The W
Views: 97629588
Main | FAQ | Search: Y! / G | Calendar | Color chart | Log in for more!
24.7.14 0548
The W - Guest Columns - Llakor: Why Angle is a Heel
This thread has 14 referrals leading to it
Register and log in to post!
Pages: 1(888 newer) Next thread | Previous thread
User
Post (11 total)
skorpio17
Morcilla








Since: 11.7.02
From: New Jersey

Since last post: 2318 days
Last activity: 2318 days
#1 Posted on
Great column by Llakor, in-depth and a good long read.

Go back to the end of 6/01 with the start of the Invasion. Kurt Angle vs. Booker T in Atlanta, GA. The WWF brass thought that the fans would cheer Booker and boo Angle, much to their surprise it was the opposite. They responded by double turning both wrestlers. Angle as a face and Booker as a heel.

Why did the fans react this way? The answer is that the were booing Booker, more than cheering for Kurt. The way Booker was introduced to WWF fans was as a guy who would interfere in matches – a heel tactic. Booker T was not introduced with any promos, they just expected the fans to recognize him from WCW shows that most people didn’t see. He also had the WCW belt and represented WCW; which WWF life-time fans didn’t like. Booker T had a style that looked like he was a Rock ripoff. His stole the Rock’s finisher called it the Bookend and himself The Book. He also had cheesy catch phrases like the Rock. This is a good character, but it takes a while for the fans to warm up to it, just like it took time for them to warm up to the Rock. The fans would have rooted for any top WWF superstar over Booker T.

The WWF brass misinterpreted the fans’ reaction as face heat for Angle. The put a face Angle against a heel Austin. And both wrestlers were playing the wrong parts. Angle was the class geek and Austin was the rebel everyone loved. Think of the “Breakfast Club” with Anthony Michael Hall and Judd Nelson. Angle also stole Ken Shamrock’s ankle-lock as his finisher. Angle as a face seemed too forced. Even thought the finisher at Survivor Series 2001, saw Angle turn on the Alliance and save the WWF. The fans still wouldn’t cheer for him.

The bottom line is that Angle has the most heel heat along with Vince McMahon and X-Pac. And the other two are not main event wrestlers. Angle consistently delivers the
highest quality of wrestling matches and is most everyone’s choice for wrestler of the first half of 2002. Personally I prefer the spectacular over the consistently good. The Don Mattingly over the Cal Ripken. The Shawn Michaels over the Bret Hart. The RVD over the Kurt Angle. But, that’s just me. Angle is the best he is at what he does and that is generating heel heat.


(edited by skorpio17 on 11.7.02 1107)


-Brian Popkin
skorpio17@aol.com
Promote this thread!
Llakor
Landjager








Since: 2.1.02
From: Montreal, Quebec, CANADA

Since last post: 470 days
Last activity: 461 days
AIM:  
#2 Posted on
Well, let's take a better example than Don Mattingly over Cal Ripken shall we. Let's take Ozzie Smith vs. Cal Ripken.

A few baseball writers (and George Will) have made the argument that Ozzie may have made more spectacular plays, but that Cal was just always in the right place at the right time. Personally, while having a shortstop that can do backflips and all is very cool, I would rather have Cal day in, day out. (Taking both guys at the peak of their game, naturally, although even there Ripken's peak was longer and more sustained than Ozzie's)

And RVD STILL punches like a girl.



"Don't Blame CANADA, Blame Yourselves!"
El Nastio
Andouille








Since: 14.1.02
From: Ottawa Ontario, by way of Walkerton

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 10 hours
ICQ:  
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.33
Llakor, FANTASTIC article, one I consider to be an epic. I to, enjoy the Man of Skill. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best article I've read on /slash (and I've seen some great ones). When I get over the euphoria of the Expos, that line will go in the sig for sure.


In Angle I trust. Indeed!



Montreal Expos, 2002, October, The Fall Classic.

"PLEASE BELIEVE IT!"
Tom Dean
Bockwurst








Since: 30.8.02
From: New York, NY

Since last post: 3215 days
Last activity: 2584 days
AIM:  
#4 Posted on
It was a good article, but I think we all know why Angle is so over as a heel:

1. He talks shit
2. He often can't back up the shit he talks
3. He's a wimp, and people like badasses

It's not basically because he's a technical wrestler. That just makes it even easier to establish point #3, as opposed to if he were a HHH-like brawler, anyway. But really, I think it's pretty tangential. If he were presented as a kickass rebel, he could be a technical wrestler in the ring and the fans would eat it up. Bill Gates and Harry Potter really have nothing to do with anything... invoking them doesn't truly address the "wimp" point, because this is wrestling and not computer software or children's fiction. I can appreciate the article as an informed attempt to come up with a flight of fancy creative theory, but not so much as an accurate depiction of how things really are.



