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: Bobby Lashley
It’s not often that someone losing titles could garner points, but when that person wins them and then discards them because they are beneath him that is some serious heel business right there! (Not to mention terribly damaging to the division and the company itself!)
9: The Revival
They had a great match at Takeover against Gargano & Champa where they retained their NXT tag team titles. They showcased some great heel tag team work and continue to prove why they are the only two time champions in NXT history. (That and the fact that they have needed to get a bit more polished in their promos before heading to the main roster)
8: The Miz & Maryse
The Intercontinental champion retained again at Summerslam, if you ask me why, I have no idea. Crews could have definitely benefitted from the win, now he might just be known as the guy who people mistook for Apollo Creed. Hopefully this is just a set up for a bigger win down the road, but what bigger stage is there than Summerslam right now?!
7: Anderson & Gallows
It was a cool tease to see these two meet up with Styles and Finn, although it is a shame that nothing can come of that now with Balor’s injury. In a way though I am glad as it means that the Club can remain sort of intact without compromising Finn’s face status until he returns. Hopefully they would have anyway, but you never know with the WWE, they might have rushed a program and ruined everything. Instead Anderson and Gallows were able to go against the New Day and get a sort of victory, as well as taking out the departing Dudleys to expand their bid for dominance.
6: Bobby Roode
A glorious debut that solidified Roode as a bonafide star in NXT with a reaction like that. This can easily translate to the main roster, especially if they wait until the night after Wrestlemania to call him up. Before the brand split I thought that maybe the former TNA guys in NXT might not get the call up, but now with that, and with the overall success of AJ Styles, I think they will all get called up sooner or later. Roode has always been a favourite of mine, but who knew that he would take off so much once he was paired with that awesome entrance theme, so much so that it makes me feel bad for anyone else, besides perhaps Nakamura and Dillinger, who was given anything different to come out to.
Who the frick thought that Charlotte would manage to claim the title again at this point?! Frankly I don’t really understand it, unless Sasha is legitimately injured, which I am unaware of at the moment whether or not that is legitimate. I think Charlotte is doing well as a heel since she gets actual boos rather than ‘cool heat’, and with Nikki Bella going to Smackdown there is still room for her to be the top female heel on Raw, but still. The only real reason I can see that Sasha lost the belt is for Bayley to have a heel to work against in her debut, but surely it would have worked with a Sasha-Bayley-Charlotte three way rivalry like they did with Lynch heading into Wrestlemania. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it all shakes out.
4: AJ Styles
As surprising as Charlotte’s win was against Sasha, I think I might be even more surprised by Styles’ clean win over Cena at the biggest party of the summer. Even if Cena annihilates AJ in a third encounter it can never be said that Styles didn’t get the best of Cena in their rivalry, unless of course it goes on for ages with only Cena winning from here on out. If Styles is the one man who can actually get the better of Cena then it would make sense as the only other guy, including Kevin Owens sadly, to change the chants from the duelling “Let’s go Cena!”/ “Cena Sucks!” was C.M. Punk. When Styles and Cena get in the ring together both men get an equal reaction, enough so to make the argument that he is the man to take the torch from Cena. It also helps that his merchandise is pretty cool and seems to have been selling really well, and in the end isn’t that all that matters?
3: Seth Rollins
You have to wonder what the plan would have been going forward for Rollins had Balor not been injured in their match at Summerslam. As it stands now he is in line for another shot at the belt and short of a surprise, or another Reigns reign, he looks to be the best candidate to run with the title. As sad as the Balor situation is, it is hard for any superstar to have a better month in the WWE and hopefully he will come back even stronger. I just hope that all this doesn’t sour the WWE on both former independent workers who take more risks (what with Bryan and now Finn having issues after a big title win), as well as being worried about Rollins’ style after Cena, Sting and Finn. It would be unfair as most of these injuries came about due to happenstance, although I do get that Rollins’ physical style could have played a part in some of it. There is an argument that flips and dives and all that are much riskier than flat punches and big boots, but in this era can we really rely on that type of work to consistently pop a crowd? The whole situation leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, but there is little we can do but move on and hope that everyone comes out of this better in the end.
