wrestling / Columns

The Heel Report: 01.12.13: Boxing With God

January 12, 2013 | 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: C.M. Punk

The top heel in professional wrestling this week is without a doubt C.M. Punk, not only did he successfully defend his WWE title in a brutal TLC match with the Ryback, but he also brought it verbally to the Rock to end the first Raw of 2013. There has been a lot of buzz already over this exchange and how it was like an old school promo, but before we get to that I just want to talk about the look on Punk’s face when he took the title down at the end of the TLC match. The smug look that Punk delivered looked priceless and summed up his current character as the heel who thinks he is the Best in the World, it also added weight to his later comments that in beating people to defend his title he is beating the system and all of us, he loves holding the belt and he loves spitting in the faces of all those fans who want him to lose to their favourite faces. All this is also important because it adds to what was not said this week, that being that if Punk loses the title to Rock at the Rumble it really will be a terrible blow for him, it will mean that the system won, that a guy who has wrestled two matches since Punk became champion would have come in and taken what is his, he will no longer be the Best in the World, instead it will be the guy from Hollywood, the man of the people, the guy who sums up this philosophy that the WWE is a popularity contest, of course in reality it is but in kayfabe that is just plain wrong. To me the whole last hour of Raw was really great in how it developed this idea that losing to the Rock would make Punk sick, and the best part is that they never had to explicitly say that, unlike the Rock and Cena situation where it was said explicitly nearly every week and in the end the loss meant nothing.
Now onto the Rock-Punk promo itself, led in by the great line of how Brodus Clay has to touch the crowd’s filthy, ugly little children, and a nice shout out to Tyson Kidd. Part of me is sore that the Rock got a Rock Bottom on Punk, not that he didn’t have it coming due to the GTS that Rock took last time, but I just wish it could have been done in some other way as Punk was just standing there when he took it, how could he not escape? I’m not sure if him getting locked in and then escaping wouldn’t have been just as effective, Rock could have still grabbed the belt , said ‘this close’ as many often do and then toss the belt back to Punk, it’s a little gripe but it just bothered me. Still the comments themselves were golden, especially from Punk, although Popeye on crack is a pretty accurate way to describe Punk’s look, it has personally always bothered me that the only straight-edge representations I have seen in the media all look like scag-heads, which doesn’t exactly support their philosophy of their lifestyle being better for their bodies.
The highlight of the segment though has to be the ‘boxing with god’ comment from Punk, I don’t think I have seen a report on the show that hasn’t quoted that line and that is because it was golden, especially since it was delivered in such a way that made it clear that what Punk was saying was true, that the Rock has now graduated from the Kiddie Table and is now in the ring with a real wrestler, not a Vanilla Ice Fruity Pebble wannabe superstar. Sure the Rock came back with some pretty nice tattoo orientated comments but in the end you have to say that Punk won the confrontation right there, now I’m just interested to see what happens next week on the 20th Anniversary of Raw.

2nd Place: Wade Barrett

After that massive rant I am going to try to keep these next entries short and sweet. Here is a list of the men that Wade Barrett beat this week; JTG, Justin Gabriel, Yoshi Tatsu, Kofi Kingston & Santino Marella, five guys, pretty impressive in any week. Sure they barely rank above jobber status, especially after the KO punch that Kofi took on Raw in his minute match with the Big Show, but it is still impressive, I just wonder if his confrontation with The Dragon is actually going to go anywhere?

3rd Place: The Shield

In case you didn’t see it the Shield managed to take out nearly the entire NXT roster before eventually backing down when Big E. came out, this made them look over beyond belief and wasn’t a complete travesty since two of these men have basically ruled FCW before and Roman Reigns looked to be a top prospect. Then on Raw they once again attacked the Ryback and cost him the WWE title. Some people have been questioning this and wondering what the Shield’s motivations are, honestly I am holding judgement on this until the entire truth comes out. Sure if it somehow is made to look like they have just been working for Punk all along then it will be pretty weak due to the sheer amount of other random attacks they have perpetrated thus far, although you could attribute that to them trying to distance themselves from Punk and Heyman, as Heyman would have ordered them to do as a smart business man, and as he did the same to Brad Maddox this week on Raw. Then again if they are just a renegade group then the attack on Ryback makes perfect sense when you consider what he did to Rollins at TLC, since then Ryback has barely competed and certainly this was his most high stakes match since that time, so why wouldn’t you wait until then to get some sweet, sweet revenge? Especially when there is a convenient table located close to your victim?

