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Encyclopedia > Face (professional wrestling)

In professional wrestling, a face or babyface is a character who is portrayed as heroic relative to the heel wrestlers, who are analogous to villains.[1] Not everything a face wrestler does must be heroic: faces need only to be cheered by the audience to be effective characters. The vast majority of wrestling storylines place a heel against a face. For the NES video game, see Pro Wrestling (video game). ... For other uses, see Hero (disambiguation). ... In professional wrestling, a heel is a villain character. ... In professional wrestling, an angle is a fictional storyline. ...

Contents

The changing nature of Faces

Triple H acknowledging the crowd as a face in late 2007; Triple H maintains much of the same 'bad guy' persona whether performing as a face or heel
Triple H acknowledging the crowd as a face in late 2007; Triple H maintains much of the same 'bad guy' persona whether performing as a face or heel

Traditional babyfaces are classic good guy characters who do not break the rules, follow instructions of those in authority such as the referee, are polite and well-mannered towards the fans, and often overcome the rule-breaking actions of their heel opponents to cleanly win matches. While many modern faces still fit this model, other versions of the face character are now also common. Paul Michael Levesque[4] (born July 27, 1969)[4] is an American professional wrestler, better known by the ring name Triple H, an abbreviation of his former Hunter Hearst Helmsley moniker. ...


The portrayal of face wrestlers changed in the 1990s with the birth of Extreme Championship Wrestling, the start of World Championship Wrestling's nWo storyline, and the Attitude Era of the World Wrestling Federation. During this time, wrestlers like Stone Cold Steve Austin and Sting used tactics traditionally associated with heels but remained popular with the fans. Although wrestlers such as Dick the Bruiser, Crusher and Fred Blassie had been babyfaces while using such tactics well before this, the Attitude Era is usually credited with this new kind of face. This article is about the independent promotion from 1992-2001. ... For the Australian professional wrestling promotion, see World Championship Wrestling (Australia). ... The New World Order was a stable of wrestlers, originally in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and later in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). ... World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. ... World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. ... Steven James Williams (born Steven Anderson on December 18, 1964)[2] better known by his ring name Stone Cold Steve Austin, is an American actor and former professional wrestler. ... For other uses, see Sting (disambiguation). ... William Richard Afflis (June 27, 1929–November 10, 1991) was an American football player and an professional wrestler best known as Dick the Bruiser. ... Reginald Lisowski (July 11, 1926 - October 22, 2005) was an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, The Crusher and the wrestler who made Milwaukee famous. ... Fred Blassie (February 8, 1918 – June 2, 2003), better known as Classy Freddie Blassie, was an American professional wrestler and manager born in St. ...


Conversely, Kurt Angle was introduced to the World Wrestling Federation with an American hero gimmick based on his gold medal win at the 1996 Summer Olympics. In his promos, Angle presented himself as a role model and stressed the need to work hard to realize one's dreams. Although such a personality appears appropriate for a face wrestler, Angle's character was arrogant, talked down to the audience, and behaved as if he thought he was better than the fans. Angle's character served as a meta-reference to how wrestling had changed. Although his character was intended to be a heel and behaved accordingly, some commentators speculated that if Angle attempted to get over as a babyface using a more heroic version of the same character, he would have failed. Kurt Steven Angle (born December 9, 1968) is an American professional wrestler and former Olympic amateur wrestler. ... The 1996 Summer Olympics, formally known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad and informally known as the Centennial Olympics, were celebrated in 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. ... Don Imus, The term role model was introduced by Robert K. Merton[1]. Merton says that individuals compare themselves with reference groups of people who occupy the social role to which the individual aspires. ... In professional wrestling, the term over means making a wrestler look good. ...


Fans sometimes boo face wrestlers despite the way they are promoted. Some reasons this may occur include repetitive in-ring antics, a limited moveset, a lengthy title reign, lack of selling his/her opponents' moves, or an uninteresting character. This often results in wrestlers who are supposed to be cheered receiving a negative or no reaction from the fans. The Rock, who initially wrestled as Rocky Maivia (early 1997), was depicted as a classic babyface, but the fans despised him. His constant attempts to get the crowd on his side struck them as obsequiousness and made him even less popular. John Cena has a history of receiving mixed reactions from crowds despite being presented as a babyface. In professional wrestling, clowning, stunt fighting and stage combat, the sell is the physical element of making the action appear realistic to the crowd. ... In professional wrestling, a gimmick is a wrestlers personality, behavior, attire and/or other distinguishing traits while performing. ... Dwayne Douglas Johnson[6] (born May 2, 1972)[4], better known by his former ring name The Rock, is an American actor and former professional wrestler. ... John Felix Anthony Cena, Jr. ...


