The Heel Report: 02.28.13: God and Country
Posted by James Wright on 02.28.2013
Did CM Punk's match with John Cena push him to #1? Has Jack Swagger succeeded despite his arrest? Are Austin Aries and Robert Roode still on top? Read on to find out the top 10 heels in professional wrestling this week!
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
Fresh off calling the former Pope a Nazi, Punk has now skipped straight to outright calling himself God. The WWE clearly have decided that pissing people off is the way to go and I for one agree. Wrestling is never going to be regarded as highly respectable programming and if you can't cause a stir through nudity and excessive violence then what better way to create a buzz than kick the hornet's nest that is right-wing America, xenophobic stereotypes and sacrilegious behaviour, two great PG ways to raise the ire of people who usually wouldn't give the product the time of day. While it isn't exactly Louis C.K. cutting-edge it is at least more interesting than what we have been used to over the last few years. Aside from this Punk also had one of the best matches I have seen on Raw in a long time, along with the victorious Cena and perhaps put to bed their rivalry that has been continuing these past two years.
2nd Place: The Big Show
He might not have appeared on the major shows, but the World's Largest Athlete completely dominated things on Main Event, taking out the Usos, Brodus Clay and the Great Khali all in one night. That is impressive, even if he did end up backing down to the challenge of the Miz. In a week where most heels lost their matches Show managed to show just how dominant he is despite being fully removed from the world title picture now.
3rd Place: Jack Swagger
Crime minus the punishment it appears as Swagger still seems set to face Del Rio at Wrestlemania for the World title, although he may now have cost himself a title win and will most likely be suspended after the event, if not before it with pre-taped promos continuing the build for the Real American. Personally that is the route I would go as him and Coulter could still cause just as much of a stir with these promos as they could actually appearing on the show, and it means that no one would have to job to Swagger before the match. Then again it would mean that for most shows before Wrestlemania your WWE champion and the challenger for the World title would be no-shows, which sounds pretty bad, but at this point the champion isn't always all that important to the main story of the shows anyway. I just wish the WWE had pulled the trigger on Ziggler's cash-in last week so that all this speculation would have been rendered unnecessary, rather than having him job out to Ryback instead.
4th Place: Zeb Coulter
The mouth-piece for the Real American comes in just behind, and really these two are so intrinsically linked that I'm wondering whether or not I should group them together as one unit. But so far they remain separate and while those like Glenn Beck refuse to play into the gimmick you have to wonder how things will progress as Coulter keeps up his anti-illegal shtick. By design or not Coulter seemed to be a lot more tailored in on Raw, no less offensive, but much more focused on the elements of his hate-speech that are nowhere near as outlandish, perhaps trying to compare himself to these political commentators even more, rather than simply appearing as a racist stereotype.
5th Place: DOC
In a week where C.M. Punk called himself God and Jack Swagger was mixed up in two separate controversies we have all failed to notice a significant event in wrestling history; this week on Impact Luke Gallows actually managed to pin Sting! Who ever thought that would happen?! Sure it was due to interference and general Aces & 8s shenanigans, but still that is a pretty big achievement for fake Kane/the man who played a ‘special' redneck.
6th Place: Greatest IT Factors
Discretion is the better part of valour, fact. Roode and Aries showed that this week when they left Bad Influence high and dry to eat the pin in a match that they were never going to win. Hopefully this will lead to a three-way feud with team Stereotypica for the tag team titles and then into an individual feud between the two teams, which could be the ultimate display of heel awesomeness and secure Roode in the top spot of the Rolling Chart for some time to come.
7th Place: Mark Henry
You really have to wonder what the WWE were doing with their heels this week as barely any of them appeared in anything other than squash matches, either winning or losing. I suppose they had to balance out Punk-Cena since for some reason there seems to be a scale of just how much proper wrestling the WWE can show on any given week and if they tip the balance the world would come to an end! Anyway Mark Henry put to bed any fears that his Wrestlemania opponent would be the Great Khali when he unceremoniously took him out with a World's Strongest Slam and beat him in the middle of the ring after apparently backing down last week.
8th Place: Devon
What do you get when you combine a geriatric with a cripple and a mental patient? The face team for Impact's main event this week. Is it any wonder that Aces & 8s managed to pick up the victory? Sure the team of Anderson, Gallows and Devon aren't exactly an all-star line-up, but at least they can all actually take a few bumps without doing themselves any serious damage. I just hope they can explain how the big masked guy and Bully were able to be in the same ring when he no doubt gets revealed to be the leader of Aces & 8s after all these shenanigans.
9th Place: Mr. Anderson
The final member of the for-once triumphant Aces & 8s team. I really hope that things start to turn around for the stable now that almost all there members are revealed. After all now that the group is more official there can be some actual rivalries build up, unlike when it was just ‘Aries vs. the Arm-breaker', which was just shoddy. What's more like with Anderson the group can always recruit outside members to make it stronger, I just hope at some point they stop being a mish-mash group of guys and start to look like a well formed unit. There was the same problem with Immortal, they all seemed thrown together as just ‘the heel guys of TNA' and had no real connecting thread. Hopefully if TNA plans on keeping the Aces & 8s stable going they will make it into a more cohesive group, although with TNA being a resting place for other promotion cast-offs you can see how these higgledy-piggeldy groups get thrown together.
