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!
**There is a bit of new business this week**
– First is that I will be making changes to a few of the heels on the report due to their shifting circumstances that have become apparent over the last week. So from now on the members of the Authority will receive their own points and appear on both the Weekly and Rolling chart on their own, and conversely the members of the League of Nations will now be counted as a group and only appear on the Weekly and Rolling chart as a collective.
– Second is that I will be adding a new feature to the report on a trial basis called ‘The Casual Raw View’, which is where I make my girlfriend watch Raw and exploit her limited knowledge of wrestling to give a look into the casual fans view of the product. (it’s mostly just an excuse to make her watch it with me, but let’s see how this goes!)
The Casual Raw View – Week One
* First thing she commented on was how smug HHH looked, as well as actually having a big reaction to Reign’s ‘shattered nose’, so I guess that comes across as effective.
* This was followed by a lot of comments about how sexy both HHH and Roman Reigns were, as well as about most every other guy that appeared on Raw, just take it as red that if they were a guy and they were on Raw, they were being seriously objectified.
* She got really into HHH’s speech about authority, swearing at him in defiance at several points and was happy when he was cut off by Ambrose’s music, noting that he looked like a ‘druggy’ but liked how irreverent he is, wanting Ambrose to hit him when he got in HHH’s face.
* During the show she was most impressed by the outfits and the music and what drew her attention most of the matches was any chain-wrestling that took place and any high-flying moves.
* There were general complaints over things not being built up enough and she lost a lot of attention when the replays came on, so it seems like the WWE would be better served by making video compilations hyping matches to come rather than spending ages simply explaining what we already know took place.
* The McMahon stuff had her really interested because she said it seemed more like it was real life in terms of the family jealousy, as opposed to the divas stuff, which while she liked the match, she thought that the backstage segment was over-acted and predictable, and was confused as to why Lana came out with a mic and was then cut off (as was I).
* Overall I think she enjoyed her first full Raw, despite regular time checks because of how long it is. It seems like that McMahon stuff really does work to hook casual fans in, despite it being so self-indulgent, and it was interesting to see that the replays were that harmful to attention span since surely they are in place to hook casual fans, not drive them away.
* A final note to indicate who caught her attention as a casual fan is that throughout the show she was looking up various wrestlers to find out more about them, the people she looked up this week were: Rusev, Dean Ambrose, Chris Jericho, Kofi Kingston and Kevin Owens.
Weekly Top Ten:
10: Trevor Lee
There’s still not much to say here; TNA keeps pushing this guy as the future of the X-Division and I keep on waiting for him to do something to really catch my attention. Still he retained his title in a steel cage match so that is worth something I guess.
9: The Dollhouse
This was a somewhat disappointing Lethal Lockdown match, mostly because it featured only five competitors and a rat named Maria. On the other hand there was enough action to keep things ticking over and the heel faction won. There was also the great kendo stick double-choke that made the Dollhouse look really dominant after Maria betrayed Gail and Velvet.
8: Kevin Owens
I’m split here because on the one hand anything that Owens does turns to gold, but on the other he is now feuding with the Big Show apparently. It’s possible that his natural ability to make things interesting will save things, after all this interaction has already been better than 90% of anything the Big Show has done in the last few years. I liked their first confrontation backstage and the exchanging of count out losses is a nice touch, I just kind of wish that Owens had anyone else to go against, especially if this is heading to a Wrestlemania match.
7: Vince McMahon
It was great to see the old heel boss and the new heel boss get the chance to deliver promos this week concerning the respective storylines they are involved with heading to Wrestlemania, and while I have certain ideas about who won (as you will see later), Mr McMahon certainly did a decent job in holding up his end. The interaction between him and the Undertaker held some intrigue as you had to wonder how the Deadman felt about all this. While I was possibly expecting him to object, join Shane, and then have the match be Undertaker (supporting Shane) vs. Wyatts (supporting McMahon) in Hell in a Cell in a Wrestlemania rematch, I liked the angle that Undertaker has no reservations about destroying Shane and just wanted McMahon to be sure he knows what he is doing. There is a question of who the ‘devil’ is in this deal as all three men could and have played that role, we’ll just have to see what happens going forward.
6: The Dudley Boyz
The Dudley’s are on a hot streak at the moment but it is still unclear as to exactly what this whole heel turn is supposed to lead to as if it is just a pre-show match against the Usos then that isn’t exactly scintillating. The distraction win via table is kind of cool, but it really needs something to make it work better…just bring Spike in already WWE! (Then maybe add Rock in for a throwaway six-man tag at Mania?)
5: Naomi & Tamina
Another week goes by and I continue to be baffled as to why this team is still being pushed, especially now after their loss at Fastlane, not that I expected anything else but at least then there was some reasoning behind why they were being built up. Now though Naomi made both Paige and Brie tap out to her new finisher and yet she has nothing to do for Wrestlemania.
It’s not that I don’t think Naomi deserves a push or even a run with the divas title, it’s just that I don’t trust the WWE to book this far in advance. It seems as if they are building her up as the next big heel challenger after Charlotte drops the title to either Sasha or Becky and surely that is months away. A possible explanation is that someone else is in charge of the divas division and they are a big believer in future booking, which would really help the division out in the long run, either way it helped them climb the chart this week.
