In wrestling, there are good guys and bad guys. It all creates a storyline to keep fans interested. Some wrestlers up the ante, however. Heels need to stick out, even if their character is a bit different. There have been some awful gimmicks for heels in the past that were weird. Others have been able to get over with the crowd. Any attention, negative or positive, is better than no attention. Lots of these guys have had their OMG moments, and that shows how well they are at selling the character. Others have had their weirdness, and the crowd enjoyed it.
Some guys may have just had a small time period where they flipped the switch. Some of the characters might not have lasted long, but the appeal was there, and it lasted. There is always more than one major factor that goes in to making a weird heel. You need the premise from a creative standpoint, you need direction, and most importantly, the wrestler needs to be able to execute the gameplan. It is all about the crowd reaction in professional wrestling, and if something seems weird but dumb, it will not win anyone over. Some of these heel turns were a necessary evil for these guys, and it made them fresh again.
This list takes a look at the top 15 weirdest heels of all time. It comes down to the gimmick, how well it was sold, and the lasting appeal. As mentioned, some were short, while others rode the coattails for years and became an attraction. The list covers any wrestling affiliation where that weirdness left a lasting impression, so it is not just WWE. These guys have worked hard to come up with something strange, different, and everlasting and they all have had different ways of showing it.
Cody Rhodes was, forever, a traditional wrestler who rocked a mustache. Starting off with Randy Orton and Ted Debiase Jr. in the stable Legacy, Cody’s personality never really stood out. He would take a cue from his brother’s character, Goldust, and come up with an outlandish gimmick known as Stardust. He would eventually turn on his brother and feud with Steven Amell from the television show Arrow. While not getting a lot of television time lately, he certainly proves to be one of the weirder heels we have seen. Between his tweets and interviews, people will certainly remember Stardust as opposed to the normal Cody Rhodes.
14. The Dudley Boyz
While most of you may be familiar with the Dudley Boyz from the Attitude Era of WWE, there were more than just two back in ECW. The group might have been some of the worst heels in the history of professional wrestling, however Bubba Ray and D-Von were much better in the ring. The take on The Dudley Boyz resembled the overly stereotypical Southern family with its names and the mixed race. While the group and the two that moved to the WWE had their weird qualities, there were too many times that their antics involving the crowd lead to real life physical encounters after an ECW show.
Having a long and solid career, Vampiro never attributed himself to the norm. While he is still involved in Lucha Underground, he has a passion for punk rock. While he peaked in WCW in the late 1990s, he led a stable featuring the Glenn Danzig-less Misfits, a very popular punk-rock band from the 1980s. Covered in tattoos and wearing facepaint, he fit the mold perfectly as Vampiro and the Misfits would terrorize the mid-card in WCW. He initially started off with Raven and the Insane Clown Posse in a stable, but that was short lived. He would also later team with Sting as the Brothers in Paint, and shortly after turn on Sting.
12. Kevin Sullivan
After being a face in many territories early in his career, Kevin Sullivan took weird to its darkest level. Arriving in Championship Wrestling in Florida, he declared himself “The Prince of Darkness.” Sullivan would play Satan as he would conjure up a cult-like stable. He would use Satanic spells to draw the mysterious Purple Haze from the depths of the sea. Jake Roberts and “Superstar” Billy Graham would fall under his spell. He also brought this over to WCW in the mid-1990s to halt Hulk Hogan. The gimmick was pretty outlandish. Early foes for “The Prince of Darkness” included Dusty Rhodes, Blackjack Mulligan, and Barry Windham.
Mabel was already a giant-sized Superstar in the WWE. He would appear during a pre-show for the Royal Rumble in 1999 where he was kidnapped by The Undertaker. He would be reintroduced as Viscera the following night on RAW. He acted as the enforcer for The Undertaker’s stable The Ministry of Darkness. The big man adopted a gothic look. This look included white-out contact lenses, a bleached Mohawk, and a black bodysuit. Viscera is the type of monster that haunt your kids’ dreams. He would later team with Ministry member Mideon.
10. The Original Sheik
By today’s standards, The Original Sheik would just be another hardcore wrestler. However, stepping into American Wrestling in the 1960s, these antics creeped people out. He would bite the opposition and draw blood. He would also attack victims with an extra-sharp pencil (those use to be used for writing, kiddos). And to complete his antics, he would throw a fireball into his foe’s face. If nothing else made a statement, his nephew is Sabu, and we all know what he is capable of in a ring. Guys like Freddie Blassie and Bruno Sammartino felt the wrath of a man that was before his time.
