Examining Shade of Grey Characters in The Reality Era

In this day and age of PG Era content, the faces mostly tend to be Hogan 80s Era cartoonish type characters, being all squeaky cleaned good guys like Cena and only a select few portray a more realistic face type characters such as Triple H, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker to name a few.

Which is why the audience tend to side with the Heels and turn on the faces.

In late 2012, it was report that Vince is claiming no more Heels or Faces.

But when talents such as Daniel Bryan, The Shield, The Wyatt Family, Bo Dallas, and even the veteran Triple H have shown a unique set of grey shading between the meaning of heroes and villains during the late-PG to the Reality Era, and shows a more realistic portrayal of characters that haven’t been seen since the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression Eras.

Triple H


Triple H, in his mid-40s now, has had a great career being a 13-Time World Champion, becoming a future Hall of Fame talent, and great results being a Face and Heel these days.

At Summerslam 2013, Triple H turned Heel for the first time in 7 Years, though it was hard tell at times if he really was a face beforehand, and started becoming a dictator of WWE.

Though he seemed to be a more reasonable and logical type of Authority figure because whereas Vince would try to get Austin out of the company, Triple H tries to keep Bryan away from the WWE World Heavyweight Championship but reasons that he’s also a valuable asset for the company.


And has shown at times Triple H will get confrontational with the other supposed Heels, even his chosen Face of The WWE, Randy Orton.

Triple H has shown a Ruthless Dictator but with rationality and reason to his actions as the WWE’s COO.

Daniel Bryan


Daniel Bryan has been booked as the ultimate underdog but at times have shown an aggressive side to his character during his time as Daniel Wyatt, or when he feuded with Triple H.

He was even willing to make Monday Night RAW go to a halt for close to 10 Minutes that would lead to Sandow to be punished by Triple H and The Shield.

He even at WrestleMania indirectly attacked a women, something that a male wrestler hasn’t done in the WWE in how long?


The Shield


Prior to Seth Rollins’ shocking betrayal, The Shield’s gimmick of being anti-authority figures also maintained their Heel style gimmick when they went to war with The Authority, and even have done backstage attacks to other members of the roster that affiliated with the Authority.

The Wyatt Family


The crazy cult led by the sickening twisted Bray Wyatt, whose words capture the eyes of the audience to the point they would sing ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’ and wave their arms in the air.

Even after going after Fan-Favorites such as CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, they get a positive reception.

The Wyatt Family even get the audience involved when Bray waves his hands like a composer telling his class of musicians to sing with him. He even claims he’s fighting for the change we’ve been searching for.

Bray Wyatt’s connection to the fans rose even higher when he went to war with the bane of all Hardcore wrestling fans: John Cena.

To the point he has children sing with him in haunting disturbing fashion.

Bo Dallas


Bo Dallas’ character is playing as an Inspirational Man who claims they have to BO-lieve to reach their dreams in life and has a denial role that he’s a good guy.

But to the fans, that’s exactly what he is to them, down in NXT he was arguably the most hated guy down there, but in WWE, he gets cheered and makes the Audience feel inspired at times

Even his theme song is what you expect from a heel who’s trying to play Face like Sandow had.

It seems the Audience BO-lieves in what Bo is preaching at times.

Dean Ambrose [Post-Shield]


While everyone seems to see Ambrose being great as a Heel, he’s clearly has shown he could do just as great as a Face.

He even spoke that he would beat his former Shield Brethren, Seth Rollins, Half to death, you know a word that WWE would never let anyone use in this day and age, but yet Ambrose did in the video and act like a psycho lunatic.

Roman Reigns


Roman Reigns has shown to be a complete 180 to the John Cena Face type character, where Cena would be goody-goody, have a need to help others, and even trust people who clearly intend to stab him in the back, Reigns is the cold calculated warrior who looks like he be the last guy you’d want to piss off right now and seems more concerned about himself and reaching his goals in life.

Even going as far to spike someone’s drink, go face to face with another Face, and even stare down The ‘Demon’ Kane and not flinch when he uses his classic pyro shows Reigns being the dangerous warrior people cheer for.

Final Thoughts

It’s clearly being shown more and more WWE is steering away from the black and white to the area of grey characters like they did in The Attitude days with how the faces and heels are acting and how the audience is reacting to them as one of the many steps to transit from the PG Era to Reality Era.

Comment and give your thoughts!


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