4th Place: Antonio Cesaro

Cesaro wrestled Khali twice this week and hit the Neutralizer on him both times. I’m glad that the WWE had the forethought to book this match for both Main Event and Raw as while the title was only on the line on the lesser show it meant they could show a much bigger audience base the impressive feat of strength that Cesaro pulled off against his mammoth opponent to retain his title, otherwise all that effort was actually for very little. Cesaro looks set for great things in 2013.

5th Place: Dolph Ziggler

Another man seemingly destined for great things in the coming year is the Zig Zag man, who had a fantastic match with Cena to kick off Raw and totally called him for his annoying attitude of laughing off any loses and hoping that they go away. While it will probably end in it blowing up in his face I truly hope that Ziggler can win the Rumble match at the end of this month. However just like the end of this match it will probably result in a quick AA and Ziggler will be out, leaving Cena unnecessarily victorious.

6th Place: The Rhodes Scholars

Once again the two facial hair wearing scholars get the win over the tag team champions when it doesn’t matter. Honestly I feel like we have seen these two teams square off far too often with no real change in format, I’d definitely prefer them to have some interaction in the Rumble rather than another tag match for the titles at the PPV. To me the WWE had their chance to make the title change and that was on Main Event the last time, now it just seems like it’s too little, too late.

7th Place: The Big Show

The World champ usually has the opportunity to earn more points but a loss on Smackdown and appearing for a minute on Raw really hurt his standings, still there is always next week.

8th Place: DOC

Further proof of how hard it is for a TNA heel to get into a high position on the chart with the WWE having so much air time to fill. The former Luke Gallows chewed out Mr. Anderson, challenged Sting and attacked Kurt Angle a pretty good night for a guy who still hasn’t really found his fee in the company, it’s certainly no pipe-bomb though.

9th Place: Bad Influence

I like this team more and more each week, although they would probably do a lot better if they could actually win a match or two. Still the Cowboy impression this week was almost worth the Last Call.

10th Place: Eve

It’s a shame the Divas division is in such a bad way at the moment as Eve is actually trying to become a decent heel as of late. She is channelling Madison Rayne with her Queen Bee routine and her posing after victories with her fallen foes is a nice touch. She didn’t get to do so this week as she took the easy count out to retain her title but nevertheless she is making the best of a bad situation.

(Week 75):

1. Alberto Del Rio (281)

2. Daniel Bryan (274)

3. Robert Roode (263)

4. Cody Rhodes (259)

5. Dolph Ziggler (248)

6. The Big Show (222)

7. C.M. Punk (188)

8. The Miz (188)

9. Mark Henry (181)

10. Bully Ray (170)

The Wright View:

Cena’s Opening Address

Cena kicked off Raw and wasn’t it fantastic?! We had clever jokes and witty remarks that I thought would never end! You’ve got to love the WWE for having Cena get us all hyped up every week! And this example of pointless sarcasm is what I heard dripping from every syllable of Cena’s opening speech this week where he put over the Rock’s appearance. Now if he was a heel then this would completely make sense, he is bitter about his old rival coming back and taking his spotlight, but as a face that type of attitude needs to be checked at the door. Hell maybe he honestly wasn’t being sarcastic, but that is almost worse because it just confirms that he can’t deliver an ‘electrifying’ promo without sounding wooden and fake like he doesn’t believe or give a crap about what he is saying. Honestly I wanted to devote this space this week to complaining about how both Hardy and Cena were awarded their respective company’s wrestler of the year award but honestly those awards mean very little whether they are fixed or truly do come down to fan votes. It just shows that the majority of the general public are sheep who eat up whatever the promotion wants them to, or that the companies aren’t listening to the fans and continue to promote their ‘golden boys’ regardless of what people are saying or what actually makes sense.

