Inside Pulse 12

The Heel Report – Week One: Ready to Rumble – Top 10 Heels of the Week (Kevin Owens, King Barrett, EC3)

 

Welcome to the Heel Report, a weekly breakdown of the best heels in professional wrestling right now. Each week the heels will be ranked out of ten and then those numbers will go on to form the rolling chart that continues each week. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve written anything wrestling related, despite keeping up with the major promotions in that time, so forgive me if things start off a little shaky. This is a place to evaluate and praise the ‘baddies’ of wrestling in their efforts to make us boo them mercilessly so let’s show them some love and get on with the report!

 

Weekly Top Ten:

 

10: The Doll House

The Dollhouse

The new and improved, if slightly unbelievable, Dollhouse was out in full force this week in a Knockouts street fight where they dominated the Beautiful People. It’s cool that TNA want their Knockouts to participate in these types of matches and it helps exhibit that this new Dollhouse isn’t just dastardly, but dominant as well. However to truly capitalise on the current women’s movement in professional wrestling, the company needs to focus on developing a deep female roster of quality performers, not the Tough Enough rejects that they are bringing in the next few weeks.

 

9: King Barrett

King Barrett

Even out of action the King of the Ring managed to make his presence felt at least a little in his League of Nations role. If anything this injury is a blessing for Barrett as his role as whipping boy for the group has quickly been taken up by Rusev, who is eating all the defeats right now. I’m a fan of Barrett and I hope he continues to be able to operate with the group until he is fully healed, it’s just a shame his involvement in the Royal Rumble will be kept to a minimum, hopefully he won’t receive a Santino-style elimination.

 

8: The Social Outcasts

Social Outcasts

The newest breakout group in the WWE is quickly making their mark…It might be by being taken out by the Big Show but hey at least they seem to be having fun. This group has a lot of potential to go past pure comedy and in many ways they remind me of the old TNA group World Elite. That group was also made up of smaller, lower-midcard guys who all needed a shot and found safety in numbers. While these groupings are seemingly getting more arbitrary, I am all for the formation of all these four-man groups, if only for the fact that when done right they can be used to protect certain members and the people they face in the ring, as well as bringing in lots of crossover feuds up and down the card. It remains to be seen if the WWE can actually utilise them in this way, but at least for now they are giving these guys something to do and providing some comedy relief through their antics, especially in the case of Bo Dallas, who really has found his place as group cheerleader.

 

7: Eric Young

Eric Young

On the subject of the World Elite, their former leader won the King of the Mountain title out of nowhere this week from Bobby Roode. I’m not sure if this is a reigniting of their feud from the past year or if it is some arbitrary way to take the singles title off Roode before he begins a tag team run with his partner James Storm, but oh well, good for Eric Young I guess. TNA has had a lot of trouble giving legitimacy to that belt since its inception as the Legends title and have changed its role several times to little success. Right now it might be at its worst since it doesn’t even really make sense to call it the KotM title just because it was won in that match. Whatever the case, hopefully EY can add some prestige to the title, or at least add a little crazy to it, maybe with Bram at his side he could make it the TNA version of the Hardcore title and go all Crash Holly on us with 24 hour defences of the belt.

 

6: EC3

Ethan Carter III

The new, two time, TNA world heavyweight champion was in fine form this week, having to use the mic to fend off both Hardy Boyz, who are separately gunning for his title. TNA also teased some dissension between him and his bodyguard Tyrus, especially since the big man has a guaranteed world title shot in his near future. I’m not really a fan of the current path that TNA is on with Carter and I hope what they have planned (if you have read the spoilers) is short lived, but we’ll just have to wait and see. For now let’s just bask in the greatness of what is the best heel TNA has to offer, at least for this week.

 

5: The New Day

New Day

These guys are nearly untouchable at this point, and while I am all about everything heel it is a shame that there are no heel teams on a par with them, or anywhere near for that matter, for them to feud with if they were to turn face. Heel or face at this point it is academic for the group as they are just plain entertaining, managing to make even a funeral for a trombone work for them.

At this point I feel like the group is beyond the tag team titles and I don’t even care about their next defence as losing the belts will do nothing to their momentum. All I care about is their role in the Royal Rumble as they have a real opportunity to run riot on the mic if nothing else. If the WWE have learnt anything from the past two rumbles it is that no matter who the winner is, they need to make the match itself entertaining so that the crowd doesn’t turn so early. The New Day could really help with this by all coming in close to each other near the beginning and laying a beating on Roman while taunting him and calling him ‘Booty!’, just maybe don’t have him eliminate them in swift fashion as that will surely start the boos reigning down for a third consecutive year.

