10 Greatest WWE Heels of All-Time – Randy Orton and More

By Dan Vasta in WWE
| March 6, 2022 7:39 am PST
WWE logo, Popular WWE wrestlers

WWE has been known for its top heels for decades. They are the ones you enjoy seeing come up short against your favorite wrestlers.

The good guys are beloved by fans and are known as babyfaces. The bad guys are known as heels due to their hatred. Championships, popularity, and the ability to partake in main events often decide the top heels. They also tend to make WWE betting a bit more interesting, too.

Ranking wrestlers in categories is fun but never easy. I am mixing wrestlers in from WCW since everything has gone together since the WWE Network took over years ago.

Many of these performers can host the main event of Wrestlemania or the Royal Rumble. With that, let’s dive into the top 10 heels in wrestling history.

Honorable Mentions – Heels That Missed the Cut

There are so many names to consider that it was challenging to cut this list down to the ten best WWE villains of all time. I have done hundreds of articles on rankings, but this was a fun list due to the difficulty of cutting down so many options into one top-10 ranking.

I favored wrestlers from the past few decades, but leaving out the following legends from my top 10 wrestling villains rankings wasn’t easy.

  • The Honky Tonky Man
  • Superstar Billy Graham
  • Charlotte Flair
  • The Miz
  • Mr. Perfect
  • Rick Rude
  • Bobby The Brain Heenan
  • Rowdy Roddy Piper
  • Ted Dibiase
  • Bret Hart
  • Chris Jericho
  • Andre the Giant
  • Kurt Angle
  • Edge
Chris Jericho

Some wrestlers turned managers made this list, and they are all worthy. Ranking some of these was a challenge. Many have not wrestled in a few decades.

Chris Jericho stands out and has continued to move up different rankings for babyfaces due to his AEW efforts. He has been a solid heel on several occasions with the WWE. His late skits with Kevin Owens, who was on his bad list, was a national treasure.

Most enjoyed him more like a fan favorite when he would have rants with all different WWE superstars. One of his peaks as a heel was in 2001 when he became the first undisputed WWF Champion. He was the final one to hold the WCW World Heavyweight title as well.

Check out the 2001 Pay-Per-View Vengeance, where Jericho pinned The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin to capture the belt. The card that night was peak Attitude Era, and it was one of the more underrated cards we had seen for a non-main PPV.

Another wrestler that has always been a favorite as a heel has been Kurt Angle and Edge. The tandem spent plenty of time together, and it was always entertaining when they made their runs at the title.

That is vital towards getting to the top and getting the respect or dislikeness from the crowd. As great as these WWE bad guys were, they don’t make my top 10 WWE heels. Let’s get to the wrestlers who did, and why.

10. Randy Orton

Randy Orton

The Legend Killer had many moments slaying the top superstars to make an even bigger push towards greatness. He has held the WWE Championship ten times and the WWE World Heavyweight belt four times.

We have seen underrated matches with Christian and some highly touted ones against John Cena and Cactus Jack. The battle with Jack in 2004 at Backlash was incredible. He had some hard-fought battles with Shawn Michaels as well.

As a fun fact, after his recent PPV match at the 2021 Crown Jewel, Orton is tied with Kane for the most appearances in a WWE PPV history at 176.

Randy has made social media popular over the years when he has pulled off his patented RKO out of nowhere. Having an eye-popping finisher is vital, but Orton has been able to pull off the sadistic look for the entirety of his career.

9. The Rock

The Rock had many memorable moments in his career as both a face and a heel. Many enjoyed him as the bad guy while going against Triple H early in his career when he was part of the Nation of Domination.

He had many impressive matches with Ken Shamrock (Royal Rumble 1998). It was the following Royal Rumble against Mankind in a matchup that involved seemingly a hundred chair shots to the head of Mick Foley.

Years later, fellow wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin even marveled at how brutal that match was.

Wrestlemania XIX (19) in Seattle was surreal. It involved The Rock as a heel, getting the best of Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Rock lost in Wrestlemania XV (15) as a heel and then XVII (17) as the babyface, but many still believe Mania 17 was one of the best hyped-up matches and PPV cards ever.

Going against Triple H and Austin was two of the better rivalries in the Attitude Era as we saw all three iconic wrestlers make heel turns along the way.

8. CM Punk

CM Punk had several highly-touted main events as a heel over the years. He walked out of his hometown in Chicago at Allstate Arena. It was in 2012 as the heel champ against Sheamus, but there was an even better moment.

The 2013 Royal Rumble had the historic elimination match as the main event because it was The Rock and Punk. After interrupting a tribute to Paul Bearer, we saw Punk go up against Undertaker at Wrestlemania 29.

He lost many of those matches, but he once held the title for 434 straight days from 2011-13.

Many regard his pipebomb promo back in June 2011 as the top promo we have ever seen. There was so much that Paul Heyman and Punk brought to the table. The fans always came back for more and certainly missed him before he made his return to the ring in 2021 for AEW.

7. Randy Savage

Randy Savage was one of the more iconic characters and wrestlers in the sport’s history. His promos were elite, and not many had better promos. The one on the cream will rise to the top, is one that lives forever.

Having battled with Hulk Hogan, Ricky Steamboat, and Ric Flair ranked high on the list for Savage.

What made him special was his ability to go from a heel to an eventual babyface and vice-versa. We have seen that for decades. Only some of the best in the business can pull it off as well as Macho Man did.

