Professional wrestling has become more accessible over the years, with the internet playing a big part in spoiling many of its "secrets," leaving fans already knowing the outcome of some matches. This vast amount of information has changed the outlook of wrestling world, as we have seen over the years how fans have booed the faces or natural good guys in the WWE, while shockingly cheering for the heels who mostly make their money in disrespecting the fans and cheating to win.
Because of the WWE's rise in popularity, many wrestling fans now thing it's "cool" to boo the faces who they believe to be over-pushed. Needless to say, this isn't exactly what the WWE wants. We've also seen more and more fans cheering on the heels, who are more cunning and intelligent and therefore more appealing
Let's take a look at the top 15 times wrestling fans booed the good guys and cheered the bad guys.
19 Cheered The Bad Guy: Randy Orton - SummerSlam 2004
Randy Orton has always been amazing as a heel, as he seems to have that sadistic, evil mannerism to his character. He was this cocky 3rd generation superstar when he initially debuted, siding with the heel stable of "Evolution" but quickly he gained his own relevance as a main event superstar and got an opportunity to wrestle for Chris Benoit's World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam 2004. Although Orton went into the match as a heel who many didn't like, his performance in it bought the fans over to his side as he was heavily cheered as the match went on and got a tremendous pop when he actually got the win, making him the youngest world champion ever. Orton has been an amazing heel since then, but he is so good at times that fans can't resist but cheer for him as his amazing in-ring work makes it difficult for someone to hate him even if he's evil.
18 Booed The Good Guy: Rey Mysterio - Royal Rumble 2014
Rey Mysterio was one of the most exciting superstars in the WWE in his time, as the ultimate underdog went through various challenges to become one of the most popular wrestlers in the company. After initially thriving in WWE's Cruiserweight division, Mysterio went onto win the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 22 which solidified him as one of the top stars of the WWE. He'd be in high up feuds in the future and even though he didn't always compete in the main event level, he was one of the most beloved and recognized guys on the roster. That is until the fans started to dislike his work and started to turn on him, which culminated in him getting booed in the Royal Rumble match in 2014. People were expecting Daniel Bryan to come out at no #30, but Rey came instead and people were really mad at the decision and vented their anger towards the poor Rey. Mysterio's gimmick had become a bit stale towards the end, making for this hostility as he went onto leave the company after this humiliation as even Rey getting booed went onto show how demanding and vocal the fans had become.
17 Cheered The Bad Guy: Seth Rollins - Extreme Rules 2016
Seth Rollins had a memorable 2015, as he went onto main event many WWE shows and made quite the impact when he cashed in his money in the bank contract at WrestleMania 31 as he went onto make history later on. His title reign was going great, but then tragedy struck when he injured his knee badly and had to vacate the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and was expected to be out for months. Rollins went onto miss WrestleMania 32, as he kept on working and people were anticipating his return avidly. So when he did return after the hellish match between Roman Reigns and AJ Styles for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, the building erupted as people marked out at the sight of the returning Rollins, who looked as fit and lively as ever. He has been cheered ever since, forcing the WWE to turn him face and he's been doing great ever since his turn, as "The Man" is showing why he's that damn good each and every week now.
16 Booed The Good Guy: Goldberg - Backlash 2003
When Goldberg finally came to the WWE in 2003, a wrestling fan would generally be very excited at the matches which could become a reality now that he was truly in the company. He appeared the night after WrestleMania XIX to make The Rock his next victim, making for a match between the two at Backlash. But what the WWE didn't realize that Rock's gimmick at the time was his best in years, as he was this amazing heel who nobody could really hate. Goldberg's debut went well for him but the fans shut him out as they actually even booed him during the match as The Rock fans seemed to outweigh Goldberg's fans at times, as the icon in WCW wasn't exactly that big in the WWE and when it came to him laying out The People's Champion in WWE territory, he incurred the anger of the WWE universe who shockingly booed him during the match.
15 Cheered The Bad Guy: Brock Lesnar - SummerSlam 2014
Brock Lesnar has been the ultimate fighting machine for the WWE ever since his return, as he has been labeled as the "Beast Incarnate" who is mostly a heel who just loves to beat people up. So he went into SummerSlam 2014 as the heel against the face that runs the place in John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, as many were intrigued at how these two powerhouses would square against each other after a hellish match earlier in 2011. Lesnar went into attack right from the beginning, as he landed an F-5 30 seconds into the match but Cena kicked out. He went onto to plummet the champ, as he executed 16 German Suplexes on him as the fans loved every bit of it and were cheering for him the whole time. In the end, another F-5 is what kept Cena down, as Lesnar went onto put on one of the most dominating performances of all time as the fans were delighted at watching Cena (much hated by wrestling fans) getting obliterated by the Beast, who has been cheered ever since in spite of being a heel most of the time.
