What is a babyface?

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What is a babyface? Empty What is a babyface?

Post  Illegal on Fri 20 Feb 2009, 7:05 pm

Babyface for Dumbasses by Mitchell Jones (owner of WZWA) 5/2004
I apologise in advance if I lose everyone at any stage of this write-up. It's harder than people think to conceivably tell people not only what a face is but how to be a good one, especially in today's wonderful world of wrestling where everything has changed since the good old days. But alas, I will give this my best show.

What is a babyface?

A babyface is the insider term for a good guy, the one who is cheered and loved by all the fans. In days of old, the standard babyface (or "face" for short) was the typical nice guy. He wouldn't cheat, swear, or argue. He would always play fair, shake hands after a match, and be the kind of guy that your Grandmother would love to take home with her and your Mother would love your little sister (or yourself, if any females are reading this) to date. Of course, times have changed thanks to ECW, WWF Attitude and the New World Order in WCW. Guys like The Sandman and Stone Cold Steve Austin would drink and swear obsessively in the ring, but were beloved by all. The NWO and DX would by nature be degenerates, but were lvoed because they were "cool". The Rock was an arrogant athlete who felt he was bigger than everyone around him, but his cocky demeanour, good looks, electrifying moves, and ability to cut amazing promos has made him THE most electryfying man in Sports Entertainment today. But either way, the babyface role remains the same - to be the guy that the fans love.

How easy is it?

An old school face in an old school environment is relatively easy to pull off. Just as a heel gains cheap heat through dissing the local football team or various members of the audience, the face adheres himself to them. A good example right now would be John Cena, wearing the shirt of the local football team (I presume Basketball, but forgive me as I'm not American so my sports team knowledge of the States is not the best). Fans tend to pop when they can relate to what they see. A face also takes the time to acknowledge the fans, slapping their hands and maybe giving his sunglasses to a young fan at ringside (ala Bret Hart). It's very simple to do. However, this isn't always a guarentee for success, as The Rock will tell you. For this reason, being a face isn't as easy as people think, especially in this day and age. For those who never got to see WWF in 1996, I'll set the scene. The Rock was known as Rocky Maivia, the young kid with a bright future who was always smiling and happy to be wrestling. He showed a lot of promise and was therefore pushed, pulling off an Intercontinental title reign. However, the fans didn't appreciate the WWF pushing this typical face kid down their throats, and he started being booed out of the building, to the point of receiving chants of "Die, Rocky, Die". That's how bad the backlash was. It wasn't until he turned heel and became The Rock that his real personality (turned up about 6 notches) started to come out, and people started noticing how good this guy really was. Two years later, he's one of the biggest stars in the industry, and a top babyface (as turned by the fans). Getting the right face balance is hard, because although in an e-fed you can simply write as though the fans automatically love you, I always tend to treat an e-fed like a real fed, and will never discount how fans may possibly treat you. Being a typical good guy can only get you so far. You have to have the right character that people can get into for you to be treated like a superstar. Otherwise, you may be turned heel by the fans, and that's not something that helps your confidence in any way.

Ways to be a good face outside the ring

As with any character, most of his or her development comes from outside of the ring, whether in promos, interviews or segments. Here are some tips of how to get the fans in your corner.

- Fan Interaction: Simple, really. Get the crowd into your work. Even Stone Cold Steve Austin, the most cold-hearted son of a bitch in the WWF would get the crowd involved in his interviews ("If you want Stone Cold to ______, them gimme a hell yeah" to which the fans would scream "HELL YEAH"). The same goes for DX ("Suck It"), the New Age Outlaws (damn, I'm not typing all of that out, lol), and The Rock (a few too many, don't you think). Even Flair's oh-so-simple "Whoo" is echoes through arenas nationwide by the crowds. Tt works. The fans love to join in with cool catchphrases. It makes them feel like they are part of something special, and as long as it is a cool catchphrase (for a not-so-good one, look at Booker T's attempt in WCW - "Don't hate the player, hate the game").

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