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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

The Heel Report: 01.23.14: Outlaws and Icons
Posted by James Wright on 01.23.2014

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

While the Bully-Anderson feud seems like an afterthought to give them something to do now that Bully is out of the title picture and the Aces & 8s have disbanded, there wasn't another heel who really did so much to earn points as the Bully in his match this week. Over the past two years Bully Ray has proven that he could be the main player in a wrestling company and hold his own in the ring and on the mic, and this new, somewhat broody, Bully is doing some great things with menace and lighter fluid. All he needs now is some kind of disfiguring accident and a mask and he will be all set.

There was some nice brutality in the match but the actual lack of fire suggests that this feud is far from over. It was nice to see Anderson's attempt to use the lighter fluid against Bully as leading into the low blow and the piledriver for the win. If this feud was over it would have been more likely that the Bully would have been undone by the same thing. Or alternatively if this feud is over then Bully almost buried Anderson by taking him out several times, beating him relatively clean here, and also even kicking out of his finisher earlier in the match, if Anderson doesn't get his win back then you have to wonder what they want to do with the character.

It would make more sense to have this feud continue until Anderson comes out on top and at the same time position him for a shot at Magnus as after he has feuded with perhaps Angle and Samoa Joe there won't be any real other face contenders for him to go against, at least not with the current state of things in TNA.

2nd Place: The Shield

Once again the Shield looked pretty strong this week despite the clear signs of a breakup in the near future. I liked their promo on Smackdown where Ambrose tried to bullshit about not eliminating his fellow teammates, only to have Rollins call him on it and say that he would eliminate him in a heartbeat if it came down to it. Plus you had the added tension of Reigns acting like he could easily take both of them out if he wanted to, something which you would imagine his character thinks all the time.

This is why their win on Raw was pretty interesting as often the team triumphs after a Reigns spear or interference but this week he was taken out by Big E and it was the tandem of Rollins and Ambrose that got the victory clean. It showed that all three members are strong and Reigns looked more than a little put out that he was not the key component in the victory, showing signs of the relative ego he is developing within the team.

On a side-note, I love the Blackout that Rollins uses, I know he has used it for years but it really is a great looking move that can believably take down anyone of any size and could easily be utilized like the RKO to ‘come out of nowhere' as his time in the WWE develops. At this point it really looks like each member of the Shield could do well once their inevitable break up comes and I can't wait to see the team in the Rumble match itself.

3rd Place: Ethan Carter

The nephew of Dixie Carter, by hook or by crook, got a big win against Sting this week, leading off of his pinfall victory against the Icon in a handicap tag match last week. You could even say that Carter has Sting's number, so yeah, maybe it is time that Sting moved on to greener pastures in the WWE.

Next week will probably be the Icon's last in TNA as he is getting another shot at the title and if he loses his contract will not be renewed, which could just be kayfabe but I wouldn't be surprised if this was the end for the Stinger's career in TNA given the current state of things.

The upside of all this is that new guys like Carter are able to get a legitimate shot at the main event, whether they have the talent or not to carry that has yet to be seen but at least you can't accuse the ‘new era' in TNA as being stale in terms of the same main event talent being used.

4th Place: Dixie Carter

Is this that start of a new era, or is this the dying days of WCW all over again? Either way Dixie Carter seems determined to make herself a major presence on the broadcast every week. At this point there is a double-edged sword in this as while she has been taking away air time it has usually involved pushing the new talent of Ethan Carter and Rockstar Spud, although this week it was mainly about her and the older talents of Sting and Kurt Angle, while also taking away from her champion Magnus.

Heel Dixie could be a force for good in TNA but often this has not been the case so far. A remedy to this could be for her to go more ‘Anonymous GM', although without the anonymous part, as in post more match-making decisions and general booking on Twitter for the announcers to report, so she becomes more of a computer presence and less of an onscreen one.

Let Rockstar Spud be the one to say ‘Get ‘em boys!' and book Ethan Carter in matches that favour him over Twitter, leave the twenty minute promo stuff to the guys over at WWE who have three hours to kill, maybe then you wouldn't have to split your PPV episodes between two parts, which is a pretty strange move, even if it is a ratings grab, it just feels like it will dilute their PPV presence even further.