Types of Faces

  • Juggernaut: A wrestler that can't be stopped by opposition. The behavior and tactics are totally opposite of the monster heel, but the wrestler will occasionally pull off such tactics as a form of counterattacking or whenever the stipulations allow it. The Juggernaut is often called upon to "clean house" but this is not always the case. Examples: The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan (mid-late 1980s), Andre the Giant (late 1970s), The Big Show, Kane, Batista and Chyna (during her reign as WWF Women's Champion).
  • Hoss A larger wrestler who often wrestles as a face rather than a heel. Large enough to be considered a monster, but not quite unstoppable like the juggernaut. Despite their superior size, the wrestler will often use quickness, agility, and/or aerial maneuvers rather than, or as a supplement to, their raw power. Hosses who play face characters are often clean-cut compared to their monster heel counterparts, who are often menacing in appearance. Examples: Hulk Hogan is a good example, Randy Orton (in 2002), Mark Jindrak, Sean O'Haire, Lance Cade (in 2003-2004), Heidenreich, DH Smith, Bobby Lashley, Rhino, and Samoa Joe.
  • Underdog: A wrestler below Heavyweight class often forced to go against a monster heel, putting the motions of a physical mismatch on paper. The underdog gains popularity by sneaking out upset wins against much larger opponents, usually by executing roll-up pins or by taking advantage of a critical mistake made by that opponent. Examples include Rey Mysterio, The Hardy Boyz, Shawn Michaels, Alundra Blayze, Gail Kim (during her feud with Awesome Kong), Hornswoggle, Spike Dudley, Eddie Guerrero (during his babyface runs) and Colin Delaney.
  • Kid: The kid is a special example of the underdog wrestler, except that more emphasis is placed on his inexperience, rather than his size. The kid is not always a rookie wrestler; he could also be a somewhat experienced wrestler who never competed at a main event level up to a certain point. A perfect example being Jeff Hardy, who was billed as an underdog against the younger and less experienced Randy Orton, who ascended the ranks into the main event at a much faster rate than Hardy. The kid feuds with or competes against upper-midcarders and sometimes against the main event wrestlers, usually coming out on the losing end. They often lose after the more experienced heel wrestler takes advantage of a critical mistake, allowing the heel to win cleanly without completely burying the younger wrestler. Examples: Maven, Randy Orton (in 2002), John Cena (in 2002), Brian Kendrick (in 2003), Jeff Hardy (prior to his 2006 return), DH Smith, Cody Rhodes, Colin Delaney.
  • Regional Hero: Usually, they feud against foreign/traitor heels in effort of defending their home nation when it comes to the storyline. (I.e. USA vs. Canada) However, during the course of the WWE season, Raw and/or SmackDown! will visit the region that one of the wrestler came from - and depending on the popularity of the wrestler, fans often ignore the heel/face alignment for those shows. Examples include any Canadian wrestler during any event in Canada, William Regal (England), Finlay (Ireland), Mick Foley (northeast USA), Ric Flair (southeast USA), any Texas-born wrestler during any event in Texas (it played a big role on crowd reaction during Survivor Series 1991), Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Regional Heroes often rely on cheap pops to gain support in their home territories, but not all of the wrestlers do this.
  • Technician: The main job is to obey all the rules, and rely on takedowns, reversals, and counterattacks, before finishing off with a submission move (although some used finishers that led to a pinfall victory). Examples include Chris Benoit, Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Kurt Angle, Lou Thesz, Sting, and CM Punk.
  • Authority figure: A face authority figure who gives the fans what they want, such as fair matches, or doing something that involves punishing a heel wrestler, such as ordering them to go back to the ring to continue/restart the match. Examples include Mick Foley and sometimes Shawn Michaels as WWF Commissioners, Theodore Long, Steve Austin, Team Orton after 2004 Survivor Series and Stephanie McMahon during their runs as SmackDown! General Manager.
  • Rejected: A face that gets negative reaction from the crowd, despite regional territories not playing a role in the negative reaction. Fans often perceive them as "overrated", believe that the heel wrestler is the superior talent, or due to real life scandals that has nothing to do with the persona they are portraying on-screen. Examples include Hulk Hogan (mid-1990s, although his defeat to The Undertaker at 1991 Survivor Series possibly began this trend), The Rock (while as Rocky Maivia, and again during 2002), John Cena ever since he started feuding with Kurt Angle in 2005, Bret Hart (early 1997 prior to WrestleMania), Lita (upon Matt Hardy's release due to him revealing her affair with Edge to the public), and X-Pac (during the WCW/ECW Invasion storyline, although the whole WWF roster was portrayed as babyfaces).
  • Face stables: A large group of faces that are usually used by each other to watch each others backs While feuding with there heel stable counterparts. The concept of the face stable was largely innovated by The Legion Of Doom. Though not as closely tied to one another as the heels such groups usually last much longer due to more ability to work together and less selfishness between group members. Other prominent face stable examples include the nWo Wolfpac, The DX Army, Team Extreme, The Misfits in Action, The Dudes with Attitudes, The ECW Originals, The Hart Foundation whenever they were wrestling in Canada or Europe, S.E.X., Blue World Order.

