wrestling / Columns

The Heel Report 11.15.12: The Greatest Respect

November 15, 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.

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: Austin Aries

Perhaps the smallest man in TNA, but also The Greatest Man That Ever Lived, failed to regain his title on Sunday at Turning Point. Still he did put on one hell of a show and helped cement why he clearly should be one of the company’s top heels even with all this other Aces & 8s stuff going on. These two men absolutely destroyed themselves in the main event and made the PPV well worth watching, a special mention has to go to Aries’ employment of the belt height controller that meant that while Hardy was in the ring, reaching for the titles, Aries used his brain and made it so no matter how high Hardy got, he just couldn’t reach those belts. I believe that is a ladder match first, and it also gave Hardy an excuse to bring out an even bigger ladder, so all in all a great spot that worked to everyone’s advantage.

2nd Place: C.M. Punk

Just when you thought the WWE champion couldn’t sink any lower in his attempts to get us to hate him, this week he interrupted the return of Jerry Lawler, specifically to lecture and mock him at the same time. In my opinion the Paul Heyman heart attack bit might have been pushing it a bit too far, but I understand the point, the entity of Punk and Heyman may be on the way to being the most hated heel-manager duo of the last decade by the average fan, and they might even manage to turn some of the IWC against them, which would be a damn fine achievement considering.

3rd Place: The Big Show

It was officially ‘beat up on William Regal week’ for the Big Show, as he decked the English native in his home country, as well as back in the US. I get how this is some good padding to relatively keep the champion and challenger apart before their next PPV match and it keeps the fans firmly on the side of Sheamus, but I’m betting that after the PPV Regal and Sheamus never appear on camera together again, thus the WWE will fail to capitalise on another organic relationship between characters which could really help the company in future storylines, just look at how the exploitation of former relationships has contributed to the forming of Team Hell No and the Rhodes Scholars.

4th Place: Robert Roode

Bobby Rooooooooooo! One lucky SOB if you ask me, walking out on Sunday without eating the pin. After all logically a guy who has been involved in rivalries with all the company’s top faces in the last year in the title picture could stand to sit out for the rest of this one. If you know the spoilers for Impact Wrestling then you know how this makes even less sense. Still Roode managed to beat AJ on Impact and then escape the pinfall at Turning Point so he gets fourth place on the chart, all I can say is poor AJ Styles man.

5th Place: D.O.C.

He might have a terrible name but the former Luke Gallows certainly earned his place on the chart after destroying Sting on Impact and then taking out Joseph Parks on Sunday. I would imagine that he will be going on to face Bully Ray at some point, although surely Ray will be going against Devon first. I am still stinging about the Ray-Parks relationship but at least the match between Parks and Gallows was a nice storyline affair, if not a five-star wrestling classic.

6th Place: Wade Barrett

Still having some rub after his UK exposure, Barrett manages to force his way into sixth place after facing off against Sheamus on Main Event. Barrett has the skills to work with any major face right now and have a great program with them, it is just a shame that they went with Big Show and not Barrett to take the title off Sheamus, after all surely that would shake up the title picture a lot more than having the Giant hold onto the belt.

7th Place: Devon

The Sargent at Arms of Aces & 8s was instrumental in the destruction of Sting this week but he ran into a challenge he just couldn’t measure up to at Turning Point in the form of Kurt Angle. I would complain that Aces & 8s really needed this win to keep up their momentum but honestly if Devon had managed to beat Angle it would be as big an upset as when Cena did it all those times in his first title run. Still they could have had Aces & 8s be more effective at ringside, or at least cause the disqualification. Instead they gave Angle the tap out victory, making Devon look like a joke and the group inept. TNA really needs to stop leaning on RVD and Kurt Angle and giving them meaningless wins when they are already as over as they are ever going to be, it just makes no sense in the long run.

8th Place: Alberto Del Rio

While WWE have the same problem in handing meaningless wins to Randy Orton it is not quite the same in his rivalry with Del Rio, because although Orton has gotten most of the wins against him in their rivalry, I’m not sure how much Del Rio could gain from the wins either. I’m not alone in thinking that the guy has already plateaued in the WWE and should probably just be used in a Kofi Kingston fashion to put other guys over, although Kingston himself might by moving on from that position at some point soon.

9th Place: Daniels & Kazarian

The former world tag team champions of the world were unsuccessful in their attempt to regain their titles at Turning Point, but they put on a damn good show in trying to get them back. This team has to stay together since the tag division honestly has no other teams apart from the champion and these guys. Sort it out TNA, if the WWE can bring back their tag team division then so can you!

10th Place: Joey Ryan

The Big Sleazy joins the list of TNA heels who failed to win a championship at Turning Point. I personally would have put the title on Ryan as RVD really doesn’t need the belt. Although a strong champion can make a division look a lot better, and there aren’t exactly many established guys for TNA to choose from when looking to book the X Division, so maybe having an established champion who can face non-X-Division guys on a regular basis is a good thing, at least for now.

