Watching the current product, specifically the Roman Reigns stuff and how perfectly it seems it would work out if he went super heel, got me wondering about the planning (or lack there of) in WWE. More accurately, I have always wondered where "that guy" is to tell them how certain scenarios flat out won’t work.
In the past, it was simple logic of stuff like "hey, Stone Cold’s pops are getting big/better turn him face" or "nobody is cheering Hogan/make him a bad guy", which showed some awareness of what the audience is taking in.
My question is has WWF/WWE ever booked a situation where they pushed one way, with the plan behind the scenes all along of the crowd reacting the exact opposite?
The only situation I can think of might be Kurt Angle’s debut, cuz of how quickly he moved into the 3 I’s obnoxious heel, but even that I’m not positive on cuz he was packaged coming in as an Olympic Hero & a patriot & so on. In that case, it seems like it might be more of a "adjustment on the fly" thing…
The best example would be the Rock’s heel turn in 1998, which was specifically intended to set up his even BIGGER babyface turn in 1999. It was really clever because it shifted the resentment from Rock himself to the Corporation, which was actually the proper focus of the hatred. And then really after 6 months everyone wanted to cheer him again and it was simple to have the Corporation turn on him and suddenly you have a top babyface with no stink of the "Rocky sucks" thing on him.
That being said, the Rock situation was a pretty specific one, and it’s not often that they can pull that sort of thing off. Normally it just results in a crowd completely not caring about someone, and there’s far more examples of THAT.