For the Combichrist song, see Everybody Hates You Mark Calaway (born March 24, 1965[2][3]) is an American professional wrestler, better known by the ring name The Undertaker. ... Terrence Gene Bollea (born on August 11, 1953) is an American actor and semi-retired professional wrestler better known by his ring name Hulk Hogan. ... André René Roussimoff (May 19, 1946 – January 27, 1993), best known as André the Giant, was a French wrestler and actor. ... -1... Glen Thomas Jacobs (born April 26, 1967) better known by his ring name Kane, is an American professional wrestler. ... Batista. ... Chyna[2] (born Joan Marie Laurer on December 27, 1969)[1] is an American actress and retired professional wrestler. ... The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Womens Championship is a professional wrestling championship in World Wrestling Entertainment. ... For the mixed martial arts division of the same name, see Heavyweight (MMA). ... Óscar Gutiérrez Rubio, better known by his ring names Rey Misterio, Jr. ... The Hardy Boyz (also known as the The Hardys and Team Xtreme) are a professional wrestling tag team in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) that consists of real life brothers Matt and Jeff Hardy. ... Michael Shawn Hickenbottom (born July 22, 1965) is an American professional wrestler, better known by the ring name Shawn Michaels. ... Debra Ann Miceli (born February 6, 1963 in Milan, Italy) better known as Madusa (shorthand for MADe in the USA) or Alundra Blayze, is a former professional wrestler for WCW and WWF. She has also recently driven the Madusa monster truck for Clear Channel Communications on Monster Jam and will... Gail Kim (born February 20, 1976) [1][2]) is a Korean Canadian professional wrestler, valet, and actress. ... This article is about the currently active female wrestler. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... Matthew Johnathan Hyson (born August 13, 1970) is an American professional wrestler, best known for his performances in Extreme Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment under the ring name Spike Dudley and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling under the ring name Brother Runt. He is currently employed under the Combat Zone... Eduardo Eddie Gory Guerrero Llanes (October 9, 1967 — November 13, 2005) better known as Eddie Guerrero, was a Mexican-American professional wrestler born into a legendary Mexican wrestling family. ... Jeffrey Nero Jeff Hardy (born August 31, 1977) is an American professional wrestler currently performing on the RAW brand of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where he is the reigning Intercontinental Champion. ... Randal Randy Keith Orton[1] (born on April 1, 1980), nicknamed The Legend Killer, is an American professional wrestler currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment wrestling on its RAW brand. ... WWE Raw is the Monday night professional wrestling television program for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and is the primary broadcast of the RAW brand. ... For the video game series based on the show, see WWE SmackDown! (video game series). ... William Regal as Goodwill Ambassador and Commissioner Darren Matthews aka William Regal (born May 10, 1965 in Staffordshire) is an English professional wrestler performing in World Wrestling Entertainment on the RAW brand. ... For other uses, see Finlay (disambiguation). ... Michael Francis Mick Foley, Sr. ... Richard Morgan Fliehr[2] (born on February 25, 1949 in Minneapolis, Minnesota[2]) better known by his ring name Ric Flair , is a legendary American professional wrestler of iconic staus signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on its SmackDown! brand. ... Survivor Series 1991 was the fifth annual Survivor Series pay-per-view professional wrestling event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). ... James (Jim) Duggan (born January 14, 1954 in Glens Falls, New York), better known by his ring name Hacksaw Jim Duggan, is an American professional wrestler, best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling. ... The Hardy Boyz were a professional wrestling tag team in World Wrestling Entertainment that consisted of brothers Jeff and Matt Hardy. ... Terry Michael Brunk (December 12, 1964) better known by his ring name Sabu, is an American professional wrestler. ... James (Jim) Fullington (born June 16, 1963) better known by his ring name The Sandman, is an American professional wrestler, best known for his career with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), where he was dubbed The Hardcore Icon. ... Dwayne Douglas Johnson[6] (born May 2, 1972)[4], better known by his former ring name The Rock, is an American actor and former professional wrestler. ... Steven James Williams (born Steven Anderson on December 18, 1964)[2] better known by his ring name Stone Cold Steve Austin, is an American actor and former professional wrestler. ... Christopher Keith Irvine (born November 9, 1970), better known by the ring name Chris Jericho, is an American-Canadian actor, radio host, rock musician, and professional wrestler. ... Terrence Gene Bollea (born on August 11, 1953) is an American actor and semi-retired professional wrestler better known by his ring name Hulk Hogan. ... Roderick George Toombs (born April 17, 1954) better known by his ring name Rowdy Roddy Piper, is a Canadian professional wrestler, and film actor. ... Patricia Anne Stratigias[6][10] (born December 18, 1975, pronounced ), better known by her stage name Trish Stratus, is a former fitness model, former professional wrestler and television personality from Canada. