Forever Heel: 2013 Heel Review

2013 was a unique year for heels. It seemed that TNA continued its decade long tradition of turning every star heel. WWE decided to turn more heels toward the Facial Side, but it was much more even this year. While we lost CM Punk and Ziggler, we gained Orton and Alberto del Rio. Let’s look at the year 2013.

Bully Ray: Finally breaking away from his “Back up Thug” status, Bully Ray pulled off the climax to The Aces & Eight’s storyline and gained the TNA World Championship at Lockdown. To be honest, I have no idea if TNA was going anywhere with the Aces & Eights, or if it was badly planned due to false starts and setbacks. TNA has had problems with poorly planned continuity in the past. I feel Bully Ray swerving Hogan, as leader of The Aces, was a good idea. I believe this was a Bischoff idea too, and it’s a solid wrestling idea. Have the heel champ and his entourage beat the hell out of the faces until it’s just the main face against the main heel.  Bully was great on the mic. You got the feeling he meant to hurt the Hogans and win the belt like he wanted to go out of his way to hurt Hulkster. He also gained Sting’s trust, and once you have that, you gotta turn heel. I also enjoyed his continuing torment of Joseph Park and threatening to pile drive Ken Anderson’s pregnant wife through the floor. Of course his phrase, “Do you know who I am?” caught on, similar to The Real Americans’ “We the People!”  There is also the added personal issue I have with Bully Ray; he looks and acts exactly like one of my friends, an asshole. Bully Ray is Heel of The Year for 2013.

Ryback: Shortly after WrestleMania 29, Ryback showed his true colors, and they were awesome. He quit being a big lumbering Goldberg type lunkhead and became a bullying one instead. He terrorized the WWE locker-room for months. He preyed on jobbers and stage hands, at one point forcing Christian Cole to open his gym bag in the shower and turn on the water. During all of this, Ryback assured us all that he hated bullies, and would never bully someone. Backy also headlined two Pay Per Views against Cena for the WWE Title. He teased an alliance with Vickie, before finally helping Paul Heyman pin CM Punk at Night of Champions. He became a Paul Heyman Guy; mostly because Brock is a part-timer and Axel would look dumb all alone. Finally toward the end of the Punk/Heyman feud, Axel and Ryback ditched Heyman and became a tag team. He’s been getting a lot of X-Pac Heat lately and he can look forward to more, as WWE Marks are also mad at Curtis Axel over his “Better than Perfect” shirt. Now we will have millions of arguments about how Hennig and Rude were better than Ryback and Axel.

AJ Lee: I have to say, I never really cared much for AJ.  I never thought she’s ever as great as I’m told. I also thought the idea of a child-like psycho girl that skips to the ring is creepy. This reminds me of 2007 when we were told, by JR and Jerry Lawler, that Candice Michelle was improving so much and deserved the WWE Women’s Title. I think her one good promo about Total Divas was great, but that’s it. After adding Tamina as her bodyguard at least I can take AJ seriously as a champ now. Since the 2014 Women’s Roster is only going to get better, I’m sure AJ will be a part of it, but I don’t see her headlining WrestleMania against Paige for the Diva’s belt. We probably won’t even see a Diva’s Title match at Mania, and Paige will debut as Stephanie’s cleaning lady, or something stupid like that. I don’t see why AJ can be a crazy heel but when R-Truth does it, it’s unfairly stigmatizing of the mentally ill.

The Authority & Randy Orton: This storyline is reaching TNA levels in its stupid swerve rates. Since SummerSlam, Orton has been booked as a weak champ or main event heel. It seems that every time Orton gets a leg up or a win, Triple H and Steph turn on him. I don’t see why they need to keep testing Orton. Why not just give him a series of dusty finished title defenses? They’ve chosen to not put Orton on par with The Authority, unlike how Vince pushed The Rock, with full support, as his corporate champ. Orton doesn’t help by making the worst slow ( almost Miz-like) promos. He still has his badass music, black trunks, and methodical demeanor. It’s worse than Austin’s heel turn in 2001. I have no idea what WWE is doing here, except allowing Steph to neuter Orton, so Triple H will have to take over as the face of the company, as its kingmaker. This is reaching Russo levels, but at least Russo had a colorful roster to work with. I pretty much see Orton turning face in 2014 against the Authority, and losing the belt after WrestleMania. Hunter and Steph will continue to make sporadic appearances on Raw to muddy up the storylines, and kill continuity, for most of 2014.

The Wyatts: This is what WWE needs more of: great gimmicks. I’m not impressed with The Wyatts’ work rate, but I enjoy the hell out of watching them. Their entrance and Bray Wyatt’s bizarre promos are what make this group. If you think that’s not enough, remember that The Undertaker used an entrance and creepy promos for the first seven years he was in WWE. The only problem I see is that in the PG Era, WWE is going to be afraid to book these guys farther, and just make them the Godwinns II, where Bray and Eric Rowan will be square dancing and having fun. (see: Bloom, Matt) I actually see good things for Rowan and Luke Harper as a tag team. I believe that Bray Wyatt will be a success as long as he can stay away from injury long enough.

Magnus: The TNA Champ, and Dixie Carter’s corporate champ. Since this is TNA, I have no idea if Magnus will be champ next month, let alone face AJ Styles for the Undisputed Title. Magnus is a solid choice from the limited TNA roster. I’m not sure why they didn’t pick Bobby Roode.

Alberto del Rio: It was good to see Alberto’s double turn with Dolph Ziggler.  I didn’t like his turn on Ricardo, and the fact that he no longer flaunts his upper class status. I guess that might be because The Authority is using “the rich heel” gimmick for now? In the beginning I liked ADR’s laid back style, and winks, but just like every WWE heel, he had to become a “Serious Competitor Dammit!” Every WWE heel is a cookie cutter heel, and the outline of that cookie cutter is Triple H. I expect Alberto won’t win the WWE World Belt, since it’s just one title now. I see him floundering in the main event like Big Show or Kane for 2014.

So that’s pretty much it. Don’t get mad if your favorite heel wasn’t up here. I wanted to focus on various talent, from various points in the current pro-wrestling climate. I would also like to say that I find NXT is superior to WWE’s main product, and that maybe WWE should look at bringing back “over the top” gimmicks. I get sick with the boring interchangeable MMA looking pro-wrestler gimmicks. Enjoy these random videos from 2013…

Why Bo Dallas Rules As A Heel.

Ha ha ha! Watch Alberto beat the snot out of that no good Ricardo.

The Dirty Heels Implode

Eva Marie Shows Why She is The Greatest Diva in History!

CM Punk Helps Undertaker’s Pain

And of course, Mark Henry Swerves John Cena!

Return here next week for Forever Heel’s Top ECW Heels; basically that can be anyone on that roster. Also in January, I will be giving you all a Royal Rumble Rundown from a heel’s perspective.

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