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: Allie & Sienna
This pair could do wonders in a woman’s division with more direction. This is why there is sometimes so much hate for TNA, because it is all very well saying “there should be an alternative/competition”, when that alternative is just wasting talent then maybe there should only be one game in town.
While I am glad that the guy got to have a reasonably high profile debut I have to question what the long term benefits will be. I just can’t see TNA putting him over Lashley so why even throw the two against each other right now? In some ways you could say TNA is doing the right thing by creating several challengers for the Heavyweight title, but I remain sceptical to see how it will all pay off.
8: Bobby Lashley
The TNA got a lucky escape due to the intervention of Moose and the Miracle, which is actually a pretty good tag team name. Lashley’s game has risen since becoming champion once again to the point where he can talk and wrestle, but perhaps not at the same time. I am still overall on the fence when it comes to the TNA champion, but he is slowly but surely proving to be the real deal and with many talents busy elsewhere it looks like he will probably continue to get the chance to prove himself as we move forward to Bound for Glory.
7: Charlotte & Dana Brooke
I quite like this new ‘mean girls’ tag team, although it is certainly not a new concept. Honestly I am split on whether the draft should have women on each show or confine them to a division on one. Due to injuries the division is pretty shallow, and isn’t exactly thriving with talent when everyone is there, so it would probably benefit storytelling to have them on only one show. However, when you confine a whole gender to one tiny portion of the show you are kind of sending the message that they are a minority, and in this PC climate that is something that wouldn’t be all that acceptable and could even be called a self-fulfilling prophecy. Just let them compete with the men already!
6: Mike Bennett & Maria
While it was shaky at first, the Miracle and Maria did manage to disrupt Destination X by interrupting the main event with the debuting Moose. The whole thing is a bit messy at the moment, what with the constant changing attitude of Billy Corgan and fluctuating levels of power that this couple holds. TNA has almost always lacked focus and balance and should probably rely more on putting on great matches than trying to tell these types of on-going stories. Still Bennett and Maria are pretty entertaining, even if they have for some reason lost touch with Allie and Sienna for the time being. If they are going to bring down TNA then they should probably try to own all the titles, they sort of have the Knockouts belt, and could easily hold sway over the KotM title if they get Eli Drake on board, tag titles with Moose, Spud for the X Division and then go after the world title, it’s all right there, they just actually need to go through with it.
5: The Miz & Maryse
Now to a couple with less lofty goals; namely staying together after the draft and keeping hold of the IC title for a completely unnecessary amount of time.
While I previously rallied against TNA’s waste of talent the same could possibly be said of these two here. They clearly have a lot of heel heat ready to be generated, but they barely get any time to get it done. I think the brand split will really help with things like this as performers will get the chance to shine more in promos and matches on their respective shows, rather than simply wrestling the same match on both Raw and Smackdown, as well as possibly Main Event and Superstars.
4: Kevin Owens
You can tell Owens is stepping up his game for the draft when he pulls out the Canadian Dollars. I really hope that he is drafted to Smackdown and becomes the main heel there as he deserves his chance to truly shine, especially with the opening vignettes that he has been owning the past few weeks.
A lot of people say that the reason people are drawn to Kevin Owens is because he is out of shape and yet still awesome and so many identify with him or are impressed because of that, and while this is part of the appeal I think there is one much more important factor; he has fun. You can see it every time he works with Sami or Jericho, he’s always making jokes and hamming it up, whether it be through challenging Zayn to some fisticuffs, or posing with him like a hunter with a trophy, there are some great highlights that no other competitor gives us as fans no matter how hard they try.
3: Matt Hardy
I don’t even know what’s going on with this anymore. I think it is supposed to be a spoof, but it is being given way too high booking for a comedy piece, plus it involves two of TNA’s biggest stars making fools of themselves. But, this can’t be something to be taken seriously right? I mean, Skarsgard and all that is funny, but it isn’t genius or anything, am I missing something?
I hate to be elitist about this but it seems like there is a portion of the audience, let’s call it the rational portion, who see this and laugh because it is ridiculous that such a weird and campy thing even exists in semi-mainstream wrestling. Then there is the other portion, let’s call them the portion I don’t understand/who have no real sense of proportion, that actually think the Final Deletion was awesome. (Then there are the portion who are actually in the first portion but write defences for the match like they are in the second because they want to be ‘controversial’ or contrary and muddy the issue, but lets try and ignore them shall we). This reminds me of the difference between actual humour, which relies on timing, engaging with the world and incredulity, and ‘random’ humour, which relies on idiots laughing at anything because they want so bad to think they are funny and actually have a sense of humour. (Then there are those bastards who try to dilute everything by claiming that humour is completely subjective…no it isn’t, it’s partially subjective, but not wholly…I hate you.) It makes me sad that some people can’t see the difference, I laugh at the segments, but I cry at those who try to actually justify it as anything more than ludicrous pap.
