These reports come in quick succession due to a backlog but to set things in context, this report runs from Genesis to Smackdown on the 18th, and since this week wasn’t really a strong heel week in WWE there is a pretty healthy spread of both TNA and WWE heels on the chart. We’re getting into the last ten weeks of the season and the clear favourite on the Rolling Chart is the Big Show, but with his title loss last week he might lose enough momentum for Ziggler or Punk to pull ahead and steal the top spot, a lot can happen in ten weeks though, so enough of the speculation for now, let’s get on with the report…
Weekly Top Ten:
1st Place: Bad Influence (10/10)
This is one of those instances where I wish I didn’t have to group Kazarian in with Christopher Daniels so Daniels can claim all the points but it can’t be denied that Kazarian played an intrinsic role in Daniels’ win at Genesis so they have to come in as a team. Still because of this, and it has pretty much been the case all year, Daniels has missed out on half the points entitled to him by having to split them with his tag team partner, so alas one of the best heels of the year probably won’t even make it onto the overall top ten before the year is out. Although TNA seem to love Hardy, like an abused Rihanna-wannabe (that’s right, a cultural reference), I really hope that they put the title on Daniels, at least for the UK tour since Hardy will be MIA for a whole month’s worth of TV tapings, that way he should be able to earn some points as a singles wrestler and maybe things will be more in his favour next season.
2nd Place: Robert Roode (9/10)
While Roode was eliminated first in the TNA title match on Sunday he was clearly the more dominant out of him and Aries, taking it to Hardy in a two-on-one affair, then turning on Aries and only coming unstuck when both men pinned him at once, without him absorbing too much damage. In the pairing of Roode and Aries it looks like Roode will be the more dominant partner that is if their long term teaming goes ahead, although at the moment it appears that this is the case.
3rd Place: Austin Aries (8/10)
Aries took the brunt of the punishment (aside from Hardy of course) in his triple threat match at Genesis and so comes behind Roode in the rankings. These two as a team strike me as being based off of the odd-couple relationship of Daniel Bryan and Kane, or a more high-profile version of the Miz and John Morrison. Honestly if this pairing can take the tag titles away from Team Stereotypica then I will be happy as they really aren’t doing anything for the division and they aren’t even enjoyable to watch. Also I reckon that having Roode and Aries as tag team champions will not only tide them over until Hardy loses the title, but it could encourage some rookie face teams developing to pad out the TNA tag division, which is virtually non-existent at this point.
4th Place: Antonio Cesaro (7/10)
The US champ had a bad time on Miz TV at the hands of The Nature Boy and the man who he has apparently passed the torch to, or at least his patented Figure-4 Leg-Lock anyway. It is a bit weird and unexpected, as I believe that most people would see Ziggler as a more natural inheritor of Flair’s style, but then again Ziggler already has; the Zig Zag, the Sleeper, the Fameasser and now the Super-kick, so really he has enough showy offensive moves and a submission in his arsenal, therefore he doesn’t need the Figure-4 at all. Miz on the other hand basically just has the Skull-Crushing Finale, which is a great move, but if the Awesome One is really going to take it to the next level a high profile submission finisher could really help him, so honestly while it seems to have come out of nowhere, I could see this working as Miz’s face persona develops…Oh yeah and Cesaro continues to do his thing of winning clean and looking strong, I like that his feud with the Miz is being drawn out as well.
5th Place: Dolph Ziggler (6/10)
Speaking of the Zig Zag man and his many finishers, I feel like we saw them all in his steel cage match with Cena and yet nothing seemed to be enough to put the chump away, just like last week. I get that Ziggler’s profile should be raised just by being in the same ring as Cena but at the same time it does make him look pretty weak when he throws everything at Cena and yet once again Cena overcomes the odds and ends it with just one move. It is all a little bit too easy and lazy, honestly I’d love to see Ziggler have a face turn at this point, hell half the fans cheer him already, might as well see if the other half would as well, the only thing is that the Miz and Del Rio are still freshly turned, so adding Ziggler as well might overload things, then again what with the addition of Cesaro, Sandow and the Shield to the heel picture there might just be room for another fresh face to appear in the near future.
