Sunday, February 3, 2013

Good Heat, Trash Heat and The Heels you should be studying

Of all the things in wrestling that I never thought would be a threatened art, I never expected villain behavior to be on the list. I think I'm going to cry.

No.. snap out of it. There's work to be done.

I cracked open my Facebook just now, and saw quite possibly the most unexpected post in the year 2013:

"‎"Eddie ain't in heaven. Eddie's down there, in hell."

-Randy Orton 2006 ,in reference to Eddie's death. LMAO"

... LMAO????? In the words of Eddie's widow, EXCUSE ME?? EXCUSE ME!!

There is absolutely NOTHING funny about this crass, tacky line. And more shocking, it came from someone who has been trying to make it in wrestling for the last several years. I'm withholding his name. Surely there's a reason why he hasn't made it to the "we'll post your real name on a public poll" of Gut Check yet.

Now this is a bad habit of mine, but I actually responded. I know I know, my mother was right when she said that trying to educate stupid people is the same as teaching a pig to sing (it wastes your time & annoys the pig) but it's a defect in me that I just can't correct yet. Anyway, here's was I said:

"I disagree, it's not funny at all. It was a tacky and unnecessary line.You don't joke about the dead, even if they were strangers to you in life.

... Unless it's Hitler."

He and his friend tried to respond by claiming I'm taking this out of proportions, and that it was a very funny line that got Randy Orton much needed heat. Ease up Kori, think of it like South Park!

Now the comments kept coming up like this, so the following are additional responses I gave:

To the comment "It's not like Eddie heard this" I said " The dead can always hear. Plus, why bother hurting those who miss him? That segment showed me that the writing team weren't smart enough to get a big enough rise from the crowd without stooping to the lowest common denominator. He already had heat, but it wasn't good enough. One of the sick, twisted freaks at that company had to take it to a low-class level.

It's writing like that that keeps WWE from ever attaining the glory days of the 80's. It made Randy, the writing/booking staff and Vince himself look trashy and weak.

If the only way you can get heat is by stooping to that level, you must be a very poor heel.

Cheap heat is poor heat. It shows a sincere lack of ability in the one doing it, and a lack of talent in the writer."

Someone who did agree with me brought up the time that Vince wrestled "God". (A tacky spotlight over a table.) My response: "That too was tacky, low-class and in very poor taste. The whole "we're calling a spotlight God" thing was just cop-out writing. Freakishly enough, the ATHEISTS hated it first!"

So again I was told that this is just like South Park, Family Guy and The Simpsons, and that I just need to "lighten up". My take on that?

"Incorrect. You are trying to put wrestling on the same level as low-brow, low-class, shock jock humor. South Park for example can get away with it, because it's a cartoon, drawn to offend. That is it's sole purpose, as dictated by the people who make it.

WWE is billed as an entertaining show, meant to bring smiles to people, specifically families. Yes, even during the era in which this was spoken. I have the tapes.

Wrestling is supposed to be a sport that is also entertaining. There's nothing entertaining about poking fun at the dead, especially one that died on the road on his way to entertain thousands. To stoop to such a level means that you are not talented enough to bring heat on your own, so you hit below the belt. Eddie's death was still very fresh at the time, meaning that you had to resort to reminding everyone that their hero was dead, in order to get a reaction. 
The actual great heels never had to do this."

Which leads me to the cartoon I chose for this post. It's Chibi Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Yes, Piper did cross the line during his heyday, I really don't feel that Blackface is ever appropriate, much like hitting someone with a coconut, simply because he's an "Islander" but outside of those instances, Piper was the perfect definition of a heel.

A heel is supposed to be devious. He does things that are nefarious not just to get the crowd to boo him, but also to get the other wrestler pumped enough to kick his ass.

Piper once said something in an interview that made me appreciate the role of a true heel in wrestling:

"Think about Wrestlemania. What did the fans really pay to see? Did they pay to see Hulk Hogan? Or did they pay to see Hulk Hogan kick my ass?"

That sentiment right there is what every wrestler ~ or in this case "Creative" Team should be contemplating. How to make a heel so devious, so anti-charming, that people pay through the nose to see him get decimated in the ring.

Great example. Show up to a Chicago show right before the playoffs in a Green Bay Packers jersey. Every red blooded fan of DA BEARS will be chanting for the face of the evening to kick you across the parking lot. It's as timeless as the "little black dress" in that it never goes out of style.

Another way to get a huge reaction from the crowd? Tease that the star attraction won't be there tonight, because he/she's afraid of you. You are clearly the better man/woman, and obviously the star must not care enough about the fans to show up on time. Watch the crowd seethe.

True villainy is like second nature to someone with actual talent. When I think of the most entertaining, perfect heels, I think of names like Gorgeous George, Bobby Heenan, Classy Freddie Blassie, Adam Pearce, William Regal, Raven, Truth Martini, Prince Nana, Rowdy Roddy Piper, these are names that captivate the crowd, hold firm their attention, people who make you 100% care about every last move they make from bell to bell. Names that should be respected, you should be learning from them if you want to be a heel.

Or at least... write for one.

Which brings me back to that dark day in 2006.

At the time that Randy's face dribbled that line, Eddie's death was still very fresh, not just to the people who for real knew him, but to the fans, even those who never met him. Fans like me. But that's not why I took offense to the line.

I took offence because this was cheap heat. And not even of a "wow what a bargain" type of cheap either, or that foreign dollar store "Eh.. it looks suspicious but it gets the job done 5 times before it breaks" cheap.

Nuno. I'm talking the same level of cheap as the 12 year old who races across a busy parking lot, just to scream the word "Ass". Why? Because it's the very first time he's ever tried to use the word.

The level of cheap that's the same as when you see that smelly, flabby-skinned rat at the bar. You know she's at least 60, though she tells people she just turned 39. And her makeup is all over the place, like she'd been in a savage make-out with a clown, and her clothes look like she stole them from Madonna n 1985, then ran them through a meat grinder and never gave them back, and there are more lines on her face than a AAA Road Map of Chicago during Construction season. And she's delusional enough to think that she's "still got it" as she flubbers and flabs her way across the dance floor, trying to out dance the 18-35 year olds. Then she slinks over to the youngest wrestler in the room, and tries to molest him, and calls him "Gay" when not only won't he sleep with her, but his WIFE is sitting right behind him, and he's holding her hand.

Yeah, THAT level of cheap. That's the level Randy was told to stoop to, in order to get heat.

... Which he already had. Because let's face the music here. Randy at that point royally sucked. This was not the 2012 "I can actually pull off a few quick moves without help" Randy, this was the slow, boring "MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" Randy that everyone already hated. He needed extra heat like Mae Young needed to give birth to Hornswoggle.

I feel I made myself clear, that instances that involve making fun of dead wrestlers was nothing short of tacky. So how did the "wrestler" in question react to this education? Well here's his reply:

"I'm generalizing Wrestling with Entertainment, which is a very broad spectrum. The same people who like Anthony Jezelnik, I'm sure liked the crack by Orton. Sometimes, things offend people. My favorite jokes, are dead baby jokes. And I have a 13 year old daughter. I just know the difference between joke and reality."

Uh-huh. And I know my way to the "unfriend" button.

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