 

4: Kevin Owens

Disney Owens

Even a relatively bad week for Kevin Owens is a week where he makes you sit up and take notice of just how good a heel he is. His work on commentary with his constant disrespect of Byron Saxton, as well as Mauro Ranallo on Smackdown is a joy and he even makes Michael Cole interesting in their interactions.

Owens has a Last Man Standing match at the rumble with Dean Ambrose and while this is great exposure for him, and could take his feud over the IC title to the next level, you have to wonder if it bodes badly for his performance in the actual rumble match. I know Owens has good cardio, but unless the scrimp on the IC match it will be hard for him to go for any real amount of time, and honestly I still hold out hope that the WWE will undo their mistake at Survivor Series and put the title on the man who is clearly the overall top heel in the company right now.

 

3: Sheamus

Sheamus

The former world champion seems to have already slipped back into his role of heel guy who likes to fight and wins a lot but is of very little actual consequence. I’m not even sure if he is supposed to be the leader of the League of Nations anymore as the focus is barely on him. Give it a couple of weeks and we’ll all be struggling to remember that he even won the title at all (although I also struggle to remember that Reigns is the champion right now, so maybe that’s not such a big deal).

Still he was in at least some position of power this week, winning a tag match on Raw and appearing in enough segments to put him over a guy like Kevin Owens. I think the WWE has recognised its mistake however and is distancing the Celtic Warrior from the title picture, at least directly. Then again it is always hard to predict things when it comes to the WWE creative direction actually making sense and responding to crowd reactions. Sheamus has constantly been the target of negative reactions (and not the good kind) and yet they still put the title on him once again, at this point it is them that look stupid, not the man himself.

 

2: The Wyatt Family

Wyatt Family

It’s times like this when you wish that Bray Wyatt actually had a couple of meaningful wins under his belt, say against Undertaker or Cena at Wrestlemania, so that when he says he will own the rumble match we actually might believe him. Still the WWE at least wants us to think that he has a good shot at ruling with his misfit group of bearded weirdos, and as such he was able to finish Raw on top this week, taking out not only the reigning champion, but also the Beast Incarnate; Brock Lesnar.

I can only imagine what sort of deal with the devil Bray struck up to be able to kiss the beast on the forehead and plant him with Sister Abigail. I hope that attack actually goes somewhere, as seeing the man who is arguably the WWE’s biggest asset taken down like that seemed far too big a slip to have no sort of pay off. While I wouldn’t be all that excited for a Brock-Bray Wrestlemania match I wouldn’t mind seeing Lesnar face off against the family at Fastlane, either with the title involved or just giving Lesnar some further exposure before the big event. Either way the Wyatts seemingly have all the momentum going into this Sunday, which is…interesting.

 

1: Alberto Del Rio

Alberto Del Rio

Okay so maybe I am being slightly too swayed by a US title win here, but Del Rio is my pick for most successful heel of the week, crushing the newly crowned underdog champion and proving to everyone that while miracles can happen, they usually don’t last.

Del Rio seems to have come back from his hiatus re-energised and despite his ridiculously short run with Zeb Coulter and the pointless Mex-America, he has found a home in the League of Nations. What’s more he is now the only member with any gold and looks primed to take over from Sheamus as the MVP of the group.

Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing a face Del Rio again since I think his mic style is actually something the audience can get behind when dealing with a douche bag heel like Kevin Owens. Either that, or he needs to get put up against someone like Chris Jericho because for now his back and forths with Kalisto are a little uninspiring. Hopefully he can take the US title to new heights leading into Wrestlemania, otherwise we’ll have to face the devastating fact that the belt was better off in the hands of Cena, who was actually building up quite a bit of momentum with his US Open Challenge before his time off and untimely injury.

 

Rolling Chart

1st Place:              Alberto Del Rio                  (10)

2nd Place:             The Wyatt Family             (9)

3rd Place:              Sheamus                             (8)

4th Place:              Kevin Owens                      (7)

5th Place:              The New Day                     (6)

6th Place:              EC3                                      (5)

7th Place:              Eric Young                          (4)

8th Place:              Social Outcasts                  (3)

9th Place:              Wade Barrett                     (2)

10th Place:            The Dollhouse                   (1)

 

That’s all for this first week of the Heel Report, I hope you all enjoyed it, and I hope we all enjoy the Royal Rumble! I remember when the Rumble was my favourite event of the year and now that feeling is starting to be replaced by a sense of dread that the WWE will make some terrible decision again to make this the third major let down in a row. Here’s hoping that Vince McMahon isn’t completely insane and isn’t thinking that having Reigns go from 1 to 30 is the best idea for the match, although judging by that shockingly bad number drawing segment they had this week on Raw who knows what that guy is thinking!

Agree with the rankings? Disagree? Either way, comment down below and come back next week for another dose of heel-ly goodness and for now this is James Wright signing off.

 

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