The Heel Report: 4.04.14: Stand Tall for Irrelevance
Posted by James Wright on 04.04.2014
Is Magnus number one? Is Randy Orton the top guy? Or is it the Game? Read on to find out the top heel in professional wrestling this week!
This is the Heel Report. A weekly chart spanning from Wednesday's Main Event 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 Authority
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were in full force this week on the go home episode of Raw before Wrestlemania with their ‘Goodbye to the Yes! Movement' segment. Not only did they stir up the fans and help add fuel to the fire for what happened later in the night with the Daniel Bryan attack, but they also displayed a nice piece of revisionist history with the video package promoting Hunter as the Game who conquers ‘passing' fan favourites.
I say revisionist because they presented the fact that these fan favourites were beaten as being reasons why fans would stop supporting in them and forget, when really it was the booking, which has often included HHH beating them at key moments that led to them falling from grace. Don't get me wrong, fans do seem fickle some times, but at the same time if a character is portrayed as interesting and allowed to showcase their ability it will of course lead to support, and then if that is taken away and the character does nothing for ages and becomes stale or irrelevant, it is hard not to lose interest; just look at Zack Ryder.
The sheer disregard for reality that the Authority displayed this week, in the wake of HHH announcing the ‘reality era' no less, was astounding, and pretty great. Not only was there that brilliantly provocative video package, but they also misused the example of Fandango to show how fans give up on talent, when really (although I am a big Johnny Curtis fan) the whole ‘Fandangoing' thing clearly had nothing to do with the guy as a performer and was just a way for fans to get something out of shows when the stuff they were being presented with was complete crap. To be fair it could be argued that the whole ‘Yes!' thing comes from a similar vein, at least for some fans, but it was certainly always more tied to Daniel Bryan and even for those fans who originally just liked the chant and didn't care about Daniel Bryan, I would argue that has now changed and the chant has now become a representation of the solid support for Daniel Bryan.
Furthermore in terms of ignoring reality, Stephanie McMahon tried to start a ‘Yes!' chant to prove that anyone could do it and was greeted with a majority of ‘No!'s, but completely ignored this despite it completely undermining her point, although hopefully that was the point. You have to wonder how much actual support for Daniel Bryan backstage, how much of the stuff the Authority says about him is actually what they believe and how much is them trying to be contrary to stir up the fans, obviously the results of this Sunday will go a long way to show which is the case. Whatever the case this was a great heel moment and if Bryan wins on Sunday it makes the victory all the sweeter, and if he loses then it makes the antagonism towards the fans all the more poignant, although in that you have to hope that there is a point to all this because constantly trolling the audience just for the sake of trolling is destructive to say the least.
2nd Place: Batista
Batista wasn't the one standing tall at the end of Raw, but neither were any other heels so he still gets some points for being the least beat down by Daniel Bryan's assault. He also put on a dominant yet heelish performance against Sheamus on Smackdown. Still it was a slow week this week outside of the Authority for heel performances, which is surprising considering how close we are to Wrestlemania, I guess that is what happens when the fans finally have a real face to root for instead of John Cena.
I have to say when it comes to Wrestlemania though the WWE has actually pulled one out with this one. What could have been another uninspiring main event is now one of the most important events in WWE history, at least in my opinion. Win or lose, Daniel Bryan's performance at Wrestlemania will go a long way to shaping the future of the WWE, as well as hopefully being the payoff that all the fans deserve, or show HHH to be a true tyrant who honestly has contempt for the fans and what they think.
I don't think I have felt this much anticipation for a Wrestlemania main event since Wrestlemania 19 with Brock vs. Angle, which I still maintain is one of the very best feuds of the past decade. Bryan's story has been a little different, less a well-constructed feud that lasts for months with a predictable although satisfying payoff, and more a plodding mess that has somehow stumbled into momentum that threatens to either topple over completely or be one of the most triumphant Wrestlemania moments ever.
Of course in all this Batista and Randy Orton don't really factor in to the equation all that much, but hey, at least they get to be in the main event of Wrestlemania, hell one of them might even win. It's a bit like the Miz at Wrestlemania 27, except this time I would be a hell of a lot more upset if one of the irrelevant parties walk out with the gold.
3rd Place: The Wyatt Family
Bray Wyatt certainly has had his momentum kept up as he heads into Wrestlemania, first with the masking of John Cena, then beating the Big Show in the main event of Smackdown. It's interesting how people have been commenting on how it could be a bad sign that Bryan stood tall at the end of Raw and yet with Cena's mild revenge on Wyatt before Mania it doesn't seem like that is any indication of Cena's lack of chances. Then again this is Cena we are talking about here.
The Wyatt-Cena build has been pretty solid, while also feeling like it could have somewhere to go if it continues on after Wrestlemania. The one flaw I can find in Wyatt's whole shtick is in his motivations for using wrestling to achieve his apparent aims. Does he really think that beating Cena in one match will undo everything he has done? Perhaps he plans to abduct Cena at the end of things like he did with Kane and Daniel Bryan, although neither time when that happened was all that productive.
