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24.10.14 0332
The W - Pro Wrestling - Audience reactions to forced faces/heels
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Twoflower
Bauerwurst








Since: 4.1.02

Since last post: 2065 days
Last activity: 2004 days
#1 Posted on
So every time the WWE go up to Canada, despite their best efforts they can't get any Canadian heels booed, and the faces they're pushing hard tend to get rejected. Then when they come back to the states, Eddie gets cheers despite their best efforts to make him a heel by having him grievously injure someone. HHH sometimes gets face pops, nobody really wants to boo Ric Flair, and time will tell if the crowd is willing to boo Brock Lesnar after warming up to him...

Should the WWE stop trying to force this sort of reaction from the audience? Clearly there still needs to be faces and heels for storyline purposes, but the audience doesn't seem to care and in many cases is cheering/booing whoever they feel like cheering/booing. You want to cheer for a guy who's entertaining you even if his entertaining consists of piledriving Linda McMahon or Cheating to Win.

The announcers frequently running for cover and trying to justify / deny the unexpected reaction just looks unprofessional -- why not roll with it? Don't change the character, no, but accept the fact that the crowd reactions aren't going to be as scripted as your storylines and just entertain 'em one way or another.
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DJ FrostyFreeze
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

Since last post: 46 days
Last activity: 5 hours
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95
It was bound to happen sooner or later

Not that the WWE ever books too far in advance, but by changing a guy's face/heel affiliation because of a crowd's reactiuon just like that, they're pretty much killing whatever plans they had for him (AND whatever plans they had for the guy he was supposed to share a program/angle with).

I see nothing wrong with WWE trying to push things there way, for awhile at least, before throwing in the towel and turning the guy to appease the crowd.




It doesnt look good for our hero
asteroidboy
Andouille








Since: 22.1.02
From: Texas

Since last post: 1430 days
Last activity: 338 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95
Despite what they've said, I think the WWE heads are still rooted in the philosophy of booing the heels and cheering the faces. Modern fans seems to enjoy going against the grain, sometimes, especially if a wrestler is being pushed down their throats. The announcers just need to back off a little bit and roll with it, as twoflower said.

With the Canadians, they should take the Bret Hart approach and just acknowlege that some people will get pops in Canada. Don't have someone like Jericho take a potshot, like in Montreal, just to salvage some boos because HE'S A HEEL. Lets the fans decide that. It would be a refreshing change.




-- Asteroid Boy


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Since: 15.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 2676 days
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#4 Posted on
I don't think they need to forcibly turn a guy because of the crowd. I think they should let that person stay his course, but when he does get cheered, he could play off that in his own heelish (or faceish) way. Kind of like when HHH got atomic "asshole" chants, but he liked it. You guys know I cheer my ass off at him all the time. That's only because this is my right as a fan, and if I just happen to like a smarmy, slimy, evil (though well groomed and toned) bastard, what the hell? Y2J is a good example of this. Canadians love him, and it's understandable.

They like his charisma and style, but they also know he trained in the dungeon. The fans there really hate Shawn Michaels for obvious reasons too. Y2J stood up for them against Shawn a few weeks ago (despite that whole thing about living in Florida), and that means he's all right with them. Hey, it's all personal perogative. Sometimes when things go against the script, you have to adlib. The WWE is so scripted up the ass these days they forgot how to do that. That's what annoys me the most about them now.



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Weisswurst








Since: 27.7.03
From: New York

Since last post: 4070 days
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#5 Posted on
From what I've seen in interviews (w/ Vince, Patterson, etc.), the WWE puts stock in their ability to "tell" the fans who to cheer and who to boo -- it's a sign of how well the business is doing. If they're not buying the characters, they're less likely to be sold on the storylines, which makes it harder for the show to hold their interest in the long term.
Twoflower
Bauerwurst








Since: 4.1.02

Since last post: 2065 days
Last activity: 2004 days
#6 Posted on
I'm not advocating quick-turning someone to satisfy the crowd -- like I said, don't change their characters. Just roll with the fact that the audience will cheer and boo however they please and carry on. It's like the Canadian audience, rather than working against it and having the announcers insult our intelligence ("Christian has maybe six fans in the audience--" (promptly drowned out by waves of cheers)) you work with it or ignore it and keep going.

For example, one thing WCW did right, in my opinion, is that when they rolled into Canada with their Team Canada heel posse, they acknowledged the massive cheers and worked them into the storylines. The 'heel audience' became part of the show. That's really a bright move; it acknowledges what's going on and explains it in a way that doesn't damage the 'heelness' or 'faceness' of the characters involved.

