The Stomping Ground: What Makes The Perfect Heel?

Greetings, landlubbers. Your favorite, most consistent columnist on Inside Pulse is back with another round of awesomeness.

By the way, in case you haven’t checked it out yet (and honestly, how could you have avoided it?), feel free to enjoy the brand new roller coaster ride that is Mike and Kelly’s Obnoxious WWE Smackdown Breakdown. We make Smackdown fun again!

Okay; enough shilling. After hearing everyone’s opinion on Chris Jericho and the Daniel Bryan heel turn, I became interested in delving into what concoction actually goes into making a great…..no, perfect heel. What qualities combine to make a lethal cocktail of heelishness, and does such a perfect villain actually exist?

Cocky Attitude

The perfect heel is obviously someone who believes, truly and unequivocally, that he or she is the absolute apex of the company. His or her skills are unmatched by any fellow competitor (at least in their mind) and they are the be-all and end-all. Notable ego trips include Triple H, Ric Flair, Chris Jericho, Hollywood Hogan, Cody Rhodes, Randy Savage, and Dolph Ziggler.

Imposing Size

The easiest way to create a heel is to introduce someone of extremely large stature or bigger-than-average muscle mass. Through sheer physical force, said heels are literally able to throw their weight around and destroy lesser opponents in a battle of attrition. Guys like Big Show, Brock Lesnar, Batista, Great Khali, and Kevin Nash could be considered quite imposing.

Ruthlessness

Heels usually trump faces in one particular category: the ability to eschew a conscience in order to get the job done. They don’t care what needs to be done or who gets hurt along the way as long as the heel in question winds up on top. Personas who make this list include Ted DiBiase, Randy Orton, and The Rock.

Conniving Intelligence

Many heels have found that what they lack in size, they make up for in brains. Getting into an opponent’s head through mind games is often the easiest way to earn a victory. Often times this plan of attack backfires, but there are a few who have made a career out of outsmarting their foes, such as Ric Flair, Eddie Guerrero, Edge, Undertaker, and Jake Roberts.

Unstoppable Will and Endurance
Some heels don’t have much in the brain department but often win simply because they can endure more pain and punishment than the average man. These heels can often be found alongside managers who enforce their own will through their clients. Mankind, Kane, and Abyss fit that description to a tee.

Sheer Wrestling Ability

Heels who can simply outwrestle their opponents are a rare breed. Many bad guys in the business often rely on two or three of the previous qualities to make up for what they lack in pure wrestling ability, but there are others who let their actions in the ring speak for themselves. Shawn Michaels, Daniel Bryan, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, and Chris Benoit are prime candidates here.

Riling Up the Crowd

Most people in the biz agree that heels are easier to portray than faces because all you have to do is piss off the crowd and they’ll hate your guts. Sometimes that’s not enough; sometimes you have to really tear into the audience. You have to anger fans to the point that they buy you as a real piece of shit and want to beat the hell out of you in public. Wrestlers such as Shane Douglas, Jeff Jarrett, Ric Flair, CM Punk, and Chris Jericho are pretty good at getting people to despise them.

Does the perfect heel exist?

This is just a matter of opinion, but I believe we have someone who comes close.

Kurt Angle.

That’s right, I said Kurt FREAKIN’ Angle.

Think back to his time in the WWE before you condemn me and say, “But Kurt’s not physically imposing any more!” At his peak, Kurt was one of the most hated heels on the roster. He was also the best wrestler on the roster, running circles around the competition. He was cocky, smart, and could go 30-40 minutes in the ring. I’m not implying that he was perfect in EVERY category, but that he was a great example of a man who embodied a healthy composite of all of them.

Agree? Disagree? Have I erroneously left something or someone out? Do I give a shit?

These are all important questions. Feel free to answer any or all of them.

Except the last one. The only possible answer is, “No.”

Mike Gojira’s Fave Five

1. Chris Jericho: Was there any doubt? Yeah, I’m biased here, but this is MY Fave Five. His speech on Raw, while not his greatest, really conveyed the reason for his upcoming feud with Punk that we all saw coming: he’s challenging Punk’s claim of being the best in the world. Couple that with his win in the main event and you’ve got quite a case for my number one slot this week.

2. Daniel Bryan: DB’s heel turn is growing on me. I like where the company is taking this, but I’m a little concerned that the payoff may be a one-on-one match with Big Show…that doesn’t involve the title.

3. Randy Orton: The Viper had a solid outing with Wade Barrett on last Friday’s Smackdown and showed that he hasn’t attained any ring rust in the month he was out recuperating.

4. Sheamus: The Great White has been changing his style ever-so-slightly (including a new finisher that debuted last week) and the crowd is really getting into him. If the WWE plays their cards right, we could be looking at Smackdown’s de facto number two face behind Orton.

5. Wade Barrett: The Barrett Barrage might be over as Orton definitively bested his foe in a nice No DQ brawl last week. Let’s wait and see what he brings to the table this week and at the Elimination Chamber.

Cheap Plugs

*Ah, Jonah Kue….you smug little man. You truly are the “Dwayne Johnson” of Pulse. You may have returned, but for how long? Will you stick around after Wrestlemania? I doubt it. But until you desert us again, it’s good to have you back.

*I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some newcomers here at the Pulse. Check out some fine work from Ralph Hardin, Jack Newbury, and Robert Schwabe.

As usual, expect more hilarity and insults from Kelly Floyd and yours truly this weekend.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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