"How YOU Doin'?"
- Tom Dean, weekly at [slash]
"History is being make-ed... somebody here is getting their head completely shaved off"
- David McLane, PPV opening promo

gonna build a giant drill and bore straight into hell releasing ancient demons from their sleep-forever spell so they can walk upon the earth and get recituated and run the diet pill pyramid that MC Pee Pants has created
Llakor
Landjager








Since: 2.1.02
From: Montreal, Quebec, CANADA

Since last post: 470 days
Last activity: 461 days
AIM:  
#5 Posted on
Keep in mind that at the precise time that I am talking about, Angle was in no way being portrayed as a wimp. Austin had damn near murdered him at Summerslam, hitting him with three stunners and turning his face into a bloody mess and Angle kept getting back up. This is also the period where McMahon referred to him as "he's a dork, but he's a dangerous dork, our dork." Plus just before turning face he SLAUGHTERED Shan-o-Mac at King of the Ring.

Yes, as a heel, he is presented as a wimp. But as a face, he was being presented as Super-Angle, still a nerd, but dangerous.



"Don't Blame CANADA, Blame Yourselves!"
Tom Dean
Bockwurst








Since: 30.8.02
From: New York, NY

Since last post: 3215 days
Last activity: 2584 days
AIM:  
#6 Posted on
Oh, okay. That I think was because Austin was so completely overshadowing him. Austin got tons of promo time during that period, while Angle, his so-called equal opponent, got very little, often not even appearing until the main event. And when Angle did do something, it was very often ripping off Austin's material... either doing the same thing to Austin that Austin had just done to him (bridge incident), or aping something Austin had done several years ago (milk truck). I felt like they stripped Angle of his old character, but failed to replace it with anything. Plus of course Austin wasn't really over as a heel in anything but a "yeah, okay, I guess we'll boo you because otherwise this show ain't gonna go anywhere apparently" way.



"How YOU Doin'?"
- Tom Dean, weekly at [slash]
"History is being make-ed... somebody here is getting their head completely shaved off"
- David McLane, PPV opening promo

gonna build a giant drill and bore straight into hell releasing ancient demons from their sleep-forever spell so they can walk upon the earth and get recituated and run the diet pill pyramid that MC Pee Pants has created
Llakor
Landjager








Since: 2.1.02
From: Montreal, Quebec, CANADA

Since last post: 470 days
Last activity: 461 days
AIM:  
#7 Posted on
Which would reinforce my whole point. The WWF audience didn't WANT to cheer for Austin the man of ego over Angle the man of skill. You'll note that the internet, work-rate freaks that we are, had no problem doing this.



"Don't Blame CANADA, Blame Yourselves!"
Tom Dean
Bockwurst








Since: 30.8.02
From: New York, NY

Since last post: 3215 days
Last activity: 2584 days
AIM:  
#8 Posted on
Well, my point being, they never told their audience, "hey, root for Kurt because he's a determined son of a bitch who has worked his ass off to get here and can outwrestle anybody." Rather, they tried to make Angle into the old Austin and Austin into a wimp. I don't think they presented the audience with a choice between the man of skill and the man of ego.

I guess my larger question would be, what are we supposed to conclude from this? You say "why would the fans choose the legacy of Stone Cold, HBK, and the red and yellow, over the tradition of the Hitman, the Archimedes of Wresting, and the Hooker?" I don't see where you answer that question. Is it because Backlund and Hart ended their careers ignominiously? Does it somehow prove that the fans are stupid sheep? What exactly are we saying here? Whatever the reason is, if Hart is the only exception to the rule since Backlund's era, people must be finding it a pretty convincing reason.



"How YOU Doin'?"
- Tom Dean, weekly at [slash]
"History is being make-ed... somebody here is getting their head completely shaved off"
- David McLane, PPV opening promo

gonna build a giant drill and bore straight into hell releasing ancient demons from their sleep-forever spell so they can walk upon the earth and get recituated and run the diet pill pyramid that MC Pee Pants has created
skorpio17
Morcilla








Since: 11.7.02
From: New Jersey

Since last post: 2318 days
Last activity: 2318 days
#9 Posted on
I think that everyone understands why Angle makes such a geat heel. He can be in a match with another heel like the Undertaker. Guess who the fans will root for? It won't be Angle. Angle can out heel anyone. That is his role.