2: Brock Lesnar
The question here is whether Lesnar deserves more heat for giving Orton a brutal beating and F-5ing Shane McMahon, or for failing a wellness test and then being allowed to look better and more dominant than the entire Smackdown roster on a major event. I enjoyed most of the Orton-Lesnar match at Summerslam, but making Lesnar so untouchable better pay off for someone at some point. Admittedly, Orton didn’t need a win here, but he also didn’t need to be seen beaten into unconsciousness when Lesnar is booked so strong anyway. My biggest fear is that Lesnar is being built up as this heel monster so much so that they can have Reigns get another shot at him. Maybe the WWE really believe that if they make Lesnar seem like a big enough bastard then Reigns will look like the good guy by default, but I don’t think that will be the case at all. In my opinion Lesnar will always be favoured over Reigns while the booking remains the way it is. Now if you took Lesnar and booked him like Reigns and vice versa then maybe it could work. Give Lesnar shot after shot and keep telling us just how good of a guy he is, while Reigns constantly flips off everyone and just lays down beatings every once in a while, and then we can talk.
1: The Polite Canadians
It’s interesting to see Owens benefit from this friendship more than Jericho after the dust of Raw had settled. I hope things remain this way, although I can’t see Jericho take a full backseat to Owens, even if he ends up winning the Universal title. Quick note on the title: bad name, bad look. I fear that the WWE title will now be turned blue to match and each brand will have red and blue versions of the same title where they will all look like a big ‘WWE’ with changeable plates. The OCD side of myself would like the uniformity, but the belts would lose all personality if that happens (although the tag belts could use some kind of change).
Going back to Owens and Jericho, these two work so well together; whether it be calling Todd Philips by different names, talking about opponents getting ‘it’, or that potentially cool double team of the pop up into the Codebreaker (even though the execution didn’t look too stellar in their first attempt on screen). If these two break up over the Universal title then it will be a real ‘what if’ in terms of Balor’s injury. In this day and age you can never trust the WWE not to rush an issue for no reason, something that should build for like a year can be over in a month or two, I just hope that isn’t the case with these two, for the sake of the other members of the Rolling Chart if nothing else.
Rolling Chart – Week Thirty-Two
1st Place: Kevin Owens (225) (-)
2nd Place: Chris Jericho (146) (-)
3rd Place: Maria & Mike Bennett (103) (-)
4th Place: Charlotte (107) (-)
5th Place: Matt Hardy (101) (-)
6th Place: The Miz & Maryse (97) (-)
7th Place: Seth Rollins (76) (+1)
8th Place: The Club (74) (-1)
9th Place: Bobby Lashley (65) (-)
10th Place: Rusev & Lana (52) (-)
That’s all for this week, I am still rocked by the injury to Finn Balor, to go from such a high to such a low is a shocking turn of events and must have placed a lot of at least the short term booking of Raw into disarray. The injury also highlights the problems with using a part-timer like Brock Lesnar where he was given so much attention at the end of Summerslam and then was nowhere to be seen on Raw the next night. Do the WWE keep having to suspend him to make it even slightly believable? That is a terrible hang up to have to keep going back to. Smackdown seems in somewhat better shape, although I have to say that I think Ziggler not winning was a mistake as now it kind of solidifies him as not being able to win the big one. Again, like with Crews, had this been a Smackdown only event leading up to Summerslam then it would have made more sense as a set up for something bigger, but as it is it just makes them seem like losers. Hopefully this isn’t the case and things will get better, but for right now I am pretty down about everything coming out of Summerslam, despite the event itself actually being pretty decent in a bubble.
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, Chris Jericho, seth rollins, The Miz