4: The League of Nations
The League are back to full strength and now are presenting themselves as a united front rather than being a bodyguard system for a champion, and apparently this had led them on to great success, at least for this week. I like their positive attitude, although its possibly becoming too much of a theme amongst heel teams of the moment.
There is definitely room for this stable to expand and add at least one more member, and if not then they need some direction heading into Wrestlemania, bar being casually mocked by the New Day online. The WWE seems to be a complete mess heading into the big event, with everyone crisscrossing in feuds to the point where it is kind of impossible to actually predict what the Mania pairings will be, which would be great if it was before Fastlane. However at this point I am of the opinion that all but a couple matches should be set for the big event and storylines should develop clearly so as to be resolved at the PPV. Instead it looks like it will be a case of chaos until a week before and then the matches will be set and barely anyone will have time to care.
3: Rockstar Spud
Maybe I haven’t been paying attention but until Spud held open that door for EC3 in an obvious spot for a heel turn I legitimately had no idea this was coming. Personally, I think it was a great turn in that it makes complete sense; Spud has been abused by Carter since the start of their relationship and just because the guy says he has turned over a new leaf doesn’t mean anything since traditionally he has been a snivelling liar who would say anything to get his way.
This also further develops the Spud character as it is a different type of heel than his first role as a pushover servant, while some of that still might be utilised in the services of Matt Hardy. This time he might be able to go down the lines of Eric Young’s latest heel incarnation, or else find his own, although hopefully equally as aggressive, heel nature. Whatever the case, it is great to see Spud play such an active role in the product since when he came in you had to wonder if he was going to be able to succeed at keeping his job for more than a month and now arguably he is one of the top mid-card guys on the roster.
2: Matt Hardy
As a direct result of Spud’s heel turn the reigning champion Matt Hardy was able to retain his title in the main event of Lockdown, which still means something to me damn it. Now that Hardy has defeated EC3 in their return match you have to wonder where he will go from here, what with Angle leaving and Jeff still injured…and that rivalry being played out and something I really don’t want to see.
Whoever is the next to challenge Hardy will find a tough test now that he has Reby, Tyrus and Spud behind him, and if that all fails then they can just throw the guy’s son at them since they are risking something happening every time they bring that baby out to the ring. For all of his in-character tweets and rantings on the internet I have to believe that the inclusion of his infant son in his segments are the thing garnering Hardy the most hate since it just seems wreckless to put your child in such a vulnerable position, even though hopefully the kid is actually completely safe at all times.
After his savage beating of Reigns drew mostly cheers from the Raw crowd last week the Cerebral Assassin went on full heel assault on Smackdown and followed it up on Monday night to take the heel crown, even surpassing Hardy in his title retention for the sheer heel-ness of his promos.
The Game brought out some classic hits by talking about authority and knowing your place, chastising and chiding the fans for at once being slaves to the man and at the same time being too weak to take charge, and too stupid to actually be effective if they did manage to do so. What’s more he broke out some Rolling Stones (or Guns n’ Roses if you prefer) Sympathy for the Devil, which really is a pretty fitting tune for the guy, or at least for how he as a character sees himself.
In general there was a clear stepping up of things by the WWE, especially in their pairing up of Ambrose with Hunter, both of whom gave as good as they got in their promo and convinced me still further than these two should be facing each other for the title at Mania, not Roman. Although what exactly would that mean for the event, Roman vs. Brock? Paul Heyman can only do so much talking when it is for two men! Although I can imagine the scene in the ring where the two gorillas just stand on either side staring intensely at each other as Heyman argues for both sides and why they will each definitely win, still make sense and still sell the event like a boss. As it is this short rivalry will buy some time until the event, time where Roman if he was more developed could be selling the match, instead of being conveniently put away until it is time for the grand finale, much like the Royal Rumble come to think of it. Say what you will about Cena, but at least he can go if asked to and doesn’t need anyone to carry him when he can actually be bothered to sell for the company.
Rolling Chart – Week Seven
1st Place: Kevin Owens (49) (-)
2nd Place: The New Day (38) (-)
3rd Place: Matt Hardy (36) (+1)
4th Place: The Wyatt Family (35) (-1)
5th Place: Charlotte (28) (-1)
6th Place: The Dudley Boyz (26) (-)
7th Place: The Social Outcasts (21) (-)
8th Place: HHH (17) (New Entry)
9th Place: Team BAD (16) (New Entry)
10th Place: Vince McMahon (13) (New Entry)
That’s all for this week, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and let me know what you thought of the starting feature as I will either keep it going or move on to something else depending on everyone’s feedback…if only the WWE worked that way. Despite the continued pushing of Roman Reigns it looks like Ambrose will be getting a shot against the Game at least, hell if things go well enough we could see Ambrose pulling double duty in two big time Wrestlemania events and the HHH vs. Roman match could be made a triple threat. Although if this is the case then the likelihood of Ambrose actually winning are basically zero, still I can dream can’t I? Well if so I would want that triple threat to be made into a fatal four way with Kevin Owens added into the mix for good measure, but I suppose that is just too much to ask for!
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: heels, HHH, Kevin Owens, Matt Hardy, The Dudley Boyz