A wrestler either becomes a popular favourite or a villain. That is the business reality of professional wrestling. Floating between the heel and the face most frequently indicates a brief career that requires rebranding. Fans of professional wrestling have seen some of the sport’s finest plotlines thanks to recognisable WWE heels. Without them, wrestling would be just too dull.
Of course, the heel character has some exceptions. Consider the NWO, which was first portrayed as the villain. Because they represented the anti-establishment, they soon became a popular favourite. A fan favourite for the same reason as NWO, Stone Cold was also a potential contender for the title of most significant WWE villain of the 1990s.
Fans dislike heels, yet they help the heroes’ personalities grow. Who are these wrestlers that throughout the years we have all loved to hate? Here are the top 10 most recognisable WWE heels ever.
1. Chris Jericho
There is no doubting that Y2J was one of the finest villains WWE has ever had, even if the year 2000 was more than ten years ago. One of those superstars that made a splash in WWE was the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla. He is a flashy and loudmouthed heel who has fought some of the finest in the business, including The Rock and Shawn Michaels.
The Y2J countdown interrupted the Rock in 2001, which is when Chris Jericho’s career began. Chris Jericho, who joined WWE from WCW, received a major introduction with this match. The Rock and Stone Cold were defeated by Chris Jericho, who went on to become the first-ever WWE undisputed champion.
Chris Jericho made another bid in 2008. Additionally, he had a plot against HBK this time. It was one of the most entertaining things we had ever seen from a WWE villain.
If the NWO existed in WCW, Degeneration X in WWE had its fair share of outlaws. They have characterised the WWE attitude period and are mostly made up of Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Chynna, and the New Age Outlaws. The devil may care attitude of this stable’s heels is what transformed them into all-time classics.
In their time, Degeneration X served as both the protagonist and the adversary. Their outrageous exploits, like as travelling to WCW in a tank, are what made them a renowned stable in the WWE.
DX also succeeded in redefining its superstars. Finally, HBK discovered a persona that appeals to even the WWE’s male fan base. We have witnessed the growth of DX, particularly when they faced off against Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania XIV, which also included Mike Tyson.
In an effort to win back its followers from the Attitude era, WWE made many attempts to bring back DX. However, the DX’s glory days are long gone.
3. The Rock 8.
We may have forgotten how effective The Rock was as a heel because he was so brilliant at playing the part of the people’s champion. At actuality, he joined Vince McMahon’s company in Survivor Series 1998, marking the beginning of his transformation into a prominent villain. He has been trained ever since to lead the organisation as its champion.
His capacity to incite intense hostility in the crowd is what earned him a spot on our list of legendary WWE heels. His I Quit Match against Mankind was one of the most savage in the company’s history, if you recall. He repeatedly hit his opponent with chairs while Mick Foley’s family watched from the stands.
At Wrestlemania XV, Rock reached the height of his villain turn. In the end, Austin defeated him for the championship in a Wrestlemania encounter to remember.
4. Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan
Who says our list of famous WWE heels is limited to wrestlers? Andre the Giant and Mr. Perfect were no match for Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. But it was his communication skills with the crowd that made him the ideal WWE villain. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan used his position as a client’s spokesperson to incite intense animosity among supporters. He also did a fantastic job for a manager. He made it simple for wrestlers to gain the recognition they require as the company’s villains.
5. Shawn Michaels
A generation of WWE fans were characterised by the Degeneration X stable, which Shawn Michaels was a part of. In addition, let’s not forget that Shawn Michael’s career also includes other significant company-wide occasions.
Marty Jennetty and Shawn Michaels enjoyed a fruitful run as a tag team in 1985. When Shawn Michaels assaulted his tag team partner in 1992, signifying his transition from face to heel, The Rockers officially broke up. Shawn Michaels’ rebirth as the Heart Break Kid was likewise marked by this transformation.