People are always on my case about why I have so much beef with these two but it’s pretty plain to see, they bring the quality of the shows down way more than they contribute to them and them being on top of their respective companies just goes to show that they are happy with this situation and that there is no one better to take their place, at least in their eyes, and that saddens me in general and infuriates me in specific instances such as this. Honestly every time Cena kicks off a Raw I just know he is going to trivialise everything that has taken place that week and everything that is coming up on the show, the guy just doesn’t seem to care anymore, at least when it comes to his mic work…

Cena selling Dolph Style

Which brings me to the surprise part of the report where I actually have something good to say about John Cena! While the end of his match with Ziggler was pretty annoying due to the context and it being just another needless example of Cena’s effortless triumphs, the content of the match itself was pretty brilliant. Not only did we get move after move and counter after counter but you had Cena actually selling a few moves that Dolph delivered, and boy did he sell them. I am tempted to think that Cena, in his own subtle passive-aggressive way was trying to poke fun at Ziggler by exaggerating some of the moves Ziggler delivered, like a kick that send Cena hurtling into the ringpost or the splash just after it that sent him rolling across the ring. But if this is the case then the joke is on him because he actually looked good while doing it and it generally improved my enjoyment of the match because it didn’t just feel like the usual Cena squash. I can almost live with Cena triumphing against all odds just so long as I don’t feel the same numbing inevitability each time and his opponent legitimately looks like he has a shot at victory.

Jerry Lawler Back as Heel Commentator

Now this one is perhaps jumping the gun quite a bit as it was just a subtle shift, but it was there. While Cole has mostly become a face announcer again, calling out the heels on their bullshit and so on, Lawler is gradually starting to make excuses for them in response. In the Eve-Kaitlyn match he almost started sounding like his old self, giving props to Eve and questioning whether she was actually in the wrong. Hopefully it is just a matter of time before we get back to the old standard of Cole being the nerdy face commentator and King making ridiculous excuses and statements in support of the heel, which were all in good fun. Honestly it was when the two switched dynamics that things started to go south; Cole too unlikeable and King too unmotivated, but I have faith that if they both wen t back to the way things were that we might actually have a bit of decent announcing on Raw from the duo, certainly better than the job they have been doing for the past five years certainly.

Big E. Speaks

That first emphatic statement when he grabbed the mic made me want to put this in the previous section, it was so forceful and you felt like a major promo was about to go down. Then the Big E. paused, whether from nerves or for dramatic effect, and he just lost it, the tension was gone and he spoke a few words that didn’t really make too much sense and left me confused until I realised that somehow what he had meant was that he had accepted the match on Ziggler’s behalf so Ziggler would have to wrestle Cena. Now maybe this is partly my fault because I was expecting Big E. to challenge Cena himself so the situation itself confused me, but honestly he could have made it clearer. Also Langston accepting for Ziggler makes it look like he is in charge and it is far too early for that debate to come up, it makes Ziggler look weak and it hurts this newly formed alliance. Big E. is still damned impressive with his strength and stature and I’m sure he isn’t that bad on the mic once he gets going, after all the start of the promo had that ‘IT’ factor, he just needs to take the deep breath before he starts talking, not half way through his speech.

Cheap Pops:

Nick Marsico comes to us with The Tuesday Communique

Our illustrious leader Larry Csonka gives us the Top 10 PPV Performers of 2012 in My Take On…

Scott Rutherford is your host as The End of Year Awards start here! And they continue here!

And finally as always the 411 staff give you The Wrestler of the Week

That’s all for this week, Genesis is coming up so expect next week to be more TNA heavy as the heels actually have a chance to appear as much as those from the WWE, but who knows, if Punk continues on the way that he did this week he could top the chart again, or will a title win by Roode or Aries restore them to their rightful places at the top of the chart? Come back next week to find out, for now this is James Wright signing off.


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