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: Breeze & Fandango
I still refuse to call them by their terrible tag name. I really want this pairing to actually work out as I am a fan of both guys and they deserve to have at least some place on the card. They once again beat the ‘highly acclaimed’ Golden Truth but lost to the Usos, showing that they still have a lot to prove when going against actual tag teams.
9: Trevor Lee
The X-Division champion managed to retain his title in an Ultimate X match on Impact through a somewhat contrived mechanism of having the ref distracted so that he could snatch the belt after it had already been released by Eddie Edwards. These events were then immediately replayed on the monitor, which you’d think would mean that the ref could see it and reverse the decision, but whatever, this is professional wrestling!
8: Seth Rollins
Rollins coming out and teasing the audience, as well as Reigns himself, was great, although I would have liked to have seen an actual beat down or anything to make me believe that Rollins could actually be a threat to the company boy. I am still torn over whether it was the right move to bring Rollins back as a heel, since either way Reigns was going to get booed and Rollins cheer, so why not have another big face come back to a triumphant return? This is especially poignant given Styles’ sudden heel turn, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
7: Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio had a pretty good week in qualifying for the Money in the Bank match, good for him, perhaps not good for the fans as now we have someone that most people would actively not want to win the briefcase at the end of the thing. Having said that, Jericho wouldn’t exactly be an inspiring choice, but at least it would be interesting to see why and how they made that choice. As it is I think Dean Ambrose or Cesaro are the best choices for the case. The thing is that with all these upper-midcard guys around and not many real main event stars, it would be easy to elevate any one of these men to the title picture without the need for the briefcase, so the whole thing seems a bit redundant at this point.
6: Charlotte & Dana Brooke
The female Flair continued on without her father this week and basked in all the heel heat it garnered for her. Her pairing with Dana Brooke seems to be working out although I have to say that Brooke actually stands out a little more than the champion as a character and you have to wonder if this will develop further as time goes on. Since Sasha Banks can’t be involved with the duo right now I am glad that Becky Lynch has inserted herself into this situation because all three blondes aren’t exactly dynamite on the mic and any more of the one-on-one feud between Charlotte and Natayla might have done more harm than good.
5: The Miz & Maryse
The Miz is away in Hollywood land at the moment, but not before he managed to successfully defend his title against Cesaro on Smackdown in what was a pretty decent match with a screwy ending.
I have nothing against the taking off of a turnbuckle cover to get a win, but there was certainly some confusion leaning up to the spot where the turnbuckle had been exposed again. How did Maryse know to remove the cover while Miz feigned leaving with the title? Did he actually not want to leave? Was it a bluff? Or was it Maryse being in the right place at the right time?
4: Mike Bennett & Maria
These two are quickly becoming the two biggest jerks in TNA, if not in all of professional wrestling. Maria is on a massive power trip with the Knockouts and Bennett is the same with EC3 and his possibility of getting a rematch with the Miracle. Together their egos rule over most of impact each week and continue to remain dominant despite their relative new status in the company.
I like this pair, but I’m still not sure why they are running things exactly, maybe it is all down to their going backstage at a Smashing Pumpkins concert, is that all it takes these days to take all the power away from someone like Dixie Carter?! You can bet that there will be inconsistencies, the main one being that Maria was just used to kayfabe fire Velvet Sky, but you can bet that at some point some other authority figure will come out and revoke her power due to some more minor infringement, claiming she has ‘gone too far now’.
3: Kevin Owens
You should always fear the mouth of Kevin Owens, who can come down to a ring and take umbrage with the simple fact that you are on the wrong show, such as Michael Cole on Smackdown this week. The problem with a heel character like Owens, who brashly criticises and degrades, is that on a quality show like NXT it highly works because he comes across like a self-entitled jerk who runs people down for his own amusement, but on the main roster, where most everything actually is rubbish for some/no reason, he becomes the voice of the people.
If WWE was better in terms of its announcers, producers, hosts and writers, then Kevin Owens would have a much easier job at being an unlikeable heel, but as it is he is just too darn right all the time; none of us want to see Michael Cole on both Smackdown and Raw. Also it has to be highlighted that Owens was recorded this week stating that he would try to make the fans at a house show chant ‘USA’ in his match despite both participants being Canadian, which they did. Americans: stop arbitrarily supporting something just because it is tradition/you are told to/it just feels right. Seriously, Raw is an international product and that Memorial Day stuff was just freaky, especially in what John Cena said; the promotion of war in the name of liberty is creepy and no one in the arena seemed to have any disagreement with what he was saying. We are all going to die if Trump gets into office.
