wrestling / Columns

The Heel Report: 12.15.12: Celtic Nut Shots & Hogan Mockery

December 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

A general mixture of stirring straws, pushing buttons and squeaking wheels put Aries right at the top of the chart this week, and his PPV win against Bully Ray didn’t hurt either. Aries really is pushing all the right buttons to get himself back in the title hunt, after all last time he made Hogan mad by insulting his daughter by calling her a slut, Hogan rewarded him with a match for the X Division title. So surely it stands to reason that if he strips her top off ‘by accident’ in the middle of the ring then it stands to reason that Hogan would give him a world title match in the near future, that’s just the type of guy that Hulk Hogan is, the more you sexually exploit his daughter, the more he rewards you and sings your praises. My only concern now is what has Jeff Hardy been doing to her to get to his latest title run and what the hell did Matt Morgan do to earn himself that gold cape?! Apart from anything else can you name anyone else in the industry who mocked a huge icon and delivered a massive nuts shot this week?…Sheamus doesn’t count, he’s a face (Supposedly)!

2nd Place: Christopher Daniels

I’m treating the team of ‘Bad Influence’ (still not sure if I trust that name, I have been burnt before by names that didn’t stick; I’m looking at you 3MB and The Shield) as separate but equal this week, well equal in the way that they were able to earn points by themselves, not equal in terms of Christopher Daniels being the vastly more entertaining heel and therefore landing a much higher place on the chart by himself. Daniels not only won his supposedly last encounter with AJ Styles, with the Styles Clash no less, after kicking out of the same move himself, but he also spat on his opponent, saluted the fans (with his specially designed glove) and ended the night shouting “Who’s Phenomenal now?!” Clearly the answer is Daniels, Christopher Daniels. Now this win might only be the result of a bid to turn AJ heel in the aftermath, but with such a definitive win at the end of a near enough year-long rivalry, you have to give the guy some props, and let’s just hope that the name Claire Lynch never darkens our doors again.

3rd Place: Robert Roode

Does it pay to be Roode? Well apparently it does, but for a limited time only. Roode paid off the mercenary group Aces & 8s to attack Hardy on Impact to help him in his title match on Sunday, but it all backfired for him as their involvement in the actual match cost him his shot at the title. I’m not sure if this will result in a face turn for the longest reigning TNA world heavyweight champ, but it just might if the group are going to become the main focus of the company going forward. My only question is how exactly would TNA explain Roode working with guys like Storm and Hardy, and even Angle again after his actions over the past year? Hopefully they wouldn’t just glaze over the issue like the WWE have done so many times before, perhaps they could even make him the ‘Sting’ figure of this whole thing, operating on the outside in his own agenda, his motives being questioned at least at first, but then maybe that was what TNA were trying to do with Bully Ray, and look how that turned out!

4th Place: The Big Show

The World’s Largest Champion had an interesting week leading into TLC on Sunday. He managed to cheap-shot Sheamus in their no-contact clause contract until the event and managed to beat the man who cost him the title in 45 seconds this time last year, but then was rammed by a Rodriguez to the Ricardos by the Celtic Warrior. Then on Raw he went one on one with Cena and wasn’t seen to lose, which is pretty much the best you can hope for in a one on one match on Raw with the guy, but then was tabled at the end of the night, despite not really being shown on the shaky cam ending, but was probably what we were all supposed to “Look Out! Look Out!” for.

5th Place: Antonio Cesaro

Cesaro is gradually neutralising everyone in his path and if you think that Truth is going to be able to wrestle that US championship away from him this Sunday then you are crazy. I don’t know what will be next for Cesaro, unless a repackaged face Swagger returns of course, but he really is running out of faces to face. I suppose there is the Miz now, but that can’t last for too long and will either result in the Miz getting the belt again, which won’t help him much, or result in him losing again and never reaching anywhere near the same status he once did. After all a face that can’t win enough is…well, Kofi Kingston, who coincidently Cesaro himself beat this week. I guess now we know who the better champion is. An interesting pairing that no one has discussed yet could be Ryback vs. Cesaro at Wrestlemania, after all the two will probably be at the same level by that point. If Cesaro holds onto his title and Ryback loses to Punk, which he will, when he finally gets his next shot, then I’d imagine his momentum would slip somewhat between then and Wrestlemania, meeting Cesaro on the way to the top as he is on his way down. Also with the feats of strength that Cesaro has shown it is possible that he could be an even match for the monster, especially if he can pull off a few of those surprise European uppercuts as a counter to a meat-hook clothesline or an uncharacteristic attempt by Ryback to come off the top rope. This is all just speculation at this point, but it certainly would be one shaved, shiny, muscular spectacle on the Grandest Stage of them All.

