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: Chris Jericho
This whole chart is going to have the accent put on the heel as there was a lot of title movement this week and some heels scored big because of how they defended or won those titles, and some did not since they did it in mostly straight fashion. Jericho earned his place through a mixture of blatant lies and childishness, every second of the ladder promo to open Raw was gold and Jericho was definitely a big part of that. I think we should start every Raw like this.
As I said before a lot of the placements on this list are decided by how heels defended their titles, so while Matanza did beat Cage to retain the LU title, it was almost completely clean. Since things were sans shenanigans there is little heel heat to comment on apart from the sheer monstrousness of the character, which is still worth something. At this point I am now just eager to see who is the monster’s next challenger since for some reason LU wants to burn through the potentials pretty quickly (and at this point I have forgotten all the spoilers).
8: Rusev & Lana
The US champ spent his week beating up and beating down Jack Swagger. I’m not sure the new intro from Lana is working too much, although admittedly I do like to see her standing in the ring. Then again I would also possibly be interested in seeing her actually compete in the ring, if for only the aesthetics…I got lost there. Anyway, Rusev, he is doing things, sort of. He might have avoided the potential bullet that was the return of John Cena and instead get taken down from a returning Titus O’Neil, which I think no one saw coming.
7: The Vaudevillains
Well Aiden English returned to his musical roots and the results were an expected rise in the team’s heel heat. What might have been a bigger source of this heat however is their attempt to injure Enzo once again in their match on Raw. I’m still surprised that these two teams are doing as well as they are on the main roster and not being jobbed out to the Usos and the Dudleys, not that they don’t deserve to do well, it’s just, well, just look at the Ascension. But they are being included in a title match at Money in the Bank and have a decent chance of pulling out a victory in the confusion of a multi-team match. Either that or it is just another reason to let the New Day once again escape with the titles that they so sorely DON’T need.
6: Alberto Del Rio
Ah, it’s that near annual tradition where Alberto Del Rio gets a big push for virtually no reason. This week he beat Sami Zayn on Raw and could perhaps go onto win the briefcase for a second time. I really hope that this is not the case and while I think logically he is the least likely to win, why is he in the match at all? This makes me nervous as logic barely ever dictates the WWE’s decisions with stuff like this. Del Rio isn’t the worst heel performer in the WWE, it’s just that beyond saying ‘perro’ and ‘destiny’ there is very little that he actually does and so as a champion he just doesn’t measure up.
5: Maria & Mike Bennett
These two take up about 50% of Impact screen time and this week there was actually a good reason for it as EC3 would get his revenge on the couple and help others to do the same.
I’m still not completely sold on Mike Bennett in TNA (maybe it is just the ponytail), this makes me think that he needs to beat EC3 at Slammiversary to cement his place. Whether or not the Miracle can actually do that is another question, I feel like he needs someone else by his side to act as muscle and step up his game to the next level. Personally I think that only ‘cool’ heels work well and look successful without bodyguards and Bennett is not playing the role of ‘cool’ heel so he could really use some backup, specifically backup that won’t steal his spotlight like his wife does.
4: The Tribunal
Maybe this placement is a little bias but it has become well known that I am a big fan of the new Al Snow heel character and his stance on new guys in professional wrestling. This especially holds true when he creates a new group out of two unknowns who have had bad gimmicks in NXT, a place where most guys get to do great things.
Everything Snow does is false and he takes advantage wherever he can, as a good heel should. As such he and his two new friends were able to get one over on the two joke characters that they are going against right now. The only problem with the formation of this group is that they are now too powerful and kind of need to move onto an actual threat to maintain any momentum, so hopefully that will happen in the next few weeks. Or they will just lose and fade away into obscurity, who knows.
3: Eli Drake
Again, how he won the title is important. Namely he took advantage of his ill-gotten Feast or Fired briefcase to beat a fallen Bram for the King of the Mountain title. This gave him his first taste of gold in Impact and might help make the title a little less pointless than it has been. If nothing else the KotM title is a good way to give new guys a taste of gold that isn’t the world title.
Over and above how he won the belt, what put him up so high on the chart this week was the way he celebrated backstage. Pouring out champagne for nameless chumps and then systematically knocking it out of their hands was great and was funny each times. There is something great in this Eli Drake in just how arrogant he can act, taking him to levels of early Alex Riley and Mr. Kennedy and beyond. Part of me is sad that he is in TNA since while he probably gets more freedom and opportunity there, if he was in WWE he might be used a little better, with more lasting impact. Or he might drop the delicate Randy Orton wrong and end up losing his job over it, who knows.
