In e-wrestling, a heel is a villainous character. They are portrayed as behaving in an immoral manner, breaking rules or otherwise taking advantage of their opponents outside of the bounds of the rules of the match. Heels are often the "bad guys", typically opposed by a babyface or more simply, face (crowd favorite). Some tweeners exhibit heel mannerisms. No matter the type of heel, the most important job is that of the antagonist role. Heels exist to provide a foil to the face wrestlers. If a given heel is cheered over the face, a booker may opt to turn that heel to face, or to make the e-wrestler do something even more despicable to encourage heel heat. Many heels today subscribe to the belief that a heel must always believe that whatever they do is justified and that they are in the right.


As found on Wikipedia, the term "heel" is most likely is derived from a slang usage of the word that first appeared around 1914, meaning "contemptible person."

Common heel behavior includes cheating to win (using the ropes for leverage while pinning or attacking with foreign objects such as folding chairs while the referee is looking away), attacking other wrestlers backstage, interfering with other wrestlers' matches, and acting in a naughty or superior manner.


While behaving as a heel is often part of a e-wrestler's gimmick, many successful heels fall into one or more categories:

  • Crazy heel: A raging madman, dangerous and unpredictable - may attack others for no apparent reason, or blame others for being "held back" from championship opportunities and other privileges. Sometimes psychotic behavior is displayed. One of the most craziest heels employed by Lords of Pain Wrestling (LPW) is current Insanity General Manager, Little Red Riding Hood.
  • Comic heel: A heel character with comical aspects to his or her gimmick. Though the heel's mannerisms and overall character are silly, the comic heel can still be a serious heel contender.
  • Cowardly heel: An e-wrestler who, in addition to breaking the rules and displaying characteristics of other heel types, often runs from his face opponents when threatened or otherwise placed at a disadvantage. A cowardly heel who is champion may often intentionally get himself disqualified (through outside interference or deliberately breaking a rule) or counted out when he is clearly losing the match against a face opponent.
  • Delinquent heel: A troublesome and disrespectful character who verbally and visually displays uncivilized conduct such as profanity, vandalism, violence and sometimes may even be associated with criminal behavior. Sometimes the wrestler will harass or bully opponents and rebel against authority.
  • Egotistical heel: An obnoxious and self-important character who is arrogant or cocky; some wrestlers play on their own fame, achievements, or good looks. Classic example of an egotistical heel is Cash Flo.
  • Foreign heel: In e-wrestling, these are heels who stir up the crowd by expressing strong anti-American sentiments. They may also refuse or be unable to speak English, preferring instead to render their tirades through an interpreter. Often these characters would be topical, playing off global events and crises current at the time. Examples include the Canadian, Killswitch.
  • Monster heel: An unstoppable juggernaut who squash his opponents. Sometimes, monster heels violently "injure" other wrestlers (sometimes through rule breaking tactics), terrorize valets (injuring them on occasion), and commit other heinous acts in order to set up a feud with a promotion's lead face. Notable examples include Krimson Mask during his initial run as LPW World Heavyweight Champion after defeating 13 of 14 opponents.
  • Popular heel: Certain heel performers are known to receive enthusiastic cheers from the fans instead of heel heat, in spite of their heelish antics. These heels display confidence, toughness, coolness, and bravado that set them apart from more cowardly heels, almost to the point that they become tweeners and, eventually, babyfaces.
  • Heel stables: A large gang of heels that usually create an advantage through numbers. Such groups commonly self-destruct due to an inability to work together or selfishness of the group's leader. Prominent heel stable examples include The Illuminati and The Paragon.
  • Figure of Authority: A heel in a position of power. He or she often books face wrestlers against seemingly impossible odds, such as handicap matches, or matches against monster heels. Figures of Authority often feud with the top face, rarely interacting with other wrestlers. The current figure of authority who displays these characteristics is Insanity General Manager, Little Red, who has booked cYnical in several difficult matches due to their failed relationship.
  • Loner Heels: A heel who usually is a loner and wrestles with a tag team partner if he or she is ordered to.

Common heel tacticsEdit

The tactics of a kayfabe heel were perhaps best summed up by Jesse Ventura: "Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat." However, it can backfire and eventually lead to the heel's defeat. Such tactics include:

  • Using the ropes or grabbing the opponent's tights during pinfalls.
  • Masquerading face wrestlers.
  • Insulting fan-favorites or face wrestlers by using signature poses of the face wrestlers (showing humiliation or no respect to face wrestlers).
  • Sticking thumbs, throwing powder/salt, or spitting foreign substances into an opponent's eyes.
  • Removing the padding on turnbuckles to expose the steel underneath it, and then smashing an opponent's head, face, or body onto it. Also, during a steel cage match, smashing the opponent's face or body into the mesh.
  • Use of concealed weapons (brass knuckles, rolls of coins, etc.). Some heels are less subtle when deciding to use a weapon, sometimes grabbing a chair from ringside in full view of the referee with no regard for the consequences.
  • Dragging an opponent's face across the top rope.
  • Low blows.
  • Hard legal tactics, such as shoot kicks to the face, if done repeatedly and with the intention to make the face wrestler look weak.
  • Use of "cheap" tactics or "bending the rules", for example knee hits intending to break the knee, hyperextending the arm and striking the elbow to break the arm, foot stomps, hair pulls, headbutts to the opponents nose with intent to break the nose, and/or punches or palm strikes to attempt to break the opponents nose.
  • Utilizing an "arrogant pin," such as posing or mocking the crowd while making a clearly ineffective pinfall attempt.
  • Holding a forearm down on an opponent's face during a pinfall attempt.
  • Lifting an opponent off the mat during a seemingly effective pinfall attempt (generally by pulling the opponent's hair) in order to continue the match (and to continue "beating up" on the opponent).
  • Bringing a valet, manager, or another wrestler to the ring to help the heel by cheating.
  • Using the outside of the ring to rest, or ducking into the ropes to slow the match down.
  • When defending titles, intentionally getting himself/herself disqualified or counted out to lose the match without dropping the title that the wrestler is defending.
  • Insulting the fans or mocking the city in which he or she is performing during promos. Heels might also mock local sports teams who have suffered disappointing results.
  • Assaulting the opponent after a match or interfering in a rival's match in an attempt to cost them the win.
  • Purposely getting themselves counted out in order to avoid a clear pinfall loss.
  • Kicking the opponent's foot off the ropes during a pinfall, in order to continue a pinfall.
  • Heels are often also noted by commentators to be "targeting a specific body area" - often to render their opponent's finisher move ineffective or weaken them for a pinfall.

See alsoEdit