But even beyond blanket acceptance, just ignoring it or giving it token acceptance would be nice. Tazz and Cole tend to do this; they'll more readily acknowledge a mixed reaction and work with it rather than insist on hearing boos which don't exist or pleading for the audience to hate the guy.
Doc_whiskey
Frankfurter








Since: 6.8.02
From: St. Louis

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#7 Posted on
Another problem in Canada is this...Quick, other than Trish Stratus name a Canadian face on Raw. Val Venis (and I guess Storm is starting to turn), thats it. What would be easiest to do in situations such as Canada is have Canadian faces fight Canadian heels, though due to the lack of faces, this may be hard to do every time without getting repetitive.



Brazen Snatch
fuelinjected
Banger








Since: 12.10.02
From: Canada

Since last post: 3263 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.15
Whether the fans are booing the faces or cheering the heels, they're still REACTING and that's all that should matter. Just let the fans enjoy the show without trying to force something on them which will just kill the crowd like it did in Montreal.
SKLOKAZOID
Bratwurst








Since: 20.3.02
From: California

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#9 Posted on
WWE doesn't even know what a face and a heel are anymore. You have heels that are constantly battling the odds and faces that recieve comeuppance for doing the right thing. It happens practically every week on both shows.

That's just one reason. As for Canada, well, that's Canada for you.

(edited by SKLOKAZOID on 6.8.03 1041)
BigVitoMark
Lap cheong








Since: 10.8.02
From: Queen's University, Canada

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#10 Posted on
Yes, turning a guy like Jericho "back" heel in Montreal is stupid because it kills the crowd. Not only that, but since the show is still predominantly American in it's audience make-up and presentation, as long as they don't blur the lines of allegiance there is no week-to-week damage to the storylines. If wrestling were "real" the face cheers might possibly lead a guy like Jericho to actually turn face and side with the Booker's and Michaels' of the world, but since it's not and WWE still decides what happens, all they have to do is keep going with things that make sense - ie. Jericho vs. Michaels - to keep the overall face vs. heel dynamic constant, everything will still work out in the long run.

I see this as just another sign of how little WWE thinks of their audience. Do they really think that one week of cheers will make US fans forget that they don't like Jericho? Or do they realize that the fans deep down want to cheer Jericho and thus they're trying to repress it at any cost? Either way, it doesn't speak too highly of the writers.
SKLOKAZOID
Bratwurst








Since: 20.3.02
From: California

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#11 Posted on
I think the Jericho stuff is just something Jericho likes to do. He did it all the time in WCW (the Canadian Nitro with the Bret/Goldberg confrontation is one example). He probably just does it to make himself more of an asshole, because the psychology is to play to the fans when you're in the homestate/homecountry. He does it very well, too.

Notorious F.A.B.
Pepperoni








Since: 4.2.02
From: Dudleyville's Gay Ghetto

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#12 Posted on
I see Eddie as an NWO Wolfpack style heel. The crowd cheers for him but he plays the bad guy in his matches.

I don't think it really matters. Let the crowd react the way they will. If he's popular enough, people will buy heel merchandise just as readily as a babyface's.



It's just you against the group mind.
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 4 days
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54


    For example, one thing WCW did right, in my opinion, is that when they rolled into Canada with their Team Canada heel posse, they acknowledged the massive cheers and worked them into the storylines. The 'heel audience' became part of the show. That's really a bright move; it acknowledges what's going on and explains it in a way that doesn't damage the 'heelness' or 'faceness' of the characters involved.


I would argue this....remember that Lance Storm/Mike Awesome match from some WCW PPV in Vancouver? Despite the fact that Storm was massively over, the match was booked so Storm kept losing, but the match was 'restarted' several times under new rules by special ref Jacques Rougeau. It killed the crowd, who really wanted to cheer their fellow Canuck.

The ultimate example of this is the Hart Foundation storyline from 1997, where the Harts used to wrestle as heels in the USA and faces in Canada, and as a result were monstrously over in both countries. Of course, this angle was helped by the fact that Austin wrestled as a heel anyway, and thus his style didn't really change wherever he wrestled.





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CANADIAN BULLDOG
Andouille








Since: 5.3.03
From: TORONTO

Since last post: 546 days
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#14 Posted on
Excellent point: Hart Foundation was the perfect example of successfully using different reactions in different regions. Of course, today's lazy writing team would never be able to pull that off... the fact that we don't have the ultra-patriotic Bret Hart around anymore kind of hurts matters too.



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LionJeetSingh
Chourico








Since: 3.3.03

Since last post: 3306 days
Last activity: 3133 days
#15 Posted on
I'm all for this idea... Reigional face/heels could actually be a good thing. The Hart Foundation proved this even to the point where the announcers would play off Bret as a huge face whenever in Canada and then the next week it would be back to normal...

