Pro Wrestlers who were always either "faces" or "heels".

Yes, I watch and enjoy pro wrestling. No, I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Are the story lines and wins pre-planned? Sure. Would I classify it as “fake”? The story line and angles, yes…the injuries and actual danger the wrestlers risk every day, not on your life. There are many spots and moves that truly take a great amount of athleticism and that can lead to being hurt more so than in most any other sport.

So, anyway…now that that’s out of the way (because this topic isn’t about debating whether or not it’s real), I have a question:
What are some wrestlers who have never been babyfaces?
For those who don’t know, that term basically means “good guy”.

I was watching a few vintage shows and PPVs today and I saw Ted Debiase wrestling and realized, he’s one of the few that was just always a heel/bad guy. He never really had a run where the fans liked and cheered for him (and I’m not counting times when the wrestler has made appearances wayyyyy later, for hall of fame things and stuff like that–I mean when they were actively wrestling in story lines).
Another one (although I’m less sure of this one after he went to TNA) is Jeff Jarrett. Wasn’t he always a heel? At least in the WWE, he was, not sure if he’s recently been a good guy or not (in TNA)

Anyway, can you think of any others who were always a bad guy?
Consequently, can you think of any wrestlers who have always been “faces/good” and never bad? I can’t think of one for that one unless you count some obscure wrestler like Duke “the Dumpster” Droese.

Rick Steamboat was always a face. He wanted to try to be a heel, but Pat Patterson told him no.

Ricky Steamboat Interview

What about Dusty Rhodes? I can’t remember him ever being a heel.

Has Glenn Thomas Jacobs(Kane) ever gone “face”?

Sure, at various times teaming with his “brother”.

Dusty was a heel very early in his career, when teaming with Dick Murdoch as The Texas Outlaws.

It gets a litte harder to judge the farther back you go, because wrestling used to be a regional sport. There was the Northeastern circuit run by Vince McMahon, of course, but there was also a Southern circuit, a midwestern circuit, the West coast circuit… Guys were always moving from one circuit to another, changing their names and their schticks as they did.

Guys I knew only as “faces” in the Northeastern circuit may well have been villains in earlier incanations elsewhere (and vice versa) under different names.


Jessie the Body Ventura was never a face was he?
Ricky Steamboat was always a face.
Bruno Sammartino was always a face.
Bobby Heenan was always a heel – if that counts.

Ventura was a heel even as mayor and on his own TV series! Good call.

Back before they became big, Sting teamed with Ultimate Warrior under different names (they both painted their faces even then). I can’t recall if they were heel or face. I know the Ultimate Warrior was a heel in the Von Erich’s territory (WCCW) as the Dingo Warrior.

ETA: Just checked - Sting was indeed a heel in the beginning.

  • Jeff Jarrett was a face/tweener for most of his run in WCW.
  • Kane has gone face/heel so many times it’s hard to tell what he is. He just recently turned heel again after a year-long face run as Daniel Bryan’s tag team partner (Team Hell No, which did remarkably well despite basically being a comedy act).
  • Dusty Rhodes was a heel briefly late in his career in WCW, when he joined the nWo and became their spokesman.

FWIW, I don’t think Rey Mysterio or Rob Van Dam ever been a heel.

Wrong on both counts.

Dibiase has several runs as a babyface in Mid South/UWF, and at least one run as a babyface in Georgia. In fact, Dibiase was part of a great (and famous) angle involving Dick Murdoch and Ric Flair. In the course of a one hour TV show, Dibiase went from the most hated heel to the the most loved babyface in the territory, while Murdoch turned from babyface to heel at the same time. I think it’s on YouTube … search something like Dibiase Murdoch Double Turn.

Jarrett started as a babyface in Memphis.

For some good discussion of other guys from the kayfabe era, see Never worked face and Never worked heel over at Wrestling Classics (pretty much the Sinanju of pro wrestling websites. Just watch out for the mod “GreyGhost” over there. I hear he’s a real asshole. )

Here is the show with the Dibiase-Murdoch-Flair angle I mentioned. Classic Watts booking.

Sting worked as a heel in a tag team called “The Blade Runners”. His partner was Jim Hellwig, later known as Ultimate Warrior. I think he’s also heeled in TNA, but I quit following wrestling around the time WCW died.

I suspect any wrestler that started young had some period as a face. I recall in Mid South Bob Sweetan held the NWA Brass Knuckles Championship. But even he had a brief weird period wrestling clean. It only lasted a month or two. He was only wrestling 2nd level guys. Fans speculated he was rehabbing an injury and needed less contact matches.

I saw Ted Debiase on Mid South. He was a face then. Even held the NWA Title for a week or two. Then lost it to Killer Karl Kox. Dick Murdoch was a face feuding with Karl Kox and Sputnik Monroe.

Was Bill Watts ever a heel? I only remember him on Mid South as a face.

No. Ted Dibiase never held the NWA Title. There were rumors that he was being considered for the belt during his run in Georgia, but it never happened. He did hold the North American Heavyweight Title several times, which may be what you’re thinking of here.

Yes, Watts was an excellent heel. Had a run in New York where he turned on Bruno Samartino, also heeled in Florida and Georgia among other places. Worked under a hood as “Dr. Scarlet” in St. Louis.

Here is Watts doing heel commentary over video of one of his matches against Jack Brisco.

What about Junkyard Dog? Was he ever a heel?

You’re right it was the North American Title that Ted Debiase briefly held. Won it on a tv match I saw and then lost it a week or two later. That was when he was being introduced into Mid South and he teamed with Murdoch a lot.

Was The Animal jim Steele always a heel? Can’t imagine that guy as a face.

Anyone remember the name of a deaf wrestler that was always a face? He was mostly a warm up guy. He wrestled guys being introduced into mid south and always got beat. He was really good at making the new guys look really powerful. Made it clear the new guy would be a heel in mid south.

I don’t know if the guy was really deaf or not. I was just a kid and believed whatever they said.

There was even a time when Lonnie “Moon Dog” Mayne was a heel in Los Angeles and a face in San Francisco at the same time. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, except for the few people who live in one area and travel briefly to another…but in the late 1970s, the predecessor to Univision started airing Los Angeles-area wrestling (En Vivo y en Color!) on its stations, including one in San Francisco, and while the wrestling commentary was in Spanish, most of the interviews were in English.