promo then a face promo. Fans only really get behind a face if they are 1) Charismatic and 2) Technically sound in the ring. It seems that a face really needs both, or they will get booed. This is the case with the likes of The Rock (Usually always cheered, but can be criticized for his lack of loyalty/ring skills) and John Cena, who we all know, finds it difficult to get the majority of the fans behind him. However these two wrestlers get a reaction, whether it is positive or negative, which is better then nothing.
Heels like CM Punk and Bully Ray are exceptional. They are praised for their ability to play bad guys, and it seems a lot of fans hate them, whereas other fans enjoy their heel antics. However these heels have it difficult, because they don't want to be praised, they want everyone to hate them. They have to watch what they say, due to political correctness (Not calling people homos or fags) ... although wrestling is a fantasy world, and anyone taking those comments seriously, just ruins the show for everyone else.
Positivity and negativity in wrestling doesn't just come down to individual wrestlers, but entire companies as well. At the moment, WWE is having issues with older fans caring about their product, to the point they just tune out and can't be bothered to keep in touch with it (Personally, I just can't sit through Smackdown anymore, going to hate on me now?) whereas a company like TNA brings in Hogan/Bischoff, creates an evil stable like Aces and Eights, and people talk about, often referring to how "TNA sucks".
Let me just state right now, if you are talking about TNA in any form, whether you say you love them, hate them, or that the company is going to die, you are advertising TNA Wrestling, and for a company that is only ten years old, they need all the exposure they can find, so keep hating and advertising their product to the world.
The passion in wrestling fans is what I love to see, and some people don't even realise how badly they have been sucked in by the fantasy world. Guys like CM Punk could you have booing him one week, and cheering him the next, only to turn around the next week and call you all sheep for buying into it. Bully Ray did the same thing, he was a bad guy for so long, then he mysteriously became a face out of nowhere, and people bought into it.
However the world of wrestling is no longer black and white. We have an inbetween, we have the Tweeners.
Tweeners - These wrestlers have characters who are not completely defined as a face or a heel. They act like bad guys and fight the good guys, but they don't purposely try and draw heat, and can switch between face antics (being entertaining) and heel tactics (cheating). Perfect examples of tweeners are Daniel Bryan and Austin Aries. Daniel Bryan tends to fight with Kane all the time, but faces off against bad guys, and tells the crowd "No!", while Austin Aries entertains in the ring, but cheats at the same time, like Eddie Guerrero would use to do as a face.
This blurred character makes for more interesting character development, and in the past, we have seen this pulled off to perfection.
Stone Cold Steve Austin is the greatest example of a heel who was so entertaining, that he ended up becoming a tweener, and then suddenly transformed into a face (while still acting like a heel) and became one of the biggest legends to ever grace the business.
You could only see this in wrestling. Could you imagine Superman becoming the bad guy? Or all of a sudden, they do a Star Wars movie where Darth Vader is the good guy? It just wouldn't make any sense. People would be outraged and hate them for changing a formula that works. Wrestling is a never ending fantasy world that changes the rules as it evolves, and wrestlers come and go. This is what I love about professional wrestling, that this fantasy world we care so much about will always be changing. The faces, the heels, the characters, the gimmicks, the special moments and the legendary matches, they will always be relevant so long as wrestling remains the fantasy world that it is.
And this is why wrestling can never be just about, the "Wrestling".