Randy Orton and Other Heels Are Being Held Down by a Face-Dominated WWE
WWE fans are no strangers to concept of good vs. evil. After all, they see their very own fairy tales develop before their eyes every week as they watch Raw, Smackdown, and ECW.
Within the landscape of the WWE Universe, there exist two entities that are very different in nature.
You have the proverbial "good guys," who we refer to as babyfaces, and you have the "bad guys," who we call heels.
It's rather simple, actually.
John Cena = good.
Randy Orton = bad.
And we see these performers go toe-to-toe on a weekly basis as a matter of competition, pride, and success.
To maintain a balance within the realm of the WWE Universe, the WWE attempts (and I use that word very loosely) to produce results that are equally favorable to both types of Superstars.
The purpose on paper at least, is to maintain a balance as to not have one side win in overwhelming fashion. The result of such would lead to the fans becoming overcome with boredom which would of course result in their failure to buy the product.
The problem is (and it's a rather serious problem in my view) is that the WWE simply cannot maintain even the slightest resemblance of a balance between the two types of Superstars.
Let’s think logically for a moment.
If you have battles between faces and heels, you would imagine that sometimes the good-guys would win and sometimes the bad-guys would win.
Is that not how it happens in real life?
But within the WWE's Universe, the balance of power resides in overwhelming proportion within the side that is the faces.
It's not so much that the results of the matches are overwhelmingly in favor of the faces.
It is that the WWE takes the cheapest route to reach 50/50 results.
There are a few unspoken policies that reside within the WWE's creative writing office that are very rarely broken.
Allow me to break it down for you...
*A top face is never to lose to a top heel as a result of their inferiority or by the heel simply being the superior competitor.
*If a top heel is to acquire a victory over a top face, they must do so with the aid of numbers, illegal tactics, trickery, sneak-attacks, interference, or any other questionable action that can be thought up.
*During very rare occasions, a top face may lose to a top heel in the event that the heel in question is of incredible physical size. The reason being that a loss to a larger competitor is less demeaning seeing as anyone can relate to being bullied.
*A top heel can acquire a "clean" victory over a mid-card-face. This allows the heel in question to build some credible momentum while not coming at the expense of harming the credibility of a top face.
*Under no circumstance is a top -face to ever submit to a top-heel during a clean bout. The result of such an event would harm the credibility of the face in question which is a repercussion reserved exclusively for heels.
What I have done is made a break-down of the results of every WWE/World Heavyweight Championship match contested on pay-per-view over the last 12 months.
The span of this evaluation begins with Unforgiven 2008 and ends with Breaking Point 2009.
I have omitted championship bouts contested between two faces as they are irrelevant to the discussion at hand.
After those omissions, there were a total of 29 WWE/World Heavyweight Championship matches.
I created a "win/loss" record from the results of these matches.
A win accounts for a face's victory.
A loss accounts for a heel's victory.
A tie accounts for a face's victory as a result of a disqualification.
What we have is a 13-14-2 overall record.
At face value, there would seem to be a generous balance of power.
Fifteen victories for the good guys (albeit two of them as a result of a DQ) and 14 victories for the bad guys.
Again, my issue isn't so much that the heels of the WWE do not win matches and/or walk away with the championship belt, it is the way in which they are portrayed as a whole that is the issue.
Heels are thought of to be cowardly, weaselly, bullies who are never quite able to stand toe-to-toe with the WWE's Supermen.
Sure they can get themselves disqualified, hit a person from behind, or have their buddies gang up on the innocent babyface, but when it comes to a test of pure might, it is a test the good guys are always certain to win.
So I looked back at the 14 victories that the heels of the WWE have had over the past year.
Would you like to take a guess at how many of them were won in clean fashion?
Would you like to guess how many times the bad guys won simply because they were the superior competitors?
Out of 29 total matches and 14 total heel victories, only two times did a heel win because he was the better man on that night.
Let’s take a look at the breakdown of each heel's victory over the past 12 months...
(A * indicates a victory with a questionable finish, clean victories will be highlighted in bold)
*Chris Jericho wins the Championship Scramble by being a late entrant at Unforgiven 2008.
Chris Jericho defeated Shawn Michaels in clean fashion in a ladder match at No Mercy 2008.
*Edge defeated Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov by being a late entrant at Survivor Series 2008.
*Edge defeated Jeff Hardy with Matt Hardy’s interference at Royal Rumble 2009.
*Edge wins the Elimination Chamber match by being a late entrant at No Way Out 2009.
*Randy Orton defeated Triple H after he was distracted by Batista’s possible DQ at Backlash 2009.
*Edge defeated John Cena with the Big Show’s interference at Backlash 2009.
*Edge defeated Jeff Hardy with Matt Hardy’s interference at Judgment Day 2009.
*CM Punk defeated Jeff Hardy by cashing in his MITB at Extreme Rules 2009.
*Randy Orton defeated Triple H with Legacy’s interference at The Bash 2009.
*Randy Orton defeated Triple H & John Cena with The Legacy’s interference at Night of Champions 2009.
*Randy Orton defeated John Cena with Brett DiBiase’s interference at Summerslam 2009.
CM Punk defeated Jeff Hardy in a Ladder match at Summerslam 2009.
*CM Punk defeated the Undertaker after the referee called for a submission that was never made at Breaking Point 2009.
Now is it just me, or is that an inordinate amount of questionable finishes?
We have seen 29 WWE/World Heavyweight Championship matches over the past year and only two times have we seen a heel win simply because they were the superior competitor on that given night.
Furthermore, the two lone “clean” victories came during ladder matches.
Now, I am not saying that a victory in a ladder match is any less significant than it would be during a regular match but it is also not the same as covering your opponent for a clean three-count or making him tap out.
There are a great many accidents that can happen during a ladder match so it is much easier to justify a good guy slipping or falling than it is to see him have his shoulders pinned to the mat or made to submit.
In any event, we are talking about a very minor percentage of what we have seen anyway.
If history is the gauge, top heels have under a 7 percent chance of defeating a top-face by being the superior competitor in a championship match at a pay-per-view.
We do see these top faces get “screwed” 41-percent of the time but if they lose, you can be rest assured that it wasn’t because they weren’t good enough to win.
I expect to see heels use questionable tactics and acquire wins by dubious means but there is a difference between seeing it happen every now and then and seeing it account for 86-percent of their victories.
To me, this makes the art of “putting over” a heel almost non-existent within the realm of the WWE Universe.
The best example of a putting over a top heel that we have seen to date has been Randy Orton with his WWE Championship reign that came to an end at Breaking Point.
He held the title for about four months, competing in four WWE Championship matches.
He won three of them (all by questionable means) and lost the final.
If Randy Orton is the best example of a “dominant heel” as we know it today, then the WWE should be ashamed of themselves.
Not because Orton isn’t just as good or better than anyone he competes against, but because he is booked with the inability to become victorious as a result of his physical talents alone.
So long as the WWE continues to up-hold these unspoken policies, we can expect to see a very predictable dose of World Wrestling Entertainment in the months to come.
That might not bother the WWE but if they are not satisfied with how the ratings have been, they might want to restore balance and make their product a little less predictable.
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