Ranker, alongside its readers, have developed the ultimate list of the best bad guys (or heels) in the history of the WWE.
Today, we are going to list the top 50 as ranked on March 5, 2020.
The rankings are a mix of wrestlers from any era with the only criteria being that you could make the crowd despise you intensely.
Current day roster members such as The Miz to Attitude Era stalwarts in Triple H and The Undertaker are represented as well as those from The Golden Era in Randy Savage and even in Vince McMahon Snr’s days with the likes of ‘Classy’ Freddie Blassie.
So without further ado, here is the top 50 greatest heels of all time, and it's bound to cause debate along the way!
50. The Crusher
49. Kevin Owens
48. Shane McMahon
46. Big Boss Man
45. Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts
44. Terry Funk
43. Paul Orndorff
42. Eddie Guerrero
41. Jim Cornette
The list begins with quite the eclectic mix with current day roster member Kevin Owens as well as Shane McMahon, who just scrapes a spot in the top three out of his own family.
nWo's seismic introduction in the mid-1990s earn them a place in the top 50, whilst WrestleMania 1 main-eventing Paul Orndorff just misses the top 40.
Hall of Famers in the shape of lie, cheat and stealing Eddie Guerrero, dog-murdering Big Boss Man and wedding crashing Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts all shade a place in the top 50 thanks to their heel shenanigans.
40. Jimmy Hart
39. Andre the Giant
38. Mr. Fuji
37. Hollywood Hulk Hogan
36. Harley Race
35. The Rock
34. Vickie Guerrero
33. Gorgeous George
32. Jesse Ventura
31. The Undertaker
The eighth wonder of the world Andre the Giant and perhaps the biggest wrestler of the 1980s cracks the top 40, whilst his WrestleMania 3 nemesis Hulk Hogan gains entry thanks to his ‘Hollywood’ persona that debuted in 1996 alongside the birth of the New World Order in WCW.
Incessant mouthpiece Jimmy Hart just steals 40th place behind fellow manager Mr. Fuji, as well as the likes of Attitude Era stars in the shape of The Rock and The Undertaker.
30. Sgt. Slaughter
29. Nikolai Volkoff
28. Brock Lesnar
27. Eric Bischoff
26. Don Muraco
25. Classy Freddie Blassie
22. Shawn Michaels
21. Stephanie McMahon
Getting into the top 30 means you’ve done some dastardly things.
The heat on Sgt. Slaughter’s Iraqi sympathiser character triggered a real-life bomb scare ahead of his WrestleMania 7 main event with Hulk Hogan. Then there’s Eric Bischoff, who almost put WWF out of business with WCW’s 83-week run bashing the McMahon company in the Monday Night Wars.
Also in the top 25 we have Kane, who has set numerous people on fire, JBL, who has attacked Mexicans at the border, and Brock Lesnar, who angers current day fans by being the top champion and not appearing regularly on the weekly shows.
20. Jerry Lawler
19. Ivan Koloff
18. Superstar Billy Graham
17. The Miz
16. Killer Kowalski
15. Paul Heyman
14. Mr. Perfect
13. Bobby The Brain Heenan
12. CM Punk
A spot in the top 20 means you have all the best heel tendencies and best character traits to call yourself a world class villain. From Ivan Koloff, who ended Bruno Sammartino’s legendary eight-year reign as WWF Champion in Madison Square Garden to deafening silence in 1971, to CM Punk, who cut arguably the most important promo of the post-Attitude Era with his ‘Pipe Bomb’ in Las Vegas in 2011.
Also in this bracket are arguably two of the greatest speakers in wrestling history. Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan’s colour commentary is unrivalled, his performance on the stick in the 1992 Royal Rumble match in Ric Flair’s corner being a highlight, as well as the former ECW owner Paul Heyman, who could talk anyone into a building.
10. Randy Orton
9. Chris Jericho
8. Triple H
7. Ric Flair
6. The Iron Sheik
5. Rick Rude
4. Ted DiBiase
3. Roddy Piper
2. Mr. McMahon
1. Randy Savage
These 10 men are the biggest heat magnets in the business.
How arrogant can you be to airbrush a picture of yourself in the crotch area of your wrestling tights? That’s what Rick Rude did. Or how evil can you be to burn somebody’s house down and kick elderly men in the head? That’s what Randy Orton did, and still does.
The most despicable stars are timeless, such as the continually evolving Chris Jericho from WCW to WWF in the 1990s, to New Japan and AEW in the current day, as well as Ric Flair’s monumental recovery of breaking his back in a helicopter accident in the 1970s, to being the ‘Dirtiest Player in the Game’ and dominating the NWA in the 1980s.
Be it the very real-life heat of climbing your way up the corporate structure via marrying the boss’ daughter, ala Triple H, or swindling fans out of money ala Ted DiBiase, they all know how to suck a crowd in to despise them.
No less than Mr. McMahon who, alongside nemesis Stone Cold Steve Austin, effectively killed WCW with their unparalleled success.
Not to be overshadowed, the late, great Randy Savage pips McMahon to number one.
Whether it was as ‘The Macho King’ or helping the Mega Powers explode at WrestleMania 5, Savage was perhaps the greatest foil for the biggest star the industry had ever seen: Hulk Hogan.
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