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. 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 Decay
Something tells me that Billy Corgan had a hand in creating this new stable. I’m really glad that TNA has given something for Crazy Steve to do since he has been so over with the fans, although I’m not sure the heel turn is the right way to go, but time will tell. Either way the team made an impact this week by taking out the Wolves again and coming out at the end of the show to join in the general tag team brawling segment, showing they might be able to quickly establish a lasting place on the card.
It might have only been a win over Darren Young on Superstars but Stardust impressed me this week by stepping up his heel game and buying even more into his bizarre character, taking umbrage not only with the fans, but with Young himself for having the audacity to chop him. Rhodes’ star has always shone brightly and I would love for this recent spate of injuries to somehow result in his moving back up the card, at least up to the IC title picture, where he sorely belongs.
8: Eli Drake
Drake has had little to say for himself in TNA so far, apart from his name, over and over again. But this week he managed to somehow score himself a shot at the King of the Mountain title, which sure out of all the titles in TNA is probably the least well booked (even worse than the X Division belt!), but it is still a title shot. This guy has had little chance to truly prove himself thus far in the company and now he has a way to at least get noticed, so good for him.
There was a slight change in the Divas champion this week, something a little more captivating and devious. Sure she ate a pin from Brie Bella, who once again has changed alignment without any real explanation, apart from ‘her sister is injured so feel sorry for her despite everything you are supposed to know about the two characters and their own relationship’, but this chart isn’t simply about wins and losses, it’s about just how big a douche bag you can be, win or lose!
6: King Cuerno
Lucha Underground is back! Straight away we had a landscape changing match when Cuerno took the Gift of the Gods off of Phoenix to now be the holder of a guaranteed shot at the main title holder Mil Muertes. The issue now is with Muertes being in a weakened state you have to believe that the ultimate hunter will be sorely tempted to go against his word and cash in on his opportunity sooner rather than later. If he wins then he will be the champion, but if he fails then he might face grave consequences.
5: Mil Muertes
The second I saw the man of a thousand deaths sitting high in the temple on a throne, lauding his newly won power over everyone like a modern day Shao Kahn, I knew that some dastardly days were ahead of us. I didn’t expect him to put the gold up on the first night, and against Ivelisse in a match that made you believe that the company might be bold enough to follow in the footsteps of Chikara, although I am glad they didn’t at this time as it would feel perhaps a bit too gimmicky.
Still it was a great move to put the former trios champions against each other for a shot since Mil surely had the confidence in his own abilities to beat whoever won the hard-fought match, and at the same time it served to distract to dysfunctional group from going after his Disciples of Death who are the new trios champions. This week was all about control for Mil and Catrina, and their plans were working to perfection, that was until a puma and a man with zero fear came in and threw a couple of major spanners in the works. Now the champion is wounded and has several potential serious challengers coming for his title, we’ll just have to wait and see what he will do to keep it.
4: Matt Hardy
The Hardys are a strange breed. I can remember times where I loved both Matt and Jeff, both as heels and faces, and I can remember times where I couldn’t stand either of the arrogant bastards. With Jeff that has been for around the last ten years, and to be fair for Matt it has been about the same, but I’ll admit that if things continue on the way they are going I could actually see myself becoming a fan of the non-face-painted Hardy again in the near future.
While I’m still not sold on TNA’s thinking behind taking the title off of EC3, and especially confused by his apparent face turn when he was at the height of his heel powers (seriously it’s like the TNA version of Austin at Wrestlemania 17, it just doesn’t make sense), there is something to be said for this new set up of Tyrus with Hardy and his wife, who just has a face that even Ghandi would be hard pressed not to punch. I’ll admit that there is something a little unsettling about seeing Hardy’s infant son come down to the ring in the arms of a man that he can’t know all that well, especially when he was trying to go down through the ropes in what looked like a most awkward scene (I swear I saw Matt stop Reby from dashing forward just in case something went wrong), but hopefully it will be a harmless way to draw some cheap heat and not a decision that the parents will regret for the rest of their lives.
3: The New Day
First off I have to say that Booty-ham sounds nothing like Birmingham! Still you have to give the New Day credit for being able to continually straddle the line between being completely annoying and hated, and being completely over and adored by fans, so much so that they are constantly able to come up with new merchandise for us to buy. A lot of people have cited their popularity as coming from a sense that they are actually having fun out there and I happen to agree, I just wish the WWE would let all of its wrestlers do the same, especially their faces, who never seem to be having a good time.
