wrestling / Columns

The Heel Report 11.08.12: Top 10 Heels of the Week

November 8, 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: The Big Show

The new world champion has done a great job of making himself look like he really deserved the title and while no one predicted him walking out of Hell in a Cell with the title I certainly wouldn’t be surprised now if he retained at Survivor Series. Show did a great job on Smackdown of looking like a force to be reckoned with, acting as ring general in his tag match with Miz and showing just how far he has come since the days of Show-Miz. He did an even better job on Raw while sitting in on commentary; he was just the right amount of jovial and threatening to convince me that this year’s monster champion run might perhaps be in his hands, continuing the tradition that Kane and Mark Henry have laid out for him.

2nd Place: Wade Barrett

The English-born superstar lucked out this week, and probably next week too since the WWE has come to the UK, and here Barrett appears to be super over. He laid a decent amount of groundwork to get into second place though, running through Tyson Kidd on Superstars and then taking out Orton with a quick pin on Smackdown. In merry old England he easily got the biggest reaction of the night, picked up a win over the de-funked Funkasaurus and being put on Team Ziggler for Survivor Series, which is great since as many people pointed out he really should have been on the team as he has some decent momentum and nothing to do at the moment. However the negatives of how the WWE have negotiated this change might outweigh the positives, but I’ll get to that later.

3rd Place: The Miz

Barrett took the place of the ‘most must-see superstar of all time’, the Miz. I’m not sure as of yet why the WWE swapped the two men out, as with Kingston still in the match the Miz is now the one left with nothing to do, while also being the face of the PPV. I really hope the Miz gets to play some kind of role in the event since he was in the main event last year and as I say, he is the guy on the poster. Well the WWE have one more week to fix this booking decision, so let’s see what they come up with.

4th Place: Antonio Cesaro

The US champ defended his title in a great match on NXT against Tyson Kidd. He now looks to be going up against R-Truth, most likely at Survivor Series for the title. The question is whether or not he will go on to facing a returning Jack Swagger, or aimlessly drop the title to R-Truth, and just how much shit was Cranky Vince stirring when he named Swagger as the star who had asked for his release?

5th Place: Daniels & Kazarian

Ah the old classic TNA heel move of attacking the Spanish announce team, this time with even more relevance as a member of the Guerrero family is actually one half of the TNA tag team champions right now. I can only guess what TNA is going to do after their match at Turning Point.

6th Place: Dolph Ziggler

So from a potential program with John Cena to team captain at Survivor Series, I don’t know which one would have benefitted the Show Off more in the long run but at least he will actually be on the card this time, unlike last time where he had to make do with simply being dumped out of the ring by Cena on the pre-show. To be fair this is probably the best thing to happen to Ziggler as while we can all hope that Cena would put him over in a fiercely contested matchup it is much more likely that he would be booked much like the Miz was when he and Cena first faced off, and that wasn’t pretty.

7th Place: Matt Morgan

Donning that golden cape really has seemingly taken Morgan to another level as he delivered a great promo on Impact and looks to be set for big things in the company, hopefully playing as a wild card force in the Impact Roster vs. Aces & 8s storyline. With Hulk Hogan firmly behind the Blueprint you have to believe that Morgan will be in the title hunt before too long, and this time he might actually win the damn thing.

8th Place: The Rhodes Scholars

Not the best week for arguably the best tag team in the WWE today (who thought this time last year I would be saying something like that!) but still they earned their place on the chart, and while Rhodes was more successful than Sandow they currently remain tied with Team Hell No going into their presumed match as parts of the respective Survivor Series teams, although who knows, things could change again next week and they could be having a tag team titles match at the event instead!

9th Place: Prime Time Players

Up next is the tag team on the next rung of the tag team ladder, at least on the heel side of things. I’m really digging how the tag team division has been restructured and reinvented, and I have to say that if this really was Triple H’s handiwork and a result of his first personal project on the management side of things, well then the sooner he can retire and start running things behind the scenes the better in my opinion. By my count there are at least ten tag teams in the WWE right now, at various levels and with various feuds going on. The two most obvious are the Rhodes Scholars vs Hell No, and Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. The Prime Time Players, but the Usos and the Ascension have a pretty heated rivalry going on over on NXT as well, and there are teams like McGillicutty & Curtis, Epico & Primo, the 3MB, and Gabriel & Kidd waiting in the wings to step up in the division as well. These might not overall be the most experienced or decorated teams in the history of tag team wrestling, but it is better than nothing, and who knows what the future could hold for one or another of these teams if things take off for them.

