The Heel Report: 12.07.12: Educators and Imitators
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: Damien Sandow
The Intellectual Saviour of the Unwashed Masses used his keen intellect to propel him all the way to the top of the chart. While his quest for an apprentice isn’t anywhere near as edgy as Punk’s recruitment of disciples for the S.E.S., it does have the same appeal of bringing in an ‘anonymous fan’ from the crowd, which could set Sandow up for all kinds for crazy misadventures, or at least give him multiple opportunities to denounce and humiliate the members of the WWE Universe. Sandow also had another great match with a top talent in the form of John Cena, the ‘Ultimate Superstar’ as the latest issue of WWE Magazine has dubbed him. Sandow upped his game by performing not just one, but three cartwheels during his match with Cena and looks to be continuing this display of arrogance as he also did so in his match with Santino on Raw, Monday Night. The only problem is that despite his spot at the top of the chart, Sandow has yet to be booked for a match at the TLC PPV, and with his Rhodes Scholars partner gone and Team Hell No involved in a six-man tag already I’m not sure who he would be able to go up against.
2nd Place: Austin Aries
You know you are on top in TNA when you can avoid getting pinned in a title match by RVD. Aries seems to be making good use of TNA’s non-PG rating as he continues to jab at the Hogans, which could easily lead to an interesting twist on the Summer of Punk angle where the only man who can stop Hardy from leaving the company with the belt is the man Hogan hates the most; Austin Aries. Whatever the case Aries is definitely been channelling Punk since he turned heel and hopefully he will be able to go back into the title picture after Roode gets another shot. Although this would mean that the TNA title scene will have been dominated by the same three men for the past six months, but I suppose since TNA is usually in a state of flux this is pretty much a good thing at this point.
3rd Place: Antonio Cesaro
Cheeky Strongman Cesaro muscles his way into third place after defending his US title in a Fatal-4-Way match on Raw. Cesaro is working the classic anti-American gimmick, but what has really gotten people talking is his work in the ring and in the end that is much more important as the ability to put on a great match to me speaks of the guy’s main event potential. For all the talking that is needed in professional wrestling, and Cesaro isn’t exactly terrible in this department, in the end the ability to put on great matches is what wins out in the end, or at least it should be. Apart from anything else I think that Cesaro should perhaps go face at some point soon, after all he can back himself up in the ring and he carries himself with a sense of dignity I could really see him owning it as a face champion.
4th Place: Dolph Ziggler
Well after TLC Ziggler will either be the guy who beat Cena in what potentially could be a main event match on PPV, or he will go back to being the guy that makes everyone else look good, but never really gets a shot himself to shine. I am definitely hoping for the former and hell if Ziggler can beat Cena and then go on to win the world title with a successful run then he could really cement himself in the main event, but will the WWE let it happen? Only time will tell.
5th Place: The Shield
I’m going to say it right now; I am a big fan of the Shield, already. Them looking over the arena from the skybox just worked, and then as they gradually came down to the ring, Cole actually playing up quite well the idea that you couldn’t keep track of them if you were in the ring, there really seemed to be a sense of anticipation and peril. All three men seem like they have a decent shot at holding their own in the ring once they break away from these seemingly random run-ins, and now they have a big chance to prove themselves against Ryback and Team Hell No in a TLC match. Whether it be luck or fate The Shield have actually been debuted with a sense of surprise and escalation that fits a major stable and a dominant win at the PPV would establish them as a force to be reckoned with, and one that came out of nowhere at that.
6th Place: C.M. Punk
The WWE Champion had a pretty bad week. First he had to put up with a ‘face’ Miz, who really needs to adjust his attitude just a little bit. I dig the arrogant face rather than just a bland and smiley nice guy, but you still have to come off as likeable, or at least more likeable than the guy you are standing across from. Perhaps the problem is Punk himself, despite being the guy that should be the top heel in the company and creative seemingly trying their hardest to get him to be hated by the fans, he still acts too cool for school and some fans will always like that. Then there is his emergency surgery that he had to go through, insuring that he will miss the main event of TLC in favour of keeping him healthy for his match with the Rock at the Royal Rumble. I find it interesting that last year TLC saw one of the few Cena-less PPVs in 2011 and now it will be the host of a Punk-less PPV in 2012, although I’m not sure how much the absence of one top star really effects the overall PPV buys and if we can really take away anything from the numbers once they come in. Still this does mean that Punk’s title reign is guaranteed to stay intact and it gives the Shield a chance to shine soon after their debut, which I for one think is a great thing.
7th Place: Alberto Del Rio
While I think that Miz suffered against Punk on the mic I also believe that he could do very well by going against this guy. Del Rio is bland and arrogant and a loud-mouthed Miz annoying him and calling him out on his bullshit could really help him get over as a face. Also Del Rio has nothing to do for the PPV so why not put these two together somehow, at least another loss on PPV might actually do some good this time for the Mexican Aristocrat…and yet he will almost certainly remain at the top of the Rolling Chart heading into the end of 2012, kill me.
8th Place: Wade Barrett
Barrett’s Barrage hasn’t been all that forceful this week, although he has remained confident and could easily take the IC title away from Kofi Kingston at TLC. I still think that Barrett deserves to be in the World title picture, but that with the current heel-face dynamic as it is he might have to wait quite a while before he gets a legitimate shot at the big gold belt.
9th Place: Robert Roode
The number one contender and longest reigning TNA World heavyweight champion has been playing second fiddle to Austin Aries over the past couple of weeks, still he is challenging for the title, and we can only hope that he will be successful. I would pretty much support anyone against Jeff Hardy, even if it were Robbie T who was facing off against him. Hardy just rubs me up the wrong way, even if he wasn’t a drug addict and completely screwed up the whole Immortal angle and ruined the Victory Road PPV in 2011, the guy is just a douche, plain and simple.
