heels

In professional wrestling, a heel (also known as a rudo in lucha libre) is a wrestler who is villainous or a “bad guy”, who is booked (scripted) by the promotion to be in the position of being an antagonist. They are typically opposed by their polar opposites, faces, who are heroic or “good guy” characters. In order to gain heat (with boos and jeers from the audience), heels are often portrayed as behaving in an immoral manner by breaking rules or otherwise taking advantage of their opponents outside the bounds of the standards of the match. Others do not (or rarely) break rules but instead exhibit unlikeable, appalling and deliberately offensive and demoralizing personality traits such as arrogance, cowardice, or contempt for the audience. Many heels will do both, cheating as well as behaving nastily. No matter the type of heel, the most important job is that of the antagonist role. Heels exist to provide a foil to the face wrestlers. If a given heel is cheered over the face, a promoter may opt to turn that heel to face, or to make the wrestler do something even more despicable to encourage heel heat. In the world of lucha libre wrestling, they’re generally known for being brawlers and for using physical moves that empathize brute strength and/or size, often having outfits akin to demons, devils, or other tricksters. This is contrasted with the heroic ‘t├ęcnicos’ that are generally known for using moves requiring technical skill, particularly aerial maneuvers.