Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Heat (professional wrestling)
In professional wrestling, heat means to get a reaction from the crowd. This could either be cheers for a babyface or boos for a heel. When a wrestler draws a lot of heat, it usually means he/she is "over" with the fans. The booker will almost always push the wrestler who garners the most heat, as it means that he is popular (or unpopular, in the case of heels) with the crowd.
Cheap heat is drawn by heels who blatantly insult the fans and insult the city/town they are in, so that the crowd will boo them. This is an easy way for heels to receive heat. Faces will sometimes do the equivalent — showng knowledge of the town, and promising to "win one for them" et cetera.
Heel wrestlers can also draw cheap heat by referring to a mainstream news event as part of his promo, especially if the event has strongly emotional or political ramifications (e.g., a natural disaster), although they sometimes do not mention it by name. For instance, WWE champion Triple H drew upon heavy media coverage of Terri Schiavo in a promo for his WrestleMania 21 World Championship match against Batista, when he contended that "no judge or jury" would be able to save Batista from an embarassing pinfall loss in their title match. Even though Triple H never mentioned Schiavo's name, many fans knew he was referring to the brain-damaged woman who was at the center of a bitter legal battle (over whether her feeding tube – which had been removed days earlier via court order – should be replaced or if she should be allowed to die), and as a result roundly he was roundly booed.
During the Gulf War (and Operation: Desert Shield immediately before it), Sgt. Slaughter often drew cheap heat as part of his Iraqi sympathizer traitor heel gimmick. At Survivor Series 1990, Slaughter thoroughly insulted servicemen stationed in Iraq for Thanksgiving, at one point suggesting the soldiers were served "hot turkey sandwhich" as their Thanksgiving meal).
Canned heat is the sound of fans cheering or booing, played through the arena's sound system or added into a taped show. This is done to cover up "dead heat" for viewers watching the shows on TV, by making it seem like the fans in attendance were cheering/booing when in fact they were not.
However, canned heat is sometimes added when a promoter wants to push a wrestler as a face or heel, especially when fans are perceived to be cheering or booing inappropriately (also, if a promoter is in the process of turning a face into heel and vice versa). For instance, at the 1992 Royal Rumble, on the original pay-per-view broadcast, Sid Justice had eliminated fellow face wrestler Hulk Hogan, and announcer Gorilla Monsoon had commented that Justice had played by the rules, and a good share of the fans were cheering. On World Wrestling Federation's syndicated programs that replayed the final moments of the main event a week later, canned heat was added to make it appear Justice – who was turned heel weeks later – was being heavily booed; also, new comments were added with Monsoon portraying Justice as betraying Hogan and color commentator Bobby Heenan voicing his enthusiastic approval.
Dead heat is the absence of heat during a match. It is one of the worst things that can happen to a wrestler, as it means that the fans are bored with watching him or his matches. A wrestler who draws dead heat may be reduced to being a jobber. Or if the booker sees potential in him, he is given a new gimmick with hopes that he will now be "over" with the crowd.
X-Pac heat is drawn by people with whom the fans are legitimately bored or hated. It can stem from overexposure, a boring moveset, lack of skills in the ring or on the mic, or a combination of these and other factors. This differs from standard heel heat in that the fans are reacting to the person playing the character, rather than the character himself. It takes its name from Sean "X-Pac" Waltman, who had become quite famous for this type of reaction.
Heat can also refer to two or more wrestlers or others in the wrestling business who have a legitimate disagreement with or dislike for one another. For example: "Linda Miles had heat with WWE management after repeatedly showing up late for OVW training sessions" or "Ric Flair and Bret Hart have had heat with one another for many years, most recently due to Flair writing negative statements about Hart in his autobiography".
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