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A Mark's Eye View

A Mark’s Eye View: The art of the chickensh*t heel

Seth Rollins is a throwback for all the wrong reasons.

A Mark’s Eye View is a weekly look at some of the things that made me a huge fan of professional wrestling.

Recently, Seth Rollins deleted his Twitter account when Sasha Banks called him out after another hissy fit. Chances are it’s a work — up to and sometimes including death, nine times out of ten in wrestling, whatever happens is part of the show. Hell, the Beast and King slaying Architect was back on social media twenty four hours later. I mean, at least make me wonder if it is real.

Of course, there is also the possibility that Rollins is just plain bad when it comes to using Twitter. He exploits are well known and infamous. I have always been of the mind that wrestlers should either have someone manage their social media accounts or just make them 100% kayfabe. That being said, doing that would also prevent fans from seeing some next level idiocy. My personal favorite is when Rollins called out Will Ospreay for being too small. As Chris Jericho pointed out, they are the same height with about a five pound difference.

This can all be explained by Rollins just not thinking before he speaks. It is a very common problem, especially in today’s world when people are almost forced to come up with a snarky answer as quickly as possible. And you cannot blame a man for defending the company he works for. You sure can hate the booking, however. Along with being bullied off of Twitter after a fight he started, Rollins was also booked to end an episode of Raw screaming in fear. I understand that he got his heat back, but this was after the cameras went off the air. Only those in the arena and hardcore fans saw this. To the casuals, the supposed top guy in the company is a coward. Thankfully, they probably do not follow him on any social media.

By the way, this whiny bully who likes to talk about his big bank account is a face.

That’s right, the guy playing the stereotypical chickensh*t heel is supposed to be one of the most popular people in the WWE. The funny thing is, the writers are actually creating a great old school heel. Call people out then get put in your place and run away? Check. Talk about how great you are to the point of delusion? Check. Even funnier, it’s actually working. The boo birds have been out for his recent matches.

It’s time to go all in on the act. Rollins needs to start picking and choosing his opponents. The mark of a great heel champion is to refuse to wrestle the most deserving challengers. Ric Flair was a master at this. Pick the territory and there will be a contender the “Nature Boy” refused to defend the NWA World Title against. Butch Reed in Mid-South and Dusty Rhodes in Florida had to jump through hoops to get a shot at the strap. In Texas, Flair one upped himself, refusing to defend his title against any Von Erich.

The thirty day rule is another classic that needs to be dusted off. Champions who made it a point to only defend their title once in the mandated thirty days always angered fans. Kevin Nash did this most recently in WCW (this was during the Vince Russo days, so the “storyline” probably was Nash was booking himself to only have one match a month). Most wrestlers with managers took advantage of this rule. The best part was when the evil champs would finally defend their title, it would be against some jobber they had built up to be a worthy challenger. It is also the perfect setup for watching the heel’s great plan backfire. (The best example may have been the Midnight Express taking on the James Gang.)

It’s harder to do nowadays, but a real heat getter was the intentional disqualification or countout to keep from losing the title. Flair was so notorious for this he became the kayfabe reason World Class withdrew from the NWA. (As with most things in pro wrestling, there is some truth to this.) Even better was the Honky Tonk Man. During his historic WWF Intercontinental Title run he would just walk out of the ring and leave in order to keep his title. Throwing your opponent over the top rope or hitting them with a chair is one thing; you’re still trying to cause harm. Walking out on the match is pure cowardice.

These tactics were used for years in different promotions because they worked. Fans hated when the bad guys would pull these stunts. They would keep watching their matches waiting for them to get their just due. It was classic storytelling. Somewhere along the line, things changed. For whatever reason, the heels are written to be stronger. Rollins being made to look like a coward is a new wrinkle, but WWE has been writing stupid babyfaces for years.

Well, at least wins and losses still matter.

Next week: Remembering when wins and losses actually mattered.

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