Throughout the history of the WWE, fans have become accustomed to witnessing the good guys vs the bad guys. The good guys in professional wrestling are referred to as the babyfaces. A face is a heroic or a "good guy" that is booked to receive support and cheers from the audience, so they can overcome any obstacle in their way. They traditionally fight within the rules without having to cheat or use outside tactics.
As for the bad guys, they are know as heels. A heel is villainous or a "bad guy," who is booked to receive a negative reaction from the crowd, while using underhanded tactics and outside sources to help them pick up a victory against their opponent.
Over the course of their careers, WWE superstars go through multiple role changes throughout their career, where they'll try to latch on to a role that can help them reach the top of the card. Unfortunately, not everyone can play both roles. Most wrestlers are better at one than the other. With that said, we are gonna examine 15 current stars in the company who work far better as a heel.
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15 Randy Orton
I can't even count the amount of villainous acts Randy Orton has committed over the years. Some of his best moments in the WWE involve him punting the heads off the top stars and legends in the company. He earned the nickname of The Viper, backstabbing whoever he needed to in order to climb his way to the top of the mountain.
As WWE champion, he dominated Raw for the better part of 2009, similar to Seth Rollins did in 2015, where he had Legacy by his side as his insurance policy. Orton played his character so well it ultimately turned him into a fan favorite.
We have seen his character change between a face and heel numerous times, which is why he's definitely made his case as to why he just is that much better as a heel.
14 Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio's glory days as a bonafide heel shined its brightest back in 2011 where he would arrive to arenas in fancy cars, have his own personal ring announcer and claim it was his destiny to be WWE champion. Over the years, the San Luis Potosí, Mexico born star has had his fair share of face and heel runs in the business. Although Del Rio had a lengthy face world title run, those cheers he once received quickly faded away, but he also wasn’t getting booed as a face. Sadly, he was generating virtually no reaction at all.
What really helps you play your role that much better is the ability to enjoy that role. For Del Rio, playing the heel character is a natural thing: "I love being the bad guy. I think that the audience prefer me as a bad guy. That's the reason we don't have too many good heels in the company, because to be a real heel you have to be a little bit of an a**hole in real life, and that's me."
With that said, Alberto Del Rio's snobbiness as a heel granted him a ticket on this list.
13 Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose has become one of the most popular stars in the company today. Many would agree he's the top face at the moment, but Ambrose stint as a heel was one for the ages. Back when he was a member of The Shield, Dean Ambrose, alongside his brothers, ran the house, destroying anyone that stepped in that ring. What made Ambrose stand out as the best heel of the group then were his incredible promos and ability to smack talk his way into a match. The Lunatic Fringe laid it all on the line as if he had nothing to lose. A good heel always finds a way to win, no matter what the situation is.
Ambrose is currently working as as somewhat of an anti-hero, but his future as a villainous heel will over shadow his current role.
12 Stephanie McMahon
The Billion Dollar Princess has become one of the most hated heels in the WWE today. She knows exactly how to get the WWE Universe's skin and can evoke a reaction from the audience anytime she pleases. Some of her best work over the years has been as the evil authority figure character that she plays on a weekly basis for Monday Night Raw. While some fans fave grown a little tired of The Authority angle, there's no denying that Steph is a natural fit for the role and that she'll be involved on-air for the foreseeable future.
She had a short face run back in 2003, when she was the general manager of SmackDown. Although she played her baby face role well, her strong suit is generating thousands of fans to hate her. She truly is a natural born heel like her father, who helped revolutionize the position of heel authority figure during The Attitude Era.
11 The Miz
Usually, when heels do really heel-ish things, the louder portion of the audience applaud them for being such a good heel. But when The Miz does it, it generates a pure hatred from the audience, as many still hold his past in reality television against him. You know you're doing a good job when the kids, women and men all can't stand you. It seems like it's his real life persona rather than a character.
The Miz made an attempt at a babyface run, but would generate just as much heat as he would as a full blown heel. Since making his Raw return in June 2014 as a Hollywood A-lister, The Miz has completely revitalized his character and has begun to turn some of the more hardened fans in the WWE Universe. He still receives boos, but it's getting harder for fans to deny the amazingness of his promos.
10 Mark Henry
The World's Strongest Man has had his fair share of face and heel runs during his career in the WWE. Without question, Mark Henry's finest work came during his “Hall of Pain” era where he held the World Heavyweight Championship. During this time period, he obliterated anyone who stepped up to challenge him for the belt and it's one of his most dominant runs to date.
While he's undergone too many turns in the years since to be taken seriously by fans, one of his best heel performances was his critically acclaimed fake retirement promo during the June 17th, 2013 edition of Raw. He single-handedly convinced fans it was time for him to hang up his boots, only to reveal it was all a hoax to get himself a shot at the WWE championship.
Mark Henry truly went above the expectations during his time as a heel.
Sheamus worked as a babyface for the better part of his career. Over time, Sheamus began to receive a lukewarm reception, similar to the one John Cena and Roman Reigns generate, but without the boos! He was otherwise referred to as the babyface fans loved to hate. Eventually, Sheamus would embrace the hate and become one of WWE's finest heels.
