Yesterday, when I postulated about death and e-fedding, I mentioned that using deaths and mourning as a plot to advance angles is pretty low and classless. Cheap heat at its worst.
But I hope that people don't misunderstand me. I love most forms of cheap heat, especially in e-fedding, when cheap heat can actually be refreshing.
At least in my experience, most of us e-fedders are or at least were at one time complete wrestling nerds. We mark for the Benoits and Guerreros and jeer for the Hogans and Cenas. We want our wrestling superstars to have in-ring talent, much like Bret Hart, Steve Austin and in his later years, The Rock had. And we all think we can do a much, much better job at writing the wrestling shows than the current band of idiots who are turning Raw and Smackdown into their own personal playpen.
I'm not trying to debate that point. As of right now, I'd say every single e-fed I follow can book circles around the WWE.
The point I'm trying to make is that sometimes, we get so wrapped up in the angles we want to run that we try to make them so grandiose, so intelligent that they border on pretentious and really don't have the impact we want them to have. Cheap heat is almost frowned upon.
That's why it's so refreshing to read a character like Troy Windham most of the time. The things he does are so simple, but they are also so effective at pushing the fact that he's someone you should boo lustily at. And I see a lot of guys make a push back to simpler ways to get over on people. Take for example in A1E, after Pier Six, you had Beast smashing JA in the face with the title belt. This is a spot we've seen so many times, and it's so simple, but it works. The same with Beast taking Farnswirth's money and throwing it into the crowd, or whenever someone does the Foley Cheap Pop and mentions the hometown, or if someone plays a character who's obviously based off some kind of foreign menace.
Of course, you can go wrong by trying a cheaper road to get heat. For example, the post I did yesterday.
So what kinds cheap heat acceptable? Actually, I think the easier question to answer is, what kinds of cheap heat are unacceptable? For one, I'd stay away from anything involving playing up the passing of a wrestler in context of an angle, especially if you're doing it for heel heat.
Playing up genocide is probably not a good idea either. So if you play a racist or anti-Semitic character (characters I would approve of, actually... note that Johnny Morgan was one of my FAVORITE characters in UXW and a character I fought very hard to justify having my roster), playing an angle where you play heavily into the Holocaust or the tribal genocide in Zaire/Congo in the mid-90s would be a good way to get on my (and anyone else's with half a brain cell) shitlist.
I think the same goes with terrorism too. I mean, coming from someone who handles Captain Suleimon, it might sound hypocritical, but you can play those characters without resorting to them doing terrorist things or using terrorism, things like 9/11 or Daniel Pearl in their angles. I mean, I'd be all for doing a Muhammad Hassan-esque character, but if you try to repeat the angle they tried to run with him and Undertaker (the one that got Mark Copani fired), then it would be tasteless.
So that's my take on that. Cheap heat good most of the time. Unless it's dealing with death or terrorism. Then it no good. I talk like Quina from Final Fantasy IX.
Before I sign off, I'd like to welcome two new additions to the e-fed blogosphere, both of them taking advantages of the blogging resources at Jenkins' ENN site.
The first one is the Asian Blogder, Jeff Paternostro's (Hida and Yori Yakamo) journal of e-fed doings. The second is Daddy of All Blogs, which is done by Phil Banet (Big Dog, Richard Farnswirth). They both have must-read entries right now, and I don't see that trend ceasing in the near future unless they update at a Brunkian rate. :p