There's a long-standing rule when it comes to portraying characters in professional wrestling. The guy who's supposed to be a babyface should do things that would make the crowd cheer for him, while the heel is required to perform dastardly acts so as to garner a negative reaction from the fans.
By the mid-90s, fans had gotten tired of clear-cut babyfaces and heels, and this resulted in WWE and WCW coming up with anti-heroes like Stone Cold Steve Austin, D-Generation X, and nWo. Over the past several decades, we have seen several instances where fans completely turned on a babyface and decided to voice their opinion by booing the heroes.
Let's take a look at 5 occasions when a traditional babyface was booed out of the building by the fans.
#5 Bayley gets booed in Toronto
Back in NXT, Bayley was one of the most beloved Superstars and was a hit among the young fans. She was incredibly well received by the fans when she made her way to the main roster in 2016. At WrestleMania 33, Bayley successfully defended her Women's title against Nia Jax, Charlotte Flair, and Sasha Banks. After dropping the title to Alexa Bliss, Bayley earned a shot for the same at SummerSlam, but suffered a shoulder injury which deemed her unable to compete.
An in-ring segment featuring Bayley and interviewer Charlie Caruso saw the Toronto crowd booing The Hugger. As Bayley talked about how her fans' support helped her get through the past week, the live crowd showered her with boos. Bayley went on to acknowledge the boos, which only made matters worse for her, as the reaction grew stronger. This prompted announcer Corey Graves to refer to the act as a “bizarro world here in Toronto.”
#4 ECW fans 'welcome' John Cena
ECW One Night Stand was a huge hit back in 2005, so much so that WWE went on to produce another ONS PPV the next year. This time around, the WWE Champion John Cena was set to face ECW Original Rob Van Dam, who was cashing in his MITB contract.
Cena had turned into a polarizing figure way before this night, but it got incredibly ugly at One Night Stand and Cena received possibly the strongest negative reaction of his entire career. The rabid crowd showered Cena with profanities and insults, some of which were "Same old s**t", "Overrated", and "You can't wrestle". It seemed like the crowd was going to actually riot if Cena won the match, but thankfully, Edge interfered during the closing moments of the bout and helped RVD win the WWE title.
#3 Daniel Bryan's exclusion angers the fans
Royal Rumble 2014 was home to one of the biggest negative reactions in the history of this business. The Crowd-favorite Daniel Bryan had earlier lost a match to Bray Wyatt, and the fans were sure that he would come back and go on to win the free-for-all.
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The fans patiently waited for Bryan to come, but all hell broke lose when Rey Mysterio of all people entered in at #30! Mysterio is regarded as one of the biggest babyfaces in WWE history, but his appearance received a huge chorus of boos from the annoyed crowd. Barring a few instances, the boos continued throughout the remainder of the match. Batista eliminated Roman Reigns to win the contest, and the crowd was taking none of it. This was one of those rare moments where someone as wholesome as Rey Mysterio was booed out of the building by the fans.
#2 Goldberg gets an embarrassing send-off
At Survivor Series 2003, Goldberg interrupted an interview featuring Brock Lesnar. Months later, Goldberg and Lesnar appeared in a backstage segment at the Royal Rumble 2004 PPV, which resulted in Lesnar interfering in the free-for-all and costing Goldberg a shot at the World title.
The two behemoths met at WrestleMania 20, but the Madison Square Garden had zero interest in seeing these two compete. It was reported that both the athletes were leaving WWE after the match. The contest was a slow, terrible bout which didn't do any favors in regards to the crowd reaction. Despite being a babyface, Goldberg received a negative reaction, with the fans chanting "Hey hey hey, goodbye" at both former Champions. Goldberg finally defeated Lesnar, following which guest referee Stone Cold stunned both the Superstars, to the delight of the fans inside the arena.
#1 The Rock fails to get Roman Reigns over
Contrary to 2014, Daniel Bryan participated in the 2015 Royal Rumble match and the fans were behind him like they had been a year ago during the Yes Movement. When Bray Wyatt eliminated Bryan, the crowd went into a stunned silence. Suddenly, the fans began booing the contest and the competitors in it, in a deja vu from the previous year's Rumble.
The Big Show and Kane eliminating rising stars like Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose didn't help matters much. In the end, The Rock returned to help Roman Reigns fend off the villains and win the match. In a bizarre visual, The Rock raised Reigns' hand as the crowd booed The Big Dog out of the building.