6th Place: The Big Show (5/10)
The Big Show didn’t do too well this week after his big title loss on last week’s Smackdown. It is pretty unlikely that he will be getting the title back and once he feuds with Del Rio at the Rumble I’m certain he will have a place in the Elimination Chamber and then not get another whiff at the title for some time to come. Still his profile has been raised enough to lead to a match at Mania, the only question is who that match will be against, at this point I honestly have no idea.
7th Place: Kenny King (4/10)
The ROH deserter helps move along his heel persona with a post-match attack on Christian York, and just to sweeten the deal he beat York in a match on Impact to avenge his loss. I really think that King should take the X Division title off of RVD as the guy just doesn’t do anything for the belt as champion. The division needs new blood to be injected back into it and with King as champion that might happen, at least it would be a change.
8th Place: Devon (3/10)
The TV champ comes next; he beat Parks at Genesis and helped disrupt the wedding of Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan. I’m glad that with the turn of Taz things are back to being all about Bully Ray when it comes to Aces & 8s as now two of his former friends are involved with the Biker Gang. When Ray turned I was still convinced it was all a master plan, now I just want him to succeed so that we can justify the killing of the Bully’s heel momentum when it seemed to be reaching its peak. So far though his involvement with the Hogan’s has done nothing but detract from the situation, so much so that we still haven’t gotten to a real match between Devon and Bully despite the two clearly needing to feud for months now.
9th Place: Gail Kim (2/10)
In a strange turn of events a two time loser this week makes it onto the chart, that is because of her commanding performance at Genesis where she pinned three of TNA’s top Knockouts faces before finally being eliminated by Velvet Sky. I’m really not sure why TNA chose to make Kim look so strong but surely they will have her wrestling for the title at some point now, maybe Sky will beat Tara and her next opponent will be Gail Kim, or maybe they honestly don’t care, who knows.
10th Place: C.M. Punk (1/10)
Last but not least is the WWE champion, who really wasn’t as big of a focus as I thought he would be for Raw’s 20th anniversary. I get that they didn’t want to over-egg the feud between him and Rock after last week’s long promo segment, but I really think they could have done more with the rivalry since after the Royal Rumble it will probably die down and they only have another week of build now. Whether Punk retains or not you have to think that the Rock will get his hands on the WWE title at some point in the next couple of months, although the WWE might surprise you. Honestly I would love to see Punk vs. Rock 2 at Wrestlemania, along with Brock vs. Cena 2, much more than HHH vs. Brock 2 and Cena vs. Rock 2, how they go about doing this though is another thing.
2012-2013 Season Top Ten:
1st Place: The Big Show (201)
2nd Place: Alberto Del Rio (179)
3rd Place: Daniel Bryan (174)
4th Place: C.M. Punk (169)
5th Place: Dolph Ziggler (168)
6th Place: Damien Sandow (138)
7th Place: Robert Roode (134)
8th Place: Bully Ray (103)
9th Place: Cody Rhodes (97)
10th Place: Antonio Cesaro (94)
(Heel Hall of Fame)
**Heel Report 2010-2011 Winner: The Miz**
**Heel Report 2011-2012 Winner: Cody Rhodes**
The Face-Off: Kingston Push Over
When Kingston beat the Miz for the IC title he actually started to look like a legitimate mid-carder again, then he lost the title to Barrett clean, got knocked out by the Big Show in less than a minute and now on Main Event he was clearly being used to make Cesaro look good. To me Kofi has officially gone back to being a glorified jobber, being fed to a different heel each week to keep their momentum up and little else. I really hope Kingston gets another shot at some point as he honestly has all the skills to make it in the WWE, if only he could get a sustained push, maybe he could get a heel turn in the near future, that would certainly freshen up his character and could benefit him in the same way that Edge’s heel turn when he was a less than successful face made him a star.
Face the Facts: Anger Management
Since Daniel Bryan was first ordered to go to anger management classes all those months ago there has been little that hasn’t been comedy gold when involving the theme, which just goes to show that one; Daniel Bryan and Kane can work any gimmick, and two that putting such a non-wrestling theme like group hugs and the like will always get a laugh in a wrestling environment. This week was no exception as Team Hell No had their four-month check up with Dr. Shelby and this ended in the highly-strung councillor sicking the team on the Rhodes Scholars like a pair of wild dogs. I really like how the whole ‘Yes!’ ‘No!’ thing has been worked into the angle as well, so rather than just being two annoying words that the audience yell for no particular reason, like ‘What!’ for example, they have grown and developed and now have more meaning and definition, and at least so far the chants have not grown annoying generally. Then there is the angle with Orton and how Team Hell No are trying to convince him to join in with their therapeutic methods, it could lead to some great comedy moments if the WWE take their time with it. Will it lead to an Orton heel turn? Or a softer, gentler Viper? Either way it should serve to freshen up Orton’s otherwise dull persona, we’ll just have to wait and see.