6th Place: The Rhodes Scholars

I’d call this a triumphant return. Winning a match to go into a number one contenders match at TLC (you see that is tag team division depth!) and creating a new wrestling meme, all with a little bit of extra facial hair. Seriously to have the crowd so abuzz just because one of your team returns with a moustache is really something, and perhaps is the answer to the question; how do you return an ‘over’ heel without turning him face? Give him a moustache. Triple H managed to work it but then there is a big difference between his moustache and the pencil thin child-catcher moustache that Cody was packing on Monday Night Raw, a great addition to his heel character if you ask me, after all aren’t moustaches such as his supposed to be dashing? Just the wrong type of dashing in this case.

7th Place: The Shield

Now I love the Shield, so far their debut has gone off without a hitch, but damn it if I didn’t love seeing them all get face-palmed by that ladder on Raw even more! It was just a thing of beauty that worked so well, they didn’t look weak beforehand as they were challenging Ryback to get in the ring with them, and Ryback looked strong as all hell after he responded to their challenge with a ladder to the face times three. If this is any indication of the action in the match on Sunday then I am in. My only complaint would be that in targeting John Cena they might be treading dangerous Nexus ground. Sure they might get past Ryback without being too diminished, but Cena? That has an untimely death for the group written all over it.

8th Place: Dolph Ziggler

Here’s hoping that Ziggler is indeed the lump of coal in Cena’s stocking. It pretty much is make or break for Ziggler on Sunday and if this week is anything to go by then I would actually pretty much say that Ziggler is for once going to get his just rewards coming out of the PPV. After all despite losing to Cena in all their matches so far, he managed to start off Raw with a promo on top of a ladder, always a good sign even if they end with an unhappy landing. Then he wrestled the Great White and took a chair to him rather than losing in the middle of the ring like normal. Sure he still finished the night eating all the faces’ finishers like normal, but what doesn’t appear on TV, stays off TV. Anyway I’m pulling for a Christmas miracle this Sunday and I hope you are too.

9th Place: Kazarian

Ah, the lesser half of Bad Influence, there you are! Kaz didn’t fair anywhere near as well as his partner this week, losing to James Storm in the unscheduled opening match of Final Resolution, that right there tells you just how far the Cowboy has slipped in the past six months. He did however get to mock the Cowboy and the remaining fans who love him with the great line of “We drink too!” lampooning why they cheer for the intoxicated redneck. Kaz certainly isn’t the worst on the mic, but compared to his partner, this ranking difference is just about right.

10th Place: Tara & Jesse

This duo crosses that line of heels who I hate just because they are annoying. Now Tara has a great history of matches, but her TNA run has mostly been spent in association with annoying characters, and Jesse is no different. I just don’t think that this duo would even register enough to be a main focus if the Knockouts division was somewhat stronger, let alone cause Tare to be champion because of it. While the Knockouts division isn’t in the same state that the WWE’s Diva division is in you have to worry, after all people are celebrating the return of Velvet Sky, who isn’t exactly the best in-ring performer and is mostly known for riding the second rope every week, much to Taz’s excitement.