14 Booed The Good Guy: Bret Hart- WrestleMania 13
Bret "The Hitman" Hart was definitely one of the top stars of the early to mid 90s in the WWE, as the company trusted him enough to put the belt on him most of the time as he was the main event star at the time. But as the Attitude era came creeping in, Hart found himself feuding with Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Texas Rattlesnake who was becoming more and more popular with his personaltiy in spite of being a heel. Austin called out Hart who accepted a challenge to a match which he won, but Austin kept on interfering in his matches which made for a NO DQ Submission Match between the two at WrestleMania 13. Hart went in as a fan favorite as Austin was still the heel, but because of Austin's resilience and Hart's desperation, the fans started to turn on Hart as the match progressed and booed him for it. In the end Hart turned heel to a chorus of boos, but he was still getting a lot of boos before the actual turn as The Hitman would lose the love of the American audience that day and soon be out of the WWE.
13 Cheered The Bad Guy: Triple H - WrestleMania 32
Many might have thought that Triple H's wrestling days are over as he became more inclined into looking after his NXT brand, but the Cerebral Assassin stepped up when the WWE needed him as he made a surprise appearance in the 2016 Royal Rumble match to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He would continue his feud with Roman Reigns, as he got cheered mostly as compared to the face Reigns who was booed heavily by the WWE fans. They finally met in the main event of the grandest stage of them all, as Triple H would be cheered heavily in spite of being the heel in the match and if one didn't know the history behind it, one could assume that Reigns was the heel and Triple H the face. Although everyone knew that Reigns would win, they kept on cheering for Triple H hoping for a miracle which didn't come, but at the end of the day the heel Triple H got more cheers than a face Reigns could ever hope for, as WWE's plans for putting over Reigns was destroyed due to the hostile reaction from the fans during the match.
12 Booed The Good Guy: Batista - Royal Rumble 2014
"The Animal" Batista had achieved much success in his first stint in the WWE, so when the news spread of him returning to the WWE in 2014 after a hiatus, most people must have thought that his return would be met with cheers. What the WWE didn't realize is pushing him ahead of a younger, more over superstar is almost suicide as Batista entered the match at Number 28 and as he started to pummel through the opponents and eliminate certain wrestlers, the fans turned on him and started to boo him. And when he eliminated Roman Reigns to win the match, his victory was met with a loud chorus of boos to end the show as he would be continuously booed over the next few months as a face before he finally turned heel again, as Batista just didn't work as a face and the fans really didn't want him at the top anymore as a face and made their voices felt pretty loud and clear at the Rumble.
11 Cheered The Bad Guy: AJ Styles - SummerSlam 2016
The "Phenomenal" AJ Styles was already a renown superstar in the world of wrestling, so when he debuted for the WWE in its Royal Rumble PPV earlier this year, fans went berserk at the thought of him in the company. Styles would be pushed as a main event guy quite early on, as he quickly turned heel months later, feuding with the face that runs the place in John Cena to determine the better superstar. After months of feuding, the match to end their rivalry was set for SummerSlam as Styles had been a great heel for months as he got a lot of heat on himself, while also getting fans to cheer for Cena. But come their match at SummerSlam, the tides turned as Styles would be the one to get cheered in the match as he put on a phenomenal performance in the night. He had an answer for everything Cena threw at him, as his every move was cheered for in the night and when he won finally, people went berserk after the match as the chants of "AJ Styles" were far louder than those of "Let's Go Cena" on the night and went onto show that the times are really changing in the WWE universe.
10 Booed The Good Guy: The Rock - SummerSlam 2002
The Rock often loved to voice the fact that he had the MILLLIOONS of fans all over the world, but not many fans turned up when he faced "The Next Big Thing" in Brock Lesnar in SummerSlam 2002 for the WWE Championship. The Rock was met with much hostility throughout the match, as the fans cheered for the arrogant heel in Lesnar and turned on The Rock, booing him during much of the match. Apparently the anger was because of rumors that he was going to Hollywood, which made fans angry as they chanted "YOU SOLD OUT!" at the Rock during the match as well. Turns out that the rumors were false as he'd only leave the company a few years later, but The People's Champ was met with much anger during the match and was almost booed out of the building.
