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 New Day
The two time tag team champions didn’t get to do much this week and are only getting a talking segment at Fastlane, which is weird. In some ways it is great that they are getting time to talk with Edge & Christian as it should be actually quite entertaining, also it will allow them to definitely keep their belts, probably until Wrestlemania. Then again they seem to be getting less and less in-ring time and there is no reason for that. Also, how dare they diss Coldplay!
9: Trevor Lee
Trevor Lee still hasn’t really made an impression on me as a heel but TNA seems to be behind him by having him successfully defend his newly-won X Division championship. Hopefully their faith will be rewarded and the guy will actually turn into a top class bad guy, for now he just looks like some skinny pale runt with a beard…so he could be the next Daniel Bryan!
8: Baron Corbin
There is something so innately unlikeable about Baron Corbin that he actually doesn’t have to do much to get a good negative reaction out of a crowd. You could argue that he is getting ‘X-Pac heat’ in NXT but I’m not sure it is at that point yet, he certainly isn’t anywhere near the levels of genuine hate that Eva Marie is getting right now. He got a good win this week and was a dick so he has a place on the chart, although he has a long way to go before he will ever breach the top five.
7: The Decay
I’m not going to lie, I’m starting to develop a thing for the zombie chick of the group, also Crazy Steve, because that clown if fine! They are being protected pretty well at the moment but I think it is a little premature to stick them in a title match so soon after their debut as a team, even if it is a Monsters Ball match. Still they are in the title picture and with Davey Richards injury they will most likely stay there for the near future, let’s just see how vicious they can get next week.
6: The Wyatt Family
This new ‘titan hunting’ angle shows the sheer versatility of the Wyatt gimmick. All Bray has to do is spout some nonsense about his current aims and it seems more legitimate and not like it is an idea that has just been plucked out of the air to justify arbitrary decisions and seemingly random actions. There is some intrigue here as it raises the question of whether this is a filler angle until Brock vs. Bray, or if that has been dropped and this is the new plan for Mania since nothing has been said of the rivalry since the Rumble. Also does that mean we will get Brock vs. Ambrose? And why was AJ Styles’ TNA music used for the promo video for the Wyatts but not AJ himself?! The mind boggles!
5: Chris Jericho
Speaking of Styles, this might be jumping the gun a bit but quite frankly Jericho is such an arrogant jerk that it is just too easy to dislike him and he can turn heel at the drop of a hat, even now. While they are playing a slightly reserved line in the ‘is Jericho a heel, or is he not’ I have to say that the Codebreaker he delivered to AJ kind of put him firmly in the category of bad guy in the feud.
Then there was his slightly dodgy win and denial of a rematch for Styles, which is a nice douchebag move that will surely result in an actual match, although part of me wishes it was at Wrestlemania instead of Fastlane. The alternative would be for AJ to win the third encounter at this PPV and then have Jericho go full heel and meet him in a gimmick match at Mania with a much more personal stake in who gets the victory.
4: The Social Outcasts
The WWE seem completely confused when it comes to these guys and frankly, now, so am I. One week they are loser comedy heels, then they are basically faces, and then this week they were heels again, but they managed to get two wins as a collective so they can’t be considered all that much of a joke. Then again the wins were against Zack Ryder so maybe it is supposed to be a different type of joke.
Either way these guys seem to have found a good grove and are just the right side of annoying to work, much like the New Day. The only problem is that they seem to be a delivery service for Vince McMahon’s personal sense of humour, which isn’t exactly refined, rather than doing completely their own thing. This is good in terms of job security but not so much in terms of personality, we have all seen what has happened to Roman Reigns when he has been given a microphone, it’s not good.
3: Kevin Owens
Your new, two-time, Intercontinental champion! I’m not sure where this will take Owens heading into Wrestlemania but at least now the prize-fighter has a prize to defend. As soon as Stephanie McMahon announced the Fatal Five-way (is that even a thing?) for the title you had to know that Ambrose was going to drop the belt, and I for one am glad. Now sure it could have been hyped more and have more of a story, but it was a decent match and Ambrose losing the belt makes his possible win at Fastlane more believable, which will add to the quality of that match as well.
