It's been said that the mark of a truly great performer is the ability to excel as both a heel and as a babyface, but is that always true? Sure, men like Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage, and The Undertaker made a career playing both sides of the moral divide, but what about those who didn't? What about those who excelled at working hard, staying humble, and playing fair? What about the really, really good guys?
To be clear, this isn't just a list of popular babyfaces; despite their longstanding popularity, Hogan, Cena, and Austin have no place here. It's also not about performers who were stand-up guys in real life. Instead, this article honors those performers who were born to be babyfaces, the squeaky-cleanest, family-friendliest, biggest-hearted characters that ever stepped between the ropes.
They didn't all spend their entire careers as fan favorites, and some even spent a significant amount of time as heels, but when they were good, they were great.
Although he's better remembered today as a screaming nut job, Bob Backlund actually spent the most successful years of his career as a clean-cut, aw-shucks grappler; They even called him "Opie". Long before he was trying to make Darren Young great again, he was bringing Madison Square Garden to its collective feet with his 'patient feeling-out process'.
Bob Backlund was a gee-whiz "All-American Boy" best known for being the 'Face That Ran the Place' between Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan came along. Despite being the absolute embodiment of whitebread inoffensiveness, Bob held WWE's top championship for five years. Bobby B's whole gimmick was that he was a nice young man who was just good enough at high school wrestling that he could use it to subdue the cauliflower-eared goblins of pre-VKM WWE.