(Week 71):

1. Alberto Del Rio (281)

2. Daniel Bryan (274)

3. Robert Roode (255)

4. Cody Rhodes (248)

5. Dolph Ziggler (219)

6. The Big Show (191)

7. The Miz (188)

8. Mark Henry (181)

9. Bully Ray (170)

10. C.M. Punk (159)

10. Wade Barrett (135)

The Wright View:

The State of Superstars

It makes me sad to say that a show that used to give the under card a chance to shine in longer matches than they would have on three Raws combined is now basically a glorified clip show. Maybe it’s simply a case of the WWE having a policy where only one show can be the ‘wrestling’ show and the rest have to be pointless filler, at the moment that show is Main Event, so perhaps that is why Superstars has fallen by the wayside. Still it sure is bad news for Zack Ryder as Superstars was the main place he got to shine. I’m still not sure why the WWE insist on piling on so much recapping into shows like Superstars, after all can’t fans simply go online and watch all the best bits of the shows now anyway? And where does Superstars appear, for most people anyway? That’s right, online. In the words of Randy Orton; ‘Stupid!’

The Miz Plays With The Rhodes Scholars

First Miz faced Sandow on Smackdown, leaving the Intellectual Saviour speechless for the first time, well ever. Then he used his knowledge of being in a tag team to try to drive a wedge between the newly reunited team, just for his own amusement. Now many people are questioning the effectiveness of a face Miz, and sure he still comes off as being a little obnoxious, but it works against smug and douchebag heels, at least for the casual fans, who seem to respond to him in the arena, and at least he bothers to engage with them, unlike a lot of faces out there right now. All I think the Miz really needs is a heel opponent to sink his teeth into and actually win some matches against, now that Sandow is back in the tag title hunt, and Orton is out with an injury, I would once again like to offer up Alberto Del Rio as the perfect opponent for the Miz. Although here I am betting that this would be the one time where the WWE lets Del Rio beat the face on PPV as well as on TV, darn-sarn-it.

Aces & 8s are Bastards

I have heard some complaints about Aces & 8s and how they would have looked more dominant when they ended the night on top if they had won their match earlier on. While I will admit that they could have used this opportunity to show Wes Brisco ‘accidently’ cost his team the match, but instead they went for the slow option, where Brisco only saved Doc from a hammering by making it appear like he was attacking him, when really he was keeping him safe by rushing him out the ring. But to me the team doesn’t have to win all the time anyway, after all their whole point isn’t to be the cool heels, at least in my eyes, it is to be the bastards who shouldn’t win in a fair fight, but who use superior numbers at every turn to get their way. The reason the Nexus didn’t work isn’t because they lost at Summerslam in a multi-man match, it is because the WWE chose to have one man destroy the whole group on an arbitrary whim, as long as that doesn’t happen to Aces & 8s they can lose as many matches as they want, especially when nothing is really on the line, just so long as they use their nefarious means to win when it counts, however speaking on that point…

Devon Robs Joe

Well this was damned annoying; Devon just didn’t work as TV champion before his Aces & 8s days and I’m not sure if he will do any better now. Surely it would have been better to give the group the tag team titles instead since there are no real teams in the company at this point. Not only that but by taking the belt away from Joe they are killing the momentum that he was building, making the title actually look like it means something. Hopefully this will lead to a couple of singles matches on PPV between the two, with surprisingly competitive and brutal action, ending in Aces & 8s shenanigans of course, leading to a specialty match where Joe destroys Devon and gets back the title. I still think that simply a sustained, dominant run as champion by Joe would have done the title more good, but this would at least add some storyline to the feuds over the belt and Joe could continue his tear from there. Do I have faith in TNA to make this happen? Not really, but we will see.

Cheap Pops:

Michael Weyer doles out lumps of coal in Shining a Spotlight

Joseph Lee completes his countdown of top minor horror characters in A Bloody Good Time

Jeremy Thomas lays out the top Post-Apocalyptic films in The 8-Ball

Ronny Sarnecky gives us the second half of his John Cena respective in The Piledriver Report

And once again we have the Wrestler of the Week

That’s all for this week, I still despair at the idea of Alberto Del Rio being the top heel of the year, but what can I do? Unless Roode stays heel and gets a major shot in the arm in the next two weeks *spoiler alert* (that doesn’t happen) then there is no one to take the top spot away from him. At this point I am just praying for a surprise Daniel Bryan heel turn at TLC, hell it would work, him turning on Ryback and his tag team partner, who he has always had a rocky relationship, and if anyone has the right to complain about injustice in the WWE it is Daniel Bryan, well him and Zack Ryder…now that would be…interesting. Well that’s enough speculation for now, this is James Wright signing off.


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