The Heel Report 3.28.14: Turn Before the Show
Posted by James Wright on 03.28.2014
Does the Authority Rule? Is Magnus the king? And are the Shield even still around? 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: Magnus
One thing you can't say about Magnus is that he isn't a fighting champion, even if he does not do much of that fighting himself. Having Abyss in tow isn't a bad idea, at least for now. Of course the last time Abyss partnered with someone it didn't work out too well, and given TNA's current state of turning people on a monthly basis, Abyss might be turning on the TNA champion sooner rather than later.
Coming off the UK tour I still don't buy Magnus as the top heel in TNA, sure he had a couple of decent promos based off of dissing his homeland but it hasn't been enough to put him over the shadow of Bobby Roode, who is still mostly responsible for all the big heel acts that have taken place since Magnus became champion.
The champ has more of a chance now that Dixie Carter has left the building, but her place seems to have been taken up more by Rockstar Spud and Ethan Carter than Magnus. A further big problem is that he is now the main heel going up against MVP in promos and it seems like MVP isn't really up for being shown up, which could potentially be more stifling than Dixie Carter's presence ever was.
Still he did defend his title this week and that means something, however if this had been a better week for the heels in the WWE then it is questionable as to whether Magnus would have been able to conquer the chart even with this success.
2nd Place: The Authority
I cheated a little bit this week as both Stephanie McMahon and Triple H's promos were separate on Raw and could be awarded points as such. But seeing as how they are a group of sorts I decided to group them together and so they managed to come second on the chart. I will say that much of these points come from the interview with HHH that took place with Michael Cole, whereas the Stephanie McMahon promo was only so-so, although it is not like it was bad or anything.
Then again you know it is a bad sign when the heel guy is watching a promo between three heels and is bored out of his mind, even a smattering of unprovoked and seemingly nonsensical sexism could save the opening promo to Raw. Usually when a couple of heels get together to do a promo together there are sparks and it is magic, as well as being a rare and interesting occurrence. Instead these three have little new to say to each other and it seemed like a watered down version of the opening promo to Raw last week, which apart from the announcement by HHH, wasn't too thought provoking to begin with.
For once what is clearly needed here is the presence of the mega-face that is Daniel Bryan, which I'm not sure I have ever thought before in terms of wanting a face to take any airtime away from a heel. I think that shows just how effective Daniel Bryan is in his face role, the question is if the WWE really did mean to do any of this or if more likely it evolved organically and now they are in the situation where if they actually embrace Bryan as the face of their company they could be on to a new era of popularity, just in time for the WWE network to make wrestling much more available to old fans who haven't watched for years.
When HHH said that it is the ‘reality era' at Wrestlemania he wanted to say that he was going to destroy all our dreams about Daniel Bryan winning, but really maybe the ‘reality era' means that we will actually see the dawning of an era where the face of the WWE is actually a realistic physical representation, within reason, of the muscular mature male, all small and hairy like a little caveman. That would be awesome, and proper meta in that Stone Cold was a blue collar rebel against a perceived system, whereas Bryan is a rebel against the actual WWE system of big men, all shaved and slobbering. He could be more ‘Stone Cold' than C.M. Punk, and with Punk now gone it is the perfect time for such to happen.
3rd Place: Kane
I admit it I was wrong, the Shield are now clearly faces, at least for now. What's more they make pretty good faces, especially Seth Rollins with his blistering offense. The Director of Operations still managed to get one up on the Hounds of Justice by employing three tag teams to take them out on Smackdown. It was great to see the Shield get even with the Real Americans and Rybaxel, and now that they have a match at Mania with Kane and the New Age Outlaws they have something to do for the event outside of just having a triple threat match between the three.
I'm still slightly skeptical as to what is actually going on here, after all the group were not exactly facing it up in their meeting with the Authority, but perhaps we could chalk that up to subtlety rather than an indication of a complex plot where heel goes against other heels but are still working for ones slightly higher up than the first. It's all a little messy but it is still an interesting direction for the Shield to go down.
However I will say that the Shield's problem with Kane seemed to come out of next to nowhere and their turning on the Big Red Machine without any real provocation doesn't make too much sense. It works a lot better if the Shield were actually told to do so since as mercenaries for hire they took much more guff before turning on their employers than Kane being slightly short with them. But whatever, as long as they are putting on great matches and providing us with good television it is hard to complain too much.
4th Place: The BroMans
I'm still not sure how to feel about the BroMans as a tag team, for the most part they still seem like a joke to me but TNA seems bent on keeping them as champions even though Dixie Carter is now gone from the show and doesn't really need them as bodies anymore to throw at people. While I get that they want to have a heel team as the champions, I still don't really understand why the BroMans are that team, getting to defend their titles and retain them against two decent teams and yet Daniels and Kazarian are nowhere to be seen on the show.
Bad Influence are clearly the better tag team, and what's more, now that both James Storm and Austin Aries are back on the heel side of things, Robert Roode could easily get his hands on the gold again with either of his former tag team partners. I get that these guys are annoying and make semi-decent foils for the face teams, but they are not really all that entertaining and could easily be replaced at any point.
You could chock this up to TNA trying to push new talent but in this case I think they are missing a trick by not using the Bad Influence as tag team champions since they could almost support the tag team division by themselves as champions, the BroMans, not so much.
