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Bryan Alvarez and Lance Storm on the 'played out' heel authority angles

  • 16-01-2016 11:13pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 45,527 ✭✭✭✭


    There was a very interesting discussion between Bryan Alvarez and Lance Storm on the Figure Four website recently and it struck a chord with me when they began discussing heel authority figures and how they feel it is played out and even detrimental.

    I made a transcript of the conversation and I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts...



    Bryan Alvarez: All I see on this show is making the fans angry. Here's what it is: you abuse them repeatedly and then you throw them a bone. And then you abuse them repeatedly and then you throw them a bone. That is the entire booking philosophy of this company, and it's been like this for a long, long time and I don't know when it changed because this was not Vince McMahon Senior's philosophy, and you watch these old Raws from '95, '96 that we're watching now on Tuesdays and that was not the philosophy back then. I dunno when it changed but now it's about 'we're not going to give you what you want, we're gonna put over the heels, we're gonna screw the babyfaces, and then every now and then we'll give you something to make you happy and then it's right back to making you miserable'. And I don't know why.

    Lance Storm: We've discussed this a few times. That's the downfall with CEOs, COOs, majority shareholders, whatever they announce Steph, Hunter, Vince as...WWE is the heel and they're berating fans. We're the ones giving you money. And I think that's really bad where back in the day (again to date myself) you know, Freddie Blassie was the heel, Skandor Akbar was the heel, Bobby Heenan was the heel - he'd come out and berate the fans, stir the fans up, and make them mad, and then good ol' babyface Jack Tunney or Gorilla Monsoon or whoever would go 'well you know what Bobby Heenan you shouldn't be badmouthing our great fans here. You're gonna have to put your money where your mouth is. You're having this match and Hulk Hogan is going to put you in your place' and the fans would go 'Yeah! Thanks Gorilla! WWF is the greatest!' The company was trying to give us what we wanted.

    Paul Heyman did this in spades in ECW: the eternal babyface. 'ECW will do anything for the fans, do anything with the fans'. But now that the owners are the heels, if the company keeps insulting you and rubbing your nose in the fact that you don't get what you want - I think it's very detrimental.

    It's funny, if you go back far enough in the wrestling business there was a point - and I know there's people in the business now who don't like using the term 'mark' - back in the day there was a degree of disdain from the industry towards its fanbase. 'These are some dumb marks that we fool into giving us their money' but in front of the camera we'd babyface the crap out of them because 'we're working these marks'. And you treated the fans well while having real disdain. Not everybody obviousy but if you go back far enough, especially in the carnival days, they were 'marks you take money from'.

    Now it's the complete opposite. In front of the camera, we're calling them the dumb marks. But behind the scenes it's 'the fans are the best, we have to treat them well...' The company really does like their fans.

    BA: You wouldn't know from watching television.

    LS: Vince hates the term 'mark' because he doesn't think we should be insulting our fans. They're our clients. They're our customers. But to their faces we're actually berating them now on camera, but like them backstage. It used to be the other way round. It would be nice if it was just both.

    BA: Obviously there is a degree of ego involved with Stephanie and Vince and Hunter. They're always talking about 'we're rich, we're successful, we can do whatever we want', it's a heel shtick; but if you have an ego, why not just be babyface owners and always make fan-friendly decisions? Right? Then everyone loves you.

    LS: Well then you're Hunter on NXT.

    BA: Great! Why don't we bring that to the main roster? Because I'm sick after TWENTY YEARS of the heel authority figure. I think it's played out, it's been played out for well over a decade, and I think it's time for something different. And I think fans might enjoy, at least on television, being given what they want, and when I say that, everybody wants something different, I'm not saying 'stop pushing Roman Reigns and push Dean Ambrose', none of that bullsh*t, but in storyline they should be making rulings that cause people to cheer, not making rulings that cause people to boo, not making rulings that cause you not to get a match, not all of these rulings that...is the heel crutch.

    LS: It's interesting too because Hunter as the father of NXT, being the babyface, obviously it's on a different level and is not drawing the money that WWE is, but as far as being a hot ticket, a hot product, that fans connect with and want to be part of, it is so successful. They're selling out in minutes when they announce shows, and granted it is smaller venues but the fans of NXT feel a connection to NXT, they feel a loyalty to NXT, they like the brand, they like the stars, they like the owner, like the promoter, when Hunter comes out there it's like 'Yeah! This is the guy that's giving us what we want!' Their slogan is 'We're NXT'. Sami Zayn did his promo: 'we are NXT'. Hunter opens Takeover shows with 'We are NXT!' It's very much the ECW vibe where Paul said 'we're in this together.' And they're doing it in NXT and it's working, granted on a much smaller level, but how great would it be if on the 3.25 million viewers a week level, all of those viewers went 'we are WWE. WWE is in this with us.' And whoever the babyface owner was, or figurehead, or whoever, Vince, Steph, Hunter, or Sting - we'll make him the Commissioner of WWE, whatever.

