Triple H and Shawn Michaels talk about social media's effect on a traditional heel and face spectrum in professional wrestling.
John Cena has often credited Triple H and Shawn Michaels as two of the main individuals telling him that it didn't matter if fans were booing or cheering, as long as they were making noise.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes, the founding fathers of D-Generation X spoke about the process of trying to create a top-level face or heel in an era where everyone has a platform to express their likes and dislikes.
“The world now, and I think this is like social media, it's okay to express what you want to express. To me, if you go back to like the 80s, if you were a WWF fan then like you didn't want to say, 'look, I don't like Hogan,' but you don't want to say too loud because everybody else liked Hogan and you didn't want to be the one guy that didn't. Or maybe you did, but you were in this little vocal minority over here that was doing the thing,” said Triple H. “Now, I think it's just that everybody has an opinion. Everybody. No matter what you say, it's wrong to somebody, no matter what you do, it's wrong to somebody. Everybody has an opinion. You can't dictate now. So, like, you're going to create a character that everybody is supposed to dislike. But there's a large portion of them who are going to like that. Then, when you make somebody that they're supposed to like, there's a large portion of them dislike that. If you tried hard to flip them, and I know everyone will make the [Roman Reigns comparison] on this, but like, there's something to all that. You know, you talk about the Ciampa [turn.] It's unique, but it's a cool thing and for whatever reason, it's happened, it just is. But it's a more difficult thing probably now, I think than it's ever been in this business to come up with a universal [face or heel.]"
Shawn Michaels, who has had his share of polarizing reactions over the years, would liken it to buying the album of an artist and then deciding that you hate it. HBK would say that once the money is spent on the album, the artist has already gotten what they need out of the interaction.
Continuing on, Triple H would say that in spite of what the popular belief maybe, WWE actually loves the enthusiasm and input from the audience.
“The one that I love about, you know, what we do is the passion of the fan base,” Hunter continued. “I think sometimes fans think it's something that we hate or something. It's funny. Sometimes I see the Internet talk about us manipulating crowd noises. We don't manipulate the crowd noises, you know, amide stuff where they think like, 'oh, and then they turn down the volume because this guy was getting booed.' That's just what's happening. It just is. But they're so passionate about it. But we love the fact that they can express their opinion, we love the fact that they can go out there and say, this is great, this isn't great. This guy's a good guy. That person is a bad guy, whatever that is. Also if they tell us they dislike something, if we're smart, we listen to that. It might take a while, but we can fix it.”
Shawn Michaels and Triple H were featured in the closing segment of the April 24 episode of Friday Night SmackDown. A segment that went well over the time it was allotted. Learn more here.
If you use any of the quotes above, please give a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.