Heel beatdowns are something of a lost art in modern day WWE. Newer performers seem scared of the heat in comparison to their elder peers, whilst the company itself has seemingly lost the ability (or want) to craft a sense of legitimately frightening menace within their characters.
Villainy is established more by acts of unconvincing unlikability. Characters will moan, or patronisingly gloat, or run away. Stephanie McMahon - the heel - will b*llock one of her kowtowed employees - also often heels - and audiences are expected to blindly hate both the perpetrator and victim of the dressing down without really being given reason to.
Even actual heel turns are often mangled messes of metatextuality in 2018. WWE can't control their audience anymore, and have thus lost the ability to get in front of a crowd with shocks. Babyfaces are rarely supported just as baddies are hardly booed. It creates a vaccum of misplaced emotion on show any times Roman Reigns wrestles. 'The Big Dog' motors through the wrong'uns on Raw but stops for a mammoth moan when he loses clean to bigger and better foes. Like John Cena before him, he's reached a point where a heel turn would only register with those that already hate him - those that would most likely then cheer him for his change in attitude.
These malfunctions ruin what was once a devastating money-drawing device. Bad guys being really f*cking bad guys made the eventual reversal of fortunes all the more rewarding...
We Need To Talk About Kevin (Nash).
Michael can be found in articles or on podcasts extolling the virtues of New Generation WWF, New Japan Pro Wrestling or the new WWE angle they definitely definitely won’t ruin this time.