Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Year-End Sorting Bins: The Bottom Two Tiers

Sorry, I am not a Paul Heyman guy
Photo Credit: WWE.com
I'm going to do things a little differently this year for the Sorting Bins. First, I'm lopping off the top category. No matter how great I think a wrestler or performer is, that top category made it seem like I thought they were infallible. As Daniel Bryan's whiny, misogynist promos proved, even the best can grate. Second, I'm going to do two categories per day rather than spread each one out into its own post. It's probably better that way. So, without further ado...

The first category is "Unequivocal Hatred". Placement in this bin doesn't mean I hate the person, because that would be fucking stupid. However, it means I hate the on-screen personality to the point where I'd rather eat hot coals while getting a pedicure from a housecat than watch the following in a wrestling capacity.

Paul Heyman - Paul Heyman, technically speaking, is one of the greatest promos of all time. He can gab. Oh boy, can he gab. Because of his prowess on the microphone, he's been lauded as one of the greatest managers of all-time, which is funny, because he was placed with a dude after WrestleMania who just won the Andre the Giant Battle Royale and could have used a nice shine on his way up the card. Of course, instead of putting over his newest Paul Heyman Guy, Cesaro, he continued to gab about Brock Lesnar. Meanwhile, Cesaro lost his footing on the show and is currently stuck in "Vince McMahon doesn't get me" limbo. I was already predisposed to disliking Heyman in the first place because his negligent or possibly criminal handling of ECW's books robbed me of my then-favorite promotion. But I had to watch him not only submarine one of my favorite wrestlers to build up a guy who was only showing up a handful of times a year and was already guaranteed to be over as fuck, but I had to watch that other guy he was promoting show he didn't fucking need Paul Heyman at all.

Seriously, those Lesnar vignettes where he was talking about leaving John Cena in a pile of his own blood and piss were great. The consensus on Lesnar is that he's not good on the mic because he doesn't go up there like The Rock or Arn Anderson or [insert great wrestling orator here] and cut a classic wrestling promo. Not everyone needs to be a classic wrestling hype man to be an entertaining listen. Lesnar's hayseed demeanor and upper Midwest accent are perfect for what he's trying to bring across. He didn't need Heyman before, and he doesn't need Heyman now. Meanwhile, CM Punk even recently admitted that he didn't want to go heel, which means his run with Heyman was unwanted, and as many will point out, actually hurt him in the long run too.

It's getting to the point where I want to change the channel whenever he comes on. It's the same, smarmy "my client" spiel where he says nothing new from back when he first managed the guy in 2002, and the extra-added insult is seeing everyone gush over it like he's the best thing since sliced bread. I don't begrudge anyone for liking Heyman; the point of these lists aren't to say you're stupid for liking anyone on them or for disliking them or whatever. It's just that I can't take his dumb face anymore.

DJ Hyde - I know he set the stipulation up so he himself could be humiliated, but that "if Jessicka Havok loses, she has to blow me" match stake is pretty much over the fucking line, even for CZW.

Karl Anderson - I have to admit something. I've never seen Anderson wrestle, and for all I know, he could be pretty good. Every time I see him though, he makes these super-punchable faces, and it annoys the heck out of me. Hey, this list isn't exactly scientific, you know.

Jack Swagger - Part of my reasoning for disliking Swagger is admittedly not his fault. Dumb, nationalistic fans were going to react to him anyway, and WWE turning him full face was the company's call, not his. But the way he plays that role is not unlike the brutish, high school jock who years later shares shit on Facebook from accounts called "The Angry Conservative" or "Is Barack Obama the Antichrist?" Plus, he continued his streak of taking out better wrestlers than he because of a possible reckless disregard for safety. WWE should have tossed him after the DUI last year and replaced him with Derrick Bateman.

Triple H - I know, I know. Triple H has been somewhat good this year, and I admit that I've enjoyed him on screen more than not. But I have a gimmick to maintain, and the old wounds are really deep, especially when I watch The WWE Network...

