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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

The Heel Report: 02.07.14: Reap What You Sow
Posted by James Wright on 02.07.2014

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: The Shield

On any given night the team of the Shield can be booked to beat pretty much any three-man assortment of superstars on the roster. They won two six-man tags this week and look strong in the lead up to their match with the Wyatts at Elimination Chamber, one of seemingly several treats that the WWE are providing us with, perhaps in an effort to make up for the whole Royal Rumble fiasco.

You have to wonder if we will be able to say the same of them when they finally go their separate ways. You'd have to think that Reigns will do well, and Rollins and Ambrose certainly have the ability to follow suit, but I'm not so sure they will be given the same amount of opportunities when they become singles competitors.

It's quite possible that the Shield will actually continue, sans Reigns, with new members added once he departs. Honestly I think that might be the best thing for Rollins and Ambrose at this point. Right now they are an attraction and get booked in main event matches all the time, I doubt the same will be said when they are on their own so hopefully if they stay as the same kind of unit we can have them about in the spotlight for at least a little bit longer.

Also the whole team thing is big in the WWE right now and adding a new member, possibly someone else from NXT would be a great way to debut a new talent, top of that list being Sami Zayn, now that would be awesome.

2nd Place: The Wyatt Family

Bray Wyatt welcomes the war with the Shield, and so do I. The only real shame is that this feud will probably only last up until Elimination Chamber, possibly extending to Wrestlemania if we are lucky. I like the whole Authority thing where HHH was warning the groups that are blatantly associated with him not to feud as no good could come of it, before recognizing that there was no avoiding it so he might as well make a profit out of it.

The Wyatts are a tricky kayfabe bunch and dealing with them can't really be what's best for business so you have to imagine that if there is any further involvement of either team with the Authority that the Wyatts will be the ones to break away rather than stay under the thumb of the establishment. Hell if the Wyatts turned face within the year I wouldn't be surprised, even with all the creepy cult stuff in tow.

The Wyatt's also won their tag match on Raw but don't have the same work rate as the Shield and so often find it hard to actually outshine them. I fully expect this group to win their match at the Chamber, but hell I kind of wish the match itself was in the chamber as that would be interesting to see, although might overdo the rivalry seeing as how it would be their first match against each other.

3rd Place: Magnus

The TNA world champ was on top form this week back in the UK, especially since the show was actually emanating from Scotland, where being the first English world champion is likely to get you some hate even if you are a face, let alone a heel who is being booked as a paper champion.

In response to a comment from last week I get that Magnus is supposed to be ‘undeserving' of the title, but that doesn't mean TNA have to book him to look like he legitimately can't get anything done on his own whatsoever. At least this week on Impact they actually acknowledged that Bobby Roode is basically responsible for all of Magnus's accomplishments since winning the world title. Then again as soon as he was out of the picture, the champion lost, further going to show that Roode is the real guy whole should be on top in all this.

Magnus actually probably does have the talent to make it as a solid champion, but if it is going to be in this run then he is going to have to start winning some title matches on his own, I guess we'll just have to wait until Lockdown to see if that happens.

4th Place: Antonio Cesaro

It was a big week for Cesaro as he managed to qualify for his first Elimination Chamber against a game Dolph Ziggler. This was a difficult one because you always want to see Ziggler succeed but at the same time Cesaro deserves his own shot to show that he can be a main event player and really either way neither man would have won the match, so it wasn't the biggest loss for Ziggler.

Then again now Cesaro will be in the main event of a PPV against some high caliber opponents and probably get a pretty good payday from it if nothing else, so maybe Ziggler should be so irate after all. The real question though is what is happening with the Real Americans?

It seems like the relationship between Swagger and Coulter is on the way out so where does that leave Cesaro? Does he stay with the xenophobic manager and continue his heel ways? Or will he break off, possibly become a face? Or will the two turn face together? It would be interesting to see Swagger turn face but at this point you have to ask if he has already had more than enough chances to connect with the fans and it just hasn't worked. Also going back to Ziggler, there is no assurance that even if he does connect, that the WWE won't just for the most part bury him away from the main event anyway.

5th Place: New Age Outlaws

The tag team champions of the world managed to retain the belts in a steel cage match on Raw. It might be a bit surprising that the old veterans retained, but if the Rhodes Brothers are heading towards a collision at Wrestlemania then at this point they really don't need the tag belts going forward.

What's more this leaves the titles free to have a nice multi-team match at Mania, which could be cool. What slightly urks me though is that this match could have easily been at Elimination Chamber itself and would have fit with the theme slightly. Also once again I will say like many others; I really wish the WWE would go back to meaninglessly named PPVs so that specialty matches can be booked organically, rather than having to come up with some bullshit reason to do the same match every year with different participants. (Sure Royal Rumble and Survivor Series can technically be counted in this, but those multi-man matches are made to be booked in such a way, whereas all the others like TLC or Hell in a Cell don't have the tradition or the reasoning to work in the same way, they just feel arbitrary.)

There have been a couple of PPVs like Payback where such a thing might be happening, unfortunately they chose to put that PPV in between two others rather than just changing the name of one of those PPVs. Whatever happens, more tag team specialty matches like this will be great, either they will cheapen the concept in terms of having a ‘specialty PPV' and they might go away. Or at least we will possibly get more matches with the same theme, rather than just the WWE title match being a TLC match, we could get a classic multi-man TLC tag match as well, which would be cool.