Also I can't really see Super Cena being carried to the back by the Wyatts after their match at Mania, but then again who knows, this is the first year Cena has been anywhere near this low down the card at Wrestlemania since his original US title win almost ten years ago, so anything can happen since their seems to be less at stake for ‘the champ' this year. Whatever the case, I think Cena has hit a stride, at least in terms of promos that he has never really seen before, he is actually selling his match to me rather than making me want to tune out, I just hope he continues on this way.
4th Place: Angelina Love
Love further cemented her heel ways this week in her true reuniting with Velvet Sky in the Beautiful People after her match with Madison Rayne. It seems to be a good idea to bring back this duo to TNA since they are certainly crowd pleasers, although they will definitely need some new knockouts to go against if they are going to have any actual impact on the programming beyond bringing back one of the best entrances in professional wrestling.
As long as TNA turns to some untapped indie female talent then there could be a future here and we might even see a resurgence of TNA's most popular division, and that should be possible, although their most recent knockout hiring have left something to be desired. At least this could be an indication that the company has realised that they need to go back to their old ways of excelling where the WWE had given up; in high-flying, tag team and women's wrestling. Then again at this point the WWE isn't ignoring these divisions anywhere near as much as they were a couple of years ago.
Still the Beautiful People as a unit were always good for setting up feuds and personal rivalries that went beyond a couple of back and forth matches, and so far the WWE hasn't had anything like that in their divas division, even with AJ Lee. The closest thing right now is the BFFs in NXT, but as a stable they have done very little at this point and are a long way off from being on the level of the Beautiful People, at least just yet anyway.
5th Place: Summer Rae
Speaking of the BFFs, I would argue that Summer Rae had a more significant week than most other heels in the WWE in terms of raising her presence, both on Total Divas, and on the main roster. She bitch-slapped Natalya outside of her own house, while also coming across as way more likeable than most of the other women on the show, and then beat her on Raw in what could be called a big upset.
It's also interesting that the WWE has decided not to turn Summer face since they did that with all the other divas who are on the show, even the Bellas, who are still just as bitchy as they always were, and never came across as too likeable on the show even though they are now seemingly the main focus. I'm not sure if that bodes well for her character or not, hopefully though it will mean that she gets a lot more match time as other feuds from Total Divas bleed over to the main roster.
Some may bemoan the presence of such reality show inspired rivalries on Raw and Smackdown but personally I think that the show has done more for the divas division than anything else in the last several years, so who really cares? Quality can come later.
6th Place: Brock Lesnar
Some might say that Lesnar should be higher up the chart than this after his F-5 of the Undertaker, but for me this did little to put him over the Undertaker before their match at Mania. I think this is the first year that I have no faith in the streak being broken, and that is something that I want to see broken real bad.
This will be a massively unpopular opinion and it probably has a lot to do with my starting watching wrestling as a fan in the early 2000s, but I've never been too fond of the Undertaker's ‘deadman' gimmick and much prefer his biker phase, not that I hold any illusions of him ever going back to that of course. Still I'm definitely in the camp of wanting to see the streak broken though; everything has to come to an end, especially in wrestling, and to leave the streak intact seems like a wasted opportunity to me. Having said that I have no problem with Lesnar losing on Sunday, in fact he would be the last person I would want to see end the streak, he is the part-timer of all part timers after all.
7th Place: Velvet Sky
The turn of Velvet Sky came as a pleasant surprise as that ass works better on a heel and isn't really enough of a reason to root for her as a defiant face anyway. I don't think I'll ever be able to take Sky seriously when trying to be on the level of a Trish Stratus, as a woman who started out as a bit of T&A and then transitioned to a legitimate female wrestler in their own right. Not to say that Sky doesn't have any skill in the ring, it's just that she does much better as one half of a tag team than as her own character in the ring, because outside of bitchy sidekick, she doesn't really seem to have one.
I don't see this reunion as a step backwards for Velvet, it is a step back in the right direction, although she will probably end up being a champion again at some point, after all TNA doesn't really have the roster to pick and choose at this point.
8th Place: Magnus
The TNA champion has done well for himself since Dixie Carter left, showing that he is not just a paper champion, but a resourceful heel champ, although for how much longer? With his own monster being positioned against him and no one in the management having any interest in bailing him out, Magnus's time holding the title may be running out, but will he have any really significant matches before that time comes?
9th Place: Alberto Del Rio
How is the Mexican Aristocrat still beating the Intercontinental champion in a straight match? It is beyond me, but it does bode well for him going into the Andre the Battle Royal.
10th Place: Randy Orton
Has there ever been such an insignificant world champion going into the main event of Wrestlemania? I don't think so.
1. Randy Orton (190)
2. Bully Ray (120)
3. HHH (113)
4. Bray Wyatt (104)
5. Dixie Carter (98)
6. AJ Lee (95)
7. Dean Ambrose (88)
8. Alberto Del Rio (88)
9. Roman Reigns (78)
10. Robert Roode (75)
That's all for this week, Wrestlemania is a few days away and for once in about ten years I actually want to see a face victory in the main event, these feelings make me conflicted!!! Then again as a fan of wrestling in general I can't deny that a Daniel Bryan victory is clearly what's best for business, so go team DB! For now this is James Wright signing off.