What is a babyface? part 2

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What is a babyface? part 2

Post  Illegal on Fri 20 Feb 2009, 7:03 pm

- Interesting Character: The Undertaker started out as a heel. I can see why, if you look at it realistically. A dark, gloomy character who likes burying people. Not really hard to figure, really. Yet about two year later, he was heavily cheered, and in about 5 years time, he was the biggest start (thereabouts) in the company. 14 years on, his gimmick is still over. Why? Because it's a cool and unique gimmick, not to mention he is believeable as a big guy. Fans will get behind a guy who is believeable. Look at Brock Lesnar, Kane, and Goldberg. Sting is another dark and gloomy character, but he was major over, not just because of his name, but because he was enigmatic and people could never predict his next move (although it did help that he was the franchise of WCW, no offense Shane Douglas). Fans will also get behind convincing comedy gimmicks. Everyone berated Rico for being in the "gay" gimmick, but he has pulled it off fantastically. Everyone knocked Eugene Dinsmore, but now he's one of the most over gimmicks on RAW. As long as it's played out well, people will enjoy it.

- Be Yourself +10: This is optional, and goes past what was said in the previous point, but this is another solid way of getting to the top. Jim Cornette said not lnog ago that the most successful gimmicks are those of people being themselves, with the volume turned right up. Stone Cold, The Rock, Triple H, Mick Foley, The Sandman, Raven, Goldberg, Hulk Hogan, the list goes on and on. These guys are all practically playing larger than life versions of themselves. So for a character you can use, maybe you should look at yourself. No one knows you like you do. Just turn the volume up about ten notches, and run with it. Whether you are an arrogant asshole or a porn star in the waiting, fans will get behind you and eventually embrace you. of course, this also works as a heel as well, but in terms of face characters, chances are you will be successful, because people love larger than life characters.

Ways to be a good face inside the ring

Just as effective in making your character work is what he does inside the ring. The psychology of a match can make or break your character's position in the eyes of the fans. Here are some tips you may want to take note of.

- Play the Underdog: Proven fact in wrestling - fans love underdogs. Why? Because they have reason to get behind them, especially if there is a conceivable chance that they might be able to pull off the win. This is how Shawn Michaels pulled off most of his career. Being in a company where big men roamed, Michaels put his body on the line every single night against any big man thrown his way, and knocked them all down. Fans got behind him because what he lacked in size, he made up for in heart, determination and ability, and the announcers made sure that you knew it, which made it even more effective. The same can be said for Chris Benoit around about now on RAW. The challenge of Kane, Triple H and Shawn Michaels in daunting, but he is pulling it off despite his size because his heart, drive, and technical ability is out of this world. Of course, guys like Spike Dudley won't get anywhere because although he is an underdog, he is basically jobber fodder right now. Now if he was used like he was in ECW when he beat every single giant there, people would love this guy. But as it is, the fact remains - the underdog role works.

- Play fair: As a heel, your objective is to win by any means necessary. With babyfaces, it doesn't work this way. Babyfaces are sportsmen. They play by the rules, and amaze people with their moveset, rather than their ability to pull tights or grab the ropes for leverage. Even in times of desperation, the faces stay on the good side of the referee, and can be used to get them over if they manage to overcome all of the cheating from the heel to win (ie. being the underdog - see what I mean?). It also builds sympathy if they lose too. So either way works. only under extreme circumstances should the face be allowed to snap, like Eddie Guerrero did at Judgement Day 2004 against John Bradshaw Leyfield. By this time, the fans will know that the face has to do something, and will be happy that he has finally taken matters into his own hands and won't stand for anything more. It raises the emotional bar and everyone is happy.

