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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

The Heel Report: 02.13.14: Strongly Worded Letter
Posted by James Wright on 02.13.2014

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

For all the criticisms to be levelled at the WWE right now it is hard to say anything negative about the treatment of the Shield, even in the lead up to their inevitable disbanding, or at least the departure of their heavy hitter Roman Reigns. The group have been together for over a year and will probably run in their original incarnation until Wrestlemania and during that time they have been a constant source of entertainment, with great matches and promos week in and week out, as well as a few decent feuds to add to their legacy as they develop in the WWE.

All three men continue to look strong in their respective roles within the group and each man has their own, well-fleshed-out, character that should help them progress as entities within the WWE once they are no longer a three man unit of mercenaries for hire. With many of these desired storylines, the WWE has a habit of rushing things and ruining its potential for the fans, but with the dissention between Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose things have been kept in check and have progressed nicely so we are likely to get a satisfying conclusion. What's more we will be getting the much anticipated match between the Shield and the Wyatts before things go down and once again like always with the Shield, no one has really had to be kept down or passed over to tell this story.

Yet the Shield continue to win and were able to stand tall when face to face with the Wyatts. Seeing the booking of this group really does make you wonder why such booking is so rare in the company, and in professional wrestling in general. Sure the group have suffered some losses, but they have always come through it and looked strong, even in defeat, with other face teams losing little when they do fall to the group given their clear kayfabe advantage in six-man tags of being a cohesive unit, at least in the ring and for the most part.

Remember when we all feared that the group would falter when they eventually lost, didn't happen. Remember when we all feared that giving the group titles would lead to their presence being diluted or belittled by meaningless feuds and losses, didn't happen. Even now when they have become less of a novelty because they wrestle every week and are not so protected as a group, they still seem dominant and have an aura of star power, and that is an achievement. You have to fear how they will fare once they break out on their own, but if they have even slightly the same amount of good booking as they are getting right now then they should be alright, even if one member does potentially much better than the other two, at least in the near future.

2nd Place: The Wyatt Family

Coming in just behind the Shield are their opponents at Elimination Chamber; the Wyatts. There has been some talk of whether their six-man match will be in an Elimination Chamber match at the PPV and while I think that would be a pretty interesting occurrence I really just can't see it happening. However if they were to do that it would be possibly to let the two clear standouts of the groups, at least in the WWE's eyes; Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns, have a significant opportunity to shine in such a match. Either by having Rollins and Reigns taken out by the entire Wyatt family before Reigns obliterates Rowan and Harper single-handedly, only to fall to Wyatt himself (I just can't see the Shield winning this match), or by having Reigns do this to the two before Wyatt comes out and having Ambrose somehow cause Reigns ‘ elimination and the group's eventual loss to a game Bray Wyatt.

Still fantasy booking aside a normal six-man tag match should still be a great affair, with all six men getting some time to show their stuff, although again some more than others. The confrontation between the two groups this week on Raw was interesting, after all the words exchanged between them it was good to see Reigns be the one to really step up as it fits his character, just as it fits Bray's to decline any foolish physical confrontation and instead play mind games with the mercenaries.

I remember a time when there was a lot of guff about there being no personalities in the WWE, well now we have a Southern hill-billy cult going up against a group of guns for hire who call themselves the Hounds of Justice, so there is certainly less to complain about in that department right now. I am fully behind Bray and his family winning at the PPV and going on to face John Cena at Wrestlemania, even if that leads to an eventual loss, since like the Shield, I don't think losses have to actually harm this group as long as they are booked right. Hell knowing the character of Bray Wyatt he will probably pull a Cena in losing to the 14 time world champion and just laugh it off.

3rd Place: Randy Orton

The WWE champion might be heading for the termination of his championship reign at the Elimination Chamber, but if he is, then he is having some pretty decent matches in the lead up to losing the belt(s). He might have lost the past two weeks on Raw to big opponents, seemingly indicating that his kayfabe time as the face of the WWE is coming to a close, but he did get a win over Christian on Smackdown so that is something.

