Face (professional wrestling)

From Academic Kids

In professional wrestling jargon, a face is a character who is portrayed as being moral or approving - that is, faces are "good guys" or "crowd favorites".

The vast majority of wrestling angles (or storylines) - though not all - place a heel (or bad guy) against a face.

The term face began as a shorthand way of writing babyface, and up until the mid 1990's, the two terms pretty much meant the same thing. This changed with the birth of Extreme Championship Wrestling, the start of World Championship Wrestling's nWo angle, and the "Attitude" era of the WWF, now WWE. In these angles, wrestlers like Stone Cold Steve Austin and Sting often adopted heel tactics to overcome opponents. While technically tweeners, their immense popularity with crowds had their gimmicks categorized by many as faces (though they were not babyfaces). Although wrestlers such as Dick the Bruiser, Crusher and even Fred Blassie had been babyfaces while using non-admirable tactics, the "Attitude Era" is usually acredited with this "new" kind of babyface. Many wrestlers who would be considered face today would previously be considered a tweener.

Similarly, the wrestler Kurt Angle was introduced with a gimmick that would traditionally have him seen as a babyface, and yet was immensely unpopular with fans. Thus, while adopting many actions and mannerisms of a babyface, Kurt Angle's gimmick was seen by most as being "heel". The Spanish term used in Lucha Libre is a técnico (literally a "technician," one who sticks to basic wrestling techniques without cheating, in theory).

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