10th Place: C.M. Punk

The WWE champion continues to have a hard time of things, only managing to scrape last place on the chart this week after being messed about by Vince McMahon, and being manhandled by Ryback in the main event of Raw and being pinned in the middle of the ring. While the triple threat match messes up a bunch of things to do with the traditional Survivor Series match it does at least create the possibility for change after the disappointment that was Hell in a Cell. Punk must be so frustrated to be champion in such a down period in the WWE where they are one minute constantly inventing new, crazy and desperate ideas to improve the ratings, and then the next playing it safe so as to buy time until the next ‘revolutionary’ idea, angle or superstar comes along. Punk seemed safe and certain to head into the Royal Rumble against the Rock, but now who knows, maybe Ryback will win and go on to face the Rock, now that would really be something, especially if he won, then who could really argue with the guy’s success, that really could cement the guy as a main event level face, better even than Cena, and certainly with more crowd support, at least so far!

(Week 66):

1. Daniel Bryan (274)

2. Alberto Del Rio (265)

3. Cody Rhodes (245)

4. Robert Roode (235)

5. Dolph Ziggler (189)

6. The Miz (188)

7. Mark Henry (181)

8. Bully Ray (170)

9. The Big Show (162)

10. C.M. Punk (128)

10. Chris Jericho (125)

The Wright View:

Shifting Teams

So the plans for Team Punk vs. Team Foley lasted exactly one week. To be fair the teams came out of nowhere really as Foley only loosely had a reason to challenge Punk to the match and had nothing on the line in doing so, not even being a part of the match. Now it appears to be Team Foley vs. Team Ziggler, which makes no earthly sense. Maybe the WWE could have gotten away with Team Cena vs. Team Ziggler but apparently the change was made due to a ‘negative reaction’ to the announced teams last week, so I guess they wanted a bigger main event, i.e. a title match that involves John Cena since that has been a consistent draw for the last five years, so Cena is in a triple threat match with Ryback and Punk. Now in storyline terms that actually makes quite a bit of sense since both Cena and Ryback were screwed by Punk in their last two title matches, however it is a question of timing. If that had been the main event announced last week then fine, or as has been suggested, if it was meant to be the main event for TLC then fine, but as it is it looks like a mess and the WWE are scrambling to put on a show because the current booking isn’t good enough.

I have two major problems here, one, it once again makes Punk look weak and shows that Vince McMahon’s answer to everything is ‘put Cena in it.’ Which is all very well and good, but we saw last month that a Cena injury can completely mess up the WWE’s plans and they seemingly have no contingency plan and just throw something out there and see if it sticks, but apparently then they get too nervous and go back on those plans, keeping the status quo until Super Cena is better again. Here is the problem though; what if Cena gets injured by coming back to the main event scene too soon? What if Cena re-injures himself at Survivor Series and even worse this time? What the hell are the WWE going to do without their golden boy, especially seeing as how they won’t take a chance on anyone else, even if they appear to be super over?

The other thing that bugs me is that if this change really did come from a negative reaction then why this and why now? Just look at the negative reaction that this Cena-AJ storyline is getting and yet it is being shoved down our throats, hell WWE even had a ‘Previously on Impact Wrestling’ moment this week on Raw. I honestly don’t know if WWE are parodying TNA or if the new creative structure thinks that TNA is awesome and should be stealing from them constantly, what is next, Punk painting his face while a god-awful inner monologue plays over the scene? Ridiculous!

So it seems like the WWE are just not happy with things that Cena is not involved in, it is that blindness that has cost them for the last few years. Just look at the main event tag match on Raw this week, all four major players on Raw were involved and yet the ratings tanked for the third hour, but do you think Cena will be included in the blame game? Doubtful, if anything he will probably end up winning at Survivor Series, will face the Rock at Royal Rumble, lose the title and then go on to face him again at Wrestlemania for his third match redemption where he finally beats the Rock and gets the WWE title back…Okay so that doesn’t actually sound like that bad of a storyline, but still…Cena sucks? Oh I just don’t know anymore!

