The Heel Report: 10.24.13: Hard Times
Posted by James Wright on 10.24.2013
Are we still riding the Dixie Train? Is the Bully on top? Or has the King of Kings risen once again? Read on to find out the top heel in professional wrestling this week!
This is the Heel Report. A weekly chart spanning from Tuesday's NXT to next Monday's Raw, 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, after 100 weeks naming the reigning wrestler a ‘Heel Centurion'.
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 (or in other words the smarkiest chart of smarkdom ever to smark), so without further ado let's get on with the report…
1st Place: Bully Ray
The inevitable might have happened at Bound For Glory but in the process it would be hard to argue that Bully Ray didn't earn the title of Heel of the Week. Even if he hadn't put on such a brutal performance at Bound For Glory in the main event, Bully Ray arguably deserves the spot for his ‘hard times' promo he gave on Impact.
The Bully has been the lead heel in TNA for a long time now and I don't see him losing the title as stopping that. One of the best things about Bully Ray's heel run, aside from the fact that I am now comfortable with calling him ‘Bully' rather than ‘Bubba' and that if he were to step into the WWE as a main event talent I could also believe it, is that he has been enjoyable while remaining completely unlikable.
Despite all the success and fun times the fans have had with Bully as champ he has remained a figure of hate in TNA who they could root against and help cheer on the various babyfaces who have tried to wrestle the title away from him. His reign in TNA has probably been one of the most significant and has seen us through a period where TNA seemed to be getting most everything right, to a period where they seem to be falling apart, let's just hope that without the title around the Bully's waist it won't put the company on even harder times than it is on now.
2nd Place: HHH
To go along with the Bully's fantastic promo this week there was HHH's promo against Daniel Bryan on Raw, one that was a little too telling about how some people in the back viewed those men who one might not call ‘the biggest dogs in the yard'.
There was a nice irony to his statement, not only in his own inability to truly become ‘the one' at any point in the WWE, but also in his friendship with one of the original little engines that could; Shawn Michaels, considering that in many ways it was HBK's success that helped the Game in his career before the McMahon-Helmsley era.
Things are getting so personal in this storyline that I wouldn't be surprised if it was HHH vs. Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania XXX, or Shawn Michaels for that matter, either would be a big match, although if they pull another 18-seconds thing (possibly with the Ultimate Warrior as the special guest referee in some perverse nostalgia kick) then that wouldn't be so great.
3rd Place: Robert Roode
The IT Factor managed to get a big, admittedly unexpected, and rather confusing win over Kurt Angle at Bound For Glory. I'm still not sure what happened there, did Angle legitimately pass out? Why did Roode feel the need to pin Kurt considering he was about to win after standing up at the end of the ten count, surely Angle not getting up should have ended the match? And why would what was arguably the best wrestled match on the card be booked to end in such an anti-climactic fashion?
Whatever the answers to these questions it can only really mean good things for Bobby Roode, and I would love to see these two go at it for a third time at Bound For Glory next year, or another if Angle can last, or the company itself for that matter, for that long.
Personally I think that this win should put Roode in line for the next title shot since you can't go wrong with Roode vs. Styles and if AJ leaves then who better to take the title off him? If your answer was Bully Ray then I would counter with the notion that Bully taking back the title straight away would cheapen the AJ win at Bound For Glory, much like it did for Sabin's win a couple of months ago. Either way I see big things for Roode in the future, as it should be.
4th Place: Chris Sabin
Speaking of the former world champion, he is now the new X-Division champion. People have been all types of distaining about TNA ‘hitting the reset button' when it comes to the titles but I think in this case it was the right choice. After all while having Samoa Joe, Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy in the division will certainly help raise its credibility, you don't want the star to outshine the title too much. Whereas the champion facing off against such stars and actually being able to find a way to win will be great for the belt.
The end to the Ultimate-X match, as well as the general use of ladders, was pretty bad considering how anti-climactic it was for a warm-up match, as well as how the ladders completely destroyed the gimmick, especially when seeing the pathetic sight of Manik slowly crawling towards the belt in a futile effort to get to it while Sabin and Hardy simply strolled up a ladder to claim it.
