Dot Net Awards: 2011 Best Heel
Dot Net readers voted on a variety of 2011 awards throughout January and early February. The following are the results of our poll for Best Heel. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting. You can check out the other winners and winners from past years in the Awards section.
(1) Mark Henry: 46 percent
(2) Bully Ray: 8 percent
(3) Dolph Ziggler: 8 percent
(4) Cody Rhodes: 5 percent
(5) The Miz: 5 percent
Others: 28 percent
Chris Shore's Thoughts: Like everyone else here, you're not going to see me disagree with the voters. Mark Henry not only had a career year, he was the best thing on Smackdown not named Randy Orton (and may have surpassed Orton had he not gotten hurt right before the end of the year). Bully Ray as second is also a good pick, and I agree with Jason that if both of those guys were on the same stage, the voting would have been closer. The reality is, both guys performed outside of anything I have ever seen them do in their careers, and both should be commended for great years.
Ryan Kester's Thoughts: I agree with the readers, Mark Henry was the best heel of 2011. He came out of nowhere after years and years of bad storylines to deliver one of the most compelling monster heel character in years. He's a large part of the reason that the World Heavyweight Championship meant something in 2011. Honorable mention goes to Austin Aries and Bully Ray for their work in TNA.
Will Pruett's Thoughts: Mark Henry – I don’t believe that this will be a controversial pick. Mark Henry broke out of the pack following WrestleMania this year and in the best shape of his career had the best run of his career as a dominant monster heel. As much as I gave Randy Orton credit for Smackdown’s ratings success, Mark Henry deserves it as well. Henry was the only powerful heel in WWE all year. He was the only one who seemed like he could win matches without dastardly tactics. That believability is what makes him the best.
Jake Barnett's Thoughts: I emphatically agree with Dot Net Readers with their choice for Mark Henry as the best heel act of 2011. Coming out of seemingly nowhere, having spent most of 2010 as the Kool-Aid Man, Mark Henry grabbed the bull by the horns and absolutely killed his performances as a heel on the Smackdown brand after the draft. Nobody was more comfortable with their character, nobody looked more the part, and nobody looked as imposing as Mark Henry did for the latter half of 2011. If you don't remember it, go back and watch Mark Henry's promo following his title win at WWE Night of Champions, and I'll be damned if I can think of a better pure heel promo in 2011. It was masterful execution, and for quite a few months there were few people who you point to who exuded more talent on screen than Mark Henry did.
Jason Powell's Thoughts: I agree with the readers' top two picks, but I think the voting would have been much closer if Bully Ray's act had played out on the big WWE stage. Henry was awesome in his role as the monster heel, and Ray did a tremendous job of getting heat without ever attempting to be a cool heel. Their career resurgences were among the best stories of the year. Dolph was consistently good and finally started to get more of the spotlight late in the year. Kevin Steen surely would have received more votes if ROH had more exposure, though he seemed to get more cheers than boos. Del Rio probably would have placed much higher if we had a mid-year poll, but his act was just too repetitive and the company played part in dropping the ball on his push. The same can be said for The Miz. Look for Austin Aries to shoot up this list if he remains a heel and TNA continues to give him a platform to shine.
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