Sovereign S.A.M. here and I am about to talk about someone that many fans consider to be horrible, but I am here to say he is the best heel in the business. I am not talking about Sami Callihan, MJF, Randy Orton or Jay White because I am here to talk about how King Corbin is the best heel in wrestling today. This is something I have felt strongly about for some time now and something I have been saying for months and months as well. Corbin has become someone that many fans say has “go-away heat” but I am here to explain that he does not have that kind of heat but rather the true traditional heel heat we all came to know about before certain heels came into existence. What the type of heels I am talking about? The cool heels that will get cheered just as much as they get booed. I will dive more into that while I also give my case as to why King Corbin is indeed the best heel in the business today.
Let me first dive in and say that I think the reason people confuse Corbin’s heat with go-away heat is because we have become accustomed to the cool heels that we cheered and booed at the same time. There are many times where the heels have been cheered but it really came into prominence during the 90’s and with the nWo and DX respectively. They were meant to be heels and while Hogan and the nWo were initially booed when they formed, they did end up getting cheers from fans over time. I remember going to a WCW event at the Forum in Inglewood and I could see the fans cheering the nWo and I didn’t get it at the time but now I do. Over on the WWE side of things you had DX and they would get booed at first but, like the nWo, they ended up being cheered but unlike the nWo, DX would become faces whereas the nWo firmly stood as heels. The exception being the nWo Wolfpac which was the breakaway from the regular nWo and were treated like faces until they merged back with nWo prime. I really think it was during this time where fans started to really root more for heels than they ever did, and those two factions are a big reason why they did. It is why nowadays the heels, like Undisputed Era for example, will still get cheers even though they will try to get booed.
Now I will dive into some heels that are getting what fans call “heel heat” but they still do get cheers. I will start with the most veteran of the bunch and that is Randy Orton. He turned heel the most recent and he does get a ton of heat, I will not deny that. I will say though that because of how over the RKO is, that prevents him from being a total heel because fans absolutely love that move. Sami Callihan is another one that has gotten good at getting heat, but he does get his fair share of props from fans because of his character work and his ring work as well. Jay White is a lot in the same realm as well, but it is harder for me to speak on him because he is off in NJPW and my knowledge, while better than it used to be, is still slim compared to others. Now let us move onto the man many will claim to be the best heel going, MJF. I will not deny that MJF garnered a ton of heat during his rivalry with Cody after he threw in the towel and went full heel like we expected him to. The thing is though that, while he does get heat, he still gets his fair share of love from the fans. He will get some cheers and even people cosplaying as him and, as much as he tries to downplay it, the fans do love him. I will say though that he was more over as a heel in MLW than he has been in AEW and I know that is saying something. I think he was able to truly tap into what makes him a heel better in MLW and his heel persona in AEW has some face qualities. These men are top heels right now, but I think they are still behind King Corbin.
Now let us move on and speak about the man that spawned all of this, King Corbin. People like to say he gets “go-away heat” but I am here to say that is totally not the case. The man gets the most consistent boos out of anybody in wrestling today and he is not met with cheers whatsoever. Corbin gets pure, unadulterated heat from the fans and I have experienced it live under two gimmicks. I saw WWE live twice last year when they came to LA for Raw and Smackdown respectively. Corbin appeared on both shows and in two different gimmicks, he was able to generate heat and it wasn’t any “go-away heat”, it was 100% pure heel heat. I saw him when he was fresh from being GM and such and was still in his TGIF gear and we all booed him like there was no tomorrow. It was such pure heat and it made me a bigger fan of his than I already was. Fast forward to the first Smackdown on Fox and he once again got the same heat from us fans in attendance. Both shows were sell outs, Smackdown a bit more than Raw, and the boos were loud and clear. Some may confuse that as us not wanting to see him or “go-away heat” but I will say that it was that pure heat that we have long forgotten as fans because we have become used to the cool heels. When he gets his comeuppance, fans pop like the ones of old before the era of the cool heel. The other thing is that Corbin works his heel persona wherever he goes. Whether he is on Twitter or UpUpDownDown, the man plays up being a heel to perfection. Many may disagree because they do not want to acknowledge it, but King Corbin is the best heel in the business right now and is the only one that gets pure, unadulterated heat from fans.
I would love to hear everybody’s thoughts on this and please be respectful in the comments. I am Sovereign S.A.M. and I will see you all around the WRC.