Something you don’t get to see too often in wrestling is when the bad guys go up against each other. In these matches, it’s harder to say what exactly is going to happen. Sometimes depending on the storyline, one wrestler may start to turn good or one will take on the chicken-shit coward persona and run-away most of the match. If you get two heels that are more about being a fighter or sadist however you can get a “when bad meets evil” scenario and you’re going to see two individuals do everything and anything to beat the other guy.
One of the earliest examples of this type of matchup I can recall was in TNA when Christopher Daniels had a match with Desmond Wolfe (Nigel McGuinness). At the time they were both heels and unlike some of the more black and white storylines, they were forced to compete against each other.
Both wrestlers employ typical heel maneuvers like eye takes and biting throughout the match but since they’re both bad guys do we feel bad for either one when they get their retinas scratched or the other guy bites a chunk of flesh out of their hands? Hell no.
They both deserve it and since they’re not baby-faces we know there is no upcoming Baby-face comeback. The match becomes chaos and both players will do anything and everything to win.
These are stakes you won’t get in your standard match and it adds more unpredictability whereas some of the normal babyface vs heel scenarios can start to feel recycled or unsatisfying when they end.
I’ve seen these types of scenarios most often in Lucha Underground and NJPW. LU was more story based like WWE but it was focused more on giving their audience action and violence like ECW was than just generating cheap heat. Matanza vs Mil Muertes in the later seasons would be the best example. Neither wrestler was ever a good guy but because they both were trying to dominate everyone they naturally became enemies and had to fight. Instead of avoiding this LU would promote it and make it the main event at times because it was what the fans wanted to see.
One of my favorite parts of the NJPW tournaments is that more often than other promotions you’ll see some heel vs heel action. Earlier in the tournaments, you won’t see things get too crazy but currently, we’ve already had a few Suzuki Gun versus Bullet Club matches that have been very chaotic. Possibly the best example of this wasn’t even one of the main tournaments matches but a three-man tag team match of Jado, Gedo, and Taiji Ishimori vs Taka Michinoku, Taichi, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru.
All this leads to why I think the partnership with ROH and NJPW at the G1 SuperCard dropped the ball. We had both rosters on the same card in Madison Square Garden and there was an opportunity for bad to meet evil.
At the G1 SuperCard Bully Ray put out an open challenge and fans were letting their imaginations run wild while theorizing who could or would answer the challenge. Some rumors about CM Punk even started to circulate as people began to analyze the wording Bully was using in his promos. Those familiar with NJPW, however, began to believe it was Minoru Suzuki who would come to answer the call.
It’s not a knock-on Juice that fans were a little disappointed when he answered the challenge. Sometimes when a heel is so ruthless and despicable sometimes a white meat Baby-face isn’t going to bring what fans really want to see. Sometimes the fans want the type of justice and payback that is just not in the wheelhouse of a baby face.
Now a bigger, badder, and more vicious heel, on the other hand, is sometimes exactly what fans want when it comes to payback. In this scenario, there is no one that was more fitting for this role than the sadist who is Minoru Suzuki. This is why this ultimately felt like wasted potential to some.
If anyone says they wouldn’t have much preferred to see Suzuki kick Bully Ray’s ass than the multi-man street fight we got then they’re someone who’s either unfamiliar with Suzuki or they’re simply not to be trusted because they are a liar.