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Rise Of The Anti-Hero
A sad situation that has arisen in the past few years has been the decline of gray-area characters, often referred to as “tweeners” or “anti-heroes.” Generally speaking, they are amoral figures that combine the heel’s propensity for brutality and rulebreaking with a face’s bravery. Add in the whole “lone wolf” element, and you’ve got the makings of a whoop-ass motherfucker who will at least liven up the product, and under ideal circumstances, raise it to new heights.
Much like a classic heel however, a great anti-hero cannot be created overnight. For one thing, he must generally start as a heel---and not just any heel, but the heel most rabidly hated and possessing of the fewest redeeming qualities. The type that runs amuck for months, if not years, wreaking havoc on faces and all that is decent.
Then, almost imperceptibly, an unrelated heel stable forms and begins doing its dirty business. Said stable begins rearing its ugly head into just about everybody else’s business…including the lone heel’s.
The fireworks begin.
Of course, faced with the choice between rooting for the solo bad guy, who displays remarkable gallantry in taking on the stable, or the supergroup, who rely on strength in numbers, it’s obvious who the fans will side with. There’s something about the rugged, defiant loner who asks no quarter that wrestling folks will always take to.