Heels Rule!: Why Hardcore WWE Fans Prefer Heels To Baby-Faces

'Rowdy' Ross RutherfordSenior Analyst IApril 27, 2009

For the past two years the WWE has belonged to three men. These men have been awesome in every single way and have managed to stay over and hold plenty of gold. Edge, Chris Jericho, and Randy Orton may be the most successful and talented performers of their generation and the hardcore fans love them, but their heels?

Why would a fan love a heel character?

For every WWE fan that isn’t the target consumer of the company (anyone above the age of 13) knows why. Many prefer the heel character because they are much “edgier” and much more interesting than the transparent “Superhero, do gooder” baby-faces.

If you’re a hardcore fan you could care less about cheering for the good guy just because their good. A hardcore fan recognizes talent whether the performer is portraying a heel or a baby-face.  

I still haven’t really answered my own question. Why do hardcore fans tend to like the heels over the baby-faces?  

The fact is that many of us rather watch an interesting character develop over time. Today, heels are the only ones who are truly given time to develop their character. That’s why diehard fans are much more interested in Randy Orton and Edge over say John Cena and Triple H.

A baby-face is a good guy for one reason, because he loves the fans and the sport.

On the other hand, a heel can be bad for a variety of reasons. That variety is what draws the hardcore fan to the characters. The heel could be bad to get retribution, because he’s a jerk, or maybe because he is tired of being overlooked. Or if your Orton or Edge maybe it is because your just a little crazy.

I’m not saying all of us hardcore fans hate the baby-faces. I love to watch Jeff Hardy and Triple H do what they do in the ring, but when it comes to the point of character development and storylines the heels make it all entertaining and make me care about the product.

John Cena storylines put me to sleep. After four years I’m tired of watching Cena try and “prove himself” to the fans. Try something else already, John. I rather watch an intresting superstar than can intrest my in the product.

Chris Jericho is a great example of a wonderfully developed heel character. Few people in the wrestling industry can pull off the heel persona like Jericho.

Any wrestler can be a good guy. Come out and wave to the crowd then there probably going to like you. Being a heel takes time and development of the character.

It is much harder than being the good guy.

Another essential factor is a heels work on the microphone. If they suck on the mic then they can’t be a successful bad guy.

Allow me to go back to my “prime examples”; Edge, Jericho, and Orton. All three of them do an awesome job of speaking and are very good at expressing emotions using their face and body language. A good example would be when Edge trembles in fear of The Undertaker, or when Randy Orton is about to leap to punt McMahon in the head are.

All of these connections to the audience make them hated by the causal adolescent fans, but they make all the WWE diehard fans so glad that they can boo them knowing that the heels are far superior to those transparent, money making baby-faces that we are subjected to week in and week out.

In my opinion; HEELS RULE!