The Heel Report: 12.27.12: Christmas Cheer
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: Dolph Ziggler
Who would have guessed that the WWE would have actually gone through with it and finally given Ziggler his chance to shine. I don’t buy any of this rubbish about how Ziggler should have won clean at TLC as he is still a heel and this is still John Cena we are talking about here. Instead they gave him the victory thanks to AJ Lee, and luckily this wasn’t made out to be a fluke or a random act, instead at the beginning of Smackdown this week the WWE made it clear that Ziggler, AJ and Big E. were all connected and working together. This grouping looks really good to me, with Ziggler at the head and Big E, while a powerhouse, far too new to steal the spotlight from Ziggler any time soon, and of course AJ, who is pretty much the biggest diva in the WWE at this point and while she has been associated with heels so far she has never actually been a heel herself, so it is a great new direction for her. Ziggler looks set to make a big impact in 2013 and his segments on Raw with AJ only serve to confirm that, Ziggler looks to be with people he can bounce off of now, rather than Vickie who would either dominate their promos or act as dead weight depending on the circumstances. Mark my words; 2013 will be the year of the Zig Zag man.
2nd Place: AJ Lee
Now this is a judgement call as originally I planned to put AJ and Dolph together as a unit, and maybe they will be next week. But for now I wanted to give AJ her time to shine as she really showed how far she has come in the last year this week. Her reasons for turning on Cena make complete sense to me as since she is a woman who has been lied to and belittled by men all year it makes sense that a guy who is seemingly looking out for her best interests, although acting like a tool while doing so, could easily be mistaken for a guy who is leading her on and abusing her trust. Now of course you could argue that Ziggler was much more abusive to her, but she is crazy and maybe she gets off on that, and what’s more above all else he never tried to lie to her or shelter her, and he’s all about stealing the other guy’s girl, so to me it all fits, even though this angle has obviously been thrown together last minute. Retrospective manipulation is a good enough justification to me! AJ looks set to be a great female heel, like a less slutty Lita to Dolph’s less Rated-R Edge, the only problem is that there isn’t really anyone for her to wrestle against when the time comes for her to get her in-ring comeuppance, unless of course they start feuding her with Paige at some point.
3rd Place: C.M. Punk
Punk pulled a bit of a generic heel act this week, with promos on both Smackdown and Raw insulting women and the hometown sports team, but delivering these promos and not having to back them up in the ring helped him retain enough points to make it to the third place on the chart after having several weeks of slipping. I’m quite confused as to why the WWE insisted on keeping Punk off of TLC and yet are now throwing him into the same match with Ryback on next week’s Raw, I get that he is further removed from his surgery but if they are serious about keeping Punk healthy before his match with the Rock then this seems like a bit too big of a risk so close to the match itself. Although you could say that at least they are giving the fans what they want and if Punk loses at the Royal Rumble he can gripe about being made to compete after his injury and the further ‘injuries’ sustained in TLC. Then again this won’t exactly make a victorious Rock look all that great and they have been making a habit of booking themselves into a corner so who knows what their plans are at this point.
4th Place: Big Show
Big Show didn’t have the most successful week, but he is still the World Champion and he has been taking much more of a focus than he could have been otherwise. Show has surprisingly stayed in the main event focus since turning heel all those months ago, going from a feud with Cena to fighting for the world title with Sheamus. I don’t think anyone expected Big Show to still be champion right now and I am wondering if they are going to give him another opponent any time soon or if he will once again be facing off against Sheamus at the Royal Rumble.
5th Place: The Rhodes Scholars
Again not such a successful week for the Rhodes Scholars, but they still had a major heel presence and gave as good as they got on the microphone. However they did lose their tag team title match on Main Event and then their two singles matches with Daniel Bryan and Kane on Raw, so things are not boding well for the eloquent and educated duo, but at least Cody’s moustache is super over.
6th Place: Austin Aries
When you are in a company that has barely three hours of programming at best on an average week it is hard for even a talented heel like Aries to get a fair shake on the chart. Hell maybe I should just start doing things based on personal opinion, then Aries would probably head up the chart most weeks, instead of just when TNA has a PPV. Take this week for example, he had a great title match with Jeff Hardy and more importantly lampooned Hardy’s inner monologues during a backstage promo, something that has been needed since they started since they are so very stupid!
7th Place: Antonio Cesaro
It looks like Cesaro’s bubble has finally burst, while in previous weeks the US champ has been mostly protected and gotten numerous wins over lesser faces, this week he was fed to the sharks in the form of John Cena and Ryback, hell he couldn’t even win a tag match against Miz and Kingston! Still he is the US champion and he has been getting some major mileage out of his anti-American gimmick, I just hope that he can move on from here and not get stuck in lower mid-card hell once he loses the title like guys like Mcintyre have done in the past after looking so promising.
8th Place: Devon
The TV champ defended his title successfully this week and helped to take out Kurt Angle in the process. So far Devon is still the highest ranking revealed member of Aces & 8s and I have yet to see anything great from him. Now TNA has generally improved this year but if you compare the development of Aces & 8s, an invading entity of relative unknowns, to the arrival of the Shield in the WWE it is easy to see which group has made the bigger impact and has the brighter future. But still the biker gang could definitely be a mainstay of TNA, they just need to have a more defined presence and maybe not rely on guys who have no real connection with the audience right now.
9th Place: Jesse & Tara
A nice heel title defence this week, beating out Eve’s defence through sheer shenanigans. Tara is doing alright as Knockouts champ but the division still feels like it is shrinking rather than developing and pretty soon she is going to find herself either dropping the title to Velvet or running out of challengers. I still have hope that she will end up facing off against a returning Awesome Kong, despite there being no word of a possible return at this point.
