In this day-and-age of the “Cheap POP” era of wrestling, a lot of people claim that heels no longer exist. While I’d say that they’ve certainly evolved in many ways over the years, the mainstream pro-wrestling villain still exists to this very day. Just like any great bad guy in a film, a wrestling heel can certainly be the star of the show, but that doesn’t make what they’re doing any less evil within the context of the story. Here’s my run-down of the WWE’s best at being bad.
The MIZ and Maryse
The perfect wrestling couple. In a time where wrestling is severely lacking in strong managerial figures, Maryse has come to save the day. MIZ was probably already the best WWE heel, as he could garner some of the most legit crowd heat anyone has ever seen, but now with his wife at his side, his feuds seem fresh, and his match finishes seem more refined. These two probably could have fit well into any era of wrestling by doing just what they’re doing today.
WWE’s equivalent to “The Joker”. He basically has never shown a positive bone in his body, yet has a way of garnering constant adoration from wrestling fans. Thing is, no matter how much everyone wants to cheer K.O., they eventually get worked over by his dastardly mic skills, and end up turning on him by the end of his promo. The reason a guy like Kevin Owens stays getting a bit more love than say The Miz is because he has that “average” look, and puts on top notch matches that are hard to follow at any point in a wrestling show.
“The Drifter” Elias Samson
I’ve not seen anyone under a WWE contract get booed quite like Samson was getting booed during his NXT run. His hipster look mixed with his goofy songs, and the fact that he has a guitar that he NEVER uses as a weapon, made him downright contemptible for the Full Sail Crowd. Since he’s been on the main roster it feels like Samson is becoming a bit more of a Santino Marella-type comedy heel. The way he can just be hilarious by popping into a segment with Dean Ambrose, or the like, shows there’s a place for The Drifter in WWE.
I’m a little surprised at how quickly she’s basically swooped in on Charlotte Flair’s top heel role in the Raw’s Women’s Division, but she’s grabbed hold of that brass ring with a quickness. She’s done more to make Bayley seem like a believable top babyface in her short time since the “Superstar Shakeup” than Charlotte seemed to. It might be because Alexa Bliss is a fresh face on Raw, or because it was hard to take anyone else seriously while Charlotte was getting her Brock Lesnar push, but Alexa is definitely the top villainous female WWE has going. This could all change with a quickness if Sasha’s alignment changes in the coming weeks.
I feel like Corbin gets some Roman Reigns-type heat, in that people seem to not like him because he’s a big athletic former football player who can kick their ass, but Corbin’s character is meant to get this type of reaction, so it works better. Corbin also seems to be the type of guy who stays watching video to improve upon his wrestling skills, as he’s already become the current generation’s BIG BOSSMAN in a very short amount of time.
A man who was never used as a babyface, and who is finally being given a spotlight in the WWE. The most shine Jinder has ever had was going for a finals run in the inaugural NXT Championship Tournament, in which he fell to Seth Rollins in the finals. Before and after he was pretty much a comedic foreign foil for some of WWE’s mid-card talent. His sudden rise to the top, and the way he constantly has the Singh Bros. helping him cheat to win, has made him one of the most interesting Superstars in WWE. Jinder Mahal vs RKO seems a bit like Rusev vs Cena a couple years back, as a foreign heel takes on the show’s Number #1 Vince McMahon puppet, but this time the heel actually gets a WWE Title run. Nothing wrong with that.
Despite having the exact same haircut as everyone else in the WWE UK Tournament, Pete Dunne stood out as a devious scumbag. In a lot of ways his run was similar to Kendrick in the Cruiserweight Classic, only Pete Dunne’s energy has a way of sucking you into whatever he’s doing. He hasn’t had a lot of WWE screen time, but he has made every second count, and I cannot wait to see his WWE UK Championship reign of terror.
Here’s a guy who was basically the definition of “a vanilla midget”, as WWE creative seemed to have nothing for him after his injury lay-off. Then someone in WWE realized the 205 Division would be the perfect place for “The Man Who Gravity Forgot” to finally shine. The way he’s taken certain moves out of his matches to sap the crowd’s energy, only to bring those moves back in dire situations, just shows how well he’s playing the heel role.
Probably the closest thing WWE has to a new Triple H on-screen/in-ring. He’s not the most memorable guy when it comes to putting on matches, but he has an insanely entertaining entrance, a solid attitude when he’s handing a microphone, and the ability to rise to his opponent’s level in main event situations. Tagging with James Storm and Austin Aries were the two most enjoyable sections of Roode’s career, in my opinion, and then “GLORIOUS” hit the speakers. The rest is history.
Those are the WWE’s Top Heels according to THIS guy. There’s a few that came close to making the list, but I tightened it up a bit to maintain exclusivity. I am also just realizing how much more enjoyable this list was to make considering Stephanie and Triple H aren’t currently sucking up WWE TV time. No GM/Owners are really heel in WWE at the moment, and that’s for the best, if you’re even going to have them at all. Authority figures need a break in WWE.