He took on his fairly new heel run with a new attitude, a new look and a mean streak. On the Raw after WrestleMania XXXII, we saw The Celtic Warrior return to brogue kick Dolph Ziggler's teeth down his throat. Since then, Sheamus has brought back the legitimacy of what a heel is supposed to be, getting only a negative reaction out of the audience and be the object of disdain for every fan that sees him
Sheamus is better as an overpowering bully than as a brogue kicking babyface.
8 Dolph Ziggler
We have only seen Dolph Ziggler juggle between a face and heel one time during his run in WWE. Not many people remember him as Nicky of The Spirit Squad,a but you likely could remember the snobby showoff who carried around a briefcase for almost a year bragging at every chance about just how damn good he was. This was the better part of his career where he captured the world title on two occasions and had plenty of mic time to remind everyone about his perfection. I mean his Twitter handle, even till this day, is registered as @heelziggler. It just goes to show you how serious he took his run as a heel.
Since his face turn in 2013, Ziggler has gotten over as a face but would have no luck going anywhere with it. He did so good as heel, that maybe it's time to go back.
7 Jerry Lawler
One of the best aspects of the beloved Attitude Era and early-mid 2000s was the commentary duo of Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Ross played the face and Lawler played the heel. They both played their role extremely well and Lawler really flourish as a heel. Jerry Lawler was hilarious in the heel role as a wrestler and commentator. Lawler legitimately knows how to be a heel figure in the WWE.
His commentary style works best as a heel, targeting babyfaces for there good deeds and hero-like gestures. His baby face run in the company limited his material, taking away his comical persona. After almost 10 years, Jerry Lawler returned to his heel like commentary personality this past January.
Since capturing the Divas Championship, which is now known as the Women's Championship, Charlotte has proved that she is a terrific champion, possessing a fine array of skills which makes her the top female heel on the roster. She really solidified her status as the top female heel after she discarded her father in a shocking and brutal fashion, which left Ric Flair sobbing.
The Women's Champion kicked her father to the curb after acknowledging the fact that she believed he used her to relive his glory days. She even said that she had surpassed her father in every characteristic possible.
As of late, she has proven that she is not only the best female heel in the WWE, but one of the best on the entire roster.
5 Triple H
The Game is one of the most ruthless and relentless stars the WWE has ever seen. He earned his reputation as The Cerebral Assassin back in the late 90s because of his spiteful, heinous acts and selfishness to do whatever it takes to not only be the best, but to be the WWE champion.
The former World Champion always maintained his heel status, as he was able to back up his talk in the ring and beat the best the business had to offer. Doing so, he solidified his position as a powerful and respected villain in the company. He's had some face runs, but none were nearly as epic as his runs as a heel.
He may be far out of his prime but make no mistake, his work as head of The Authority is some of the best work he's done in years, which is why he ranks so highly on this list.
4 Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman is arguably one of the greatest stars to ever be involved in the wrestling business. He's been the mastermind behind two of the greatest stars of all time in CM Punk and Brock Lesnar. Heyman specializes in cutting must see promos and trolling angry fans with unrepentant gloating.
After Brock Lesnar conquered The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania, Heyman made sure to remind the WWE Universe about that glorious moment every time he and his client were on Raw.
The master of manipulation has the ability to have the fans eating out of his hands one second, before insulting their intelligence a few seconds later.
3 Seth Rollins
All it took was a few chair shots to former Shield members Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns to land Seth Rollins at number three on this list. Since that day, Rollins has thrived as one of WWE's best heels. His best acts consist of him having The Authority bail him out of every match and consistently never being able to finish a match without some debacle taking place.
He's the type of heel that knows he can get the job done himself, yet chooses to take the easy way out by having assistance from outside sources. He constantly impresses on the mic by digging into fans who desperately want to see him get his.
Recently, he's shown a different side to his heel character, but continuing to generate heel heat, but defeating Roman Reigns clean in the ring. Maybe he's transitioning into being a dominant heel, rather than a cowardly one?
2 Chris Jericho
If you have been a long time fan of the WWE, then you probably have been called a peasant or parasite by Y2J at one point. Over the years, Chris Jericho has consistently been able to play the role of the heel, while keeping his relevance as a major threat to the world title. Jericho understands the pulse of the crowd and is quick to react to any comments or chants the crowd smothers him with.
What's really the icing on the cake is his ability to go from full blown babyface to an under-your-skin heel in a matter of seconds. He's proven this a number of times over the years, with examples coming during his feuds with Shawn Michaels and AJ Styles. One second things can be good and before you know it, you find yourself falling victim to a Codebreaker.
His originality and intelligence have helped shape him into one of the most hated heels of all time.
1 Kevin Owens
Regardless of the mixed reaction Kevin Owens generates from the WWE Universe, let us remind you that he is a bad, bad man. Owens has mastered the ability to trash talk an opponent and shamelessly act as a coward in the face of adversity, thus generating an authentic hatred from a good portion of the audience who still loves the hereoes.
Nowadays, the heel-like figure is treated as the good guy (from the louder portion of the audience at least), which makes it much harder for a WWE superstar to be portrayed as a heel in every arena they enter. Regardless, every chance that Owens gets, he makes sure to get under everyone's skin. What really seals the deal is the fact that everyone in the arena reacts to Owens' actions. Typically the women and children are the ones booing the heel, but Owens can rattle some of the fellas in attendance as well.
With that said, Kevin Owens has established himself as the most complete heel WWE has to offer.
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