Good and Evil: the classic tale as old as Time. The Good will fight for those who need saving, for the destitute, the ostracized, the crippled, the befallen bunch. The Evil will come searching; preying on the socially burdened, the emotionally torn, and the psychically futile. The fight between Good and Evil began a long time ago but it remains far from over.
This colossal battle will someday draw to an end and while everybody hopes that Good will prevail, everybody secretly knows that Evil will triumph. Good will stick around for as long as possible – going the distance – perhaps even to a time limit decision only to have Evil declared the winner thanks to the crooked judges of the Universe – and with that, the fight will finally conclude.
The end result is tragic but fairytales are fake and dreams never come true. Good can believe in every Taylor Swift song every created but when it all ends, Evil will have Justin Bieber playing on full blast just for one last auditory laceration. Such is the sick and sadistic sense of humor possessed by Evil. The celebration of victory day.
In WWE, the fight between Good and Evil has been the concept since the origins of the company. The classic formula for a wrestling match places Good against Evil and for many years with the former usually coming out victorious. That was until Good become too confident and let its guard down – allowing Evil to slide in a steal victories of its own. All told: Good is probably ahead in the win column but Evil is not far behind.
In WWE, Good is known as Babyface while Evil is known as Heel but the Good are not always welcomed with open arms as the Evil inside will often push through – unleashing hatred from the heart towards all that is considered Good in WWE.
These are the top 15 cases of babyfaces being hated in WWE:
15. The Rock
The year was 2002 and Hulk Hogan was set to make his first appearance at WrestleMania in nine years. WrestleMania X8 would feature a high-profile match between The Rock and Hulk Hogan as the coming together of two generations would make for an epic encounter.
Billed as Hollywood Hogan, the immortal icon was supposed to be the heel with The Rock being the obvious fan favorite. However, that night in Toronto – as The Rock would state a year later during a great promo: “the people turned on the People’s Champ.”
The power of Hulkamania has never dwindled with WWE fans.
14. The New Day
Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and Big E currently make up the faction known as The New Day – a positive-thinking, clap-happy, trio of Superstars who are loathed by the WWE Universe. The New Day was brought in with babyface intentions but were quickly turned thanks to fan reactions.
This proves that people are naturally pessimistic, even wrestling fans. Nobody wants the “power of positivity” on their side which is why fans enjoy watching The New Day lose – optimism can only take a man so far before he must deal with the truth.
The real positive here: Kofi Kingston finally has a personality.
Sheamus has recently returned to action with a new new haircut, strange braided beard, and new outlook on the WWE Universe. The Celtic Warrior has most recently captured the Money in the Bank briefcase, placing him in line for a potential run as WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
The new look, new attitude version of Sheamus has been working well thus far as the big Irishman has always made for a solid heel. However, prior to an injury which kept him sidelined for months, Sheamus was working as a babyface – which didn’t really get over – as fan support was clearly opposed to Sheamus which was audible during his matches.
12. Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio debuted in WWE as a cocky, wealthy, villainous character who drove expensive cars, wore fancy suits, sported an ever-so-classy neck scarf, and was introduced prior to matches by his personal ring announcer.
When Alberto Del Rio made the switch from heel to babyface, he was made to look like some sort of great Mexican-American hero which got over for a minute or two but quickly felt like a pompous act from a character who was better suited as an evildoer.
Perhaps it was the neck scarf which Alberto Del Rio continued to wear as a babyface? Yes, blame the neck scarf.
11. Michael Cole
Michael Cole has long been the subject of laughter for WWE fans – dating back to the time of D-Generation X and their constant mockery and ridicule of Cole during his early days with the company. Over the years, Cole would eventually grow into the new “voice of WWE,” replacing the legendary Jim Ross.
When Michael Cole turned heel to feud with Jerry Lawler, fans were in some some annoyance and great grievance with WWE. Aside from The Cole Mine – a seclusion away from the announce table – Cole would also serve as the voice for the once Anonymous General Manager, which added to fan irritation.
With JBL now serving as the heel of the announce team, Michael Cole has since diverted back into the babyface announcer role. However, the fans continue to treat Cole in the manner of a heel.
10. Randy Orton
These days, Randy Orton is well over with the WWE Universe – a massive babyface performer – even though Orton has always functioned best as a maniacal heel character. Nevertheless, Orton is a beloved part of the WWE roster.
However, his first run as a babyface champion did not fair that well. In 2004, when Randy Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history, he would be exiled from Evolution – turning face in the process and feuding with Triple H.
While the initial shock and turn had fans firmly behind Randy Orton, the buzz eventually wore off and Orton was soon back to his old ways as The Legend Killer.
9. Mark Henry
Mark Henry and the WWE audience have been butting heads ever since “The World’s Strongest Man” arrived on the scene as a proud, patriotic, bone-crushing, big man. Henry just couldn’t seem to get over with the fans – a struggle which he faces to this day.