However I quite liked the use of Velvet Sky as the unwilling distraction, who knew just throwing a woman into the ring could result in a title win, why did Dolph Ziggler never catch onto that for all that time he was aligned with Vickie Guerrero?
5th Place: The BroMans
Why are these guys here? Because TNA are f*cking crazy, that's why! Still despite the completely unexplainable booking in this one it is hard to ignore that Robbie E (yes the Jersey Shore wannabe) won a fatal-four-way on Impact, then the team won the four-way tag match on the BFG pre-show to qualify for the title shot, and then actually managed to beat the champs for the titles when all was said and done.
I get that the tag team division in TNA needs to be rebuilt but are these guys really the team to do it? Now don't get me wrong, beneath his jokey gimmick Robbie E isn't all that bad a wrestler, but his partner Jesse? That guy is a reality show reject with muscles and nothing more, in previous weeks he has been busying himself losing to ODB and generally being seen as a tanned and muscly joke. The whole thing stinks, especially when you had Bad Influence waiting in the wings, who were instead used on the event to feed to the returning Abyss. (On a side note: Roode vs. AJ vs. Daniels for the title would be awesome in the next few months)
6th Place: Gail Kim
The new knockouts champion pulled a fast one this week by having aligned herself with Awesome Kong-lite. Still whatever makes you champion I suppose. While Kim is probably the best person to hold the belt at this point the division itself is nearly dead at this point, with there being five women in total by my count on the whole roster.
Sure most of the female wrestlers on the WWE's main roster can't wrestle worth a lick but at least there are enough of them to pad out a six-person tag match! Also the women on NXT are all primed and ready to be 100% better than 90% of the current roster, where is TNA's backup?
7th Place: The Shield
The days of true Shield dominance are over, but they are still big time players in the WWE and it still surprises me just how well this team of rookies, two being ‘undersized' indy guys, has been pushed over the past year.
Rollins & Reigns are getting their chance to reclaim their titles at Hell in a Cell and Dean successfully defended his US title on Main Event this week against Dolph Ziggler, when is Dolph going to catch a break man?
8th Place: Dixie Carter
The boss of TNA didn't do anywhere near as much to impress this week and once again came across as being completely out of control of her own company. It still feels like TNA were trying to recreate the whole second summer of Punk, especially with AJ celebrating in the crowd and everything, but it just didn't work.
Now we'll have to see where the Dixie train goes from here, hopefully there will be no more stops at Hogan-ville, but I wouldn't mind seeing a return to Russo Junction, hell if you are going to go out then you might as well do so in style.
9th Place: Bad Influence
Despite the criminal occurrence of these two men being left off of the Bound For Glory card, they still managed to sneak onto the chart with their general badie-ness and an attempted beat down of AJ Styles on Impact.
The choice not to have these two win the tag team titles was a bad one, and honestly why Christopher Daniels never gets any world title shots is beyond me.
10th Place: The Wyatt Family
Cryptic talk of hell and hard clotheslines gets the Wyatt Family into the tenth spot over guys like Ethan Carter the Third, who had a squash match against some ‘local talent' at Bound For Glory, yes you read that right. Will these feuds with the Miz and Kofi Kingston go anywhere? Who knows, and where is Kane in all this?
1. Bully Ray (74)
2. Randy Orton (73)
3. HHH (69)
4. Alberto Del Rio (56)
5. AJ Lee (50)
6. Paul Heyman (46)
7. Dean Ambrose (41)
8. Ryback (38)
9. Damien Sandow (34)
10. Stephanie McMahon (34)
That's all for this week, Bully Ray has managed to get to the top of the Rolling Chart in his final week as heel champion, can he hold onto it past the Hell in a Cell main event? Well that will depend a lot on just how dominant Orton is in the Cell, and if he can actually defeat Daniel Bryan to once again become the champion and true face of the company. Is it just me or does the card for Hell in a Cell blow Bound For Glory's out of the water? Add a surprise appearance from the Rock or Brock Lesnar and this has the potential to be the best PPV for the WWE so far this year, or it could all turn into a great big pile of shit, who knows?! For now though this is James Wright signing off.