    And yes you don't just give the fans what they want because the heels are trying to prevent the fans from getting what they want but the company should appear to say 'we're doing our best, damn it, to give fair stipulations until we get a fair resolve. We're not going to let all four of the League of Nations guys team up on Roman Reigns, we're gonna try to even the playing field'. And then there's a kinship, an association.

    And you can still have heels, and if Steph and Hunter want to be heels then have Vince and Linda overthrow them and throw them out and they have to become a heel managerial faction to try to get guys on top and get back in main events and get themselves on TV as managers; so that it's not the people in power saying 'ah screw you, ya dumb fans. If you took away my money and my education I'd be just like you.'




    Personally, I am in complete agreement.

    I am so sick and tired of this Authority angle and I think after that Survivor Series match where Sting appeared is when The Authority should have been put to bed.

    It is wearisome each week the constant negativity and condescension towards the audience. This stuff peaked during the Attitude Era with Austin and Rock and I suspect the fact they were all-time talents was a huge component in why it worked back then, coupled with the stars aligning due to the Montreal screwjob and Vince becoming the biggest heel in the industry.

    Isn't it time for something new and different and positive?

    'It is better to walk alone in the right direction than follow the herd walking in the wrong direction.'



Comments

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,066 Mod ✭✭✭✭DM_7


    This is a weird thread as its hard to disagree with anything so all I can say is I agree.

    I want to see the heat on people who the fans want to see lose. They don't need to use actual company people on screen to get heat. People like Kevin Owens, Paul Heyman etc are more than capable of getting fans to dislike them all on their own.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,611 ✭✭✭✭ERG89


    DM_7 wrote: »
    This is a weird thread as its hard to disagree with anything so all I can say is I agree.

    I want to see the heat on people who the fans want to see lose. They don't need to use actual company people on screen to get heat. People like Kevin Owens, Paul Heyman etc are more than capable of getting fans to dislike them all on their own.

    Tbh I don't know how HHH above anyone, who has played a heel for most of his 20 year wwe career & has married the bosses daughter can't get heat. It's beyond me how much he has failed. Then again Stephanie is so beyond awful in the role she drags everything down & it makes me think has she learned anything about wrestling ever? Her introducing the Divas "revolution" has to be some sort of in joke they knew would blow up in their faces.
    The way she treats talents so badly often the people who need it least....cough....Rollins....
    When you see factions being a common theme on TV you know the company is creatively struggling. Waiting for confusing heel turns any week now for sign no 2 of the book of Russo


  • Registered Users Posts: 543 ✭✭✭spektorfive


    It's there go to thing. Look at Roman/Vince this is the only way they can think of getting Roman over. They don't it ever since Austin. I can't stand it.
    Of course Austin/Vince was just a re-working of something like the Heenan family. Vince was the Bobby Heenan type figure. Powerful, full of himself & you want to see him get his ass kick but had a gang goon's for the baby face to get through. So we been seeing this type of angle for even longer then it seems.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,543 ✭✭✭Mick Murdock


    That's a very good description. Look how often they throw the audience a bone and instantly revert to screwing them.

    Punk, hottest thing in 10 years and f*cking HHH beat him, treat him as number 2 when Champ. P*ss him off so much that he leaves. Say what you want about his personality but he was as good as he said he was.

    Obviously Bryan, buried for over and then screwed after they reluctantly give them what they want.

    Cesaro. Rusev. Lana. Ziggler.

    Divas Revolution. Terrible factions no point to any of it. At least they're making a bit of progress with Charlotte and Becky now.

    So many hot NXT people brought up with no rhyme or reason. It's almost at a point where many would be better off staying there.

    Being a champion means you lose every non title match and become meaningless.

    Sack the best wrestling announcer and replace him with probably two of the worst ever.

    More recently, SD moves to USA and its the same old sh*t just with a better announcer team. It's early days but I'd be surprised if anything else gets a drastic change.

    Next up is Nakamura, Finn and the Bullet Club. As usual everybody is hopeful once again but because they're not all 6'8 its hard to see them reaching their potential with Vince calling the shots.

    Stick William Regal in as commissioner and get Steph, Vince off tv forever.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,066 Mod ✭✭✭✭DM_7


    Regal on NXT - Respected Authority figure who does what he thinks is best and right for the fans and performers.

    Regal on RAW - Just another heel authority figure makings fans out to be stupid and it all about him. Its happened twice already!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,949 ✭✭✭A Primal Nut


    The big difference in the Attitude Era was that Austin was constantly finding ways to outsmart Vince, thus giving the fans what they want. The cement in the corvette, the beer truck, constant stunners on Vince.

    The current authority figures only get their comeuppance once a year. I think the last time Stephanie got it was at WrestleMania with Rousey. But never with someone from the WWE roster - she wouldn't lower herself to that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,463 ✭✭✭brianregan09


    All of the Mcmahons have long past there sell by date as on screen performers , Even when you had Bishoff in there he was a decent and original heel authority figure it can be done right but the Mcmahons have been doing the same ****e year in year out and its tiresome


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