Throughout his career, Mark Henry has made the switch back-and-forth between heel and face characters with his most successful being that of Sexual Chocolate. However, as simply Mark Henry, the people just don’t connect with the big old Texan.
8. Big Show
There are those who feel as though Big Show has gone about as far as he could possibly go with his WWE career and that he should finally hang up his massive boots and enjoy the finer life of retirement, yet Big Show remains an active competitor.
Often times it became difficult to keep track of Big Show and the direction in which he was heading; uncertain as to whether Big Show was a heel or babyface. While working as a face, Big Show has found much fan support – in past lives and former generations.
In recent years, fans have lost almost all interest in Big Show – caring not about this gigantic man – even while playing the role of Mr. Nice Guy.
7. The Miz
Sometimes, within the chaotic world that is WWE, certain Superstars get lost in the shuffle – confined to specific roles and angles. The Miz is a former reality star turned professional wrestling which works as a great heel gimmick in the modern wrestling world.
The Miz knows how to play the arrogant bad guy part and knows how to play it well. Which is why it was a poor decision to turn The Miz babyface. While there was some support for the turn, the end result would leave fans with more disdain for “The Most Must See WWE Superstar of All Time.”
The Miz is too smug to play a face – keep him dirty and disrespectful, that’s The Miz we all know and hate.
6. Roman Reigns
The disbanding of The Shield was supposed to launch the solo career of Roman Reigns to great heights. Reigns was clearly the Big Dog of the three; getting to keep the music, the gear, and the entrance as all signs were pointing towards Reigns becoming the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
The scene was all set, Roman Reigns would challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania. Reigns was meant to play the role of Super Hero – coming to take on the biggest Beast in WWE, but instead Seth Rollins was given the championship.
The fan support was never present for Roman Reigns. The people wanted Daniel Bryan to win the Rumble and the same people wanted Brock Lesnar to win at ‘Mania.
During his time with Evolution, Batista developed a reputation as “The Animal.” The enforcer of the faction who plowed through opponents while making sure Triple H had all his options covered as the group progressed and moved forward.
When Batista won the Royal Rumble Match in 2005, the inevitable occurred as he broke away from Evolution to feud with his former leader in Triple H. This would lead to a long-running face turn for Batista who would eventually roll back into heel mode during his final months with the company before taking a long break from WWE.
Then in 2014, Batista would make his long awaited return – as a babyface – just in time for the Royal Rumble, which he would win for the second time in his career. Once again, the support for Daniel Bryan would deflate all the momentum of Batista as the fans quickly turned on The Animal, leaving no choice but to turn Batista back to the dark side.
4. Mr. McMahon
The character of Mr. McMahon was created during a tumultuous and controversial period. McMahon who had served as an announcer had long downplayed the fact that he owned WWE. Then along came the screwing of a certain Canadian Superstar and a classic feud with a certain Redneck Rebel.
Mr. McMahon worked as an evil and vindictive character (much like the real Vince McMahon) who would stop at nothing to destroy all those who stood against him and his allies: those who were the chosen corporate champions.
Mr. McMahon has turned face a few times but nobody buys into the good side Mr. McMahon.
3. Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart
Here we have a unique case as we include both Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart in the same entry for their participation in the perceived Wrestling Border War between Canada and the United States that went down amid their monumental rivalry.
This was a time when the “good guy, bad guy” concept was not necessarily the focal point of an angle as the “tweener” (half good, half bad) became more commonplace. The idea should already be apparent: Shawn Michaels = babyface in the United States, heel in Canada. Bret Hart = babyface in Canada, heel in the United States.
The angle was edgy and helped pushed the limits of sports entertainment.
2. Rocky Maivia
The Rock was not always the cool, trash-talking, defiant Superstar that fans grew to love. In fact, when The Rock made his WWE debut at the Survivor Series in 1996, he was known as Rocky Maivia – a name which served as homage to his father and grandfather.
Rocky Maivia was a young, smiling, goofball of a character who the fans simply hated; even though he was brought into the the WWE as a babyface. “Rocky Sucks.” “Die, Rocky, Die.” The harsh words of the audience would helped transform the Goofball into the Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment.
1. John Cena
The top spot on our list should come as no surprise as there was really no other choice: John Cena. The biggest babyface in all of professional wrestling who faces the most scrutiny from the fans and does so with great vigor and vitality as the lifeblood of the WWE.
Sons and daughters love John Cena. Wives and girlfriends love John Cena. Husbands and boyfriends hate John Cena. That’s the formula in its purest form. The love/hate relationship between the fans and John Cena will carry on but its all part of the fun.
Those who come to the wrestling circus, come for a good time.
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