One of the biggest plusses about the New Day, besides the trombone, is that they seem to be great at interacting with other heels and help to get them over whenever they find themselves in their vicinity. All you have to do is recall their bits with Sheamus before he won the title at Survivor Series and how he tried to be cool and failed miserably, but it made me take notice of him for the first time in months. Or there is the air-rock-band performance that always used to break out whenever the group teamed with the former champion Seth Rollins and his theme hit, a personal favourite of mine. Finally this week on Smackdown you had their interaction with the Miz, where they both put him over and garnered heat at the same time, and you could see Miz instantly fit in with the group and gel with the dynamic. If the writing in the WWE was anywhere near what it should be right now then we could have so, so many more great moments involving this group every week, instead we will have to console ourselves with these small flashes of brilliance, but alas, it is better than nothing.
2: The Wyatt Family
It was all about destruction this week for the Wyatts, even without their leader present on Raw to support them. They appear to be gearing up for a confrontation with the Beast, Brock Lesnar, although Lesnar himself doesn’t seem too concerned with them despite their repeated assaults. You have to believe that at some point this will come to a head and while part of me wants to see all the members take a one way trip to Suplex City I would hate to see yet another Wrestlemania go by where the WWE has to rebuild Bray Wyatt once again before putting him in the title picture out of nowhere, only to be just as unsuccessful.
Seriously, Bray and the other members of the group have a real credibility problem at this point, even Stroman, who the WWE are protecting to at least some degree. While I am a firm believer in a heel’s worth being much more than their win-loss record there is a certain level of believability that must be maintained when you are portraying a group as a terrifying force when they also seem to lose all the time, even when the odds are stacked in their favour. I think this is where the Shield succeeded, because they would always triumph when the numbers were on their side, and admittedly even when the odds were even, but generally this didn’t hurt the singles stars involved because they had the excuse of not being a well-oiled unit. With the Wyatts it seems like the opposite is true, somehow they manage to pull out singles victories every now and then as group members, but whenever they compete as a family, or if Bray actually has something worth fighting for, they always seem to come up on the losing end. There is only so long you can say that Bray is a mad man with his own agenda before he just looks weak for losing all the time, that point was passed about a year ago, book the man consistently please!
1: Kevin Owens
One person who still does possess credibility while losing most of the time is Kevin Owens. He does this by one, appearing to get really angry every time he loses a match so that you know it is a big deal to him and believe that his next opponent might be in trouble due to his mounting rage. And two, by being simply one of the most fantastic heels in the business today.
Every week there is at least one thing Owens shouts in his matches that gets a reaction from me and gives me something to write about here (so much so that I might consider doing a ‘Owens Quote of the Week’ segment). This time it was in his match with Jack Swagger on Main Event, where apart from making a big deal about how he was allowed to use the ropes to hide in the rules, which is at least mostly true, he also mocked Swagger and his fans by shouting: “We…are stupid!” at them during his beat down of the Real American.
There was also the continued saga of Dolph and Owens on Raw, where the two men go out there and put on one of the best matches of the night despite being given nothing to work with and no real stakes to speak of. It is at a point now in the WWE where it is almost a curse to be naturally entertaining and actually good at performing in a match since without the need for help or a push in the right direction they seem to just be content to let you go out there and do your thing for years without any real reward, save the occasional near-meaningless run with a secondary title every now and again. We can only hope that Owens can find his way out of this maze and escape the trap of becoming the next Ziggler, whose former world title wins are still spoken about as if they have an asterisk next to them.
Rolling Chart – Week Three
1st Place: Kevin Owens (24) (+2)
2nd Place: The Wyatt Family (24) (-1)
3rd Place: The New Day (23) (-1)
4th Place: Charlotte (12) (+4)
5th Place: Sheamus (11) (-1)
6th Place: Alberto Del Rio (11) (-1)
7th Place: The Authority (10) (-1)
8th Place: Social Outcasts (8) (-1)
9th Place: Matt Hardy (7) (New Entry)
10th Place: Mil Muertes (6) (New Entry)
That’s all for this week, I felt like I was a little down on the WWE and the general state of their creative department, but that’s probably down to the return of Lucha Underground, which I don’t care what Jim Cornett says, is the best form of wrestling I have ever seen. Seriously, the series format just serves wrestling so well as it means you can produce arcs with guaranteed payoffs, as well as giving your performers time to rest up and your writers places to go if someone gets seriously injured or decides to jump ship between seasons.
What’s more it’s just been announced that the show has already been renewed for a third season so we are guaranteed some great lucha action for at least the next couple of years, which is great! For anyone who is still on the fence, or a big hipster like me and didn’t want to give it a chance simply because people seemed to be drooling over the show for no real reason, all I can say is that you should actually watch it and by the first ten episodes you are certain to be hooked.
Agree with the rankings? Disagree? Who was your favourite heel of the week? Whatever the case, leave comment down below and come back next week for another dose of heel-ly goodness and for now this is James Wright signing off.
Tags: Kevin Owens, Lucha Underground, Matt Hardy, Mil Muertes, The New Day