2: Lana & Rusev
So the WWE is fully back to associating Lana with Rusev, I guess that nuclear heat must have died down somewhat. Rusev has Lana introducing him, he has the US title, he is allowed to squash any face below a certain level with little to no build…is it 2014-2015 again? Still at least now he applies the Accolade in a slightly different, and more brutal looking way. The thing is though is that this will probably not work on bigger opponents, both in terms of size and stature and their place on the card.
No matter how hard WWE push Rusev I just can’t take him seriously as any type of main event competitor and frankly I don’t think he has shown anything to truly make him stand out as one. With the brand extension looming there is a chance that he will find himself in the same position as Sheamus where he is allowed to run with the ball despite not really being able to handle it, but much like then it will probably be forgettable and lucky that there is a second title on the other brand. On a related note that opening segment on Raw was painful, it was all like ‘yay brand extension!’ and then it kind of made fun of people for having questions about this sudden shift and then made fun of the dodging of questions before proceeding to completely dodge the serious questions by turning everything into a dance contest. This dance contest was then interrupted and a match happened with everything still largely unaddressed and then not referenced further during the night. It was weird, why talk about it if you don’t have everything sorted yet, can we please not have another shambles from the outset please WWE?
1: The Club
I have to start off by saying that I am still not really familiar with the Bullet Club to truly appreciate the momentous nature of these events, and so on a slower week they probably wouldn’t have made to the top of the chart simply through a prolonged attack.
Then again you have to consider the shocking nature of the turn by AJ Styles and the fact that it was against a guy like Cena, who he then proceeded to beat down several times with no comeuppance, which is super rare. When you start to factor that in with Anderson and Gallows’ attack of the New Day earlier in the show you have a heel team that got away with attacking Vince’s most precious babies without any negative consequences, at least not this week anyway. The only downside is that I can’t think of anything to call them but The Club and that name is quite weak, although I can see their dilemma; they can’t really use the name Bullet Club because it is still active somewhere else, but changing the word ‘Bullet’ to anything else will just come off like a cheap knockout, so making it something generic, but still linked seems like a good way to go. However at the same time ‘The Club’ is so non-committal and wishy-washy that it is almost an embarrassment. You almost might as well call them ‘The Group’ or ‘The Friends’ and have done with it.
Still despite the terrible name it is certainly interesting that they waited until now to pull the heel trigger with AJ. It’s not that I believe they didn’t turn him heel too soon, but if you are going to throw away his face momentum, then why not do it against Reigns, was that position reserved for Rollins or something? This is why the WWE is broken right now, because Vince only cares about the off-hand ideas he has of who should be over and sacrifices everything else to try to make them happen. He is so focused on Reigns getting over that he is blind to just how over Styles and Rollins managed to get themselves and how well they could draw as faces if he just let them have their time in the sun. This especially applies to this ‘New Era’, where all three men could have been champion in quick succession and then traded the belt, possibly across shows, for the next six months, establishing all three of them as true main eventers. Instead I worry that Rollins will lose several times to Reigns, making him lose the main event rub that he has from his title run last year, it will be Cena vs. the whole roster like it was before and so again no one will get over. There is nothing more wasteful than pushing one guy that no one wants and then bringing up a parade of upper-mid-carders to the main event for a couple of months only to soundly lose to this guy aa all that makes clear is that ‘he sucks but they suck worse’, so no one gets over.
Rolling Chart – Week Twenty
1st Place: Kevin Owens (155) (-)
2nd Place: Chris Jericho (97) (-)
3rd Place: Charlotte (84) (-)
4th Place: The Miz & Maryse (67) (+1)
5th Place: Matt Hardy (61) (-1)
6th Place: The New Day (49) (-)
7th Place: Maria & Mike Bennett (46) (+3)
8th Place: The Wyatt Family (43) (-1)
9th Place: The Dudley Boyz (42) (-1)
10th Place: HHH (39) (-1)
That’s all for this week, it is hard not to be excited for the brand extension/split, although it doesn’t bode well that they don’t seem to have everything finalised, or else that they want to appear that way, which is just weird. It will be interesting to see how they handle the championships and women’s division since there are nowhere near enough people in that division to split it up. Maybe it will go back to being women on one show and cruiserweights on another, what with the cruiserweight open and all that, and while that is great for the cruiserweight side of things I am thinking that it is not exactly a step in the right direction for the woman’s division. Then again if my conspiracy theory holds true: i.e. that Stephanie and Hunter are pushing the woman’s division now so that if their daughters ever want to get into the business they can come in at the highest level, then surely the woman’s division would go to the show run by Stephanie and get a lot more attention, possibly to the point where we could see an all-female main event for a PPV by the end of the year.
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: charlotte, Lana, Mike Bennett, The Club, The Miz