6th Place: Titus O'Neil

Titus had a nice little heel turn this week, although a pretty predictable one since the ‘turning on a less successful tag team partner for being dead weight' has been done to death. The problem I have with this turn right now is that it is Wrestlemania season and no matter how strongly the WWE book Titus from here on out, he will get lost in the shuffle before his turn can actually achieve anything.

Not only that but there is the fact that the Prime Time Players never really got the chance to go anywhere as a tag team, and they could have if they hadn't been just booked to lose all the time. The WWE is a strange beast, in that it claims to be promoting tag teams and yet their actual tag teams are mostly treated like jokes compared to any singles talent, even in tag team matches. To be fair to them there has been a lot more tag team action as of late, and more teams at the moment than often in the recent past. However the NAO aren't going to be around that long, Prime Time Players are now gone, and the Rhodes Brothers are seemingly destined to break up, so where does that leave the tag division?

7th Place: Abyss

Another seeming heel turn came from Abyss this week as the monster turned on the mad scientist Eric Young. Now the two will face off in a Monster's Ball match, which is kind of interesting but once again, and even worse in this case, this is no time to be splitting up your tag teams!

TNA used to have a thriving tag team division and now they can barely scrape together a half-decent team to challenge for the titles, and the champions they have are a joke and need to be replaced as soon as possible.

8th Place: Bo Dallas

I really liked how NXT handled the contract signing between Bo and Adrien Neville, sure it ended in a brawl like all the others but it was done in a much more creative fashion, with Bo not bothering to come out at first but then when Neville challenged his ability he decided to wrestle a match to display his prowess.

This made the champion look strong enough but also conveyed that he was worried about the challenger, and that insecurity in turn raises the challenger to look like more of a threat, it was nice.

9th Place: Alberto Del Rio

I know that Batista is actually back for a long term stretch, but I still think his first singles match back should be a bigger deal than being against Alberto Del Rio. Then again that was probably the thinking behind the Lesnar-Cena match and then when Brock lost it robbed him of all his momentum.

At least this way the Animal can tear through the Mexican Aristocrat on his way to Wrestlemania, the only problem is that this is like the Lesnar-Big Show match; there is no interest because we all know the outcome and don't really care about the interplay between the two. This is why guys like Ziggler or Cesaro would come in useful, because even though we know they are going to lose, they could really use the rub of a good, reasonably high profile match with a monster like Brock or Batista, so there is more interest and yet the outcome is still never in doubt. Whereas established stars who go against these returning guys are either not in the spot to win but gain nothing from the match, or they are too high to lose and gain nothing from the victory, pointless either way outside of ‘dream matches'.

10th Place: Kane

The Corporate Monster turned his attention to his former tag team partner this week as his other playmate, C.M. Punk had already taken his ball and gone home. Now don't get me wrong, I am actually for the most part in support of Punk's leaving, after all if things are pissing you off at work, and you have the financial stability to do so, why not just quit? If things are really that bad then just get out of that situation. However there is something to be said for not going while leaving the company, and co-workers completely in the lurch, if you leave and someone else has to pick up the slack that is not cool. On the other hand in wrestling things are a little different: first of all if someone leaves then that for the most part only provides opportunities for others, such as Daniel Bryan, who might have ended up going up against Sheamus at Mania but now could be in the main event, or at least against HHH. Then you have to consider that every night a wrestler goes out there and does their job they are risking their lives, what if Punk stuck around until July or whenever, just out of obligation, and ended up paralyzed or seriously injured? And since he was working injured already that was a serious possibility. Finally you have to consider that we don't know what Punk's contract stipulated, maybe he had said ‘walk-out' clause, and if he did then the WWE should have been more aware that such a thing could happen, if Punk had declared this possible intention in his contract then his leaving is not so out of the blue, although at the same time if said clause was in his contract then I don't know how he ever thought that he would be main eventing Wrestlemania, you would have to be stupid to give that to a guy who could walk out at any time.

Anyway that's enough Punk speculation, Kane will be fine and Punk will probably be brought back before Mania anyway, although either way I am much less inclined to think this is a work now as the WWE can't help themselves when it comes to promotion so you've got to know that they wouldn't have ignored those C.M. Punk chants on Raw and sought to avoid them as much as possible, they just aren't that thorough when it comes to storyline writing.

(Week 030)

1. Randy Orton (161)

2. Bully Ray (115)

3. Dixie Carter (89)

4. HHH (88)

5. Alberto Del Rio (85)

6. AJ Lee (82)

7. Bray Wyatt (74)

8. Dean Ambrose (73)

9. Robert Roode (67)

10. Roman Reigns (63)

Heel Centurions:

That's all for this week, with Punk walking out on the WWE you have to wonder if that will start a trend for other unhappy workers. I highly doubt it since Punk is a rare breed of guy who is passionate and yet doesn't give a fuck and so is well equipped to just walk out on a high-paid, high-profile job when he is completely dissatisfied with his role in it. Everyone else who quits is usually already on the way out or so low down the card that it doesn't really matter. I just hope that the WWE realise their mistake and turn Batista heel before it is too late, because face Batista is pretty boring at this point, and the same is true of heel Orton so they really need to do something to save their big main event for Wrestlemania XXX. Here's hoping they do, but for now this is James Wright signing off.


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