Jack Swagger As Team Captain

Since everything is crazy after Raw I am throwing this one out there quickly. What if Jack Swagger took over Ryback’s place on Team Foley? It would make sense as Ziggler and Swagger have a history, and if the WWE want to repackage Swagger as a face this could be a great way to do it, just please don’t make the match have a stipulation where the winning captain gets the services of Vicky Guerrero! Unless of course Swagger wins and then turns her down, making Dolph drop her as well and cementing Swagger as a face after dropping perhaps the most hated female manager in wrestling history.

Luke Gallows Unmasked

Ah progress, the Aces & 8s get a little more defined as the former Luke Gallows is exposed as the ‘Arm-Breaker’ that wrestled Austin Aries at No Surrender. I am glad that TNA decided to give us another known member of the group, especially since Sting made a point at the top of the show that unmasking the group would be the major focus now, which makes complete sense and could easily lead to ‘stipulation vs. mask’ matches that could actually work if booked right, just please no ‘mask on a pole’ matches okay, where two guys fight it out to become a member of the group and the firsts guy to put on the mask wins…oh god no, it will happen! Still as long as TNA cools down from now on, not revealing each member each week or something, then they could get a lot of mileage out of this angle, and what started out as a kind of stupid idea could actually become what takes TNA to that next level and makes it compelling viewing each week. I’m still a little annoyed by them being referred to as a ‘Biker Gang’ since that just sounds so dated and probably won’t fit everyone in the group. If this faction is going to work then TNA should probably stay away from defining terms of what the group is and isn’t as it will probably change and alter over time and start to make no sense, like the Office US, but if you keep things loose from the start, like How I Met Your Mother, then no matter how different it gets you still won’t be able to claim that it has ‘jumped the shark’.

Open Fight Night

The only real negative of this week’s Impact was that it seemed like the Open Fight Night stipulation was a little wasted. Now that there is Championship Thursday once a month the commentators are having to push that it isn’t about titles anymore, so that is a gaping hole in the format as while there would be a few challenges it was usually built around that title match that came at the end of the show. Of course I still hate the whole ‘Hogan deliberates’ thing they have going on, but at least it padded out the show. Now we get guys challenging someone to a match and things degenerating into a brawl, or the other guy flat out refusing the match, which completely goes against the whole concept of OFN. Basically the idea works really well with the BFG Series and made a lot of sense, but no that the focus is on a mostly nameless group in Aces & 8s it is hard to work the format as like we saw this week, if anyone challenges a member of the group their whole gimmick is that they stick together and the match never really happens, also without having a history with any members of the group it seems strange for a guy to come out and challenge ‘any member’. Of course now TNA has Devon and Luke Gallows as known faces of the group so that will help, but maybe they should make each member look a tiny bit more distinct, they kind of all look different now so why not play up those differences just a little bit, or just have certain guys from the group go after the different divisions. I know TNA want to keep everything mysterious so far, but things will have to get more defined as they go on, it is how you tell a story. Hence why they need to keep things loose in terms of general definitions, because they will find themselves having to make concessions and stipulations if they want things to continue on, advance and still make sense. So far they are doing a pretty decent job of things, but Open Fight Night as a concept was a casualty this week.

Cheap Pops:

Gavin Napier runs down his favourite Survivor Series teams inThe Contentious Ten

Stephen Randle fills you in with the Wrestling News Experience

Joseph Lee Hosts the Semifinals of the Horror Knockouts in A Bloody Good Time

My own Alternate Heel Report

The 411 Staff Almost have an Indy Invasion in The Wrestler of the Week

Cody Rhodes on Saturday Morning Slam – The son of the American Dream might have lost to the Funkasaurus on the kids show, but he looked damn good doing it. It was great seeing Rhodes dance and he managed to imitate the Carlton Dance from Fresh Prince of Bel Air perfectly.

That’s all for this week, with not long until Survivor Series or Turning Point the chart could change significantly in the next couple of weeks. It won’t however be reversing order like some commenters suggested last week. I get the idea that it would create anticipation for who was in the number one spot, but that format works more for personal lists and this is more like a power rankings. Just look at Stephen Randle’s rankings or the WWE’s Power 25, they start at the top and mine do to, so while I appreciate people’s opinions on the subject, the structure of the report won’t be changing any time soon. For now this is James Wright signing off.


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