wrestling / Columns

The Heel Report: 10.20.12: Top 10 Heels of the Week

October 20, 2012 | Posted by James Wright

This is the Heel Report. A weekly chart spanning from Tuesday’s NXT to the Raw Super Show, ranking the heels in professional wrestling based on their actions, wins and losses.

Each Week there are ten places, with points out of ten awarded based on these positions. These points are then added to a rolling chart that will continue each week to show who is wrestling’s overall top heel.

I’d like to apologise for the massive lateness of the report this week, I had to travel to France and have been messing around to try to get the internet, as well as only having brief moments online and frustration at trying to find the login box to publish in that time, but I’ve found a link for the logon page now and things should be back to relative normality by next week.

This is a place where the heels of wrestling can be praised for all the hard work they do trying to get us all to hate them, so without further ado let’s get on with the report…

Weekly Top Ten

1st Place: The Big Show

It might be Bound For Glory week but the Big Show managed to KO Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston, and Chokeslam Daniel Bryan to pick up three victories this week. Bar a clothesline from the World Champion, the new challenger for the title has so far been booked as untouchable and a threat that needs to be taken seriously. The only problem is that pretty much everyone is expecting Ziggler to cash in on Show if he wins so for all this strength Show might end up only being champion for another 45 seconds.

2nd Place: Austin Aries

While I am glad to see the former TNA champ back on the dark side, this has to be one of the stupidest knee-jerk reactions by TNA that was so unnecessary and kind of ruined the end of the Bound For Glory series for me. Hardy was a bad choice for winner, picked for merchandise sales rather than storyline or actual appeal, or sense, but I’ll get to that more later. Aries put on a great showing on Impact in a Punk-style shoot promo and then in the match itself, it is just a shame that he couldn’t walk out of the event victorious. The problem is that like Punk, Aries is over with most fans, or at least most fans outside of the Impact Zone, non-casual fans who would have bought tickets for Bound For Glory and were clearly behind the champ all the way. Still it was a great performance and hopefully Aries will get the title back once TNA realises its mistake.

3rd Place: Robert Roode

On the flip side I have to say that TNA handled this whole feud correctly in retrospect. I honestly don’t think Roode-Storm had to be for the title as it was an attraction in itself. Of course I also think that King Mo was completely unnecessary to the match and in the end added very little to the blood feud. It was indeed bloody in the end, with tacks, chairs and beer bottles galore. We all knew that Storm would win this one going in but the story told was worth it and the end was great with Storm smashing a bottle over Roode’s head and then Super Kicking him into a pile of tacks, which Roode had already taken once before in the match, that is commitment! I suppose Storm taking the title away from Roode through the same means that he first won it would have been more like poetic justice, and it would have avoided the whole Hardy debacle, but the match as it was was great anyway, the only question is where will Roode go from here?

4th Place: Alberto Del Rio

Somehow Del Rio just keeps on picking up wins and getting air time. Like it or not he earns points that way, beating Bryan and Clay and imitating the Viper to further his feud with Randy Orton. I’m sure Del Rio will probably end up on the losing end of things at Hell in a Cell and yet still remain in the same place since somehow Del Rio has the magical ability not to be hurt by big losses. I’m not really sure if that is a good thing or not.

5th Place: Tara

The first of only two successful TNA heels at Bound for Glory, and your new Knockouts Champion; Tara! I’m glad that Tara took the title away from Brooke, although holy anti-climax Batman! Her Hollywood boyfriend turned out to be a complete nobody in relative terms. Frankly right now the Knockouts division is in a bit of a state, but Tara being champion could be its saving grace, at least as long as they bring back some old talent to go against her, the most obvious candidate being Awesome Kong, who must be pretty annoyed after the WWE shuffle that took place when she left TNA, sure some of it wasn’t the company’s fault, but I think they could have handled everything better, we’ll just have to wait and see.

