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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

The Heel Report: 02.02.14: Lots of Beef
Posted by James Wright on 02.02.2014

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: Brock Lesnar

While there were plenty of contenders for first place this week (including several face characters if this report was judged on boos alone) but in the end the number one dominant heel on our screens had to be Brock Lesnar. I have to give it to the WWE on this one, they really did do a good job of making Lesnar look like a monster both at the Royal Rumble and then on Raw.

Whatever the plans were originally for the Big Show-Lesnar match I am glad they made it almost a complete beat down, while also letting Lesnar score an easy, if slightly cheap, win over the Giant. The chair shot sequence after the bout was pretty brutal as well, and that is despite the PG rating and lack of chair shots to the head, which in this case was most definitely a good thing for the general well-being of the Big Show. Lesnar seriously wore out those steel chairs on the body of the Giant.

Then on Raw Lesnar stepped up his campaign to become the new WWE World champion by challenging both Batista and Randy Orton to a match that night, subsequently destroying the former tag team champions when he didn't get his way. A big question will be what Lesnar's role will be at the Elimination Chamber: Will he be in the chamber? Will he face Orton for the title? Will he go against Batista to give the Animal something to do before Mania? Or will he even have a match at all? Whatever the answer I am now at least more interested in his place in the shuffle since at least for now he is back to being the monstrous force that we all expect him to be.

2nd Place: The Wyatt Family

The Wyatt's leapfrogged over Daniel Bryan up the card this week straight to the doorstep of John Cena. By beating Bryan at the Rumble and costing Cena his match for the WWE World Heavyweight title, Bray Wyatt and family became massive thorns in the side of the two biggest faces in the WWE, for the most part ending their feud with one and beginning a feud with another, one that might take them all the way up to Wrestlemania.

There is also the interesting question of how their costing the Shield a really important match will effect things going forward. To me it seems like this will lead to a Shield-Wyatt match at Elimination Chamber, most likely with a Wyatt victory that contributes further to a Shield breakup. This way Bray can still go up against Cena at Mania, the Shield can still have their big breakup at the event, and we the fans get to see the trio-on-trio war between the two most dominant groups in all of WWE that we have been waiting for.

I was genuinely surprised when Wyatt went over Bryan at the Rumble, and even more surprised when Bryan wasn't in the Rumble match after that, well less surprised given my Roundtable predictions and more disappointed. Still they had a great match and clearly the match of the night due to the general booking of the other matches on the PPV and the showcase of talent that the two put on, something that I had seen from Wyatt on NXT but was glad to see again on the main programming since it was pretty much the first really decent match that Wyatt has had himself since his debut.

3rd Place: The Shield

Call me crazy but there seriously was a part of me that thought on Raw that the Shield might seriously win the main event tag match and go on to be in the Elimination Chamber. Furthermore I almost believed that Roman Reigns might have triumphed over Batista in the Rumble match to become an instant main event player leading up to Wrestlemania.

Now these events might seem outlandish but somehow it is often times easier to believe in the Shield than in anything else in the WWE. At least we got the monster push for Reigns as promised, with him breaking the record for eliminations in the Rumble match and even breaking out a Superman-like taunt to go with his Superman Punch. Hell getting to be the second-to-last guy in the Rumble against Batista is a pretty big deal, the last guy to do that was another Superman inspired wrestler in John Cena.

Reigns managed to eliminate his teammates in the Rumble after Ambrose, the man with all the numbers, tried to take him out first. I like that none of this was discussed on Raw by the group, Shield business you know, it doesn't need to be aired out in the open, at least not yet anyway.

4th Place: Randy Orton

All hail the reigning WWE World Heavyweight Chammpion, one of the most crapped on champions of all time! Honestly in that segment on Raw with Batista and Orton I thought the crowd were going to boo the house down, maybe they could have, if they hadn't been all booed-out from the segment with the Authority earlier in the night.

Still no matter how unpopular Orton as champion might be he still managed to retain the belt in what some might call an entertaining match, at least the end sequences were, even if they were there to try to appease the crowd, and even if we have seen them before. Sometimes it is nice to see Orton take an RKO or Cena trapped in the STF, although Orton seemed to have real trouble executing the AA, which is strange since it really doesn't look like all that much complicated a maneuver.

Can Randy Orton really survive the challenges that await him at the Elimination Chamber and further to Wrestlemania? Does anyone even want him to? For the most part I am pretty sure the answer is; No.

5th Place: The Authority

Triple HHH and Stephanie McMahon were out in full obnoxious force this week as they seemed to revel in the unadulterated hate that was coming from the crowd after the events of the Royal Rumble. I really thought that things would be a lot clearer after the Royal Rumble and in some ways they are but let's face it, if Orton comes out of the Elimination Chamber with the title then there won't be a Wrestlemania since crowds will seemingly become too unruly to actually host the event.

