I like feuds, but I prefer them to be personal and to be an exception rather than the rule. As a rule, I prefer a contest whose drama is contained within the parameters of a single bout. I like the roles of hero and heel to emerge in the action of the match itself--not set up in previous shows and most definitely not in promos or pre-match monologues on the microphone. And in most cases I want the matter resolved at the final fall or submission. I have never much liked the open-ended match (disqualification, tie, etc.), though I certainly don't mind when a particularly exciting match calls for a rematch. (I realize I am in the minority here, since I'm told that many wrestling fans prefer the para-wrestling theatrics to the wrestling itself, hence the enormous popularity of WWE--but I have long contended that WWE's success is due no less to its flagrant pandering to audiences who don't actually like wrestling than to the McMahon family's business wiles.)
This preference is one reason I also generally prefer underground wrestling to most stadium-filling events. Typically the underground scene and smaller wrestling venues cannot finance the narrative peaks and valleys of a long-running soap opera. They have to win their audiences with each and every match individually. The wrestlers have to define their characters through costuming, the flourish of their entrances, and the pushing of the audience's buttons (pro and con) throughout the match, but mostly through their actions in the heat of the contest. Heels reveal themselves through their underhanded and illegal tactics, heroes, through their long-suffering adherence to scientific wrestling, till, pushed to the breaking point, they sometimes give the heels a taste of their own medicine (occurrences which, as many of you know, are my definition of "heaven").
Photos: Scott Finkelstein.