The Heel Report: 03.07.13: Old School Jobbing
Posted by James Wright on 03.07.2013
Did Austin Aries climb to the top this week? Did the Shield take over? Or is CM Punk still the best in the world? 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.
This week the rankings really reflect the new policy of actions over success as those who drew the most heat didn't necessarily end up on the winning side of things. You have a problem with that? Direct your gripes to the comment section down below, oh and my balls.
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
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, unless you are Austin Aries and you are doing it just after you have beaten a man by knocking him out with a chain, or sarcastically praising his workout routine. In these cases it is a hilarious insult that bags you the top place on the weekly chart. This is why Austin Aries and Daniel Bryan will be top stars in their respective companies for years to come, because while small and perhaps a little older than ‘new' talent should be, they capitalise on every opportunity they are given and somehow turn every situation they are in into gold. Aries' partner is missing from Impact for a week? Fine, instead of sitting around inactive he takes charge and makes the show all about him, making every segment with him in it funny and meaningful, not only setting up his tag match at Lockdown, as well as furthering a rivalry in that match, but he also plants the seeds for him to be inserted back into the title picture in the near future in a way that makes total sense. As in he went to antagonise both the champion and number one contender by referencing their history and trying to get on their good side, if nothing more than for the sheer giddy joy of seeing two former enemies in the position where they will have to knock the hell out of each other in a steel cage. Austin Aries might not have earned anything ‘significant' this week, but he showed just how valuable a commodity he is to TNA and that will solidify future opportunities, which in the end is more significant.
2nd Place: Jack Swagger
There has been a lot of talk about how Swagger's actions on Raw didn't actually generate that much heat from the crowd but in my opinion the whole thing went down a treat. What's more, and more importantly to me anyway, the whole thing actually made some sense! Cole even pointed it out himself, here Swagger was, a ‘Real American', being pitted against three of the best personifications of ‘Real Americans' in all of professional wrestling, and he destroyed them, an excellent metaphor for what he is doing to the image of ‘Real Americans' everywhere. Swagger's response to these legends just adds strength to the idea that Swagger thinks America is broken and that it needs to be fixed…through violence. Del Rio sneak attack aside, Swagger came off as a ruthless bastard this week, and added to that his JR interview on Smackdown that made him look like a brain-washed, militant, cult-member, Swagger is positioned to look like a much more credible threat to Del Rio's title, honestly if they really want to sell the match what I would have happen is for Swagger to attack Ziggler closer to Wrestlemania time to attempt to ensure that he won't be able to cash-in at the event, clearly orchestrated by Coulter, to make him look even more calculating, then ironically leading to a Ziggler cash-in for sure on Swagger and a three-way rivalry coming out of the Granddaddy of them all.
3rd Place: C.M. Punk
Punk had some good promo time this week and a big win on Raw, yet he ended up in third place, this may cause uproar from some but hear me out. Punk's challenge and win were completely arbitrary. This whole time he has been waiting on whether or not the Undertaker would give the okay for the two to face off against each other on the Grand stage and now, five weeks before the event, he confirmed. The past few years the build for this match have started months in advance and been given tons of air time to develop. Punk and Taker have barely any time to sell their match and while both are excellent promo men, although Taker has been known to stumble over his words a lot in the last few years, I can't see them getting too much time what with Triple H, The Rock and John Cena all vying for mic time in the lead up to their matches. What's more Punk is almost certainly going to lose, the only way that I can foresee Punk winning is if Undertaker knows right now that he is not going to be able to make it to WM 30, and even then they might decide to keep the streak intact, although 21-0 is a little annoying to a number freak like me (20-1 is fine because it is not a streak anymore so it fails to have significance or an annoyance factor). So all Punk has done is buy himself into a rushed feud that will almost certainly end in him losing as a consolation prize to not being included in the title match at WM despite being the champion for well over a year. Sure he might put on the best ‘wrestling' match of the night, but even that isn't guaranteed with the state the Undertaker is in. I hate to be so down on the whole thing but when you look at it, it really isn't the best situation for Punk to be in, then again even if he had been placed in the title match at Wrestlemania he almost certainly would have lost there as well. So looking at it, two years after the WWE's ‘Summer of Punk', Punk is still nowhere near the main event of Wrestlemania and due to the inclusion of the Rock and Brock for at least another year he won't be next year either.
