Face of Faces or Heel of Heels?

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Face of Faces or Heel of Heels?

Post  Alexander Conway on Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:29 pm

Another guide my friend got permission from the author for us to use.


Face of Faces or Heel of Heels:
A Roleplaying Guide

By Necropus

Introduction

This guide is intended to provide instruction on how to roleplay as a babyface, a heel, or a tweener. In my opinion, the balance of good and evil wrestlers, faces and heels, is the foundation of the drama of professional wrestling. Because of this, I feel it’s important that anyone attempting to play Wrassle understand the intricacies of this balance.

Roleplaying is about more than just writing. It is about understanding the motivations and behavior of your character and of other characters as well, then expressing them through your posts. When you successfully establish your character as a face, a heel, or a tweener, you will inevitably have better matches, better feuds, and will improve as a roleplayer in general.

I want to note that I have borrowed heavily from Raven’s “Secrets of the Ring” video. However, I have adapted them to Wrassle[dot]Net, as well as inserted some of my thoughts and opinions.


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Babyface

A “babyface” in wrestling jargon is a good guy. He’s the wrestler who plays by the rules, fights for the cause of right, and respects the fans. If he’s successful, if he gets “over”, the fans will be cheering for him night in and night out. He becomes a hero to the fans and relishes in their adoration.

The babyface’s goal in the ring is to gain sympathy from the fans. The easiest way to gain sympathy is to get beaten and bruised in the ring, but to keep fighting no matter how badly the odds are stacked against him. It’s not his strength, his speed, or his wrestling ability that make him a hero. It’s his heart. As long as he shows that his heart is in the fight, no matter how badly he is hurt, the fans will keep cheering for him.

A babyface should not be Superman. Having weaknesses makes him human. It allows the fans in the audience to relate to him and, of course, to generate sympathy for him. Babyfaces do not need to constantly show off their strength or athleticism. A babyface’s strength is shown when he defeats the seemingly much more powerful heel. The stronger and deadlier the opponent is, the more heroic the babyface seems when he defeats him. Again, this allows the audience to imagine that heroism exists in themselves as well, because anyone can possess courage and spirit, even if he or she is not physically powerful.

Of course, it’s no fun to just get beaten up constantly. You also do want to show off your athleticism and skill from time to time. There are three instances that the babyface can show off his stuff. The first instance is the “shine”, the beginning of the match, when the babyface dominates through skill and heart until the heel puts a stop to it by cheating. The second instance is a “hope spot”, a brief moment when it seems like the babyface is going to make a comeback and maybe lands a move or two before the heel reclaims the advantage. The third instance is the “comeback”, when the babyface finally gains the advantage by summoning his courage and by channeling the collective will of the fans to defeat the heel.

The most difficult thing about being a babyface is that you have to be willing to get your ass kicked for most of the match. A lot of people are afraid this will make their character look weak. It doesn''t, as long as the heel is doing his job. The fans recognize that the only reason you''re getting your ass kicked is that the heel is cheating. They won''t respect you less for the punishment you take.


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Heels

The “heel” is the opposite of the babyface. He’s the bad guy, the low-life, the cheater. He will do absolutely anything it takes to win, no matter how low he has to sink. While the babyface is in the business for glory and the love of the fans, the heel only cares about his own ambitions. He wants money and power and doesn’t care one whit about the fans.

The heel’s goal in the ring is to gain “heat” from the fans. He should set out to make the fans hate him as much as possible. He can do this by cheating, by insulting the audience, through displays of arrogance, or simply by kicking the crap out of the people’s hero. The more the fans boo and hiss and throw trash, the happier the heel is. He knows he’s accomplished his mission when the fans seem about to pour over the guardrails just to get at him.

The heel should always seem more powerful than the babyface, at least on the surface. Maybe he brings a weapon to the ring. Maybe he comes with an entourage of flunkies. Maybe he’s simply stacked all the cards in his favor. Either way, the heel should always seem to be at an advantage going into the match and during the match as well. Acting cocky and overconfident will only make him seem even more powerful. This is a trick to gain sympathy for the babyface, the underdog. The more powerful the heel seems, the less fans can relate to him and the less sympathy he will earn.

Most of the work of pacing the match falls to the heel. The reason for this is that the heel should be dominating the match for about 75% of the time. With the exception of the three instances mentioned above, the heel should be in charge. If the heel ever loses the advantage, he will quickly regain it by some underhanded tactic.

The hardest part of being a heel is that you ultimately will lose. Maybe you won''t lose the battle, but you will always lose the war. It''s the trade-off that all heels have to make for the opportunity to dominate during the match or feud itself. Just remember that people will always want the good guy to win in the end, no matter how jaded or cynical those people are. It''s human nature and you have to accept it.


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Tweener

A tweener is “between” a heel and a face. A tweener is very rare in real professional wrestling. On the net, there are a lot more tweeners than there are in real wrestling because a) the player can’t commit to being a heel or a babyface; b) the player doesn’t know how to adequately roleplay either. With no real authority figure to force them into one category or another, it’s easy to drift in between.

In a nutshell, a tweener is a wrestler who breaks the rules, but still gets love from the fans. This is usually accomplished simply through force of personality. No matter how he behaves, fans can’t help but like him. Usually, he appeals to the darker side of people. He’s the rebel that people secretly wish they could be.

A tweener can be the most fun type of character to roleplay but also the most difficult. It’s fun because you can act like a bad-ass, control the pace of the match and thereby show off your skills for all the world, and still get the adoration of the fans. It’s difficult because you have to be something really special to get that kind of respect from the audience without being a babyface.

In a match, a tweener should behave like a heel although perhaps less despicable. The only reason the fans keep cheering for him is that they respect his skills, his history, or his ability to work a microphone. Personality is the key. Without personality, a tweener is in limbo between heel and face and isn’t getting over with the fans. Because there are no real fans, you need to convince the other players that your character has enough personality to be loved by the fans despite his cheating ways. My advice: just don’t be a tweener.


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Always remember that, whether it’s a single match or a feud that lasts years, the drama comes from the babyface’s struggle to triumph despite the overwhelming odds. As long as the babyface keeps fighting, it is the heel’s job to make those odds as overwhelming as possible so that the babyface seems that much more heroic when he finally does overcome his enemy. Even if the heel scores the pinfall, the audience must believe that the babyface was the one who truly deserved the win. Their faith in the babyface will be validated at the end of the feud when all his hard work, determination, and heart finally pay off.

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Alexander Conway
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