The opening of Heels serves as an introduction to the behind-the-scenes world of professional wrestling, in this case thee fictional DWL (Duffy Wrestling League). The man behind the DWL is Jack Spade (Stephen Amell). Jack is introduced as the top “heel” (villain) of the company. Jack’s younger brother Ace Spade (Alexander Ludwig) is the top “face” (hero) of the company, but hints are immediately presented that things might be the other way round in real life.
The politics of professional wrestling are present from the onset; there is a rivalry with a new promotion seemingly being more popular in the area, and there is a desperate need to show us the Spade brothers are opposites – something that links back to their dead father Tom Spade (David James Elliott)- something that will most likely be revealed in future episodes.
One of the more interesting characters of the show is Ace’s valet Crystal (Kelli Berglund) who clearly has a mind for the wrestling business and seems to have more to offer the DWL if they ever notice. Her development through the show will be one to watch. That’s not to say all the other characters are throwaway, there are some interesting people to look out for both in and out of the ring.
Our main take away here though is that the brothers are rivals, Ace thinks he is the future of wrestling and outside of the ring the brothers are the opposites of their in-ring characters. Jealousy, fear, and anger are all playing their parts and that is before we even get inside the ring. The dark and light side of the wrestling are in full view.
Verdict: 8/10. A solid opener that will appeal to wrestling fans and non-wrestling fans alike. It strongly sets up the framework for the series and puts a lot of parts in place that will be used over the series. I look forward to the next one!