While Abyss might have felt like a stereotypical mix of horror films and Mick Foley’s character Mankind, he stuck with TNA as a heel for quite a while. While being a monster seems to automatically dictate a heel, he was more or less used for storyline purposes most of the time. While his looks and attacks were intimidating, he would be bounced around multiple stables over the years. The look was definitely weird as he was viewed as being a demented monster. He would actually portray his normal brother in a future storyline. He is certainly the weirdest character to ever grace TNA.
Gangrel was the leader of a faction during the Attitude Era in WWE which featured Edge and Christian. Known as The Brood, they would dump “blood baths” on opponents in the ring. They even joined up with The Undertaker’s Ministry of Darkness faction for a while. However, when you are not heel enough, there is always dropping the hammer on your comrades. He would betray Edge and Christian and jump to the rivals. He created The New Brood with The Hardy Boyz before getting dumped in favor of Terry Runnels for managerial purposes. Drinking a cup of “blood” with fangs was certainly weird and indimidating.
7. Bray Wyatt
Having amazing promos with a gimmick that really strikes the true fear of Louisiana has made Bray Wyatt the weirdest heel currently in the WWE. He was hyped with videos long before his arrival, and with the inclusion of his brothers in his stable, the look, itself, could get over. But it is Bray’s ability on the microphone that he sells so well. Talking about crazy nothings and getting the WWE Universe behind him. He does different things to mess with his opponents’ heads. Wyatt should be a staple in the WWE for quite some time, and hopefully he only gets weirder.
Dustin Rhodes’ sexuality really came into question when he premiered this gimmick in the 1990s. It was a time of extreme fear and homophobia, and even his father questioned what he was doing. Goldust was a heel that came off as very glamorous and flamboyant. His wife would eventually become his manager. Covered in gold, wearing robes, and blowing kisses made guys like Scott Hall refuse to work with him in the ring. He even managed to creep out Vince McMahon. There really has not been a character in professional wrestling to push this boundary nearly as much as Dustin.
Rather than changing gimmicks, the monster, Kane, has evolved in WWE. The original version of the monster was best. He blacked out his face, dawned a red and black mask, and had to speak using a robotic interpreter. It is safe to say WWE Creative broke kayfabe on this, over time. Unleashed as The Undertaker’s brother, Kane would destroy anything that was asked of him. Eventually the mask was removed, only to bring back a mask that looks like it comes from a recent cheesy horror movie. Corporate Kane still does not make any sense, and is completely useless. Demon Kane does not have the feel that the original incarnation did.
Raven has always been the epitome of the bad boy stigma. In ECW, he did nothing but make life a living hell for the likes of The Sandman and Tommy Dreamer. Raven even crucified The Sandman and ended up running off Kurt Angle from ever joining the company. He fit the ’90s look perfectly, and he carried this over to WCW. His promos were always cryptic and strange, as he maintained as a heel for most of his career. He always had strange ways of manipulating wrestlers in storylines, as well. Strangely, the weirdness Raven portrayed made him a fan favorite.
3. Abdullah the Butcher
While he did not have the look of say Viscera, people came to see Abdullah the Butcher. He would dawn a mask into the ring, and he was extremely heavy. His savageness would draw crowds, as people always knew that he would go above and beyond to bleed. His character had a lust for flesh. He has been around for so long and has competed internationally making his antics world renowned. He managed to sell the hell out of an electrocution in a match in WCW, even though Mick Foley bumped into the switch early. Abdullah still competes, and managed to carve his way into the WWE Hall of Fame.
2. The Undertaker
The Undertaker may be a fan favorite, but he had a ridiculous heel gimmick during one of his weirdest times. His original gimmick was a monster, then he moved on to being The Phenom. He then led a stable known as The Ministry of Darkness, and terrorized Stone Cold Steve Austin during his peak in the Attitude Era. He managed to hang Austin and Stephanie McMahon from a crucifix on RAW (strangely this did not steer Kurt Angle away like it did in ECW). Burying people in caskets and raising hell makes ‘Taker one of the weirder heels of all time, and has the continued gimmick to go along with it.
Mick Foley has had many characters. Cactus Jack certainly had his time to shine as a weird heel, but rather than putting multiple personalities from the same person on this list, the best was chosen. Coming into the WWE, Mick dawned the character known as Mankind. He lived in the boiler room and shot really strange promos. His antics carried over to the ring as he feuded with The Undertaker early on and even aligned with Paul Bearer. He would actually become a fan favorite thanks to the Hell in a Cell match where he was launched off the top of the cage. Mick had the ability to get any of his characters over. Mankind was certainly the strangest character to emerge from the Three Faces of Foley.
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