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Author: Subject: Royal Rumble winner heel vs face comparison
the goon
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posted on 1-28-2017 at 03:32 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Royal Rumble winner heel vs face comparison

So in honor of one of my (and probably everybody's else's) favorite PPVs of the year this weekend, I thought it might be kind of fun and interesting to look at how many faces have won the Rumble compared to heels, and how it changed year by year. So without further ado (and I included the 1988 non-PPV Rumble for the hell of it):

1988: Face (Jim Duggan)
1989: Face (Big John Studd)
1990: Face (Hulk Hogan)
1991: Face (Hulk Hogan)
1992: Heel (Ric Flair)
1993: Heel (Yokozuna)
1994: Face (Bret Hart/Lex Luger)
1995: Heel (Shawn Michaels)
1996: Face (Shawn Michaels)
1997: Heel (Steve Austin)
1998: Face (Steve Austin)
1999: Heel (Vince McMahon)
2000: Face (The Rock)
2001: Face (Steve Austin)
2002: Face (Triple H)
2003: Face (Brock Lesnar)
2004: Face (Chris Benoit)
2005: Face (Batista)
2006: Face (Rey Mysterio)
2007: Face (The Undertaker)
2008: Face (John Cena)
2009: Heel (Randy Orton)
2010: Heel (Edge)
2011: Heel (Alberto Del Rio)
2012: Face (Sheamus)
2013: Face (John Cena)
2014: Face (Batista)
2015: Face (Roman Reigns)
2016: Heel (Triple H)

So that's 20 times a face has won the Rumble, compared to nine times for the heels. A few random thoughts:

-That 2000-2008 run of faces winning is pretty insane, though I guess you could say Batista was technically still a heel when he won it in 2005 since he hadn't split from Evolution yet (but for all intents and purposes, the guy was a face).

-Edge turned face very soon after winning the 2010 Rumble and faced Jericho for the world title that year at WrestleMania

-Kind of interesting that Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin both won back to back Rumbles and they both did it as a heel the first time and as a face the following year.

-The face/heel ratio of the past ten Rumble winners is almost even, with the faces just edging out the heels 6/4.





Nash is only a few inches bigger than JBL and depending on how stiff he gets Punk should be able to take it. -JB King, meant in a totally non-sexual way

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First 9
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posted on 1-28-2017 at 09:46 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I think listing Edge as a heel in 2010 is inacurrate. He came in, soaked in the cheers and pretty much wrestled as a face. The very next night he had a confrontation with a heel Sheamus and was pretty much a face.

Also another connection to HBK and Austin. They both didn't get the World Title at WM with their first Rumble win.

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the goon
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posted on 1-28-2017 at 11:24 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by First 9
I think listing Edge as a heel in 2010 is inacurrate. He came in, soaked in the cheers and pretty much wrestled as a face. The very next night he had a confrontation with a heel Sheamus and was pretty much a face.


I did think about that, but since Edge was a heel the last time he was seen on WWE TV before his surprise return at the 2010 Rumble, I would still consider him a heel that night (and a lot of the cheers were a mix of the "holy shit!" surprise factor and the fact that he hadn't been on TV in eight months). I think in retrospect it may be easier to see it as a face victory, but at the time it was one of the WWE's biggest heels making a surprise return. Either way, it's probably one of those iffy "agree to disagree" moments.

And on the subject of Edge's 2010 Rumble return, I had completely forgotten about Edge's tag team with Jericho prior to that, and how Edge's injury directly lead to the formation of JeriShow. Edge and Jericho as tag team champions got cut short way too soon, even if JeriShow did end up being pretty great.

quote:
Originally posted by First 9
Also another connection to HBK and Austin. They both didn't get the World Title at WM with their first Rumble win.


And now that you mention it, they both won their first WWE title after their second Rumble win.

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Flash
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posted on 1-29-2017 at 03:41 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I think the face favouritism in the outcomes stems from a chasing face upending a heel champ at WM tends to make for a better story both in the months leading up to WM, and as a cap to mania. The heel wins outside of the 2009-2011 corridor seem to be thrown in to mix things up from time to time.

Even in some years where heels won you can kind of explain it away as part of the bigger story line:

*Flair's win was directly for the WWE title, and was likely designed to set it up so that Hogan would come in against a heel champion (and no doubt go over)

*Yokozuna was the monster push... come in as that force of nature eliminating everything in his path.