5th Place: Abyss
The monster laid a savage beat down on his former friend Eric Young at the beginning of Impact and then assisted the TNA champion in retaining his title in the main event, so things are looking pretty good for the guy since he traded up, or ‘sold out'.
At the same time I'm not sure about his new mask, doesn't seem to suit him all that much. Still Abyss never really looked that good to begin with so there isn't too much to complain about. It is just perhaps a shame that we won't be seeing Joseph Park around for the foreseeable future, unless of course the Monster has a crisis of conscience and we see him fight with himself at a key moment.
Then again should this type of thing take place in a world title match? It probably would spoil things to some degree, but it could work if it is done right. But then again so could anything.
6th Place: The New Age Outlaws
The former tag team champions took it to the Shield this week on Smackdown to aid the cause of the Big Red Machine, and in doing so they managed to secure themselves a tag team match at Wrestlemania. The amount of multi-man matches at Wrestlemania XXX is now pretty high, with Bryan vs. HHH and Cena vs. Bray and Taker vs. Brock as the only singles matches on the card.
Now that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing, it just means that those matches where it is one on one have a chance to shine as great back and forth contests, whereas the multi-man matches have the potential to provide a bunch of memorable moments for the evening. Or these matches can be a shambles and the singles matches can be lackluster, we'll just have to wait and see. Knowing the Shield though, this match in particular shouldn't disappoint to any degree, but will the before seemingly inevitable Shield breakup still occur at the event? It's possible, but more likely it will happen a little later down the road now, especially seeing how effective they are as a face team.
7th Place: The Wyatt Family
I have seen a lot of things happen to John Cena over the years, but I've never seen him tied up in the ropes with a sheep mask on his head, and what a sight it was! There really is something very promising about this feud, and an added excitement to Bray-Cena that you do not usually feel with Cena Wrestlemania matches, and I think part of that is that the way it is being told you can believe that Cena might actually lose against Bray, and that if he does it might actually mean something.
Now more likely Cena will either win or even if he loses, come out smiling the next night on Raw. However let me present to you a little scenario; Bryan wins at Mania, becomes the biggest face in the company in merchandise and interviews and the like, this might actually leave room for a legitimate Cena heel turn by the next Summerslam (I know it is unlikely but who knows at this point), a loss here to Wyatt could set the ball rolling for this. A loss here could make Cena question everything that he is and translate into what should have been when he lost to the Rock two Wrestlemanias ago. Sure this could end up being another redemption story for Cena, but why not drag him to some real depths before raising him back up this time, rather than simply having him lose a couple of matches?
8th Place: AJ Lee
The Divas champ don't need no hassle from some eye-patch wearing chump like Naomi, and so she walked out of her divas title match on Raw, earning her several heel brownie points. It is just a shame that due to some ill-chosen comments on Smackdown about the General Manager of the show, Vickie Guerrero, that she will now be facing basically every diva on the main roster for her title at Wrestlemania, including her current bodyguard Tamina.
Even with all those potential challengers there is still a good chance of AJ coming out with the gold, there is simply no one better to be champion right now. The only exception would be if Paige made her debut at the event and took the title off of her. However if that happened what would NXT do with their women's title? Would Paige hold onto both? Could the young starlet really pull that kind of double duty? Well since the divas division is barely ever acknowledged outside of Total Divas references then it is actually possible, but I just don't see it happening. Before watching Total Divas I probably would have said that Natalya deserved another run with the gold, now I think she is a total bitch and I can't be doing with her anymore, so no, it is AJ all the way baby!...Or maybe Summer Rae, just maybe.
9th Place: James Storm
He's a cowboy, he's drunk, he's maybe a little bit more violent than he used to be. I really still can't see the appeal in the guy personally, even with his new heel turn. Still someone has to be enjoying the ongoing saga of the Storm-Gunner feud, so more power to them.
Just don't put either man near the TNA title again any time soon please, thank you.
10th Place: Batista
The Metrosexual Animal was on the prowl this week, talking a lot more about drool and being drooled on than I am frankly comfortable with. I'm not sure if he went off-script or not but the whole thing did seem pretty uncomfortable. I will say it now though, I know the old heel Batista was awesome, but this new one for the most part just repeats the same thing each week and does little else, and so far really doesn't deserve to walk out of Wrestlemania with the title, should that still somehow be the plan.
1. Randy Orton (189)
2. Bully Ray (120)
3. HHH (108)
4. Dixie Carter (98)
5. Bray Wyatt (98)
6. AJ Lee (95)
7. Dean Ambrose (88)
8. Alberto Del Rio (86)
9. Roman Reigns (78)
10. Robert Roode (75)
That's all for this week, Wrestlemania is fast approaching and we have an almost full card now, that is if all those in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal are not involved in other matches, which seems to be the case at this point. I am looking forward to seeing how things unfold in all cases, and hopefully the winners of each bout will lead to something interesting rather than dull and predictable. Did anyone else notice also that the Miz has suddenly turned heel again, seemingly for no reason, poor guy, he just can't catch a break. Although having said that he always does better as a heel so maybe this will actually help him heading into the Showcase of the Immortals. This is James Wright signing off.