6. The Undertaker

The different characters that the Undertaker showed are flawless. Many prefer all of the main events with Taker as the good guy, but he played as a heel. The Undertaker was an elite heel as part of the Ministry of Darkness. There were dozens of main events with Stone Cold Steve Austin.

My personal favorite for a non-Wrestlemania main event was 1997. It was the Badd Blood Pay-Per-View in Hell in a Cell against Shawn Michaels. We saw a cameraman and table get destroyed.

Some prefer the actual debut of Undertaker at the 1990 Survivor Series 8-man tag match. It featured Bret Hart, Dusty Rhodes, Jim Neidhart, Koko B. Ware, The Honkey Tonk Man, Greg Valentine, and Ted DiBiase.

There were matches against Ric Flair (Wrestlemania X8), Triple H, and Steve Austin. All of them stood out. In Your House PPVs, the matches often lived up to the hype. If only social media had been around back then, the wrestling world would have been incomplete chaos.

5. Shawn Michaels

One of the greatest to ever lace a pair of boots up was the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels. HBK had dozens of main events that headlined the entire year worth of matches. What was your favorite HBK rivalry?

Most point to matches against the Undertaker since the two were two of the five best wrestlers ever, easily two of the best during The Attitude Era. HBK played the role so well.

He was an arrogant, brash heel that felt he was above everybody else.

There was the era against Stone Cold where we even saw Mike Tyson as the special guest referee at Wrestlemania XIV. Before that, there was the Montreal Screwjob in 1997. There was the heel turn against Marty Jannetty, and many loved to dislike Michaels even without kayfabe.

The ability to go from face to heel dozens of times from the early 1990s to 2010s was a rollercoaster. We saw a few spectacular Ladder Matches against Razor Ramon that had people craving for more.

As arrogant as The HBK was, the guy backed his cockiness up. Remember his 1995 Royal Rumble win as the first entrant? Yeah, that goes down as one of the best Royal Rumble moments ever.

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4. Stone Cold Steve Austin

Steve Austin

Was there a better wrestler with more of an edge than the Texas Rattlesnake? He could rile a crow up and get them rocking once the glass shattered, and he took his boots to the titantron.

Stone Cold was loved by many as a babyface when he had battled against The Undertaker and Vince McMahon, but he was the perfect bad guy. We saw him featured in the top promo entering the main event ever, at Wrestlemania 17 in Houston against The Rock.

He turned heel and joined forces with Vince McMahon in a no disqualification match. The number of chair shots allowed to claim the title.

The finish was unexpected, but he turned on the WWE Universe with so much swagger. Since he was the wrestler who brought the most pop during his time in the squared circle, he has to rank high on the list.

3. Hollywood Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan

With the ability to be a hero in his early days, Hogan had the top heel turn in WCW history.

The 1996 PPV Bash at the Beach had the perfect heel turn ending in a six-man tag that involved Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. Lex Luger, Sting, and Randy Savage were all involved. It was a no contest, but it still makes headlines today.

There were plenty of other moments that featured him as the bad guy. Wrestlemania 18 against The Rock was a spectacular event. He had several matches against Goldberg, Roddy Piper, Lex Luger, and Randy Savage.

He took over the NWO and took his talents to WWE with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. Both were worthy of making the Top 25. He took down Stone Cold Steve and painted NWO on his back after putting a beatdown alongside his crew at the end of No Way Out in 2002.

2. Ric Flair

Flair won one of the greatest Royal Rumbles ever in 1992 as a heel. He had help from Hogan, who eliminated Sid Justice. Flair lasted two seconds over an hour as the third participant to begin the match.

The five total eliminations completed one of the more entertaining matches still to this day.

There were historic clashes against Dusty Rhodes (1986 American Bash), Terry Funk, Sting, and Ricky Steamboat. The promos that Flair did were out of this world. The hype followed him throughout his illustrious career.

The Nature Boy ultimately went out in style, too. His final PPV match was one for the ages and went down as one of the greatest WrestleMania moments ever.

1. Triple H

Triple H

The top heel was The Game, thanks to how he performed in the ring under the bright lights. He appeared in 174 PPV, which as of October 2021 is the fourth most ever.

Triple H had great runs with a bevy of superstars over the years. Going against Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mick Foley, The Rock, The Undertaker, Kurt Angle, and Edge gave him classic battles.

He was a face and a heel for decades. Had it not been for the 1996 Curtain Call with Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Shawn Michael, who knows what would have happened.

Austin would win the King of the Ring later that summer, but HHH would still go on and become one of the most successful wrestlers ever. Maybe it helped his career.

The ability to get a crowd turned on him was impressive. Going up against the Rock, Austin, and Taker was highly entertaining. One of the biggest reasons why The Attitude Era was flawless was thanks to Triple H.

Recounting the Best WWE Villains Ever

WWE graphic

There’s no way around it; these are some of the biggest wrestling heels in WWE history. The only question? Did I get the ranking order correct?

It’s always going to be subjective, while it’s arguable that some guys who just missed the cut could have been 9th or 10th.

That said, I put these WWE heel rankings together, and these were the 10 villains I felt made the biggest impact over the years.

What was your favorite feud, and who are your favorite heels in wrestling history? Let us know in the comments section, and feel free to let me hear your thoughts on the exact order of my WWE villain rankings, too.

If you want to read more about the WWE, feel free to visit our WWE blog.

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