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: Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio played a great foil to Randy Orton this week in his lead up to Summerslam. He was vicious and brutal, but you really have to wonder if he will actually be given a decent rivalry to sink his teeth into at some point.
The former Cherry Bomb is doing some great work in TNA by being the squeaky, ineffectual assistant to Maria. There is a slight tease of her rebelling against her demanding boss but I hope that is a long way off since she hasn’t been established anywhere near enough as a threat to get any sort of actual face turn. Instead she should stick to being cowardly and rubbish in the ring, at least for now.
8: Bray Wyatt & Eric Rowan
Can you really call two people a family? I’m not sure but these two at least have a main event place on Smackdown, although they have been rather unsuccessful so far in terms of wins and losses. There is a hope that Wyatt will be given more of a chance to be the terrifying force he could be, although he faces a tough task of being able to top C.M. Punk’s run as the leader of the Straight Edge Society.
7: Eva Marie
The PG wardrobe malfunction is an interesting concept, although it does make you think that Eva Maria would have been a lot more effectual in the Attitude Era. As it is there is not that much more that can happen that will actually be good since the only gimmick she has is that she’s crap but the WWE really want to push her for some strange reason. I know that other female wrestlers have gone on record as saying that she actually works hard, but I can’t help but wonder if that will be so easy to say when she actually does injure someone.
6: Charlotte & Dana Brooke
The former champion and her protégé actually came out ahead this week in the lead up to Summerslam, well she had to look like an actual threat at some point didn’t she? There is still almost no way that Charlotte actually wins at the PPV, especially with rumours that she will be taking some time off afterwards, but at least for now she looked like she was still a credible contender. There will no doubt be some Dana Brooke shenanigans in the match itself but hopefully it will play into what could be another great statement match for the women of WWE on a grand stage.
5: Rusev & Lana
So just in case people couldn’t tell already, the US champ is a dead man walking heading into Summerslam. Now maybe the WWE will try to pull a fast one and have Roman not win the title at the PPV, but rather stretch things out over a couple of months to avoid the sheer predictability of it all, but it really is a foregone conclusion. This is one of several reasons that REAL fans can’t get behind Reigns while he is being booked like this, who wants to be reminded constantly that what they are watching is most of the time more politically motivated than based on any type of talent or ability? They should have just let Reigns rise to the top organically, he certainly has all the tools, if they had only stopped him from getting on the mic and telling him that being a cocky prick was the best way to get over with the fans.
4: Matt Hardy
I legitimately have no idea what is going on with Matt Hardy at this point. Apparently, now he has the ability to hypnotise fans, as well as having a hunger for blood and dressing like a gothic ponce…is he supposed to be a vampire? I don’t know. There is some entertainment value in it all, especially seeing Jeff Hardy put himself through a table since why not? But what is the end game here? Possibly to further destroy the actual credibility of the Hardyz as a great tag team. Then again someone needs to take the titles off Decay and these ‘broken’ Hardyz do seem like the team who could actually do it. The only problem after that is that TNA only has about three viable tag teams in the whole division at this point. The Vanguard 1 stuff is still kind of funny though, as well as calling EC3 the third version of Ethan Carter, there is a nice consistency there.
3: Mike Bennett & Maria
I still get a little confused with Maria’s actual position of power within the Knockouts division as it seems to change from week to week, but at least for now she seems to be in charge of Gail Kim’s fate. There is an argument that the pair seem like a weak imitation of the Authority, with less overall power and cohesion, but it is hard to argue that they have a firm position within the company that they would have trouble securing in the WWE. You have to wonder how long Bennett’s relationship with Moose is going to hold out since they are already teasing a split with his stolen win this week. Maybe this will boost Moose when he finally rebels, but part of me thinks he would have got over better if he had just debuted as a foil to Lashley after Bound for Glory or something. Perhaps Moose and Allie will rebel at the same time and form a new power couple, although that seems unlikely. Also, where is Rockstar Spud?
2: Owens & Jericho
I said last week that I still didn’t have a good name for these two and I am not sold on ‘Jeri-KO’, although it might be the best one out there, at least in terms of name combinations. I might start using the name going forward but for now I am keeping it as Owens & Jericho because I am a little sceptical about how long this team will actually last. I really want the two to work together after Summerslam, if Owens isn’t going to be getting a shot at the Universal (ugh) title any time soon, but I won’t hold my breath. There is a big part of me that thinks Enzo & Cass will win out at the PPV, but I’m not sure that is the right decision since Jericho and Owens would act as great foils for the New Day if they can get a shot at their tag team titles. Just like the broken Hardyz, these two might actually have enough star power to dethrone the tag champs, who haven’t needed the belts for over six months at this point, leading to a further stagnation of the tag team division. It’s weird that the WWE seem to have forgotten how to actually use titles and instead just keep them on guys or switch them for no reason, rather than actually building feuds and memorable matches around them.
1: Bobby Lashley
It’s hard not to give a guy the top spot when they become a triple-champion. Lashley beat James Storm on Impact to become the King of the Mountain champion on top of his World and X-Division titles, which will now be combined into some new super title that hopefully will mean more than the KotM and X titles since they have been mostly pointless for a couple of years now. There is overall a lot more to be desired from Lashley as the heel champ as he is mostly just kind of a dick who beats people constantly, and while I can see the argument for the appeal of seeing him get beat, I don’t think it is enough, at least not for me. Show him running over a puppy, or dropkicking a baby, or something! At this point Lashley seems to be TNA’s answer to Brock Lesnar, but he doesn’t have a Heyman to talk for him, and quite frankly I’m not sure who in TNA could fill that role, Eli Drake maybe?
Rolling Chart – Week Thirty-One
1st Place: Kevin Owens (219) (-)
2nd Place: Chris Jericho (142) (-)
3rd Place: Maria & Mike Bennett (103) (+1)
4th Place: Charlotte (101) (-1)
5th Place: Matt Hardy (101) (-)
6th Place: The Miz & Maryse (94) (-)
7th Place: The Club (70) (-)
8th Place: Seth Rollins (68) (-)
9th Place: Bobby Lashley (64) (-)
10th Place: Rusev & Lana (49) (New Entry)
That’s all for this week, there is a good amount of intrigue going into Summerslam, as well as NXT Takeover in regards to the major titles. I could see arguments for each man winning in all three title matches, and all six are extremely skilled so we could see some great matches with satisfying conclusions, well played WWE. The rest of the card on each show is a mixed bag, but that is generally to be expected in this time of transition, at least a majority of the matches actually have some type of storyline to them. A big question I have is whether or not the WWE sees money in the former TNA guys kicking around in NXT since they are all roster ready right now and the WWE sorely needs to pad out their split rosters on Raw and Smackdown. There would be nothing more glorious than to see the force of Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, Samoa Joe and Eric Young pull some kind of Outsiders/Nexus invasion angle on one of the shows, although that would rest on the WWE actually acknowledging TNA. The bottom line is that there is lots of potential for change in the current landscape, established TNA guys making a name for themselves in NXT and the WWE at large, while guys who were circling the midcard in WWE are now making their way to TNA where they could become a major force for the promotion. Two years ago some of the matches we have seen over the past six months would have sounded ludicrous, so I am interested to see what the next year will bring.
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: Bobby Lashley, charlotte, Kevin Owens, Mike Bennett, rusev