9 Cheered The Bad Guy: The Hart Foundation - Canadian Stampede 1997
This was actually one of the first cases of the heels getting cheered in such a large stage in the WWE, as WWE's plans badly backfired when they put the Hart Foundation against Stone Cold Steve Austin's team in the In Your House: Canadian Stampede PPV in 1997 in Calgary, Canada. The Hart Foundation was obviously the heel stable going into the match, as Bret Hart had earlier turned heel and criticized the American fans for cheering Stone Cold. But what WWE seemed to forget that the match was taking place in Hart's home country of Canada, as the fans were heavily backing the heels in this match as the atmosphere was amazing, with the heels getting passive pops and the faces getting a lot of hostility. Even Stone Cold Steve Austin couldn't get his team to get cheered, as the heels in the Hart Foundation had to win in the end to send the crowd home happy as this classic produced something you didn't see that much at the time in the heels being massively cheered by the crowd.
8 Booed The Good Guy: Roman Reigns - Money in the Bank 2016
Roman Reigns has almost been the target of many wrestling fans over the years, as they have started to shower hate on him because of the humongous push he has received after the Shield broke up, as Reigns' push is seen by many as undeserved. He won the Royal Rumble match under much hostility and the crowd kept on hating on him during his quest to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. But when it came to him defending his title against the new fan-favorite in Seth Rollins, fans were ready to voice their loudest boos for the night for Reigns who was constantly booed and mocked by the fans on the night. This forced the WWE to have Rollins win the match clean, as Reigns had quite the nightmare on the day as the fans absolutely ripped him apart throughout the match and voiced their displeasure at him as loudly as they could.
7 Cheered The Bad Guy: CM Punk - Money in the Bank 2011
In what is considered as one of the best story-lines in the 21st century, CM Punk's rant or "pipebomb" prior to his WWE match vs John Cena set up one of the most amazing matches in the history of the WWE as Punk vowed to leave the WWE with the WWE Championship, as his contract was ending after the night of money in the bank. In what blurred the mirrors between kayfabe and reality, Punk would provide shoot promos week in week out, threatening Vince to meet his demands or he'll walk out of the company with its most prized possession. Punk was the anti-hero at the point against the "superhero" of the WWE in John Cena, as they met in Punk's hometown of Chicago. The match was electric right from the start, as the Chicago crowd made its voice felt by chanting for the bad guy in Punk while absolutely tearing through the goodie guy in Cena. Chants of "CM Punk" were ablaze throughout the match, as Punk even mocked the cheering at one point and seemed to have fun with the crowd as well. In the end, Punk won the match to a humungous pop, as he then proceeded to leave through the crowd after blowing a kiss to Vince McMahon, making for the start of the "Summer of Punk" as the voice of Chicago got the heel CM Punk over in the WWE and compelled them to make him their top star.
6 Booed The Good Guy: John Cena - ECW One Night Stand 2006
John Cena has been the face that runs the place in the WWE for almost over a decade now, as the 15 time World Champion has had his share of haters because of his gimmick and "Hustle, Loyalty & Respect" mantra. Even though Cena has been booed a lot in many matches, not any was as hostile as his match against Rob Van Dam at ECW One Night Stand 2006. Taking place at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, the crowd was visibly anti-Cena from the start as every-time he threw his t-shirt into the crowd, they threw it straight back at him. His every move was met with a chorus of boos, as there were loud chants of "F*** You Cena", "Same Old S***", "You Can't Wrestle" throughout the match at Cena. There was also a crowd sign saying "If Cena Wins, We Riot" which showed the extend of the hate Cena had incurred with these fans as they tore through him throughout the match and booed everything he did and all this hostility forced the company to make for a scrambled finish which led to RVD winning the title in the end to send the crowd home happy because if Cena had won on the night, a riot could've actually started.
5 Cheered The Bad Guy: Hulk Hogan - WrestleMania X8
Hulk Hogan is such an icon in the history of wrestling, that he mostly won't get booed even if he's an evil heel as he was cheered most of the time when as part of the NWO and returned to the WWE as part of the stable after WWE purchased WCW. Hogan would feud with The Rock and Austin, making for an "Icon vs Icon" match between him and the Brahma Bull at WrestleMania X8. The match started with Hogan as the heel and The Rock as the face, but the reactions were exactly opposite as the heel Hogan got a lot of cheers from the crowd who just couldn't boo their hero. The match was electric as the crowd was 100% behind Hogan and was voicing for it as well, as The Rock went over in the end. But the WWE had to turn him face immediately, as he and Rock took out the NWO who came to attack Hogan and The Hulkster was left to pose for the crowd as the heel Hogan got more cheers than any face could hope for and even with his heel antics somehow got the crowd behind him.