5th Place: Magnus

The presence of Dixie Carter shows in her champion's inability to surpass her on the chart. It's great that Carter is giving new talent a shot at the main event but if they can't find enough air time to outshine the main authority figure in the promotion (admittedly a problem for any ‘corrupt authority figure' storyline) then things need to be changed around.

Magnus needs to have some matches where he actually wrestles and looks good doing it, unfortunately there is barely any talent that are in the proper place to be believably able to go against the champ and then lose clean after a solid outing. Instead they are either complete jobbers or faces that need to be protected with another screwy finish, which Magnus really doesn't need any more of, hopefully this will change soon or maybe he will be relegated to being a guest referee every week.

6th Place: Kane

Corporate Kane is possibly one of the biggest mysteries in the WWE for quite a while. Is he a Wyatt plant? Is he working secretly with Daniel Bryan, or even Punk and Bryan in some twisted game, or is he a straight Authority sell-out? If so, how does he cope with their general face actions as he gave himself to them for evil? Or have the creative team simply forgotten all these possible plot points and have no idea what they are doing from week to week?

Any of these possibilities and more could be the case, but I know which one I am banking on. No matter what though, it seems like Corporate Kane will be stepping back into the ring at some point soon, possibly against Punk. Although whether or not this will happen at the Rumble remains to be seen.

7th Place: Rockstar Spud

I think at this point the Chief of Staff and the Raw GM can be properly compared and in my opinion I think that Rockstar Spud is actually the better figure. This is because Maddox acts like he is too cool for school while being treated like dirt, but always remains smug despite this. Whereas Spud is playing a completely simpering toady, he has no spine and is prepared to completely humble and humiliate himself in service of his ‘queen', Dixie Carter.

Sure that doesn't exactly make for the best in-ring wrestler, but that isn't the role Spud is playing at this point, and neither is Maddox. If either of these men end up in the ring then it will be more for comedy at this point than anything else so who cares about any respectability as a wrestler they might have at this point.

8th Place: The Wyatt Family

Some good promos from the leader of the Wyatt Family this week, but he still didn't get the better of Daniel Bryan, who will go one on one with him at the Rumble, in what seems to be a match to replace his own spot in the Rumble match, which will suck if true.

If Bryan ends up not being in the Rumble then you have to wonder if this is because of his concussion, or if it was the plan all along. Either way the chance of Bryan winning the Rumble match and going on to Wrestlemania seems shot. Right now the chances of Batista headlining seems greater and greater.

9th Place: Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio is back to his winning ways, and against his old rival Mysterio. Still though this did not stop him from taking punishment from a returning Batista, who will most likely also run through him at the Rumble in the match itself, so whatever slump Del Rio has been in, I don't think it is safe to say that he is fully out of it just yet.

Frankly Del Rio is one of the few guys that I don't care about succeeding in the company any more than he has already considering that he hasn't changed his character from day one, which was a stale stereotype to begin with, and yet has won title after title.

10th Place: New Age Outlaws

The Outlaws parlayed their betrayal of Punk into a near guaranteed tag team title shot, which at this point would be fine if they won. They have proven they can still go in the ring and the Rhodes Brothers have held the belts long enough to justify their big victory for the belts and their jobs to begin with.

Having the title match on the pre-show might indicate that others with matches on the card will also be in the Rumble match itself, which would be good for guys like Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar.

(Week 028)

1. Randy Orton (154)

2. Bully Ray (115)

3. Dixie Carter (89)

4. HHH (85)

5. AJ Lee (82)

6. Alberto Del Rio (82)

7. Dean Ambrose (67)

8. Robert Roode (67)

9. Bray Wyatt (66)

10. Robert Roode (61)

Heel Centurions:

That's all for this week, the Rumble match is nearly upon us and somehow there are several top faces in line to win the match and go on to face Orton at Mania for the title. However if Cena wins then who the crap knows who would face him or what shenanigans will be pulled before the big event. I am actually hoping for Punk-Orton as I think Punk deserves the main event if Bryan doesn't get it, but I suspect we will see Punk against HHH, which will be fine as long as Punk goes over in the end and would be suitable payback for the end to the summer of 2011. The problem is that the win will mean little else apart from this, hell a title win wouldn't really mean that much since Punk has little left to prove in that department, basically Punk's main goal at Mania, apart from taking the main event, is to once again put on the match that steals the show; if he can also take the title and main event the card then that would be just a massive bonus at this point. Anyway that's enough shameless Punk appreciation, for now this is James Wright signing off.


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