In professional wrestling, a heel is a bad guy - who sometimes becomes a good guy. And then becomes a bad guy - a heel - again. Depending on what’s popular.
The personas are fungible.
Hulk Hogan began his career as a heel and then became a good guy.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has undergone a similar evolution. Several times. He began his career in the ‘90s as a good guy - a face, in the vernacular of professional wrestling - under the name of Rocky Maivia.
But turned heel because the audience turned against him.
And he made the most of it.
He became the character WWF (and later, WWE) audiences loved to hate - and played the role like a champion actor. Which is part of what champion pro wrestlers do. They put on a show.
The Rock then reverted to being a face again as his career wound down in the early 2000s - as he transitioned to an acting career - where he has played a face ever since. Perhaps because heels don't do well at the box office.
Johnson was also once upon a time registered Republican. Before he became an Independent. Neither heel - nor face - because Independent means anything.
Now he appears to have become a Bidenite. A supporter of the real heels - the thugs who’ve been pretending to seek justice for black people abused by the police by abusing people who had nothing to do with it.
Including black police officers like David Dorn, whose life didn’t matter to the thugs who killed him when he responded to a burglar alarm at a pawn shop in St. Louis during the not-so-peaceful “protests” there in August.
Or the economic life of black-owned stores burned and looted by BLM/Antifa thugs. Many of whom aren't black or poor.
Many are very privileged white middle class kids with nothing better to do than destroy the life's work of minority-owned businesses, who've been hit hardest by the tag-team chair-over-the-head of government-imposed WuFlu lockdowns followed by government-do-nothing about violent cretins smashing windows, throwing gasoline-filled bottles through them and making off with as much free stuff as they can carry.
But The Rock’s compassion - his word - lies with the thugs, whom he styled “our protestors” - who are “in pain” (as opposed to dishing it out) in an eight-minute video released last week.
He went on to say:
“Of course all lives matter, every single one. All lives matter because we as Americanism believe in inclusivity, we believe in acceptance, we believe in human rights, we believe in equality for all…but in this defining, pivotal, explosive moment where our country is down on its knees . . . we must say the words, ‘black lives matter.’ “
Cue raised eyebrow - and what the hell? face.
One the one hand, all lives matter. On the other hand, black lives matter more. The way to get over the fixation on race being to . . . fixate on race.
Or not - as in the case of Dorn. Then a black life doesn't matter.
The Rock’s rant is as incoherent as a WWF monologue by Rowdy Roddy Piper - who played a heel consistently.
What role is The Rock playing?
According to an interesting article published by MTO News - which styles itself “The most visited African American News Network” - The Rock’s personas are as fungible now as they were when he wore a speedo in the ring:
“He wants to be the number one celebrity in Hollywood and very much cares about how he is perceived by the public,” the article states. “He’s not mean. He’s never rude, but he’s also never sincere. While other celebs will remember your name if you work in the industry, he will not. You could work with him on five movies and he will never once ask your name even if you interact with him every day . . . unless a camera is there and suddenly he’s one of the people.”
Italics added.
It was the same in the ring. The Rock, like all pro wrestlers, put on a show when the crowd was watching. The most successful wrestlers knew how to ride a crowd, which mattered even more than being to suplex or camel clutch (the signature move of The Iron Sheik, another WWF heel) an opponent.
It is known that The Rock has political aspirations; for a time his name was being bandied about - including by himself - as a candidate for this election. He didn't enter the ring this time - apparently because of commitments to movies through 2021.
But 2024 isn’t that far over the horizon.
A good time to shift personas - again?
With The Rock, you never know which face you you'll get.