Brett Hart was once the victim of Vince McMahon’s deceit. One of Shawn Michaels’ finest moments as a heel was when he received the belt as a result of the screw job.
Additionally, he did a great job in the role, particularly as the WWE commissioner during the attitude period. He became well-known in the Corporation for his ability to toss stipulation after stipulation.
6. Roddy Piper, Rowdy
Rowdy Roddy Piper is another 1980s wrestling villain that made our list of great WWE heels. Hulk Hogan wouldn’t have been as well-known during the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s if it weren’t for Roddy Piper. From smashing a coconut into Jimmy Snuka’s skull to thrashing a little child in the Piper’s Pit, he was able to get under the skin of spectators.
The highlight of Piper’s career as a Heel came when he and Paul Orndoff shared the Wrestlemania title match against Mr. T and Hulk Hogan.
7. Four. Iron Sheik
The blending of fiction and reality was one of WWE’s strengths. They have created plot lines that are somewhat pertinent to the political climate right now. Hulkamania was dealing with the Iron Sheik as the US was dealing with Iran in real life.
In the 1980s, Iron Sheik was able to personify the foreign heel. Iron Sheik was formerly a member of Iran’s 1960s Greco-Roman wrestling squad. He was able to elicit jeers in every arena he had entered because of his knowledge of the wrestling audience.
8. Triple H
Hunter Hearst Hemsley was able to separate from his royal character with Regal and take the helm of Degeneration X. He was able to reinvent himself once again years later to become the Game. Many people attribute Triple H’s success to his marriage to Stephanie McMahon. It was actually more than that.
Triple H became one of the most recognisable WWE villains in history thanks to his general ring and microphone talents as well as his menacing size. And Triple H’s ability to change into a fan favourite or a heel right away is a plus. He worked with a number of legendary and contemporary WWE athletes, like as Mick Foley, The Rock, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
By using various cunning strategies, the Cerebral Assassin was able to capture the championship 13 times. The fact that Triple H was able to showcase classic matches like the Iron Man Match, Hell in a Cell, and ladder match, however, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is top WWE material.
9. Ric Flair
One of the few treasures in the history of professional wrestling is Ric Flair. Ric Flair had a successful career as a villain. He is actually one of the most recognisable WWE heels in the organization’s history because of this.
Ric Flair has the capacity to incite hatred in the audience. Guess what? He did a good job. No other superstar comes close to how Ric Flair portrays his villain role, despite his style and profiling.
He held the title of world champion 16 times, and in his prime, he could compete with almost any superstar. He is renowned for giving people the “WOOOO” reaction when he smacks them in the chest. He also has a variety of submission moves at his disposal, including as the figure four leg lock finisher.
Ric Flair founded the Evolution in the final stages of his career, along with Triple H, Batista, and Orton. It was a stable that represented the organization’s history, present, and future.
10. Vincent McMahon
Vince McMahon is the company’s active owner. And Vince McMahon’s brilliant character creation techniques, which featured himself as a significant villain in the business, contributed to the success of WWE.
He and his family are involved in the business since they appear in the plot. The fact that the majority of individuals detested their superiors was used by Vince McMahon. He was “The Man,” the one who opposes your success. With the assistance of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Vince McMahon participated in some of the biggest storylines the business has ever generated during the Attitude era of the sport.
Everyone liked Stone Cold because he was the anti-hero. Stone Cold and Vince McMahon, who were anti-establishment and had a “devil may care” mentality, were able to boost Raw’s viewership during their Monday Night Wars against Ted Turner’s WCW.
After the end-of-era bout, Vince McMahon and Stone Cold’s feud reached its height. The Undertaker was beaten by Stone Cold in a First Blood match.
Things wouldn’t be all that thrilling without the baddies. WWE has been successful in helping wrestlers build successful careers. In your opinion, which WWE heels made our list?
Top 10 All-Time WWE Iconic Heels
Roddy Piper, Rowdy
“The Brain” Bobby Heenan