In the last year, one of my passions has become professional wrestling (specifically WWE). Similar to the Challenge, it is a show that mixes drama, sports, and entertainment in a perfect blend. There is so much history around both the Challenge and WWE that they’re both incredible deep dives for people with too much free time. The franchises even share a former Champion of both sports in Mike the Miz.
One of my favorite parts about wrestling is the divide between Faces and Heels. Faces or babyfaces are known as the good guys or the people try to play the game the right way and have the fans on their side. While the goal of a Heel is to cause trouble, get a reaction out of the fans (usually negative), and do whatever it takes to win (even if it means playing dirty).
With the WWE Royal Rumble happening today, I decided to post my Heel/Face breakdown of the War of the World Veterans.
Johnny Bananas — HEEL who thinks he is a FACE
Johnny Bananas is one of the all-time great Challenge heels and part of it is lack of self-awareness. He is a Machiavellian figure who continually finds ways to win and undercut his competitors. The only problem is he needs to understand he is the 6 Time Challenge Champion who has pulled one over on everyone on the cast — he’s never the underdog despite whatever odds are against him.
Jenna Compono — FACE.
She is the ultimate baby-face. Jenna lives in her own world and tweets inspirational quotes while just trying to have fun. She is such a baby-face, it infuriates the heels who simply cannot deal with her too nice attitude.
Chris Tamburello — FACE.
CT is the Stone Cold Steve Austin of the Challenge. He is such a historical badass, even when he does heel things, there are people in the crowd still behind him. CT could eat a baby and you’ll find someone in some comment section replying “I’d let him eat my baby if I got to spend a night with him”.
Cara Maria Sorbello — FACE. With Heel antics.
The way Cara Maria likes to portray herself is similar to the WWE’s Bayley. The rated G superstar who is all about hugs and being positive. She wears ridiculous outfits and colors while being a total baby face. Cara Maria loves to be known as the weirdo who loves donuts and pizza and is all about being the underdog. However, her actions at times reflect a complete heel with all her drama and the fact she hooks up with some of the biggest heels.
Wes Bergmann — HEEL. Who might be a Face.
Wes is the Chris Jericho of the Challenge. Everything he touches has relevance due to his ability to be an interesting force in the game whether it’s politically, socially, or physically. Wes had a bad season on Rivals 3, yet his commentary was utterly hilarious and a gem for the season. He went out early on Exes 1 and Battle of the Seasons and somehow made a mark with fights/blow-ups in those few episodes. To top it off, he made the Champs VS series very watchable as he went 5–0 in eliminations during the series and made it to two finals by clawing his way there. Even when Wes tries to be the villain, he cannot even take himself seriously anymore.
Kam Williams — FACE.
Queen Kam holds herself with an incredible amount of self-worth, integrity, and respect. She is poised to become a future Challenge Champion and is willing to fight for a win. Kam is all about one on one confrontations and is ready to go toe to toe with anyone.
Zach Nichols — HEEL?
Similar to Bananas, Zach is a Heel who operates with the belief he is a Face, except Bananas is an amazing Heel, and Zach is a subpar Heel who cannot choose whether he is a dick or not. Every season he attempts to walk in and tell jokes to repair his image and every season he finds a way to treat women poorly and generally come out as a loser. Zach has had some highs, but he’s never had the fanfare he thinks he deserves.
Ashley Mitchell — HEEL.
She will do anything to win. After Final Reckoning, she has cemented her status as a Heel.
Hunter Barfield — FACE.
Hunter was the most heelish member of the Young Bucks as he was the cockiest and most pompous when it came to celebrating. He has gone off on his cast members multiple times in an aggressive fashion as well. Ashley taking the million dollars from him turned him Face for as long as he is not awful. Hunter could easily turn Heel again, but he is currently a Face.
Amanda Garcia — HEEL.
She is a clear cut heel. Amanda loves being a heel too based on the way she carries herself on Social Media. I mean, thousands of people signed a petition to ban her from the Challenge, so she’s doing pretty well for herself.
Paulie Calafiore — HEEL.
Doesn’t really deserve the attention he desperately wants.
Nany Gonzalez — FACE.
Oh my god, I am so excited for Nany Carmen Gonzalez’s return to the Challenge. She is coming back single and you know she is ready to make her mark after a four-season gap between appearances. Nany missed an entire mini-generation of the show, but she still has so many friends in the cast and is gonna be doing stuff. What type of stuff? I don’t know, but she gonna be doing it.
Leroy Garrett — FACE.
The ultimate nice guy who you want on your side when a fight goes down. Plus he will cut your hair!
Da’Vonne Rogers — FACE.
She has not done anything that heelish yet, so she’s a face currently.
Kyle Christie — HEEL.
I think Kyle was a Face on Vendettas, and he was a total heel on Final Reckoning. The way he manipulated Cara Maria and acted so cocky after his Vendettas run displayed his true intentions. He and Paulie were made for one another.
Natalie Negrotti — FACE. (low-key HEEL)
Her actions are what a Heel does. She makes promises and breaks them all the time. Yet, she carries herself as if she lived in a peaceful utopia.
Predicting the Rooks based on their previous shows (what I know of):
Dee Nguyen — FACE
Georgia Harrison — FACE
Julia Nolan — HEEL
Liz Nolan — HEEL
Mattie Lynn Breaux — FACE
Morgan Willet — FACE
Natalie Ninja Duran — FACE
Shaleen Sutherland — ?
Zahida Allen — FACE?
Alan Valdez — FACE?
Ashley Cain — HEEL
Chase McNary — HEEL?
Gus Smyrnios — HEEL
Josh Martinez — HEEL
Jotape Andrade — FACE
Stephen Bear — HEEL
Theo Campbell — FACE
Turabi Camkiran — FACE
Predicting the Royal Rumble Card Winners:
Rusev retains US Title against Nakamura
Buddy Murphy retains Cruiserweight Title in Fatal Fourway
Shane & Miz defeat the Bar for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles
Ronda Rousey retains Raw Women’s Title against Sasha Banks
Asuka retains Smackdown Women’s Title against Becky Lynch
The New Daniel Bryan retains the WWE Championship against AJ Styles
Brock Lesnar retains the Universal Title against Finn Balor
Charlotte Flair wins the Women’s Royal Rumble
Demon Finn Balor wins the Men’s Royal Rumble