Dot Net Awards: 2012 Best Heel
Dot Net readers voted on a variety of 2012 awards throughout the month of January. 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 past winners in our Awards section.
(1) C.M. Punk: 56 percent
(2) Bully Ray: 10 percent
(3) Dolph Ziggler: 4 percent
(4) Bobby Roode: 4 percent
(5) Paul Heyman: 4 percent
Others: 22 percent
Ryan Kester's Thoughts: This is a tossup for me between CM Punk and Bully Ray. Both men had excellent heel runs in 2012, but I have to give my nod to Punk. He simply delivered so consistently and he is the first heel in WWE in quite some time that stayed in the main event with any form of legitimacy. To me, Punk’s run last year was more impressive, but I can’t fault anyone that would give the nod to Bully Ray.
Chris Shore's Thoughts: And now the moment all the TNA fanboys have been waiting for: I was wrong. When Team 3D broke up, I honestly thought Devon was the only one with any chance at being a singles star. At the end of 2012, Devon is still struggling to catch on in a meaningful role, but Bully Ray has made meet eat mountains of crow. He was far and away the best heel of 2012, and probably the best heel I've seen in several years. CM Punk has had a great run as a heel, and serious consideration has to be given to him for the masterful way he turned the fans against him everywhere not named Chicago. But CM Punk has been an awesome heel. As good as he has been, it was easy for him to manipulate us. Bully had to convince us not only was he a good heel, but he was worth watching as a singles performer. There is no question he did just that, and it has been fun watching him prove me utterly wrong.
Jake Barnett’s Thoughts: My choice for best heel of 2012 is Bully Ray. It’s not because I think he had a better year than CM Punk at all. It’s that I was so impressed with Ray’s reinvention of himself, that I think he deserves a lot of credit and kudos for having some of the best promos and heel antics of the year. Admittedly, CM Punk had better opponents and was under a lot more pressure, but I there were periods where I thought Punk’s character had gotten dull and repetitive, and I never really got that feeling with Ray. He was consistent and original, and a breath of fresh air on TNA broadcasts.
Jason Powell's Thoughts: This was a closer race in my mind than the polling indicates. Punk gets my top vote. He had an amazing year and cut the most memorable promos of the year on a wide variety of targets. How many guys could have Paul Heyman as their manager and not be overshadowed as a heel or as a talker? The reason the race is closer in my mind is because Bully Ray was so damn good. He suffered in the voting by working for the number two promotion and because he worked as more of a babyface late in the year. Make no mistake about it, though, Bully Ray was awesome. My third place goes to Paul Heyman. He's not trying to be Paul E. Dangerously at age 47. He's simply a heat seeking wormy agent type and I love the way he has a different style for Punk and Lesnar. Speaking of Brock, he gets my fourth place vote despite working part time. Bobby Roode gets the nod over Dolph Ziggler for fifth place because of the strong work he did during his run as the TNA Champion.
Will Pruett's Thoughts: This was a hard topic for me to pick. I debated whether or not I should go with a wrestler who played a heel all year, or one who turned during the course of the year. Should I be unconventional and choose John Cena? My heel of the year is a wrestler who turned in 2012, and he won the award by turning. C.M. Punk managed to bring a crowd ready to anoint him as the new John Cena and make 80 percent of them hate him. The turn was really well done and the character has been the definition of a heel ever since. Punk has reinvented himself as the super villain of WWE.
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