In wrestling, as in life, it’s no fun to be nice all the time.
Since wrestling is a stripped-down microcosm of society, every aspect of human nature — the good and (especially) the nasty — is laid bare.
It only makes sense that, sooner or later, every grinning golden boy forsakes popularity for power by seeking the easy, illegal path to victory. It’s a pattern as old as wrestling itself, because it sells tickets.
It’s exceedingly rare that a wrestler spends his entire career as a babyface, especially in the contemporary era of popular anti-heroes (CM Punk) and widely despised good guys (John Cena).
But it’s not unprecedented. Some wrestlers are practically impossible to hate, and have survived long careers without ever making the so-called heel turn.
Here are eight members of that rarest of breed: the babyface who never turned heel.
8. Hillbilly Jim
The country boy from Mudlick, Kentucky was a beloved figure during the WWF’s mid-1980s boom in popularity. He was a kid-friendly bumpkin who was so pure of heart, he received his ‘rasslin’ boots from the one and only Hulk Hogan. Although he was mostly used as cannon fodder for a gauntlet of monster heels, Hillbilly Jim was a perennial favorite among kids (the WWF’s target audience back then) and earned a big ovation during his cameo in the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-Seven. Although he flirted with heeldom when the team he managed, the Godwinns, turned evil, he parted company with them instead.