10th Place: 3MB
Mostly making it into the chart due to the efforts of Jinder Mahal on NXT this week, still I have to count it as 3MB since on the main show these three guys are as thick as thieves. Imagine how jealous these guys must be when they look at the Shield, a group with arguably the exact same structure as them and with much less on-air experience in the WWE. Now Mahal is squaring off against Rollins on NXT TV, which is far too behind the actually TV product at this point that in NXT land neither stable exists, so I do wonder if when it comes to the next set of TV tapings they will actually have the two groups acknowledged and feuding, as it would be interesting and while it might not work for Smackdown or Raw it could be a pretty big deal for NXT, you wouldn’t even have to worry about which group is heel and which is face as they don’t seem to care now about the inconsistency of them not existing now, so who cares what their alignments are on the show in a few weeks.
1. Alberto Del Rio (281)
2. Daniel Bryan (274)
3. Robert Roode (247)
4. Cody Rhodes (245)
5. Dolph Ziggler (216)
6. The Miz (188)
7. The Big Show (184)
8. Mark Henry (181)
9. Bully Ray (170)
10. C.M. Punk (159)
10. Wade Barrett (135)
The Wright View:
Fire Michael Cole!
I’m going to hold off on complaining about Cena pinning Ziggler in the middle of the ring again considering that their match at TLC might see him win and all these losses will be worth it, although if that’s not the case and Cena takes his briefcase after these losses then there will be some serious pissing and moaning on my end. Instead I want to focus on the man who seems to stumble over facts and names every week and seriously cannot do his job anymore. Case in point, while Cole solid their coming down to the ring, when it came to introducing the members of this hot new stable he stumbled and showed just how little he cared when he called Dean Ambrose; Daniel Ambruce! Now I get that he was probably distracted by Daniel Bryan and got confused, but this happens every week, and for fans who don’t pay attention to the internet and only watch the product itself this was one of the first times they were hearing the guy’s name, a guy who could be a future top star in the company if all goes well for him. Cole is the main source of information for these fans and each week he seems to suck and blow at something and frankly am just sick of all the sucking and blowing that I have to suffer through each week from this guy, I think we all are!
Up the Arse!
This is perhaps only a little plus and it is certainly a dated reference, but I honestly never thought I would hear a Father Ted reference on Monday Night Raw so I think it is worth celebrating. Both Sheamus and Miz somewhat broke the PG barrier on Raw, perhaps as a means of the WWE testing the waters as to how to reclaim their dwindling audience. Personally I don’t care about blood and brutality in matches, but I wouldn’t mind a few more immature jokes and swears on the product as to me wrestling is already base entertainment, so why not include this type of humour. After all if you look at wrestling as linked to Greek performance art, an aspect of my current dissertation, Greek Comedy was the rudest and crudest form of comedy, and yet it is now considered high art, not to mention Shakespeare, so if it is good enough for them, then why not the WWE?
This might seem like a strange thing to cite as a positive, but really the more I think about it the more I can’t see who this hurts and can only find positives. Let’s look at Punk; he gets to take some time off and deal with a nagging injury that has been plaguing him for some time, he also gets to keep his title intact for certain until his match with the Rock at the Royal Rumble, after all who cares about the 30-day title rule, since when has anyone in the wrestling industry really paid attention to that unless it conveniently comes in handy for a storyline? Then there is the Shield, who find themselves in a big match, potentially a main event match, at a PPV where little is on the line so not much for them to lose and yet everything for them to gain in terms of exposure for their group. Ryback still gets his main event, and might even get to win now as he certainly wasn’t taking the title off of Punk just before he faces the Rock at the Rumble. The only loser appears to be Damien Sandow, who might have faced off against Hell No at the event, but what with his partner injured already that was probably not going to happen anyway so really this is one absence that should have a positive effect all round and I think that is pretty awesome considering how injuries like this can usually mess things up quite considerably.
This was creepy, disturbing and utterly pointless, what’s more at one point I thought the two might kiss and I threw up in my mouth a little bit. Honestly I think they were going for some kind of intense hatred between the two, but in the end who cares if these non-wrestling characters have beef with one another. I never want to see this image again!
Ronny Sarnecky gives a great retrospective on the first five years of Thuganomics in The Piledriver Report
Joesph Lee gives the first half of his most memorable minor horror characters in A Bloody Good Time
Some Olds with Nick Marsico in The Tuesday Communique
And some relative news with Sean Kelly in the Thursday Sports Entertainment News Report
Fiddle-tee-dee, it’s the 411 Staff again as we get to vote and you get to bitch in The Wrestler of the Week
That’s all for this week, TNA have another PPV soon, although the name escapes me at the moment, and what’s more most of the matches escape me as I don’t think there are all that many set as of yet. I’m glad TNA are getting rid of some of their PPVs as I think 12-13 in one year is pushing it, especially in this economic climate and at a time where professional wrestling isn’t exactly the hottest topic. Besides which, most of their attention comes from the UK and we here in merry old England don’t have to pay for their PPVs anyway so they aren’t exactly getting the best deal from their biggest fan base from a monetary stand point, now taking the effort that goes into producing those three PPVs and putting them into a mega live show in the UK, now that is something I could get behind. Now maybe it wouldn’t be as big a seller as a WWE PPV in the UK, but TNA are steadily garnering more respect and as such I would imagine that a UK audience might be pretty interested if a TNA PPV came to town, especially if that town happened to be Birmingham, since I could actually attend without too much bother, so it’s win-win from my standpoint, but then again I am a selfish bastard. For now this is James Wright signing off.