The other question is why Angle can't be a face. The larger answer is that which I think Llakor was saying is the the "Man of Skill" has a hard time getting over with the crowd. The crowd will prefer a wrestler who wins by high-flying moves "RVD", by his sheer size "Undertaker", by his brawling ability "Austin", or by his icon status "The Rock and Hulk Hogan". Any technical wrestler in the WWF has a very hard time becoming a face.

Historically look at Mr. Perfect and Ric Flair. More recently look at Chris Benoit who took longer than expected to get over with the crowd. Only succeeding on 06/02 due to 5 star matches and help from Chris Jericho. In the current WWF, take a look at all the top faces. None of them are technical wrestlers.



-Brian Popkin
Llakor
Landjager








Since: 2.1.02
From: Montreal, Quebec, CANADA

Since last post: 470 days
Last activity: 461 days
AIM:  
#10 Posted on
Right, what he said.

*Points to skorpio17*

I'll admit that I worry that I didn't connect the dots properly. There's a fine line between making your argument and over-explaining, and I tend to slip right down into over-explaining most of the time.

But my basic thesis was that the (W)WWF right from its very beginnings has established that there is a substantive difference between let's call them, oh I don't know, "Sports Entertainers" on one hand and "Wrestlers" on the other, and never to the benefit of the "Wrestlers"

"Sports Entertainers" get built as somehow super-human winning their matches on guts alone. "Wrestlers" get torn down. (c.f. Thesz, Backlund, Hart, Shamrock, Malenko, Benoit.)

Not there's anything wrong with that...

Scratch that.

There's a lot wrong with that IMODO, but not from the point of view of your average (W)WWF fan. The problem comes when you are trying to build up one of those "Wrestlers", you end up fighting against the tide of all that history.

In other words having trained your audience to boo technical wrestling and technical wrestlers, it is a little hard to retrain them overnight.

Or something like that... :)



"Don't Blame CANADA, Blame Yourselves!"
Tom Dean
Bockwurst








Since: 30.8.02
From: New York, NY

Since last post: 3215 days
Last activity: 2584 days
AIM:  
#11 Posted on
I guess it becomes chicken/egg to a large extent... do they book faces as courageous rebels because that's what the fans want to see, or do the fans want to see courageous rebels because that's how they're used to faces acting? You seem to be endorsing the latter view, while I tend to endorse the former. One huge reason I say that is because WWE goes out of its way to ensure that its fans are as ignorant as possible about its past. (That is, until they get REALLY desperate and start pulling people off six-year-old programming from a different federation and expect fans to know who they are. ANYWAY.) So it seems odd to suggest that "sheeplike" fans are basing their reactions on a history that WWE is dutifully trying to erase. I also think that, ultimately, if the fans truly didn't want to lionize the rebels but were being asked to anyway, you would be able to tell that they were just "going along with the show". I can't explain exactly how, but, you almost always can tell. Which is really maybe the most fun thing about watching, and writing about, wrestling. It taps into emotions that are hard to explain or express. Well, good article. I would be very curious to see what would happen if they ever pushed face Angle as a Bret Hart "just a better wrestler than the other guy" type, rather than as mini-Austin. That would shed a lot of light on the situation. (I think the best way to have gotten Angle over as a face post-Sept. 11 would have been to wrap him in the damn flag, but that's another discussion.)



"How YOU Doin'?"
- Tom Dean, weekly at [slash]
"History is being make-ed... somebody here is getting their head completely shaved off"
- David McLane, PPV opening promo

gonna build a giant drill and bore straight into hell releasing ancient demons from their sleep-forever spell so they can walk upon the earth and get recituated and run the diet pill pyramid that MC Pee Pants has created
Pages: 1Thread ahead: In lieu of [ / ], my new column
Next thread: (Bitchfactor)
Previous thread: Shapiro
(888 newer) Next thread | Previous thread
Kevin Steen Faces His Greatest Challenge Kevin Steen may be the only Canadian in history to hate a six-pack.
The W - Guest Columns - Llakor: Why Angle is a HeelRegister and log in to post!

The W™ message board

ZimBoard
©2001-2014 Brothers Zim

This old hunk of junk rendered your page in 0.082 seconds.