WWE has always gone for some larger than life characters over the years. It used to be one couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a guy with some occupational gimmick and being used to get over. It was only natural the company would work in some supernatural characters over the years. Many of them were meant to be truly wild and some could be crazy (anyone remember the magician Phantasio?) yet they all showcase how wrestling can’t help but touch on the macabre now and then.
WWE is hardly alone of course as WCW, TNA and even ROH have all delved into supernatural figures. Some are bigger than others as guys who became fantastic stars despite a crazy gimmick and the fans loved their characters. Others couldn’t quite break out beyond those characters and slumped. But here is a ranking of the 10 best supernatural characters in WWE who managed to celebrate Halloween all year long.
10 Paul Bearer
When the Undertaker debuted, he was managed by Brother Love, a televangelist character. That didn’t mix too well and so out came a guy dressed like a funeral parlor owner and the name of Paul Bearer.
It was a fun act as the two clicked brilliantly from the start with Bearer carrying the urn to give Taker his “powers.” He’d become a bigger deal with the revelation he was the “father” to both Taker and Kane and loved by fans. The “Father of Destruction” remains a great force even after his own passing.
9 The Boogeyman
The background for this was bizarre even by WWE standards. The idea was that an actor was playing a monster on a UPN show only to have an accident and be convinced he was the character. He was then brought into WWE with a painted face who would smash a clock over his head and eat worms.
Somehow, this act caught on thanks to how well it was played and being so wildly over the top. He even added on a “Little Boogeyman” to help him out. It’s a great example of an act that was better than it should have been thanks to the guy giving his all.
8 Papa Shango
Today, it's a bit laughable to look back at. However, in 1992, cartoon characters like this abounded in WWE. Papa Shango was a full-on voodoo priest coming out to the ring with a smoking skull, painted face and some weird actions.
He would cast “curses” such as making the Ultimate Warrior’s head bleed black or vomit and even to pin guys without warning. He gave his all to the act to make it stand out before vanishing in a year. He would return as the Godfather and be a hit with fans and IC champion. Now that’s a real magic trick.
Originally the Vampire Warrior on the indies, Gangrel got a great start in WWE. He stood out with his awesome entrance rising up through flames and drinking from a goblet of blood that he would occasionally spit out.
It was crazy yet it made him a hit with fans. He also got attention for bringing in Edge and Christian as his helpers who soon outdid him in terms of star power. Gangrel was sadly hit by a serious leg injury that moved him down the card. That act was still one of the best of its time to make this vampire character a favorite.
6 The Ultimate Warrior
It’s debatable how much of the Ultimate Warrior’s act was supernatural and how much was superhero. What can’t be denied is how the Warrior was always presented as someone clearly not of the same world as others. His promos were wild bringing up some “gods above” and being from a totally different world.
His appearance added to it with his wild entrance and charging himself up from the fans. WCW had him doing a lot more supernatural stuff (the infamous “mirror bit”) but even in WWE, the Warrior was always set as a guy who had a major supernatural aura to add to his fame.
5 The Demon Finn Balor
Finn Balor had been a huge early grab for NXT when they remade themselves into a serious brand. He was already a hit on the indies and just needed one little push to get over. That came at Takeover: R-Evolution when Balor teamed with Hideo Itami against the Ascension.
Doing a spin on his old Prince Devitt act, Balor came out as the Demon in wild paint and darker than ever before. He’s broken it out a few more times and his London entrance alone was wild. It looks like the Demon is ready to dominate NXT once more.
This was an act that really deserved more time to develop. Mordecai was introduced in 2004 with an awesome look of a guy all in white and boasting of cleansing the world of sin. The potential was terrific with him as the bad guy acting like a “savior” and a feud with the Undertaker would be perfect.
Sadly, Kevin Fetig got into a fight in a bar that led to a lawsuit and ruined the whole thing. It’s too bad as the guy had a fantastic act that could have ranked even higher among the best supernatural characters in WWE history.
3 Bray Wyatt
Husky Harris had been a huge flop in the early NXT. He redeveloped himself as Bray Wyatt, a cult leader with a major freaky vibe. His promos were amazing and sold Wyatt as a major star right off the bat.
His place on the main roster has been mixed as he had a run as WWE champion but fell prey to bad stuff like that “Sister Abigail” mess. His recent makeover as the Fiend has been wild and sold him even better as a crazy guy. Wyatt did a brilliant job with this act to be a great star.
Another man who took an act that could have been lame and turned it into something incredible, Glenn Jacobs deserves respect for his work. He spent years under the dark mask before removing it and actually becoming more fearsome without it.
He’s been a demonic figure who can occasionally break into comedic stuff while holding himself in a nasty brawl. The man is terrific, making himself into a star for over twenty years. He may now be mayor of his town but the “Big Red Machine” ranks among the best monsters in WWE.
Who else could it be? The Undertaker’s power in WWE remains incredible. Few could have imagined that what looked like just the usual lame gimmick would turn into one of the longest-lasting in the history of the business.
He’s bounced between a pure supernatural force and a tough biker but is a genius playing his mind games on opponents with appearing and vanishing without warning. Whenever that gong sounds, the crowd goes wild and the Streak has just added to his legacy. Taker may be mostly hanging it up but his success is an epic feat.