Gregg, I think your logic is flawed and I'll explain why. You mention NFW being similar to ECW fans, well, knowing where you're from and knowing where and when you went to college I'm going to assume you're referring to the same ECW fans that I am - the 1994-1997 golden age fans. Yes, they cheered for the double tables matches, and the barbed wire matches and every time Sandman caned someone, but they also gave a standing ovation to the Malenko - Guerrero classic which was completely clean.
If you want to juxtapose the ECW fans against the WWF Attitude fans, keep in mind they also gave a standing ovation in 2001 to the first half of Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit, which was nothing but back and forth wrestling and had to compete with Dudleys vs. Hardys vs. E/C in the TLC three way for the tag belts.
On that subject, you said there has never been a heel who has been a highly talented, accomplished wrestler who refuses to use weapons, I counter with Kurt Angle's first run, at least from his debut to his first World Title. The difference is twofold:
1: Kurt Angle was completely condescending to the fans, while Impulse talks to them as equals.
2: Kurt Angle was, predictably, only friendly with heels, while Impulse has, in so many words, told the entire NFW roster, face, heel, and otherwise, that if they want to give him hell they can go fuck themselves.
On the subject of Impulse's "self righteous snot" -ism, that's not something I've ever shied away from. He's never identified as a hero or a villain. I write him as a straight babyface with human flaws: he's got an ego regarding his wrestling that he tries to overcome, that he thinks he's a better pure wrestler than anyone else in the industry, and he takes great pleasure in seeing people who disrespect him fail.
On that note, let's talk about Eric Dane. Eric Dane is the NFW's equivalent of Kevin Sullivan, in that he is the least sympathetic character in the company. In essence, he came in, insulted Impulse for not beating Castor Strife for the World Title, told the entire fed 'This is how it's done, bitches,' then worked himself a sweet situation where he had every possible advantage and still lost the match.
NFW fans are like ECW fans in at least one respect, I think: they are fans of the promotion first, and their favorite wrestlers second. That's why JJ DeVille is such a good heel. Even more than the fact that he's an unlikable douche, he came in and said he's going to destroy the NFW.
Impulse has been consistent in many ways that are ignored by the wrestlers who have decided he's a fraud, but one of the most prevalent is that he's always acted in what he considered to be the best interest of the NFW in and of itself, which is why I think - and have always written him - as having the majority of fan support.
Beyond that, I don't believe in such two dimensional labels as 'face' and 'heel.' I touched on this in the mic spot on the show, there are always going to be fans who will cheer and boo who they want regardless of who is supposed to be the 'face' or the 'heel.' For example, WM13 did not automatically make me a Stone Cold fan and hate Bret Hart. I was a Bret Hart fan until the end of the road, and didn't become an Austin fan until years later when I checked out what he was all about. TAZ was the biggest thing that ever hit ECW in the glory days and I don't think he ever used weapons or broke the rules. He went from the biggest heel in the company at N2R 1995 to the biggest face in the company by the time he was World Champion and he never changed a thing about himself: the fans respected his work.
The real bottom line is that there's no reason that I can see for Pulse to 'go heel' since he's going to be who he is whether the fans like him or not. But the NFW fans' first priority is wrestling: they prefer the 'sports' to the 'entertainment' and that's where Pulse shines.
I don't expect everyone to agree with that, but much like Impulse, I don't really give a shit.