*HBK's 1995 win as a heel was probably a bit of a miscalculation- HBK and Diesel were on course for a big longer term built up showdown, but Vince seemed to want HBK to turn face, so much so that he took him off TV for 5 months after WM XI to help facilitate that (HBK's mounting injuries and personal problems likely also contributed)- You also had a case where your options were limited (looking back maybe WM XI played better at the time than it looks like on paper now), Vince's long term plans were probably too many moving pieces (he has a history of juggling matches at WM at the last minute away from what was expected), and the rising backstage powers of the Kliq.

Nice work Goon!

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G. Jonah Jameson
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posted on 1-29-2017 at 02:46 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
For an interesting comparison, look at King of the Ring. Since the concept was brought into the modern era -- which I would calculate to be 1993, when it evolved from house show to PPV -- only two winners out of 14 have been faces (Bret Hart and Ken Shamrock). And Edge in 2001 was in the midst of a transition to face, but other than that, nothing but heels.
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the goon
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posted on 1-30-2017 at 12:09 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Flash
I think the face favouritism in the outcomes stems from a chasing face upending a heel champ at WM tends to make for a better story both in the months leading up to WM, and as a cap to mania.


Agreed, though I do think it's surprising that the WWE rolled with having a face win the Rumble nine times in a row in the 2000s.

quote:
Originally posted by G. Jonah Jameson
For an interesting comparison, look at King of the Ring. Since the concept was brought into the modern era -- which I would calculate to be 1993, when it evolved from house show to PPV -- only two winners out of 14 have been faces (Bret Hart and Ken Shamrock). And Edge in 2001 was in the midst of a transition to face, but other than that, nothing but heels.


That is interesting and I never really thought about that. I guess it's like the opposite of the Rumble, in that the whole "King of the Ring" gimmick lends itself better to a heel than it does a face.





Nash is only a few inches bigger than JBL and depending on how stiff he gets Punk should be able to take it. -JB King, meant in a totally non-sexual way

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Flash
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posted on 1-30-2017 at 08:45 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
It's funny, because I think the KOTR actually in a lot of ways lends itself a bit more to building a strong face who has to overcome what was for a long time 3 different opponents in one night... although I guess a heel getting the cheap win at the end of it, or getting various byes and short matches along the way is a good heel builder, and it's not necessary for the face to win to get the break out push, only go the distance.

Yeah, 9 face wins in a row does seem like an awful lot when you see it written down like that, but when you look at each of them on their own merits it's hard to not see the merits of what the WWE was trying to accomplish there... Benoit kind of feels like the anomaly in there- yeah he was over, but not so over that the WWE felt entirely comfortable putting him out there in a one on one match at mania (can't remember for sure, but wasn't the reason for HBK being in the match really weak... like he just signed his name to some contract or something like that?)... Angle winning (I think he was a heel then) would have worked, and you could have gotten Benoit into that main event via other means... especially as he felt a bit like a place holder champion until they wanted to pull the trigger on Orton.

Hard to also say that Batista was an anomaly as he had various pushes since breaking in to varying degrees, but still... it also kind of felt they sniffed out that they might be onto something with him and wanted to pull the trigger fast... so makes you wonder if they might have originally had someone else pencilled in... mind you not resigning Goldberg, and losing Brock probably positioned them to want to make new stars.

Trying not to hold my dislike of Mysterio against him, but you kind of get the sense that his winning was probably the best option out of a lot of left over parts... when you look at the WM card you can tell that several of the matches were in the works for a while, and the Rumble itself was short on possible winners... Mysterio gave you a face in a match with Orton and Angle so his winning worked... plus he was a bit of a cash cow for them with the kids.

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CCharger
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posted on 2-14-2017 at 10:26 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Flash
I think the face favouritism in the outcomes stems from a chasing face upending a heel champ at WM tends to make for a better story both in the months leading up to WM, and as a cap to mania.

Also, WWE historically has been a place for babyface champions. Bruno, Backlund, Hogan, Savage, Hart, Austin, Cena. Certainly there are exceptions, but overall the company prefers a babyface champ. Contrast this to the NWA back in the 70's and 80's, you had a tradition of the babyface challenger chasing the heel champ.





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