10th Place: Wade Barrett
Not exactly a dominant week for the Barrett Barrage but at least he is getting some decent exposure, despite being the IC champion, which you would hope at this stage would be exposure enough. I swear the WWE starts these initiatives, has some success, and then just gives up again when something more interesting comes along; just look at the tag team division. That is the one real downside to guys like Lesnar and the Rock coming back, when they are there to lean on the WWE don't care about giving time and effort to their lower divisions that have been suffering for a while and desperately need help.
1. Robert Roode (292)
2. Alberto Del Rio (281)
3. Dolph Ziggler (277)
4. Daniel Bryan (274)
5. Cody Rhodes (267)
6. The Big Show (266)
7. C.M. Punk (246)
8. Mark Henry (202)
9. The Miz (188)
10. Austin Aries (177)
The Wright View:
Brock vs. HHH
I wasn't a fan of this the first time around and now that it is nearly official I am definitely not a fan of it the second time around. Again it all boils down to the question of what long term benefits does a match like this have to the company and the wrestlers on the roster. No matter who goes over no active member of the WWE roster will garner anything from the match, at least not directly. Wrestling has never been about wins and losses so any current star that had gone up against Lesnar and lost could have still made a bigger splash than HHH will, a man who seriously does not need any more high-profile matches. Imagine what a match like this could have done for Ryback, and how easy would it have been for this to all make sense seeing as how Heyman is connected with Brock and he has been the one responsible for screwing Ryback all along. Instead they bring in the outside guy who has already lost once to the Beast and expect him to get the job done now that he has had a haircut and looks even more like a jacked-up Sean Bean.
This is worse than the Rock and Cena because while Cena in no way needs the rub of a victory over the Rock, at least he is an active member of the roster and when he becomes champion he can give shots to other guys in the back on a regular basis, even if he does end up making them look like chumps in the end. Honestly with the WWE relying so heavily on outside talent to set up this year's Wrestlemania you have to wonder what they would have done if these outside options had not been available. It doesn't exactly make you optimistic for the future of the business, then again just look what good work they are doing with the Shield, so maybe it balances out…at least until there is an RKO out of nowhere.
Cena vs. Punk
Despite Wrestlemania relying more on outside guys than actual active talent you have to have some hope when the WWE churns out a match like this. Although the two participants were the man who has been on top of the company for close to a decade and another who has just cemented his place at the top but has also said that he will most likely retire in a couple of years, although I take that with a grain of salt. The match itself was sold as big and it certainly delivered, this really was a Wrestlemania-level match where both men gave it their all and Cena did his best to pull out a few new tricks, which was a nice change, although this always seems to be the way in his matches with Punk. The guy just brings out the best in him and we get to see Cena actually try once again and when he actually does put some effort in he is entertaining. The problem is that 99% of the time he clearly just doesn't give a shit. To be honest it makes me look forward to the time when Cena himself becomes a part-timer as then he might actually have amazing matches each time as he will only come back when it is actually ‘worth it'. As for Punk he generally gives it his all and this is why I don't outright laugh off his claims of retirement so early, because putting that much effort into your matches week in and week out must take a hell of a toll on the body.
This was a fine way to end the feud between the two men, with Cena finally getting the win by actually breaking away from his usual shtick and realising that he had to evolve, if the same can be said for when he beats the Rock at Mania then maybe he will deserve to be champion after all, at least until he gets lazy again and returns to his stale self of course.
Maddox Assistant ‘to the' Supervisor of Raw
Sure he is three parts annoying to one part hansom but Maddox at least tries to be relevant with jokes from the Office and Bane impressions. The WWE is a place where pop-culture should be referenced, used and satirised more often and I think part of the problem is that a lot of guys in the back are out of touch, or just plain don't care. In my opinion the WWE needs a guy like Maddox who hams it up and who you love to hate for just being him. He doesn't have to spout xenophobic swill or proclaim himself God, because he just looks and acts like a douche, he is like the Miz only more appealing. I just wish they would replace Vickie Guerrero with William Regal as I think those two would get along swimmingly, Regal calling Maddox a ‘bloody pillock' every five minutes.
You know last week I was kidding myself that despite everything the WWE must have big plans for Ziggler because they were seemingly thinking about how they were using him and testing the waters by putting him against Del Rio in non-title matches. But this week there can be no justification for feeding Ziggler to Ryback and having him lose clean despite interference from both AJ and Big E. Langston. Ziggler could have been disqualified or counted out after being man-handled all match but instead they just had him eat the pin because they honestly don't care about the guy and how he looks before he cashes in. Of course even this might be wishful thinking, who is to say that they are only jobbing out Ziggler because he is guaranteed to be champion someday soon, maybe they honestly don't care, they gave him the case without thinking and now have no plans for him to cash in, hell for the most part it looks like they are pushing Big E. more than they are pushing Ziggler. I know before I said that wins and losses don't matter in the WWE and that is true, just so long as you look good in losing. If you are just some guy's plaything and then he puts you away with ease it is hard to argue the case that you will be a believable champion, especially if guys can beat you even while you employ every underhanded tactic in the book.
That's all for this week, I'm sure Wrestlemania will do well and some part of me thinks that the reason they are backing two rematches as their main events is because they don't want this Wrestlemania to over-shine the next, but still be massive in its own right, it makes sense but it also kind of sucks.