Why Did The WWF Turn Michaels Heel In 1997?

Discussion in 'Wrestling' started by 29GoalHoglund, May 13, 2018.

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  1. GlitchMarner

    GlitchMarner Formerly 29GoalHoglund

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    The company had finally turned Hart heel, and from what I recall, seemed to really be pushing hard to have fans favor HBK instead of him that year.

    I've heard he and HHH wanted to create a stable that could rival the nWo or something along those lines... but why turn him at Summerslam instead of later? Did they want to have him cost The Undertaker the Title so they could put in on Hart?

    The heel turn kind of convoluted things, making him and Bret both heels during their never-ending feud and getting Michaels involved with The Undertaker, who already had an on-going storyline with Paul Bearer and would later get involved with Jarrett as well.

    D-X obviously turned out to be a success, but the way it started was kind of odd, with Helmsely basically suddenly becoming the exact opposite of his former character.

    "I am here to bring class and etiquette to the World Wrestling Federation..."

    "S**K IT, Slaughter!"
     
  2. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    Michaels wasn't really a draw as a face in the mid 90s. The company wasn't doing great business, on TV or in gates, and Michaels while Michaels was getting good reactions from kids and women he wasn't doing well with men. Thus a heel turn made sense, particularly with Michaels asking for it. We can clearly see how different things are now given a wrestler in a parallel situation who will seemingly never turn heel.
     
  3. Scandale du Jour

    Scandale du Jour JordanStaal#1Fan

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    They were setting up Austin as the top baby face. They needed to put him against someone, I guess.
     
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  4. GarbageGoal

    GarbageGoal Clint Bobski GOAT Sponsor

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    The feeling was Michaels became a natural heel the minute they screwed Bret.
     
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  5. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    He was heel months before Survivor Series 1997. That event certainly helped on the heel front though.
     
  6. BigBadBruins7708

    BigBadBruins7708 Registered User

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    Shawn wasnt drawing as the face champ.

    Also his character was simply much better as a heel anyways. The uber cocky and confident *****e with a punchable face and smirk.

    Finally, he was pretty disliked in the locker room at that time too, He was pretty full of himself and was starting the pill slide. So it made sense that way as well.
     
  7. CaptainCrunch67

    CaptainCrunch67 Registered User

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    These reasons are huge, also on the PR front, back in 1997 when heels were heels and faces were faces, it was better to have Shawn as a Heel and avoid him doing something stupid during fan interactions as he was at the height of being a unprofessional jerk at that point.
     
  8. boredmale

    boredmale Registered User Sponsor

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    Simple fact is Michaels personality always fitted cocky heel more then babyface. When he originally was a heel and they tried turning him into being a face it just felt forced.
     
  9. Megahab

    Megahab Registered User

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    1996 face Michaels was terrible. Always preferred him as a heel.
     
  10. Engebretson

    Engebretson The Bruce is Loose

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    Yeah, Michaels didn't become a likable babyface until after he came back in 2002.

    IIRC, Sid was even getting cheered over him in their matches in 96-97 while Michaels was being presented as the top babyface. Then, he "lost his smile" shortly after winning the belt back, which a lot of fans saw through, and it was almost natural for him to slip back into a heel role.
     
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  11. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    Sid did get cheered over Michaels at the time, which I've learned over the years was pretty surprising to WWF officials at the time.
     
  12. connormcmuffin

    connormcmuffin Registered User

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    There used to be this thing in rasslin that once your face run took it's course you'd turn heel and then have a good heel run until you needed to turn face again, those were the days
     
  13. ManofSteel55

    ManofSteel55 Registered User

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    It was a complicated time. Bret was a heel in the US but a face everywhere else. DX acted like heels but loved by teenage boys and young men. Both factions were kind of tweeners, even though they both acted like heels, and it made for engaging storylines, with most of their main eventers not being "good" or "bad" but fitting in somewhere in between on a sliding scale.
     
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  14. ManofSteel55

    ManofSteel55 Registered User

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    I think the fans turned on HBK after he didn't lose to Vader at Summerslam. Most people wanted to see that happen I think, it was the logical storyline at the time, and then, poof, nothing and a new program against Davey Boy Smith of all people.
     
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  15. Loosie

    Loosie Registered User

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    The big moment was Survivor Series 96. Face HBK vs. Heel Sid and Sid was cheered. They had Royal Rumble 97 in San Antonio so that was the big last hurrah for face Shawn, then came the 'I lost my smile' which I think was the nail in the coffin for him. He started being more of a dick when he came back and people were less enamored with him, so the chair shot to Taker I think was meant as a final litmus test.

    If the fans turned on him they went with (which is exactly what happened)
     
  16. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    Having Vader win was certainly the logical route to take. WWF wasted Vader with uneven booking and then having him lose freuently. Monsters don't work when they lose.
     

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