On the Rise: Barrett Beats Orton Clean
On the other side of things Orton showed just how vulnerable he is in the eyes of the WWE this week by losing clean to Wade Barrett. Now sure logic would dictate that occasionally faces can lose clean and it means very little, but according to the WWE’s treatment of John Cena and Sheamus to some extent, a face needs to win all the time or else be completely screwed over to lose a match. Now in some ways this makes sense, everyone loves a winner and the crowd is really supposed to love the faces of the company. However that never seems to work anymore as whenever someone becomes a dominant face they are booed as much as they are cheered, and the heels keep on getting love from chumps like me. I think this is because the heels of professional wrestling come across as the real underdogs of the business and as much as we all love a winner we like underdogs even more! I think the WWE really needs to address this and think a little differently, stop having it all be about who gets the clean win and who cheats, and instead make it a balance of power. For instance John Cena in real life terms can be seen to be the company’s biggest heel, he gets shot after shot even when he doesn’t deserve it and keeps the spotlight all to himself, whereas guys like Wade Barrett, who are struggling to remain relevant despite being the IC champion, are the complete underdogs, in a time where the internet lets us see more and more behind the curtain of the world of professional wrestling, the business needs to adapt and change, blurring the lines between kayfabe and reality even more. To some extent they are doing this already with facebook and twitter and the like, but it needs to be more. They need to get it to a point where we think that half the stuff we witness is real, when really it is all carefully planned and employed to raise our ire. Now maybe they are already doing this to some extent with Cena, I’m sure that just as many people tune in to see Cena lose as see Cena win, and that in itself is a hook, but it isn’t consistent enough to make me believe that it is a planned thing, instead the company honestly seems too scared to push anyone but their golden boy and that needs to change…Or is that all part of their ploy…It’s a confusing issue, anyway Barrett did well and maybe, just maybe, he might actually get into the World title picture before 2013 comes to a close.
Flat-Footed: No Follow Up For Anderson
So unless I missed it, on Impact this week, after being a main focus for two weeks and getting a win over Samoa Joe at Genesis, the asshole Mr. Anderson didn’t even appear, completely detracting from all the momentum he earned during the past few weeks. This is the problem with TNA, they are starting to develop multiple storylines and two hours a week of programming is just not enough to cover everything. Guys who were prominent one week don’t appear the next, and it really messes things up. I honestly think that Impact could benefit from another hour, or Xplosion should be made a higher profile show, just something to make sure that guys who you have devoted time to pushing actually appear and have something to do each week. It is no wonder that guys like Pope leave the company when they get a push and then aren’t used for months on end, there is just no security. Now in the WWE sure you might be on top of the world one week and jobbing the next, but you are still appearing on a regular basis, you are still collecting a paycheque, and in the end that is the most important thing, to keep yourself going and to have any chance of making it in the company. Anderson has already been severely hurt by his multiple turns and now it looks like his latest one didn’t even mean anything as TNA didn’t deem it important enough to carry on with on the post-Genesis Impact, now maybe he will be back next week, but there is just as much of a chance that he won’t be, or at least won’t be a focus of the show. It just seems pointless, why hurt Joe by having him take a loss if you are then not going to have Anderson brag about it afterwards?
That’s all for this week, my head is still a little messed up from all the stuff I have had to do recently so if things don’t seem as coherent as they sometimes can be I can promise that they will be a lot clearer by next week. We have a week until the Royal Rumble so hopefully the WWE will give Punk more attention as he deserves it, and have you heard about Punk-Rock possibly not being the Main Event for the Royal Rumble, what type of crap is that? I know it is the Royal Rumble but I am much more looking forward to this match than Rock-Cena so I expect it to get the main event slot, and hell it has been nine months since the Rock has been in the ring, so it is a pretty big deal. Of course these reports might be false so we will just have to wait and see. For now though this is James Wright signing off.
Category: Columns and Editorials, Wrestling News |