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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Fine Line Between Heel and Face
May 1, 2005 by Wes 'The Demon' Martinez


If you tuned in to Monday Night RAW on April 25th, I'm sure you saw Dave Batista come out and give his little tribute to Jim Ross. However, when a minority of the crowd wasn't chanting his name, you could at times hear a smattering, and sometimes more than a smattering, of boos... directed towards Batista. Furthermore, when Triple H came out, it was very noticeable that more people were cheering for him than booing him.

See, this is where things get a little different than normal. Batista is currently the main babyface on RAW, while Triple H is, and has been for years, the top heel on the franchise. After Triple H lost his World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania 21, it seems that the crowd has been rallying behind him. If you look in the audience, amidst the signs that say 'ECW' and 'Edge Speared Lita,' you can often see signs supporting Triple H. I, myself, have seen ones that say things like 'Triple H is still the man,' 'I want to be Triple H,' and 'The Game is far from Over.' Are the fans starting to slowly but surely get behind Triple H again"

Let's rewind the clock a few years, when the WWE was called the WWF and Jim Ross actually gave play-by-play commentary. Triple H was in a little faction called D-Generation X, along with Chyna and, one of the ultimate fairies and one of the greatest performers the sport has ever had: Shawn Michaels. They were mainly a face faction who loved to spit in the face of authority and infuriate Vince McMahon and the censors. Triple H was loved back then. It may have partly been because he was with Shawn Michaels, but nonetheless, the fans got behind him and loved him to death.

Fast forward a few years... let's say, the early 00's. Triple H turns heel, starts getting World Title reigns like crazy, and the crowd starts to boo him. The man the fans once loved became the 'Cerebral Assassin,' 'The Game,' 'Captain Sledgehammer,' whatever you like to call him. The point is, he was the epitome of heel. And he was great at it. He really knew how to make you love to hate him, and as much as he tries, the fans might be getting behind him once again.

Now, let's compare Batista and Triple H. When it comes to in-ring skill, it's obvious that Triple H is a much more skilled performer than Batista, who's wrestling skills, although improving over time, are mediocre at best. And mic skills" There's no contest. Triple H is a terrific actor, probably one of the best the business has ever had. He can make you hate him, love him, and just feel for him, while Batista has about as much emotion as an ad for car insurance. Then there is, of course, the amount of time they've been in the business. Triple H has been in the business for years, paying his dues to get to the main event status he's at today. However, Batista has been around for only a couple years, and never really had to pay any dues considering the fact that he was in Evolution almost right away.

The point is, Triple H currently is a much better performer than Batista, and that probably won't change for a good long while. While there is still room for Batista to improve, it seems that the fans are once again supporting Triple H, and as much as he tries, I don't think all of the fans are going to hate him as much as he's supposed to. He's worked hard to get where he is, and that's why he's also one of my all-time favorite sports entertainers of all time.

Note: If any new-age fans comment saying crap like 'HE'S ONLY WHERE
HE'S AT BECAUSE HE'S MARRIED TO THE BOSS'S DAUGHTER' or 'YEAH BUT
BATISTA IS BUFF,' please know that I most likely won't respond or care to anything you have to say. I'm willing to hear what you people think, but not if it turns into a flame war. Also, sorry if this column wasn't too great. This is my first of hopefully many columns here at OWW.

by Wes 'The Demon' Martinez ..


Ryan S wrote:
Wes, I have noticed, as you have, that the fans have started to cheer like crazy lately as soon as Triple H's music hits. I would also like to add that I have noticed alot of fans cheering for Christian lately.

I live in England and am a huge wrestling fan, and although I hate Triple H in the he's a baddy I have to hate him way, I love him as an entertainer and think he is one of the most compelling wrestlers to watch. Perhaps surprisingly to some I also think JBL has been really brilliant as a heel and have enjoyed all of his title matches and think he has fulfilled the role of chief badguy on Smackdown perfectly. This is not meant to suggest however that I put the 2 in the same league.

Back to Triple H and Batista. I did notice a few boos aimed at Batista although he does get a massive cheer from the crowd, I figured it is just a few fans trying to be different. I am not going to get into the whole area of how good an actual wrestler any particular superstar is as I have never had anything to do with wrestling other than be a fan, but Triple H is a bloody good user of the mic and one of the most entertaining wrestlers for me to watch. He has that thing, it's not got a word but he has "it". He is just perfect at playing his character, from the way he expresses emotions on his face to way he moves around the ring and the arena.

I just enjoy wrestling and don't ever sit there thinking, I'll cheer for the baddy because he has earned his place whereas the goody is nothing more than a rookie being given a push, I just cheer for the good guy and boo the bad guy.

To finish off I will say that I was praying JBL would win the no1 contendership for Cenas title because he has really entertained me over the last 8 or 9 months and I hope they will finally put Christian fully into the WHC title frame.
Kevin L. wrote:
Wes, your arguemnt is ver y valid it is jsut some of your inforamtion is mixed up. The original DX with Triple H and Shawn was a heel group. Think of the Shawn and Stonecold feud at Wrestlemania 14, shawn and H were the heels. The Dx you are thinking of is the reformed Dx after Shanw left. Triple H set up DX with Road Dogg, Billy Gun, and X-Pac and even these guys were sometimes heels.

The arguement I have for you is that even though Triple H is a very talented person, people are just sick of seeing him always in the title spots. He will lose the title and then in a month or so it will be around his waste agin it is just very boring and repetitive. Raw has many talented competetors, ie Benoit, Christian, Jericho, and Kane. They all desreve a chance to hold the belt, this repetition of Triple H at the top is just too much.
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