(Week 67):

1. Daniel Bryan (274)

2. Alberto Del Rio (268)

3. Cody Rhodes (245)

4. Robert Roode (242)

5. Dolph Ziggler (189)

6. The Miz (188)

7. Mark Henry (181)

8. Bully Ray (170)

9. The Big Show (170)

10. C.M. Punk (137)

10. Chris Jericho (125)

The Wright View:

Bully Ray’s Face 180*

Now I’m all for the Bully Ray character turning face, it keeps his character fresh and gives an added impact if he does eventually side with Aces & 8s, although that is becoming increasingly unlikely, or at least increasingly more nonsensical if it does happen. The thing that bothers me is his new found respect for Joseph Parks. Apart from Aces & 8s, Parks has only had beef with one man, and that is Bully Ray, and the Bully has responded with a hostile brutality of which you would expect from someone with his namesake. However he came out on Impact and stuck up for Parks to Hogan, now first since when did Hogan start to trust Bully Ray enough to take on his advice? And second since when did Bully Ray become the all-smiles baby-face who would stick up for a non-wrestler and let him go up against someone from Aces & 8s. It would have been more plausible to have the Bully come down and object to Parks facing DOC, and then have Hogan, still wary of Bully Ray, give him the match anyway. Then if that makes the Bully look too harsh in his new face persona, which it shouldn’t anyway since he is the Bully after all, even if he is a face he should still be a bit of a dick, then all you have to do is have him come down during the match at Turning Point, proclaim that he is their because Parks needs his help, and then have Parks do what he did, earn the Bully’s respect a little bit more, and then have Bully come in and make the save for him like he did at the end of the match anyway. As it is now Bully Ray looked far too face-like, when he should be at least still a douchebag, albeit one who is fighting for the right side for once. TNA had the chance to make the Bully Ray character way more compelling, and so far they are flushing that down the toilet by making things far too black and white. Of course this could all be leading to a big payoff where Bully is also in Aces & 8s or something and is just suckering everyone in, but why? They have already taken out Sting, Hogan is no threat, and they were torturing Parks for months, what more does the Bully have to prove? He isn’t even in the title hunt anymore, even though he really should be, the whole thing is getting messier and messier as the weeks progress.

Todd Keneley

This was the announcer’s first PPV for TNA and he did a really good job. I think that the three-man announce team really helped the event as unlike previous occasions we did not just have Tenay going into too much detail or Tazz going on an inane rant, or at least when they did, instead of silence, this guy managed to acknowledge what they said and move things on, at least for the most part. He also asked some interesting questions and gave out facts based on recent storyline that related to the guys in the ring and the situation they were in, so in other words he helped frame the story of the matchups and presented them to the viewer in an understandable way, which is what you want from an announcer really. Instead we usually get some zany guy who is trying to get himself over, or a tired old veteran who just doesn’t care anymore. Maybe it is just because he is the new guy and so freshened up a stale format, but I am looking forward to Keneley sitting in again if he does so at the next PPV.

Miz Goes Face

I don’t believe enough has been done yet to actually put Miz in the face column but he is certainly on his way. Earlier this week Mick Foley hinted about adding Miz to his Survivor Series team so it wasn’t exactly out of the blue, but it is certainly an interesting direction for the WWE to go down. I for one am all for it, when the Miz was at the peak of his title reign I honestly thought he had enough fan support so as to turn face and since then that support has dwindled down to nothing, but the WWE Universe are nothing if not sheep and since the WWE chose an arena close to the Miz’s hometown, and also pairing him with wrestling’s most dysfunctional tag team, gave him just the right atmosphere to recapture that popularity and made him seem like an instantly over face. What’s more it plays into the Survivor Series poster that features the Miz, which Miz himself acknowledged on Raw, and he is now the main focus of the Survivor Series team, being a former teammate of the heels and a former rival of most of the faces; it will be an interesting night. Of course the switch was done on the flimsiest of remarks by Dolph Ziggler, and Miz could revert to his old heel ways by the end of Sunday night, but for now the Miz’s future looks bright as he might be getting his second push into the main event scene as promised, this time as a face, thus giving his character a lot of room to grow and develop.

Tensi

This is what you get for sandbagging The Ryback, Tensi is now jobbing to Justin Gabriel and R-Truth, and we all thought he could be the next big thing. It just goes to show, anything can happen in the WWE (and that’s not always a good thing)!

Cheap Pops:

Gavin Napier lists the best Survivor Series competitors in The Contentious Tem

Craig Wilson recaps the Monday Night Wars in Moments That Changed Wrestling History

Joseph Lee hosts the Horror Knockout Finals in A Bloody Good Time

Ron Martin discusses the Deaths That Should Have Been in A Fool’s Utopia

And finally the 411 staff voice their much disparaged opinions in The Wrestler of the Week

Ricardo Rodriguez on Smackdown – Small highlight this week as Rodriguez took to faux sign-languaging everything that Alberto Del Rio said in his promo, to annoy even the hearing impaired.

That’s all for this week, (The new and improved?) Survivor Series is coming right up and for the third month in a row the WWE has the chance to make some real impact and change the face and direction of the company for years to come. Will they pull the trigger on Ryback? Will they go back to the old proverb that Cena solves everything? Will Ziggler or Miz get a big push from being captains of the Survivor Series teams, and could we even see Ziggler leave the event as the World Heavyweight Champion? Or will the WWE puss out and just keep everything as it is, waiting for the Rock and Brock Lesnar to save them? And how the bloody hell will all this effect the report?! Come back next week to find out, for now this is James Wright signing off.

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James Wright

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