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Robert Alexander Szatkowski (born December 18, 1970 in Battle Creek, Michigan) better known by his ring name Rob Van Dam, is currently an inactive American professional wrestler. ... Michael Shawn Hickenbottom (born July 22, 1965) is an American professional wrestler, better known by the ring name Shawn Michaels. ... Ken Anderson (born March 6, 1976 in Minneapolis, Minnesota), better known as Ken Kennedy or Mr. ... Christopher Michael Benoit (IPA: ) (May 21, 1967 – June 24, 2007) was a Canadian professional wrestler who wrestled for Extreme Championship Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, and World Wrestling Entertainment. ... Bret Sergeant Hart (born July 2, 1957) is a retired Canadian professional wrestler and actor, and is a member of the Hart wrestling family. ... Owen James Hart (May 7, 1965 – May 23, 1999)[1] was a Canadian professional wrestler who was most known for his time in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). ... Kurt Steven Angle (born December 9, 1968) is an American professional wrestler and former Olympic amateur wrestler. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... For other uses, see Sting (disambiguation). ... Phil Brooks[4] (born October 26, 1978), better known by his ring name CM Punk, is an American professional wrestler currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on its Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) brand where he is the reigning ECW Champion. ... // This is a list of authority figures, people who have (kayfabe) power, in selective professional wrestling promotions or brands within North America. ... Michael Francis Mick Foley, Sr. ... Theodore Robert Rufus Long (born September 15, 1955) is a former professional wrestling referee and manager, and is currently working on World Wrestling Entertainments SmackDown! brand as its General Manager. ... Stephanie Marie McMahon-Levesque[1] (born September 24, 1976) better known by her maiden name Stephanie McMahon, is World Wrestling Entertainments Executive Vice President of Talent and Creative Writing. ... For the video game series based on the show, see WWE SmackDown! (video game series). ... For the Combichrist song, see Everybody Hates You Mark Calaway (born March 24, 1965[2][3]) is an American professional wrestler, better known by the ring name The Undertaker. ... John Felix Anthony Cena, Jr. ... Bret Sergeant Hart (born July 2, 1957) is a retired Canadian professional wrestler and actor, and is a member of the Hart wrestling family. ... Amy Christine Dumas (born April 14, 1975) is an American former professional wrestler. ... Matthew Moore Matt Hardy (born September 23, 1974)[2] is an American professional wrestler, currently working for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on their SmackDown![1] brand, where he is one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions along with his onscreen rival, Montel Vontavious Porter. ... Adam Joseph Copeland (born October 30, 1973 in Orangeville, Ontario),[5] better known by his ring name Edge, is a Canadian professional wrestler currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment and wrestling on the SmackDown! brand. ... Sean Michael Waltman (born July 13, 1972) is an American professional wrestler. ... The Hardy Boyz (also known as the The Hardys and Team Xtreme) are a professional wrestling tag team in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) that consists of real life brothers Matt and Jeff Hardy. ... This article is about the Hart Foundation in professional wrestling. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Sports Entertainment Xtreme (S.E.X.) was a heel professional wrestling stable in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, once led by Vince Russo, which disbanded in mid-2003. ... The Blue World Order (bWo) was a stable of professional wrestlers formed at ECWs November to Remember 1996 event at the ECW Arena. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.2)

References

  • Mick Foley (2000). Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. HarperCollins, 511. ISBN 0061031011. 

See also

In professional wrestling, a heel is a villain character. ... In professional wrestling, a tweener is a character who is portrayed as being morally neutral or ambiguous (that is, they are between a face and a heel). ... Professional wrestling has accrued a considerable amount of slang, in-references and jargon. ...

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