4th Place: The Shield
After a slight blip last week where two members of the group actually took finishers on TV (and that is still a pretty tame beat down for a heel team to take), the Shield were back in full force this week. They dominated NXT and reminded everyone that the show was still theirs. Then they had a nice promo on Raw and attacked the Big Show, although off-air (which is starting to become less and less meaningless as tout and twitter are becoming more applicable to the actual events on the show). All I could have wanted more would have been for the group to cost the other three men the match, solidifying their tag match with Sheamus, Orton and Big Show at Wrestlemania, but I suppose the WWE wanted Punk to win clean to qualify for his WM loss to the Undertaker, even though he really didn't need to qualify in the first place as his opening promo should have been enough to have him challenge the streak.
5th Place: Antonio Cesaro
While people have been getting all twisted about Cesaro's loss on Raw, they forget his great win against the Miz on Smackdown to retain his title. Cesaro is still pretty dominant against everyone in the mid-card, so I'm not sure what the real problem is. If he was beating main event talent then surely he himself should be in the main event, so it makes sense for him to lose, at least he isn't getting squashed. Now if that was happening you could have a legitimate gripe. As it is the US champ is taking it to guys like Orton and Ryback, although I agree that losing clean to these guys is annoying simply because it begs the question of ‘who is he going to feud with heading into Wrestlemania?' Still the point remains that if Cesaro wasn't being matched up against the big dogs, people would be complaining that all Cesaro is doing is squashing jobbers since even when placed in a competitive rivalry with the Miz, no one gave a crap. Fact is that bookers and writers are all about the main event guys right now leading into Wrestlemania and the mid-card champs are being left out in the cold, even if they are put in a rivalry with someone of even standing because there is no one to give the writing the attention it needs to make the feud actually mean something. At least Cesaro will probably still be champion after Wrestlemania.
6th Place: Kenny King
A surprise X Division title win gets King a place in the chart, although you have to wonder exactly what King will do with his title seeing as how the X Division barely has anyone to compete in it anymore.
7th Place: Fandango
Go-go-go-go, I'm really hoping that they are saving Curtis' debut for Wrestlemania (or more likely the pre-show) because otherwise all this grandstanding isn't going to lead to any good places. The WWE have a very predictable sense of humour that dictates that he'll probably lose if it now doesn't take place at a big event, bad times man.
8th Place: Mark Henry
The World's Strongest Man did what he does best this week; squash people. He also had an interesting stare down with Ryback. Will this lead to a match at Wrestlemania? Who the crap knows at this point?!
9th Place: Bad Influence
They delivered on the mic once again and found themselves in a tag team title match at Lockdown, pretty good week for the duo, despite the loss of one mighty tasty appletini.
10th Place: Zeb Coulter
The guy talks a big game and if Swagger can escape too severe a punishment in the coming months for his actions then this duo could go far, and with the cult-like leanings of this gimmick we could even see this pair grow into a satirical stable that actually has some future.
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 (254)
8. Mark Henry (205)
9. The Miz (188)
10. Austin Aries (187)
The Wright View:
The Miz Over Ziggler
Seeing the Miz go against Ziggler this week with Flair in the mix really brought home just how wrong this whole thing is. Ziggler is perfect as the trainee Nature Boy, whereas the Miz appears to be a botch machine, making everything look awkward and forced. Now I am not a Miz-hater, I actually like the Miz, when he is being the Miz. But trying to please the crowd and imitate the Nature Boy just doesn't fit and no matter what he tells himself it just doesn't look right. I suppose it is just all down to timing as AJ was there and Ziggler wasn't free to be associated with the Nature Boy in place of the Miz, although the two events happened so close to each other! What might have been! The reason that AJ Styles didn't work as the trainee Nature Boy is that the guy has to already be that showy, arrogant prick and Styles just wasn't the right type of showy. It is the same thing with the Miz, while he is cocky and arrogant it is just not the right type to fit in with Ric Flair's style of doing things. There is also the continued complaint that Ziggler is being made to look like a chump due to his MitB Briefcase possession. Ziggler as Flair's protégé would have been awesome, especially with the briefcase as instead of this usual ‘let's make the MitB winner look like a joke so that when he cashes in it will be a surprise' scenario, the WWE might have actually considered doing an angle where Flair trained up Ziggler against progressively high profile opponents until he looked untouchable and finally cashed in when the champion was in an extremely vulnerable state (Like when Del Rio was taped to the ring several weeks ago) to make him look like a bastard, an unbeatable bastard, retaining in a multi-man match at Wrestlemania (with Del Rio, Big Show and Swagger perhaps). Sure this is all fantasy booking, but in terms of time scale it all could have worked out, if only.