- That one move: What do The Rock, Rikishi, Goldberg, John Cena, and Scotty 2 Hotty have in common? That one move that people love to see. In each respective case, we have The People's Elbow, The Stink Face, The Spear, The Five Knuckle Shuffle, and The Worm. The fans love these moves because even though only one of them is actually anything special in terms of effect on opponent (the Spear), they all get the crowd riled up and behind it. It's a great way for face heat, and sometimes it can even turn heel wrestlers face (like it pretty much did for Rhyno with the Gore, and the Dudleys with the 3D and the table spots). That one signiature move doesn't have to be your finisher, but simple a move that riles the people up, and draws them in. Tease it, have it reversed, do whatever with it. But when it's hit, make sure it means something.

Impressive moveset: The one thing that turned Brock Lesnar face wasn't Paul Heyman. It wasn't his charisma (or lack thereof). It wasn't even his build. It was his strength. It was the fact that he was able to pick up 500lbs giants and F5 them with almost sheer ease. His power moves suited his body and his character, and people loved it. Chris Benoit is small, and a technical wiz, so obviously he's not going to be as powerful. But his wide array of suplexes are impressive, and his ability to turn almost any move into his signiture Crippler Crossface makes it a cool move because it's unpredictable, but almost always effective. Make your moveset fit your character, with one or two moves that catch peoples eyes as moves that are gonna impress people. Such moves include the Stone Cold Stunner, the Rock Bottom, and for sheer impact, the Jackhammer. People pop for moves as much as the wrestlers themselves, but they have to be the right mix to work.

How to convey your babyface character into roleplays

For the most part, both of the previous sections will help those in an "Angle" e-fed. But I'm going to guess that most of the readers of this will be in "Roleplay" e-feds, which are considerably harder (and since I've only been in this sort of e-fed for the past 2 and a half years, I know how difficult it can be) to do the above. However, at the same time, it's also a better way to develop your character away from the shows, which helps in the long run.

Most people tend to use roleplays for Interviews. No problem. It's simple and effective for devloping your face persona. Describe the clothes you are wearing. Being a hardcore brawler and wearing a suit isn't going to work. Being a face, wear a slightly tattered local football jersey, for the cheap pop. Dress cool. Make people want to be just like you, no matter the clothing. Describe your attitude to the interviewer. In some cases, you'll just be a straight guy, the type who says "May the best man win". In others, you'll be the joke-cracking funny guy who teases the interviewer or does impressions to make himself look cool and puts over the fact that he is going to win. Others use witty catchphrases for people to chant along with. Either way, make sure you get people's attention, and stick to your character. Nothing is worse than confusing the reader.

Another necessity is putting over your heel opponent. This is crucial. No one will get behind someone when it's going to be a squash. If he has attacked you, sell the injury. Sell how much pain he put you through. Make your opponent look strong. Just put over how much of a challenge he is. Just things like "Tonight is going to be my toughest challenge yet. This guy is one hell of a talent and looking past him would probably be my downfall. I'm just going to give it my best shot and give 110% as I always do" are good enough. It makes your win mean so much more (presuming you do win) if he looks like he is going to kick the crap out of you. Again, I can't emphasise the underdog role enough. And not only that, but making your opponent look like even more of a good heel makes people want to love you just to hate him. It works on all levels.

And speaking of your opponent, bounce off of him. Use ideas to bounce off each other and build up a repetoire together. If he starts talking about something, bounce back with a comeback. If he for instance, disses the local sports team for doing poorly, come up with some good things they've done and put down his local sports team to get him back. The little things like that make people care about feuds.

But not everyone does interviews. Some might go for workouts at the gym. Cool, use it. Show just how much your wrestler wants to win the match. Watch how he pushes himself to breaking point, to the point that people actually feel just how badly you need to win this match.

Or maybe you're talking to friends or teammates. Or maybe you're out and about but can't get it all out of your head. Anything works. Seriously, there are many ways you can put yourself and your opponents over. Just make sure you don't do thigs like purposely injure people or beat up officials and cameramen or stuff like that. For one, it's overdone. Not to mention it's a very unface thing to do.
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