6th Place: The Miz

Earning points with his mouth this week is the now former most must-see Intercontinental Champion, of course at the time of this loss it will count towards next week’s rankings, so let’s just ignore the fact that he lost the title for now and concentrate on the harsh promo he cut on Miz-TV against Kofi Kingston, and the equally harsh kick that he was hit with by Kofi later in the night. Miz said some rather truthful comments about Kingston’s abilities and career so far, but he was karmically shut up by Kingston so for all the heel points he gained he couldn’t reach the upper end of the chart.

7th Place: Daniels & Kazarian

The now former world tag team champions of the world ended up coming up short in their match at Bound for Glory. I hope they keep these two together as at least on the part of Daniels they are exuding a ton of charisma, and Daniels has never seemed to be able to get anywhere near as much attention on his own, so I’m thinking that this tag team is a good thing. Still like the Knockouts division, TNA’s tag division really needs a bit more depth to actually count for anything, but will a new set of champions help bring this about?

8th Place: Magnus

The cocky Brit challenged his former tag team partner Samoa Joe for the TV title at Bound for Glory and came up short. It was a good effort but I think the feud suffered from a lack of build as somehow despite the history between the two. Then again it suits the team in a way as they formed out of nowhere, broke up out of nowhere and now face off in their grudge match with nothing really to show for it before hand. Will the two continue to feud? Possibly, certainly Magnus has a bright future in the company; he just needs to get his hands on some gold first.

9th Place: Devon

The first member of Aces and 8s has been officially revealed on air and it is the man who previously departed from TNA over the same contract disputes that saw the Bully stay with the company. I’m more than slightly disappointed that it was Devon rather than Bully who betrayed TNA, but at least it was unexpected, however sometimes things are expected because they are the right or smart thing to do, we’ll just have to wait and see.

10th Place: Joey Ryan

The man who is bringing Sleazy back finally has a full TNA contract, thanks in part to Matt Morgan. I’m glad that TNA have had these two invading fronts unite as before with Morgan, Ryan and Aces & 8s it seemed like TNA was working this ‘outsiders’ angle a little too hard, although having differing forces who could eventually clash isn’t such a bad idea, as long as things go under the radar for a little while. Ryan seems like a good mid-card talent to recruit and with the return of Matt Morgan there is some potential to now pad out the X Division, TV and tag title scenes, as well as by starting to have Aces and 8s compete for titles now that they are officially allowed into the Impact Zone.

(Week 63):

1. Daniel Bryan (274)

2. Alberto Del Rio (254)

3. Robert Roode (235)

4. Cody Rhodes (234)

5. Mark Henry (181)

6. Dolph Ziggler (175)

7. Bully Ray (170)

8. The Miz (169)

9. The Big Show (134)

10. Chris Jericho (125)

The Wright View:

The Jeff Hardy Situation

There are several glaring problems with what went down at Bound for Glory. Now the show itself was a great PPV with some really good matches, however the outcomes of some of those matches make very little sense. The first being with Bully Ray; first he was not allowed into the TNA title match, even after he had pinned both the champion and number one contender in previous weeks. Then there is the fact that he did not turn on Sting in their match, virtually making him a face, especially since his former tag team partner was revealed as being part of Aces & 8s, unless this is some big swerve or TNA is planning something big with Bully the company might have just lost its top face.
Then there is Austin Aries; first they make him a heel a few days before his BFG match, which was a bad move since this match on paper had much more appeal as a face vs. face match, with Hardy trying to redeem himself and Aries trying to do the same, one from his potential retirement last year to now beating one of the biggest names in professional wrestling, the other getting his last chance after failing so badly the last time he held the title. Instead it was simply heel vs. face and the face won. Also Aries had only been turned face in the past six months, a quicker turn around than Punk’s turn, and certainly not enough time for Aries’ face persona to truly run its course, so this was a wasted turn to say the least. What’s more Aries losing the title completely undermines everything that took place between Roode and Aries, what with Roode having such a long reign and then having Aries beat him, only to be beaten himself by his next challenger. Sure Roode can wrestle for the title again, but the whole thing makes no real sense, especially since Hardy himself wasn’t able to beat Roode for the title on a number of occasions.
Then there is the Retarded Enigma himself; first we have what happened on the actual night, where the crowd was so against Hardy that he ended up pulling and Orton and flipped off the fans as he delivered the Swanton Bomb to pick up the victory. You know something is wrong when you purposefully turn a guy heel and it is still the other guy in the ring getting booed, and you certainly don’t want to make that guy your world champion, something that the WWE has never really seemed to get. Apart from his reaction from the crowd there is also his past history with the title, as well as his moving between companies, the guy is untrustworthy and no matter how much merchandise he sells, or how much he has turned himself around you cannot put the championship on this guy, or at least not for very long anyway. Seriously, Hardy has all the downsides of Cena, with none of his impressive work ethic and loyalty, so what are TNA really thinking by putting the belt on Hardy?