Multi-Man Streak Match
Continuing down this fantasy booking route, I got to thinking when Orton, Big Show and Sheamus came out that I wouldn't have minded if in an attempt to cover up for the Undertaker's shaky health, they booked him in a multi-man match where the streak was on the line. Now sure the match would have been a clusterfuck and not the five-star classics that we are now used to in the Streak matches, but really I am still sceptical about Taker's ability to perform anyway so who knows how things will go in a one-on-one competition, even against Punk. I'd certainly be interested in seeing these men all compete against the Undertaker, while guaranteeing that he himself didn't have to actually wrestle in the match all that much, while still being the target, as while it would be a five-man match the other four men would all only be after a pin on the Undertaker to make things legit. Basically I wouldn't have minded seeing the Streak gimmick be expanded from just being great one-on-one matches, yes I am a someone who wants to stretch tradition too far until it is destroyed, and yes I think that the Streak should only exist to eventually be broken, deal with it.
The Shield vs. Undertaker
Another option I could have gone for, and one that there is no chance of happening now, but could have been made to work with the situation that took place on Raw, is the Shield facing the Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Now this would have been the opposite of the last booking where the Undertaker would have had to have been damn heavily involved. But hear me out, this would have worked if you guaranteed that this would be the Undertaker's last Wrestlemania and the streak was going to end. Here it becomes a question of who could credibly end the Undertaker's streak and benefit the most from it; and the answer is The Shield. Taker is of such legendary status now that a three-on-one match wouldn't mean that everyone would be certain that he would lose and yet due to the Shield's match style when they did finally triumph over the Deadman you could chalk it up to just how effective they are as a unit. Now a lot of people might say that three ‘rookies' shouldn't be given such a boon as to end Taker's streak, but screw it, this would make sure that the group looked awesome and had something major to trade off when they finally part ways. All three men have also proven that they each have a unique presence that could make them break out stars when they do finally separate, so you are not wasting this holiest of holies on a potentially bad investment. What's more it would have fit in with their whole gimmick of taking down the old, corrupt image of the WWE, which surely the Undertaker represents even more than Cena. It would be the ultimate goal for the group and would have been awesome for them, hell it would be even better if it happened next year if the group is still together and dominant, could that be the case? Probably not.
Departs from his partner, relegated to near-jobber status. Reunites with his partner, relegated to Main Event and Superstars. Just what did Cody Rhodes do wrong? He even had the perfect in of an attack on his father this week to make an appearance on Raw. This wouldn't have had to mean a face turn, although I think that seems imminent anyway since his love interest in Kaitlyn is already heading that way, so in fact a run-in to protect or avenge his father would have only aided matters, and with nothing to do right now and Wrestlemania imminent it would have given him some much needed exposure, even if it was just in losing to Swagger in the final weeks leading up to the event.
That's all for this week, sorry for all the fantasy booking, it is the Wrestlemania season, it makes me think about what could have been and what could be in the coming year. The event will still be great and hopefully we won't get another 18-second match like we did last year. Of course you have to wonder what the WWE has planned now that they won't have the surprise return of Lesnar to spice things up once the event is over. Instead Rock, Brock, HHH, Y2J and Taker will all probably disappear and things will be pretty desolate in the main event picture. We might have two new champions in Cena and Dolph Ziggler, and this might lead to a whole new host of rivalries, but who knows, and what will become of C.M. Punk, will he really fade into obscurity once again and like Orton and he himself before him (that's right) after losing to the Undertaker? If so, that would be sad as two years ago that is what started his major beef with the state of the WWE, going from a main event player facing the Undertaker on a PPV one month to barely being on the radar the next. The more things change, the more they stay the same, for now this is James Wright signing off.