There is a fine line between trolling an audience and actually trying to alienate and anger them so they no longer support your product. Before the Rumble happened I had already come to peace with the idea of Batista versus Orton at Wrestlemania for the title, but upon seeing it start to happen I too became annoyed. The whole thing just reeks of the WWE not caring what their fans think. For years there hasn't been anyone that the fans have really taken to on their own, except perhaps for C.M. Punk, and for a large part that was ruined by the WWE's terrible booking, now that it seems to be happening again with Daniel Bryan people are mad as hell and they aren't going to take it anymore.

There is always a hope that they actually know what they are doing and that Daniel Bryan will get his justified day in the sun, but people are getting pretty tired of waiting and with it seeming like HHH is just giving opportunities to his friends this is either one of the best self-referencing storylines where we will see the manipulative HHH undone come Wrestlemania, or HHH really is the ridiculous ego-maniac that many have always accused him of being.

6th Place: Magnus

Magnus has been a busy champion, once again defending his title and this time putting the aging Icon Sting out of his misery in TNA. With Sting gone from the company it enables all types of possibilities for Wrestlemania, and on the TNA side of things this will free up a lot of space in the main event for talent that were passed up for Sting, which happened far too often in the company's history.

Magnus is doing an okay job as champion, but you have to wonder if TNA will ever let him get a victory on his own. The constant run-ins and brawls might be part of TNA's MO but they really don't help his cause of not looking like a paper champion, which essentially he is, but he doesn't need to be booked like one!

7th Place: New Age Outlaws

Ladies and gentlemen, your new tag team champions of the worrrld. Now it is easy to question the booking decision of giving the tag belts to two veterans at this point in their career. Maybe it is simply favoritism on the part of HHH. However I would also say that this tag title loss will help set up for the Rhodes vs. Rhodes match at Wrestlemania, although it will most likely be on the pre-show. Also as I said in the Royal Rumble Roundtable it was really the time for the brothers to lose the belts, they have held them long enough to justify their win and they are still not stale as champions and so should drop the belts now so as to stay credible.

The Outlaws will make good tag team champions, at least for now. They really don't need a lengthy reign with the titles, just to serve as a big enough name for the next champions to take the belts off of. Of course I have no idea who these challengers will be, but if I had to hazard a guess I would have to say the Usos, although I cannot fathom how they are going to get any sort of feud going and make it worth a Wrestlemania match, unless of course it becomes a multi-team affair.

8th Place: The Real Americans

Another candidate for the tag team titles are the Real Americans, if only because they are doing so well at the moment. There was an interesting interplay between Coulter and Swagger this week and you have to wonder if the WWE are actually going anywhere with this.

Antonio Cesaro is clearly the breakout member of the group, with Swagger still languishing in mediocrity after his various failings. One day Swagger might rise above and fulfill his potential, but at this point I am tempted to say that he would do a lot better in the smaller waters of TNA.

9th Place: Kane

The Big Red Machine had done a lot of work in his time away and he looks in much better shape than before, to the point where he is certainly fine wrestling in shoes and suit trousers, even if that general look is pretty strange to begin with.

Most people saw Kane's participation in the Rumble coming, and even his elimination of Punk, but the question is where will it lead and why was neither man on Raw this week?

10th Place: Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio was meat for the Animal at the Rumble as everyone predicted, but he did manage to get wins over Sin Cara and Kofi Kingston so at least he is not complete chum just yet. Still his title aspirations are pretty much up in smoke and I doubt he will get a shot any time soon, and if he does then the WWE is nuts.

(Week 029)

1. Randy Orton (161)

2. Bully Ray (115)

3. Dixie Carter (89)

4. HHH (88)

5. Alberto Del Rio (83)

6. AJ Lee (82)

7. Bray Wyatt (71)

8. Dean Ambrose (69)

9. Robert Roode (67)

10. Damien Sandow (61)

Heel Centurions:

That's all for this week, lots of interesting developments in the time that I have been writing this report; Sting is apparently heading to WWE, Kurt Angle has voiced his own desire to do the same, and C.M. Punk has basically quit after realising what many of us presumed for months, that he would not be in the main event of Wrestlemania. This is probably the worst news I have heard in a while but I can understand the frustration, you work so hard at what you do and consistently perform and yet the company you work for keeps on hiring former guys and giving them all the juicy payoffs you have been working so hard to obtain. What would have been interesting is to see what Punk would have done had Daniel Bryan actually gotten the Royal Rumble win, after all Punk still most likely would not have been in the main event of Wrestlemania, maybe he presumed that the WWE would understand that Punk vs. Bryan for the title at Mania would have brought the house down.


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