WWE: The Lost Art of the Heel Faction

Mike SalvatoreCorrespondent IIIApril 19, 2011

Two Heel Factions and No Heat
Two Heel Factions and No Heat

The WWE is at it again.

Lost in the shuffle of the sudden retirement of Edge, there is yet another heel stable falling apart at the seams, and it appears to be going unnoticed.

Tensions within The Corre are at an all-time high, and a split appears inevitable; but why should we care.

It is laughable that the WWE expects serious fans to take the dissension within the Corre with an real emotion.

The group was formed in early January and it appears to be heading towards extinction by the middle of May.

Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this picture?

I hate making comparisons to the Attitude Era, we all know it was the Golden Age of wrestling which many of us yearn for. However, one component of the Attitude Era that is sorely missed is existence of a dominant heel factions.

A heel by nature is someone who gets under the skin of the fans. We as fans want to see these guys eventually get the snot beaten out of them. That is the mark of a great heel.

Now imagine a group of conceited, egotistical and maniacal men (or women) who lust for power and play by their own rules.

We saw it with the Corporation.

We saw it with the Ministry of Darkness.

We saw it with the McMahon-Helmsley Regime.

Heel factions are the key to eliciting passion in the fans. Remember the days when Raw would go off the with the image of Evolution standing tall over a beaten down face?

Any great heel faction from the Four Horsemen to the nWo to Evolution and every noteworthy group in between had one common trend: They were a serious threat.

When the original Nexus debuted last June, there was a buzz on the Internet the likes of which hadn’t been heard from in ages. Wade Barrett led his gang and DOMINATED John Cena, the face of the WWE.

As time wore on, fans grew weary of the pack-dog mentality, as Nexus failed to achieve much success in the ring when it mattered.

This failure to create credibility at an early juncture would lead to a spiral toward irrelevancy, even though Barrett certainly gave the group every chance to be successful. Injuries and inexperience would eventually lead to the split of the group, and just like that, the original Nexus was dead.

Not even the injection of CM Punk to the equation would create an effective buzz, as “The New Nexus” was slowly decimated by a punt-happy Randy Orton. Orton took out each member of the New Nexus en route to his WrestleMania victory over Punk.

Meanwhile, Barrett wandered over to SmackDown, where he was joined by fellow stablemates Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel, and new recruit Ezekiel Jackson. 

I must admit, I had foolishly high expectations for the group. They had all the pieces to be successful. The Corre consisted of the most talented members of the original Nexus, they had the perfect leader and mouth piece in Barrett, had some legitimate workers in Gabriel and Slater and a physical freak in Big Zeke. 

But alas, I was mistaken.

The Corre would slowly flex their muscle over the SmackDown roster as they entered into a feud with the Big Show and Kane. After some hit-and-run maneuvers on the two giants, the Corre successful dominated the two on an episode of SmackDown a few weeks before WrestleMania. 

Gabriel and Slater would win the worthless tag team titles, and Barrett would go on to capture the Intercontinental Championship from the suddenly-buried Kofi Kingston.

Then the walls came crumbling down in the form of an Italian Cobra. 

Pop quiz. How do you instantly destroy a wrestler’s credibility?

Give up?

Have him take a “cobra.”

Yes, the crowd loves Santino’s “finisher,” but how could Barrett, a man competing for the WWE Championship three months ago, be taken seriously after being knocked out as a result of the Cobra?

The last chance the Corre had to maintain any resemblance of credibility evaporated in under two minutes at WrestleMania, where they suffered a humiliating defeat. 

The Corre is just the latest heel faction to fail to gain any substantial traction.

The same issues that befell Priceless, Legacy and Nexus would doom the Corre. 

We were never given a reason to care about them or take them seriously. 

And now that they are on the verge of breaking up, why should we start caring now?