Doesn't only have to be in Canada, you could build up a crowd feud where someone could be a face in NY and a heel in Texas. The announcers would then point out that for a big money match they'll have the crowd behind them depending on thet location...


And turns based on crowd response are nothing new. Austin, Rock, and Hogan were all turned do to the large amount of cheers the were getting...



Vut Joo Talkin?
Hogan's My Dad
Andouille








Since: 8.6.02
From: Canada

Since last post: 5 hours
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#16 Posted on

    Originally posted by Notorious F.A.B.
    I see Eddie as an NWO Wolfpack style heel. The crowd cheers for him but he plays the bad guy in his matches.

    I don't think it really matters. Let the crowd react the way they will. If he's popular enough, people will buy heel merchandise just as readily as a babyface's.



Yeah, but no one ever tried to use minority populations to explain the nWo's popularity. In fact, Tony would usually say something like "they may chant along with scott hall and the nWo, but these are fans of WCW" or some other such garbage that made me roll my eyes.

Contrast that to Eddie, and Cole saying that there's a "huge Hispanic community" and trying to use that as the reason for Eddie's pops. I dislike this because firstly, it's simply not true. Eddy is over everywhere. There's nothing sadder than a smackdown crown in Cali, where a large Hispanic community is blamed for the pop of an amazing athlete, and yet all you can see in the audience on camera is enough white to dress Marlon Brando up like a ghost. Obviously wrestling fans in general are digging eddy, this is not the time to play "blame the mexicans". If Booker's over in NYC, is it professional to say the reason is because there oodles of black in the Big Apple? No. You won't hear that. Cole: "Brock Lesnar's sure popular here in Minneapolis, Tazz." Tazz: "That's 'cause he looks Aryan, Cole." Would that happen? No. When Tajiri gets pops in the Far East, the coverage barely even makes television, and thank god, that way we don't have to hear Cole saying the fans over there "love him long time".

It's just not right. Eddy Guerrero is over because he's Eddy motherfucking Guerrero.















"Whatever I just posted above is what your mother said in bed last night."
fuelinjected
Banger








Since: 12.10.02
From: Canada

Since last post: 3263 days
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.15
Actually there has been a trend developing in the past few weeks that has shown that Eddie Guerrero is a huge ratings hit in the hispanic markets and Smackdown is the #1 rated show among hispanics in the US.
Excalibur05
Knackwurst








Since: 19.1.02
From: Minnesota

Since last post: 13 days
Last activity: 1 day
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#18 Posted on
The thing is the WWE really shot itself in the foot when they wrote Eddie as the face who acts like a heel. Now he's the heel that acts like a heel, and there's no difference. He's still just Eddie, he lies, he cheats, he steals. Huzzah! That's the same thing he did when he was a face, so he's no different. If he refused to lie, cheat, and steal...Maybe.

I acknowledge that Eddie's natural charisma has a lot to do with his run as a heel that gets cheered (and it didn't hurt that his main two opponents have been neigh charisma-less Chris Benoit and Cruiserweight lackey Tajiri), but the fact that his character hasn't changed at ALL from his face persona doesn't help a heel turn.



Feh.
Hogan's My Dad
Andouille








Since: 8.6.02
From: Canada

Since last post: 5 hours
Last activity: 5 hours
#19 Posted on

    Originally posted by fuelinjected
    Actually there has been a trend developing in the past few weeks that has shown that Eddie Guerrero is a huge ratings hit in the hispanic markets and Smackdown is the #1 rated show among hispanics in the US.


This disproves nothing I've said. I doubt the people at the wrestling shows are ALL Hispanic. I've never seen this at any of the shows I've attended. I'm not saying Eddy's not big the Hispanic audience, of course he is. But to attribute all of his current success to his ethnicity completely undermines his talent and alienates that segment of the audience which isn't Hispanic.



"Whatever I just posted above is what your mother said in bed last night."
Notorious F.A.B.
Pepperoni








Since: 4.2.02
From: Dudleyville's Gay Ghetto

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#20 Posted on
Cole's statement about Eddie getting cheered because of the Latinos in the audience was BS. So was "Smackdown! is the most exciting action adventure program on television!" No announcer is ever immune to it.

However, his saying that once is not "attributing all his current success" to it.



It's just you against the group mind.
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Beating brother Bret at WM-X in an amazing match. Thus FINALLY being equal in his own mind.. Then the look he has on his face when Bret wins the title and is hoisted..amazing.. The man was a great heel indeed and an excellent wrestler.
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