2: The Club
The whole #BeatUpJohnCena is still fun to me, and it acts as a counter to the argument that Cena can’t go heel due to the whole Make-A-Wish thing: even when he stays face, if heels have a go at him it can upset sick kids, but should we really never even be able to enjoy making fun of the square-jawed, self-righteous, all-American douchebag due to this? A better alternative would be to rotate who is the top face so that kids gravitate towards them and they never get too stale. People go on about Cena and how long he has been around, but besides his freakish healing ability there is very little reason why anyone else couldn’t have done the same; sounds like luck over talent to me (and hard work sure, but I’m sure many others put in just as much work and would put in more if they were getting the same opportunities).
AJ Styles, who is the same age as Cena, strikes me as one of those guys who could put in as much work as Cena, and could easily be a top face if given the chance. This is why the brand split is so important, because with Cena there it is nearly impossible for anyone else to get too far before they hit that Cena speedbump. I think that Cena honestly thinks that he is helping talent just by stepping in the ring with them, and with some guys that is true, but with many, they are forced to go at Cena’s speed and aren’t allowed to surpass him in any real sense. Therefore we as the fans are left with the sense that those we root for are lesser, worse than Cena, despite the talent and potential they possess. He is like a dark shadow over the entire roster, which could almost work if he was the top heel, but as the top face, even without the title, he is just exposing the business as a corporate entity. I know that is what it is at its core, but I would like to suspend my disbelief at least a little bit.
1: Seth Rollins
There has been a lot of ranting this week, and plenty to rant about, this last listing will be no different.
I would like to have talked about Lucha Underground or NXT a little in this column, both of which are great on a consistent basis (with the exception of the current Tye Dillinger losing streak, which is possibly the first truly questionable decision in NXT booking history). However, the problem with these two shows, at least from the report’s perspective, is that they actually know how to book heels and faces to appeal to modern day fans. In Lucha Underground both the rudos and tecnicos are respected and often cheered, but they are still booked in traditional fashion so that more often than not the face gets the overall victory in the rivalry, hence with Ultima Lucha taking place, most of the heels are falling short and not making it onto the chart, still the in-ring action and storytelling is always compelling, it just doesn’t depend on this classic dynamic. Whereas NXT has a good understanding of the modern way to book talent, where faces are faces because they are (arguably) the most talented, you root for them because they seemingly deserve to win, and when a heel starts to impress too much, they become face so that they follow the same trajectory. Therefore again, heels often don’t make it onto the chart since they are often in the losing position.
WWE main roster is in a strange mid-way point where they are a mixture of modern talented performers being supported, having the 90s mentality of strong/cowardly heels who somehow always dominate, whilst still looking for that 80s white-bread babyface for everyone to get behind. The whole thing is a mess, which is why the audience is always split, along with the booking. The end of Raw completely reflects this, with apparent controversy over who is the champ (how many bloody times have we seen that over the past few years?) going into the draft, despite the fact that it was clearly a draw and that means that Ambrose is still the champion. Whatever you choose to believe, Seth Rollins certainly put his best foot forward this week and deserves to be in the number one spot, I just hope he gets rewarded in the draft and can thrive on Raw once again as a more modern version of HHH.
Rolling Chart – Week Twenty-Seven
1st Place: Kevin Owens (201) (-)
2nd Place: Chris Jericho (115) (-)
3rd Place: Charlotte (94) (-)
4th Place: The Miz & Maryse (91) (-)
5th Place: Maria & Co. (83) (-)
6th Place: Matt Hardy (81) (-)
7th Place: The Club (70) (-)
8th Place: The New Day (49) (-)
9th Place: Seth Rollins (45) (New Entry)
10th Place: The Wyatt Family (43) (-1)
That’s all for this week, I am looking forward to the draft (which should be over by now). My major hope is that Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins will be on separate brands and get to act as the top heels for both, possibly eventually meeting up at a Wrestlemania or something. I also hope that both brands become legitimately different, maybe with Raw being more of a variety show and Smackdown being all about rivalries and quality matches, although we already have NXT for that so hopefully they will add a little something extra that I cannot foresee. I am definitely intrigued to see how Foley and Bryan work as opposing GMs given their similarities. Their meeting on Raw definitely gave the impression that they would be taking this feud seriously and I dig it since usually those with similar ideals and outlooks when pitted against each other can often be the most fierce since they understand their opponent, but pride makes them want to beat them all the same. Please WWE, don’t let us down, for once can we have a big summer angle that actually lasts and has a lasting impact on the landscape of wrestling for some time to come?!
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, Matt Hardy, Mike Bennett, Moose, The Club