10th Place: The Shield
Noticeable by their absence on Raw the Shield only managed to scrape their way onto the bottom of the chart on what was a very competitive week from all involved. Now personally I would have thought they would have been a better choice for the attack on Santa than Alberto Del Rio but I suppose his remorse and ‘fun’ match with Cena go some way to confirming him as a face in the eyes of the fans, so that’s something at least. Still the trio did manage to take out Sin Cara, Brodus Clay and Rey Mysterio off-camera, and this was a slow week for them, imagine what they can do in a week where they are the main focus!
1. Alberto Del Rio (281)
2. Daniel Bryan (274)
3. Robert Roode (255)
4. Cody Rhodes (255)
5. Dolph Ziggler (237)
6. The Big Show (208)
7. The Miz (188)
8. Mark Henry (181)
9. C.M. Punk (171)
10. Bully Ray (170)
The Wright View:
An Abundance of Holiday Cheer
Now some of the things that happened on Raw were amusing and maybe after all that has been going on as of late we needed a bit of holiday cheer, still there are some things that I could have done without. For example the holiday sing-a-long made some sense at the beginning of Saturday Morning Slam as that is solidly a kids show, but at the beginning of Raw it felt a little too out of place, the same thing goes for the running over of Santa and the poorly animated cartoon to kick off the show. It’s interesting that the WWE decided to kiddie things up so much considering last week it looked like they were taking a more adult-orientated turn, not necessarily non-PG but more borderline than before. What really struck me though was the way that the WWE put across the running over of Santa, with constant updates and a painfully long period of time where they were stretchering the guy out of the arena. It was as if they were trying to parody the heart-attack of Jerry Lawler and to me that is just kind of sick when you think that the WWE are trying to appeal to a target audience of kids, many of whom might take this as seriously as the Lawler heart-attack incident, although this time it was mother frickin’ Santa! Sure the guy gave a thumbs up at the end of it all and the musical heart-beat later on in the show was actually pretty funny, but honestly I’m not sure it if was all worth it to traumatise some kids at Christmas by making them think that Santa was critical and could go at any minute, to me this sounds like something that seemed to be funny in the office but when you look at it actually happening you realise it doesn’t really appeal to kids or adults since it is too graphic for one and to unrealistic and un-interesting for the other and just ends up alienating a bunch of your audience, so overall not a great move in my opinion.
Kane Eats Dogs
Something that I did think was great about the Christmas edition of Raw was the backstage segment between Team Hell No, who are finally bonding now after their run-in with the Shield. Daniel Bryan got a Slammy from Kane, which references back to last week when he was desperate for one, despite having won two online, perhaps the online wins don’t actually result in a physical award. But it was Daniel Bryan’s gift to Kane that was really great, getting him a frankly weird looking dog and then having Kane proceed to think that it was something for him to snack on was great considering Bryan’s sensibilities to animals and just served to highlight the remaining gulf between the odd couple tag team, and it was just damn funny, after all why shouldn’t a freak like Kane think that the gift of a dog was anything more than a tasty snack? Nice one WWE.
Christmas with AJ & Dolph
Once again the WWE got something right on the holiday edition of Raw and that was to put this new power couple in centre focus but to not expose them to any sort of comeuppance from John Cena or the like. Vignettes of these two gloating over what they did at TLC was great and showed that they have already formed a bond over the screwing over of Cena at the event and it really sold them as the two new dastardly heels of Raw, ensuring that Ziggler will at least have something to do before he cashes in for the World title at some point, a point that I reckon will end up being at Wrestlemania if things continue on the way they have been in the World title picture. The question is by then will Dolph be too big of a presence to keep on Smackdown? Or will he simply dominate the blue brand in the coming year? Or am I just blowing smoke and these new developments won’t lead to a Ziggler revolution like I think they will? We’ll just have to all wait and see. Also I want to give a special mention to AJ on Smackdown when she showed the video package of Cena making fun of her homemade bows, a great way to manipulate the events after they took place and make Cena look like a douche for mocking her efforts to garner his affections.
Tensi has appeared a few times in this section, but perhaps no other time has it been worse than this week where he has lost to Santino in a straight match. Now I know that at one time Santino was a great IC champion, and he even came close to winning the world title once upon a time, but now is not that time and if Tensi is losing to the guy then there really is no hope for him. I mean who is next to beat the guy, Hornswaggle? Is he going to be the new Chavo and have a ridiculously lopsided feud with the little leprachaun? I sure as hell hope not, either way though it might be time for Matt Bloom to cut his losses and head back to Japan as the WWE clearly have nothing for him at this point.
Check out TNA in PPV in 2012 in My Take
And the WWE version in My Take Once Again
Joseph Lee gives us his predictions for the top horror movies of 2013 in A Bloody Good Time
The 411 staff give their own predictions for the New Year in The Top 5
And round out the holiday season with The Wrestler of the Week
Brad Maddox on Raw – There were a number of holiday heel highlights as Big Show got into the festive spirit by singing to Sheamus in his Lumber-Jack Frost match, as well as Cesaro saying Merry Christmas before he threw Kingston in their match, however to me the best bit of holiday related heel humour this week comes from Brad Maddox, who when faced with the Great Khali after being told that all he had to do to earn a WWE contract was to beat one of Santa’s elves, declared: “You’re not an elf!” I found this hysterical and it is moments like that when I can see a future for this young guy, perhaps not as a top star in the company, but at least at the level of a David Otunga where he has a place and a purpose and can be amusing on a weekly basis, despite not being successful once again in his quest for a WWE contract, so well done sir!
That’s all for this week, next week the Heel Report should be appearing just after the New Year so I will be doing a ‘best of’ awards then. There is still time to get in your votes for your favourite heel of the year if you are into that sort of thing so let your voices be heard in the comments down below! For now though this is James Wright signing off.