Like I mentioned in a similar article I've written about this subject, I was deeply saddened as a child when I realized that superheroes cannot and will not exist. As I got older though, I realized that this was a good thing. Oh sure, it would be cool to take a selfie with Spider-Man or eat some shawarma with Tony Stark, but the problem with this fantasy is that if super heroes are around, super villains aren't far behind.
I sure as hell don’t want to live in a world where Green Goblin could fly through my house while Magneto is lifting up a bridge and Joker is poisoning our ventilation system. Thank God we don’t have to live in that. Although we won't see heinous acts like that, the WWE Universe has seen some pretty despicable things done to their favourite wrestlers by all the individuals on this list.
As with my other list, the comparisons between the performer and their comic book villain counterparts have nothing to do with their superficial qualities. Instead, I'm going to break down these characters down to their motivations, back stories and philosophies to see how the wrestling heels measure up to these comic book manipulators, psychopaths and planet busters. Although any performer from any era is eligible for the list, there will be an attempt to keep the focus on performers who are on the current roster. Also note that I say performers and not wrestlers, managers and other television personalities will show up on this list.
Note: only the performer's kayfabe personas are taken into account here. Their real life personalities will not be reflected on this list.
10 The Miz as Mysterio
Quinton Beck is a pompous actor who despite having no actual superpowers has somehow managed to be a real threat to both Daredevil and Spider-Man, characters who far surpass Mysterio on a power scale. Sound familiar?
If you've ever seen Miz wrestle, you wouldn't think that he would be able to compete with the majority of superstars on the roster. His offence looks weak and his arrogance should limit his ability but somehow Miz is a former WWE champion with victories over Randy Orton and John Cena. But much like a Mysterio holographic special effect, Miz's victories are mere mirages. The Miz took advantage of an injured Orton courtesy of his Money in the Bank contract and defeated John Cena only because a much better actor named Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson helped him.
To complete their similarities, Beck and Miz are percieved as sub-par actors by the public. The whole reason Beck became a special effects expert and later criminal was because he failed as an actor. Miz may think that he is a big star in his mind, but in reality he stars in generic straight to DVD action movies. The talents of Miz and Mysterio lie only in smoke and mirrors.
9 AJ Lee as Mystique
The shape-shifting mutant of the Brotherhood of Evil is one of the most feared women in the Marvel Universe and for good reason. You can never tell what her true intentions are and she strikes with speed and flexibility of a snake when you least suspect it. She rejects the weak aspects of humanity and strives to push forward the superiority of mutant kind by whatever means necessary.
AJ Lee has been able to manipulate men to get what she wants time and time again. She tricked men like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and John Cena to torment them and reach heights seen by few Divas. In a promo on the August 26th edition of Raw, she belittled the cast of Total Divas for being a bunch of mannequins who were holding back the entire division like Mystique would thrash humanity. Even in the ring, her Black Widow finisher seems like something Raven Darkholme would attack with. These are two powerful, determined women. And that terrifies their opponents.
8 “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as The Joker
It takes a true lunatic to live up to the greatest villain in comic books, but that is why “Hot Rod” is here to ruin the day. In the golden age of the WWE, Piper made his international name as pro wrestling’s original loose cannon. A man who couldn’t be tamed by anybody, Piper’s antics and penchant for playing dirty allowed to stand up to physically stronger opponents like Hulk Hogan. During his Piper’s Pit segments, he would humiliate and mock his guests, making their careers seem like mere playthings in his world.
The Joker is viewed by many to be the force of chaos in the DC Universe. He loathes rules and instead will destroy the lives of others just for his own amusement. As horrific as that sounds, he can actually at times be legitimately funny like Piper. We as viewers see fun in this insanity, even if his victims find none. Both Joker and Hot Rod are sinister troublemakers in their worlds, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
7 Edge as Loki
When Edge first debuted in 1998, nobody would have suspected the long haired Canadian boy would end up being one of the most evil villains in the history of the WWE. Likewise, one would think that the adopted brother of Thor would become an excellent defender of Asgard and Earth. Instead, the God of Mischief turned into the God of Evil, one of the most feared magic users in the Marvel Universe.
Despite possessing tremendous power, both Loki and Edge's greatest strength lies in their planning and opportunistic nature. In nearly all of his world championship wins, Edge took advantage of an already wounded opponent or outside interference to achieve victory. Loki's greatest achievement involved him gathering a large group of Asgardian villains and bringing about Ragnarok, the apparent end of the universe in Norse mythology. All is not what it seems with these villains and they will exploit any opportunity they can find.
6 Brock Lesnar as Doomsday
These characters aren't going to win any awards for their one dimensional personalities, but what they lack in character development they make up for it with unstoppable strength.
Brock Lesnar has always been one of the deadliest men in the WWE Universe but in his latest incarnation especially, Lesnar has literally obliterated anybody who got in his way including The Undertaker and WWE's Superman named John Cena. With only Paul Heyman to direct his fury, Lesnar existed in the WWE only to destroy anybody who crossed his path.
Much like his beastly counterpart, Doomsday was unleashed upon the DC Universe because of a mad scientist. This scientist created a being with the ability to evolve past whatever killed it, becoming stronger as a result. Doomsday mopped the floor with the entire Justice League before turning his attention to Superman. After an epic battle which destroyed much of Metropolis, Superman fell to his "death" (came back to life later on because comics) at the hands of Doomsday.