2: Kevin Owens
Will Kevin Owens actually win the Money in the Bank briefcase? Who knows. Sometimes it is clear who is going to win one of these matches but honestly this year I have no earthly idea since four of the six men could really use the briefcase and out of them I would say that Owens is the second most-guy who needs it.
I say that because Jericho and Del Rio clearly don’t need the case, Sami Zayn might still be a bit new to the main roster to hold the case and cash it in successfully, and in my personal view Ambrose can probably get a title shot quite easily without it. The man who most needs the case is Cesaro since he kind of needs a prop but is also good enough to be champion when the time comes. Now I also believe that Owens could talk himself into a world title match at any time, but with the case he has one guaranteed and there could be a lot of fun interactions because of that. I almost wish MitB was more like the Gift of the Gods in LU since then winning the contract wouldn’t guarantee anything and whoever wins it would have to defend it until they decided to cash it in. This would lead to a KO who tries to duck every fight and would have to use his smarts to get out of more precarious situations. As it is he might still have to defend the case against Sami Zayn at some point if he wins it, but that would probably only be at SUmmerslam.
1: The Club
Again the Club has been able to sneak into the top spot on the chart and I am still not completely sure why.
When I compile these reports I assign points to certain actions, whether plus or minus, and at the end of the week I add it all up and place the individuals and groups accordingly. Now for a second week in a row this group has come out on top while I am not sure why. All I can think is that the WWE is intending to get these guys over so they find themselves in plus situations rather than minuses, still weird though.
I will say that I think AJ managed to hold his own on the mic against Cena, and actually came close to telling Cena what he actually needs to hear at some point. The only thing I would add is that the problem with Cena isn’t that he CAN’T wrestle, it’s just that for the position he is in as the ‘best in the business’ for ten years, he isn’t good enough both in the ring and on the mic to warrant that. If you were going to make a list of the ten greatest in-ring and mic talents of the past fifteen years it is unlikely that Cena would be in the top five and yet he is the measuring stick, it makes no sense! At least with Hogan in the 80s he had that whole American Hero thing that people gravitated towards, if anything Cena’s marine character is insulting and puts people off, plus fans are different these days. Whatever the case the Club managed to gain the top spot and are now engaged with the two biggest face acts in the WWE right now, which is good for them.
Rolling Chart – Week Twenty-One
1st Place: Kevin Owens (164) (-)
2nd Place: Chris Jericho (98) (-)
3rd Place: Charlotte (84) (-)
4th Place: The Miz & Maryse (67) (-)
5th Place: Matt Hardy (61) (-)
6th Place: Maria & Mike Bennett (52) (+1)
7th Place: The New Day (49) (-1)
8th Place: The Wyatt Family (43) (-)
9th Place: The Dudley Boyz (42) (-)
10th Place: HHH (39) (-)
The Wright View:
On the Rise
Tye Dillenger – His ‘Perfect 10’ gimmick is simple and effective, at least for NXT. This guy went from enhancement heel talent to next level face after his match against Nakamura. It makes sense since surely everyone expected the crowd to be completely behind Nakamura and Tye actually was pretty over at the same time, which seemed to make the people in the back sit up and take notice.
Hardy Contract Signing – All I can say is that if Jericho was sincere in his praise of this then must be smoking something, this was utter shit. Everything about it was bad; the acting, the script, the editing, the camera work, the way it was presented, the way it ended, everything! Honestly who let this on the air, I mean who lets Jeff Hardy, or either Hardy for that matter, on the air at all, but seriously this was the worst. I knew these two were idiots who think they are creative geniuses, but damn even I thought they had more talent than this.
That’s all for this week, I’m still ashamed to have missed the LU trios titles win by Black, Mundo, and Evans last week, catched it after the report and was blown away. Unfortunately their defence this week was not anywhere near as heel-licious so they didn’t make the chart this week either. I normally never miss Raw, Smackdown, NXT, Impact or Lucha Underground before writing the report and the one time I do this happens, well I have learnt my lesson.
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: Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho, Eli Drake, Mike Bennett, rusev