And the Rest... - Al Snow, Alex Riley, Bill DeMott, Bull Dempsey, The Bunny, Chavo Guerrero, Corey Graves, Darin Childs, Davey Richards, Dixie Carter, Ethan Page, Jeff Jarrett, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross, Joe Koff, Ken Anderson, Kevin Kelly, Kevin Nash, Lance Storm, Matt Striker, Michael Cole, Mike Tenay, Mojo Rawley, Rob van Dam, Silas Young, Taz, TJ Perkins

The next category is the "Begrudging Toleration" bin, which contains all the wrestlers I don't really actively root for, but that I don't necessarily have a problem with. They're just there with flashes of good performance.

John Cena - Honestly, I've grown to like John Cena a lot less over the years. It bugs me that he leeches cheers by using the names of guys like Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler, but in the same breath, he agrees with Vince McMahon when he says those guys aren't reaching hard enough for brass rings. I don't want to lay WWE Creative's faults at his door either, but if anyone in the company has some autonomy, don't you think it's Cena at this point? If so, why didn't he sit down and have some input on how to make the Bray Wyatt feud come off better? My guess is because he either agreed with it, didn't want any input, or did have input and that's what he came up with.

3.0 - Funny how someone being crappy on social media can taint a person's view of their in-ring work.

Brie Bella - She's improved a lot, sure, but while the writing didn't do her any favors in her feuds with Stephanie McMahon and her sister Nikki, well, she didn't really put as much behind her work either.

Michael Elgin - I would put Elgin in the bottom list except his Twitter account has been high comedy, even if unintentional. The outside chance exists that he could be doing an elaborate, Andy Kaufman-esque rib on everyone, which would be the greatest thing in the history of mankind. But that still doesn't make me want to watch him wrestle, though.

Tyson Kidd - I just don't get him. I never got the "irony" after the first couple of appearances where he redebuted in NXT and was just godawful. I even think he's regressed in the ring since he was on pre-developmental NXT and feuding with Michael McGillicutty. His one saving grace is his run as Natalya's manager on RAW while wearing the headphones and hoodie.

Colt Cabana - He's still the godfather of wrestler podcasts, and he can be entertaining in the ring, but it feels like every time he's in the news, he's doing something shitty or having a shitty opinion.

Doc Gallows - I thought the Bullet Club was supposed to be for cool dudes?

Sammy Guevara - The burning bridges thing doesn't bother me as much as the fact that this dude can go but chooses to whittle the places that are willing to take him because he has a loud mouth. I know I'm dangerously close to disliking him because he's not afraid to speak out against promoters, but at what point do you say that the front office might not be the problem in this case?

Chris Jericho - Okay, so Chris Jericho is still my favorite wrestler of all-time. This is not a lifetime achievement list, however, and his comebacks in 2014 have been uninspired to say the least. I don't want my memories of Jericho doing awesome stuff up through 2010 to be tarnished by him doing a greatest hits tour while looking like a more filled-out Jon bon Jovi. Just stop, okay?

JBL - He's another one who'd normally be in the bottom bin, but he's posted a few things on Twitter that have made me respect him more as a person rather than a blowhard shithead announcer. Who knew the archconservative financial guru had some progressive opinions.

And the Rest... - Aaron Epic, Abyss, Adam Rose, AJ Lee, AJ Styles, Annie Social, Austin Aries, The Beautiful People, Billy Gunn, BJ Whitmer, Bobby Lashley, Booker T, The Briscoes, Caleb Konley, Cameron, Carson, Cheeseburger, Christian Rose, CJ Parker, Cliff Compton, CM Punk, Deucalion, Drake Younger, The Dudley Boys, Eddie Edwards, Eva Marie, Fandango, Gail Kim, Gekido, Great Khali, Gregory James, Gunner, Heath Slater, Hernandez, Homicide, Hornswoggle, Irish Airborne, Jaka, James Storm, Jay Lethal, Johnny Gargano, Josh Alexander, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Kurt Angle, Kyle O'Reilly, Lance Hoyt, Los Matadores, Low Ki, Masada, Mason Ryan, Matt Cage, MVP, Natalya, Nigel McGuinness, Niya, NRG, Papadon, Pretty Peter Avalon, Ray Rosas, Rhett Titus, Rhyno, Rikishi, Road Dogg, Rob Terry, Roderick Strong, Roman Reigns, Rosa Mendes, R-Truth,, Seleziya Sparx, Shane Helms, Sinn Bodhi, Sting, Taryn Terrell, Too Cool, Vince McMahon, Volgar, Zeb Colter