For Owens himself we have yet another Ziggler match for Fastlane, which will no doubt be good, but I worry about the stakes and interest that their continued feud will have when there is no further story to it apart from both think they are great and they trade victories. I think that is fine to begin a feud, but at this point, after so many matches together, there really should be something more, especially since both men are definitely capable of it. Damn you writers!
2: The Dudley Boyz
The Dudley Boyz stepped up this week and delivered a couple of great promos where they used heel logic to explain why they will no longer be using tables; because the tables are more over than they are! There is some legitimacy to that, they are the most decorated tag team of all time and yet most fans will mainly remember them for their use of tables, not their ability as a tag team. Of course while these two don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and they really do get the respect they deserve, as heels it would never be enough and there is always beef to be had.
The only problem that might come of this heel turn is an alignment with the New Day, because that is the old problem of heels working together just because they are heels. The New Day and the Dudleys should still have beef, there is no reason for them to forgive and forget unless we actually see it on TV. I also hated the ‘for those of you who didn’t see Smackdown’ since while I get that it has a smaller viewership, if you treat it like the B-show, it’s always going to be seen as that and it really could be so much more. Finally the team made a surprise attack on Reigns, which will probably take up the matches next week with Ambrose teaming with him against the Dudleys, with a possible Lesnar run-in on Smackdown leading to the Triple Threat, predictable outcome but the actual attack was pretty unexpected.
1: Matt Hardy
For a second week in a row the Iconic TNA World Heavyweight Champion has topped the chart, which if nothing else speaks to his ability to be an unlikeable creep, as well as TNA’s general faith in him to be the main focus of the show on Pop.
What’s more there was a general focus this week on the firing of EC3, which was at once justified for the injunction he filed against TNA, and at the same time was a great cowardly heel move. There was a lot that made sense about this move, although I don’t get the logic in calling out Dixie in the main event spot and trying to intimidate her when a softer touch definitely would have been more appropriate. At the same time this displays Hardy’s ego and his losing touch with reality that this title win seems to have brought, so overall I think it served to help the character, even if it made him look less conniving and more crazy.
The only problem right now is the general structure of Impact since without legitimate PPVs it is hard to see when this angle will pay off. Will EC3 get the title back soon or are we looking at a long chase? Who else can challenge Hardy since he blew through two top challengers in his first two weeks as champion in Kurt Angle and his brother Jeff. Please not Lashley, I am completely sick of Lashley, he is the Roman Reigns of TNA, but actually much less charismatic.
Rolling Chart – Week Five
1st Place: Kevin Owens (36) (+2)
2nd Place: The Wyatt Family (34) (-1)
3rd Place: The New Day (30) (-1)
4th Place: Matt Hardy (27) (+1)
5th Place: Charlotte (19) (-1)
6th Place: The Dudley Boyz (18) (New Entry)
7th Place: The Social Outcasts (15) (Returning)
8th Place: Sheamus (10) (-2)
9th Place: Alberto Del Rio (11) (-2)
10th Place: The Authority (10) (-3)
The chart has started to solidify into a three-way dance between Owens, the Wyatts and the New Day, with Owens on top for this week. However, Matt Hardy is closing on the group fast and has climbed to fourth place in three weeks. Apart from that Sheamus and Del Rio continue their slow descent off of the chart after their strong placement in the first week, it seems like soon the League of Nations will lose their heel presence before they even ever really had a chance to define themselves as a group. While a lot of this is due to untimely injuries it is also a case where WWE never really gave them anything memorable to do, bar taking out Reigns in the Rumble and that was just stupid since they didn’t even eliminate him, do they even have anything to do for Fastlane?
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: Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, Matt Hardy, The Dudley Boyz, The Wyatt Family