Lesnar and Doomsday are God destroyers of unsurpassed strength and for that reason they will forever be linked.
5 Kane as Killer Croc
Tragic backstories aren't enough to make you feel sorry for these twisted freaks. "The Big Red Machine" Kane and Batman baddie Killer Croc have unleashed their childhood trauma on their foes for years to come.
As a child, Kane's face was burned from his half-brother Undertaker setting fire to the funeral home which he and Kane lived in. Kane then went into hiding for years before resurfacing in the WWE to seek revenge on his brother and cause the rest of the wrestling world to feel the pain he's been carrying all of his life from being a giant burnt freak.
Killer Croc, real name Waylon Jones, is actually a human being despite his reptilian appearance. Due to a condition named Epidermolytic hyperkeratosis which causes him to evolve into more and more of a crocodile as time goes on. On account of his appearance his father abandoned him and his aunt's alcoholism caused Jones to grow up with the worst upbringing possible. With everybody bullying him, Jones eventually had enough and began to kill his tormentors and pursued a life of crime to turn his hate on the world.
Created because of other people's evil, all it took was a couple of bad people to turn Kane and Waylon Jones into the monsters we see today.
4 Bray Wyatt as Scarecrow
"It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both." Either Dr. Jonathan Crane (a.k.a Scarecrow) and Bray Wyatt are big fans of Niccolo Machiavelli or they're just insane psychopaths.
Raised in the backwoods of America, Bray Wyatt grew up in nature and finds the plastic world of modern cities to be disgusting. He targets the superstars who are adored by the WWE fans because he wishes to show just how shallow men like John Cena and Chris Jericho's lives are. Through mind games and piercing words, Wyatt plants a seed of stress into his victims' minds until it becomes a tree of fear.
Much like Wyatt, Scarecrow does the things he does not for glory or fame, but to reach the darkest corners of the human psyche. Crane has developed a gas which induces a hallucination of his victim's fears and phobia, which may not wreck his opponents' physical bodies but shatters their minds past the point of repair. Nothing is scarier than a person with a Ph.D in psychology being able to destroy your mind with his words and toxins.
As the faces of fear in their universes, Scarecrow and Bray Wyatt's legacies will be seen not in their championship victories or vast amounts of fortune, but on the impact they leave on their victims' psyches.
3 Triple H as Doctor Doom
Victor Von Doom and Hunter Hearst Helmsley have both seized power whenever they lay eyes on it. When Triple H saw an opportunity to get to the main event by leaving his DX comrades behind, he did it. In doing so, he would secure his first world championship and never look back on the heads he stomped on to reach the top. Even now that he is out of competition, he chooses to play God with the careers of superstars as the head of the Authority.
Doom has traveled a different path, but one of equal greed. After becoming a master of both the magical and scientific arts, Doom set off to return to his homeland of Latveria and overthrow its Monarch. As the new ruler, Doom remolded the country into his own image and instituted himself as dictator for life. For every great technological progress made by the egomaniac, it was all done to simply advance his endgame of world domination. You will hard-pressed to find two more power hungry individuals outside of The Cerebral Assassin and the Lord of Latveria.
2 CM Punk as Lex Luthor
One wouldn't think that the clean cut, bald headed businessman Lex Luthor's WWE equivalent would be a tattooed and pierced punk rocker like CM Punk but make no mistake about it, these two are more alike than you think.
Rather than possessing the insane power set of Superman, Lex Luthor instead used his tremendous intellect and cunning to become the only human being who could challenge the Man of Steel. His intelligence could have made him the saviour of the human race but instead he focuses his efforts to destroy the alien who (in his mind) stand in the way of his race, Superman. The same alien who is adored by the entire world as its greatest hero, a title which Luthor seeks for himself.
Now Punk may lack vast amount of resources which Luthor has, but he has similar traits. CM Punk's arch rival, John Cena, is the absolute franchise of the WWE. Despite Punk possessing the technique and mind to be the best, Cena's resiliency and physical strength makes him the top dog in the WWE. Instead, Punk tries to appeal to the people as the "Voice of the Voiceless", a man of change and the man who is the rebel to Cena's straight laced nature. It's all a mirage though as Cena said to Punk in September 2012 on Raw: "All you meant by change was make CM Punk a star."
And that's why CM Punk is Lex Luthor. They want to be the saviour of their universes, but only because they don't want anyone else to be.
1 Paul Heyman as Mephisto
The competition to who would play the Devil of the Marvel Universe was very tight between Vince McMahon and the sensei of jew-jitsu, but ultimately Paul Heyman won the “honour” for a couple of reasons. While Vince McMahon is a vindictive son of a bitch, he doesn’t try to hide it. He boasts it aloud and his ego is too big to utilize the subtleties of Mephisto.
In the Marvel Universe, Mephisto is known as a deity who makes deals with desperate individuals to grant them power in order for those people to serve their demonic master. When Heyman ran ECW, he took a ragtag group of misfits who just wanted a place to showcase their talents into the most famous independent promotion in Pro Wrestling history. What did Heyman give them in exchange for their loyalty? Bounced checks, broken bodies and betrayals. Whenever he saw potential to move to a better client, he left his loyal soldiers high and dry. Look at his treatment of Brock Lesnar in late 2002 and CM Punk in 2013 for proof of this. Yet in spite of this, Heyman still manages to lure people into his grasp. Heyman truly is an evil, demonic genius.
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