What's more his agitation at the fans this week was pretty great considering his reputation for being Randy Bor-ton, I think a character change where he was just constantly irate at the fans would be good for him as it would help him vent some real frustrations and might actually make him more entertaining overall, despite his strange obsession with chin-locks and rest holds. The only problem is that this would make fans like him again and thus break the gimmick, unless of course part of his whole ‘I hate the fans so much!' shtick was to use almost nothing but rest holds for an entire match to urk them, and start using a much lamer version of the RKO where he sets it up in an even more obvious and unbelievable way, like the 619, man I hate Rey Mysterio.

Whatever you want to say about Orton it can't be denied that he has now gotten to the point in his career where losing the title won't mean all that much and won't really hurt his character in the slightest. Maybe once he drops the belt he could become a corporate stooge and team with Kane for some more tag team hijinks as with Team Hell No or Rated-RKO, although the best team name I can come up with for these two would be the Flaming Vipers, so hopefully the WWE could think of something better.

4th Place: Ethan Carter

The former Derrick Bateman keeps on going from strength to strength as the talent vacuum in TNA keeps awarding him opportunities that most likely wouldn't have come along otherwise. This week he got to take out the Olympic Gold Medalist with a chair and look completely dominant in doing so, what's more this will lead to a match at Lockdown where he could potentially win, making him surely one of the youngest talents to go over wrestlers the likes of both Sting and Kurt Angle in years.

This whole situation begs the question of whether he actually deserves it. But then again can we really judge what makes someone deserving of what quantity and quality of push? Carter is a decent enough character and he is clearly invested in his role, and he has a good look, maybe that is enough, at least right now anyway when TNA has barely enough talent to keep their UK tour together.

Either way once again Carter has earned a place near the top of the list due to the attention his character is given in TNA and in the end it is hard to argue with the pushing of new talent over the same old names and faces, then again that's what happened with John Cena and look how that turned out.

5th Place: The Authority

The Authority continue to toe the line between heel and face, being slightly more on the side of heel this week in HHH's smug smile to the Big Show when they came out and upstaged Betty White, as well as when they decided to give Bryan the night off.

It is hard to decide if what they are doing with Bryan is progress or not, as before the argument goes that if they really wanted to bury Bryan they just wouldn't use him, but at the same time just because they use him doesn't mean they actually have any real plans to have him as a true main event player. Last time Bryan started going up against HHH and the Authority that didn't exactly lead to any major successes in his career. In fact, if the internet rumours are to be believed, it was going to land him with a match against Sheamus at Wrestlemania, perhaps one of the least inspiring storylines to visit right now with Bryan, hell I would rather see Bryan vs. Kane than Bryan vs. Sheamus at this point.

It's funny how near a year ago people were all predicting and clamouring for this match and now most wouldn't even dream of wanting to see the two former Team Hell No partners face off against each other at Wrestlemania. It would be seen as a major step down for Bryan, and indeed it would be, which shows you just how far he has come. Going back to the Authority, while Bryan really does seem like an afterthought to them you have to admit that they at least played a role in this rise in his status, I just hope they capitalize on it.

6th Place: Bully Ray

What a vicious attack on Curry Man this week from Bully Ray, a pure show of strength from the former President of the Aces & 8s, symbolically putting him into a casket after destroying him with a pile driver. Curry Man didn't stand a chance, he is a great international talent but he just doesn't measure up to Bully Ray, now maybe if Ray had been in the ring with Roode, Magnus or hell even Christopher Daniels maybe it wouldn't have gone down that way.

Okay I'll stop now, but I just love the whole concept of wrestlers with dual identities (when they are for the most part completely separate), in the case of Joseph Park; it was a nice experiment, but now I am glad it is nearly over. Bully continues to be a bad ass in his new character, even if it does get a little emo at some points.

7th Place: Dixie Carter

The President of TNA gets onto the chart in this position simply for the fact that she mugged enough camera time this week so that it was hard to avoid giving her a bunch of points just for showing up. Now sure Dixie isn't a terrible heel, and she has the whole ‘rich and entitled Southern belle' thing down to a tee, but there is generally too much time spent filming her interactions with talent, both backstage and in the ring, this is the type of thing that the WWE app could be used for.

