The Face and the Heel

Just because I can… another post about wrestling!
That’s 6 (six!) posts on this topic… maybe 6 too any…

Enzo and Cass have been my favorite introduction to the WWE Raw roster. I usually skip through a lot of Raw — watching about 20 to 30 minutes of the 3 hour (three!) broadcast.
I love their intro and mic skills – though Enzo could do better ring work. He recently got hurt, not really his fault though. And WWE wrestling’s not as fake as you think…


I’ve been trying to teach the little guy to say things like, “You can’t teach that!”and “Sawft.” Sure, he doesn’t pick up on those things. But the bad words he has no problem repeating at school and church…

This was their introduction to the Monday Night Raw roster and their promo/routine:

I bring this up because if there was one sure thing about wrestling growing up (outside of it being “fake”) was that the characters were either bad (heel) or good (face)
They were either cheered or jeered.
There was no in-between. You liked them. Or you hated them.

It was as black and white as black and white could be. There was no ambiguity, no middle ground, you were a face or you were a heel.

But in the modern era of wrestling, it’s not as clear cut.
John Cena is the face (both the good guy and the… face) of the company. Yet he is booed and cheered. There’s the obligatory “let’s go Cena – Cena sucks” dueling chants every time he wrestles. (Funny thing is, if the WWE ever makes him a heel–which they will never do because, money– Cena will be cheered, as it’s something we’ve all wanted to see).
Roman Reigns is supposed to be the company’s top face, and he gets booed more than he gets cheered.
Brock Lesnar, the part-timer Beast, is seemingly booked as a heel but is always cheered.

It’s not black and white anymore. Just because your character is supposed to be a face, it doesn’t mean you’ll be cheered. And just because you do heel-ish things, doesn’t mean you’ll be booed mercilessly.

The Face/Heel thing came to mind recently while I was talking to someone.
We seemingly try really hard to boil down complex issues to be as simple as either/or; black/white; my way/high way.
There are so many nuances and ambiguity and grayness in our world.
In the conversation I was having, I had to be this or that on things that have far more complexity to them.

I just tire of a black and white world. It’s too simplified. It’s boring. It’s divisive. It breeds soundbite type of thinking, philosophy, theology, politics.

I think this is why characters like Walter White (Breaking Bad), Tony Soprano (The Sopranos), Dexter (Dexter season 1-4 — really, season 2), Stringer Bell and Omar (The Wire), Darryl and Rick … and their entire clan, really… (Walking Dead), Frank Underwood (House of Cards), (to name a few) have been intriguing and make captivating TV. These are bad people (or good people that do bad things) Yet we get to witness their humanity; their fall from grace; their rise to corruption; the reasons behind their motives — because we humans are complex. Good people do evil things…

I mean, we don’t cry when we’re just sad.
We cry when we’re happy.
We cry when we’re angry.
And sometimes, we cry for no apparent reason.

We know that when we ask our spouses, “What’s wrong?” and when they respond with a chilly, “Nothing” that something is wrong. We know that the question, “Does this make me look fat?” is a loaded and complex question.

I understand that you can be for something and still question it.
I mean, I’m a Clippers fan and I hate my team. I’m a ‘Skins fan but hate everything about their name and their owner. (I know I’m picking trivial topics…)

You can wrestle with doubt while holding onto your faith.

All I wanted to say today is that I appreciate the nuances and complexities of this thing we call “life.” I’ve been shying away from categorizing my world into just 2 categories. Sure, it makes life a bit more complicated, but it makes it more interesting.

And if you’re not okay with that, there is only one word to describe you and I’m gonna spell. It. Out for you!
S-A-W-F-T, saaaaaaaawft!

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