IMPACT WRESTLING

Sure Bound for Glory was great but I think it should also be said that the go-home show before the event was also really great in terms of the storyline development going into the PPV and the match quality that was present. Impact really is becoming a place where wrestling matters and there is so much untapped potential for guys to face off against each other, and actually being given the time to display their stuff. TNA is a company full of promise, and while it might make some very, very questionable decisions a lot of the time, you have to hope that they continue to grow and come good in the end, hopefully in time for Linda’s political career to come crashing down while at the same time giving the WWE something they need to compete with.

Austin Aries

While I might not be fully behind the reason or timing for Aries’ heel turn he is also very much like Punk in that he works much better as a heel than a face so no matter what you have to be happy that he is back playing to his strengths, although I’ll repeat my point that I think the guy had a hell of a lot more to explore in his face persona. Aries shattered everyone’s expectations when he came out at the end of Impact and cut a shoot-style promo against Hardy, claiming that all this acting like he wanted to outdo Hardy was the writers’ idea and that he was being held back, which is not untrue. He took some very personal shots at Hardy and left him lying, and he brought up some very good points about his music, which really should have been changed when he won the X-Division title, let alone the World title.

Jobbing Bryan

Now I know that Bryan has become part of this face tag team and is one half of the tag team champions, but it still hurts a guy to lose clean to opponents one after the other, especially when you have him tap out as a submissions specialist, and then lose to a guy who he beat as world champion. Sure you can argue that a guy can lose and still look strong, even as a face, but then why does the WWE never do this with Cena or Sheamus? Why is it okay to job out Bryan clean to heels but not these two? Will we ever see an end to this bias, especially when Bryan seems to be getting an arguably bigger positive reaction from the fans than Cena himself?

Michael McGillicutty on Saturday Morning Slam – This has to be the biggest example of personality that the son of Mr. Perfect has shown since he debuted on WWE TV. This also comes in a week where he had a great match with Seth Rollins for the NXT title, and helps add to the rumours that he is favoured backstage, at least by Triple H. McGillicutty went up against Mysterio on Saturday Morning Slam and really went above and beyond, calling Mysterio a ‘little guy’ over and over again and outright laughing at the former world champion. Of course he ate the pin in the end but the performance was certainly noteworthy, especially when he flexed his biceps and while the crowd booed, and then cheered for a recovering Mysterio, McGillicutty somehow thought they were cheering for him and got really into his posing, stealing a bit from his former tag team partner; David Otunga, proving that in the end all heels really just want to be liked.

That’s all for this week, TNA took most of the chart this week and Hell in a Cell is just around the corner, so we’ll see if any TNA heels can keep a hold of their places. They are fighting a losing battle in some ways as now the WWE has so much content that a wrestler could potentially appear on six shows in a week and so steal a whole bunch of airtime and points in the process. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how things pan out, for now this is James Wright signing off.

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James Wright

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