Much like with Abyss currently, the Dixie experiment has been interesting and has had some positives, but it is certainly something that I wouldn't mind seeing come to an end at some point soon, especially since her overwhelming motivations to protect Magnus as her champion over someone like Bobby Roode seem to make little sense, at least to me anyway.

8th Place: Rockstar Spud

If you need further proof that Dixie Carter is getting too much air time then look no further than her sniveling toady with his head firmly planted up her jacksy coming right after her on the chart after appearing just as much as she did on Impact, and he doesn't even have the whole ‘well they do own the company' thing to fall back on.

However that is not to say that I'm not a big fan of Spud, I am, his general weasely English antics are much appreciated and do generally add somethinig to Impact, but again I question; should he really be receiving as much attention as he is getting right now?

9th Place: Kane

Kane related this week how he swapped an undisclosed location in the bowls of the arena for a corner office, now even if he had then ate twenty pedigrees and been pinned to lose both the IC and world title, along with his mask, that line would have still gotten him a place on the chart!

What I want to know is who wrote Kane's segment on Raw because it was funny, made sense, actually explained somethings, advanced plotlines, and had an overall consistency and level of back referencing that you generally don't get in the WWE. If Kane himself came up with it then put that man on the writing staff as soon as possible! Former wrestlers as TV writers, who would think that would be a good idea!

10th Place: Alberto Del Rio

When oh when will Dolph Ziggler, and Kofi Kingston for that matter, be able to step out of the shadow of this man? He gets so many pointless, and just as many important, victories over these men that it is just embarrassing. I really will be glad when the WWE stop caring about him since he is at that Orton-Sheamus of last year level where he isn't really adding anything to the product but the WWE feels like they have to keep feeding him mid-card stars to keep his imaginary standings up.

Would actual kayfabe standings work in today's professional wrestling? I don't know, the last people who tried that was TNA and they gave up on it pretty damn quick, but hell who knows?!

(Week 031)

1. Randy Orton (169)

2. Bully Ray (120)

3. Dixie Carter (93)

4. HHH (91)

5. Alberto Del Rio (86)

6. AJ Lee (82)

7. Bray Wyatt (79)

8. Dean Ambrose (77)

9. Robert Roode (67)

10. Roman Reigns (66)

Heel Centurions:

Titus O'Neil – Smackdown Interview

Is it me or was there a much-cheesier-Rock vibe to this interview? Either way Titus was actually pretty entertaining and showed that his charisma is not just based on completely cheap stereotypes and terrible gross-out moments. He was simply acting like a cocky athlete and it worked, it then helped that he acted like a complete wimp when Darren Young attacked him, curling up into a ball and asking him if they could just talk about it and to leave him alone. Who would believe that such a big man could be such a big baby? I could after this interview and it completely worked for me, more of this please in the future, we have had enough generic big-men angry destroyers, why not have a cocky-douche crybaby this time instead?

That's all for this week, there is still over a week until Elimination Chamber and somehow I am still just not that excited about the event. I think the WWE really has made me more reserved about getting my hopes up for their events since this past six months they really have promised way more than they have delivered, especially in the case of Daniel Bryan. For the sheer talent and capability they have right now it just seems like they aren't giving the fans enough of what they want, even if they are improving greatly in some areas; i.e. overall match quality and tag team action. That only matters up to a certain point when you are still shafting fans in other areas and providing them with main events that they don't want to see or are near guaranteed to disappoint. But hey, if we do see Elimination Chamber end with Bryan holding the title and the next night on Raw the match is booked for a three-way with him, Batista and Orton at Mania, as well as Undertaker's match being sorted out then great, but no matter what the reaction to such an event, it is hard to argue that they couldn't have had a much bigger moment on their hands if they had just given Bryan the title earlier or had him win the Rumble, but ah well, can't really speculate on such things now, maybe it will all work out for the best…Or maybe it will once again be that we are shoveled a big bunch of crap at the end of a WWE PPV, either way this is James Wright signing off.


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