Top 50 villains in wrestling history

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50.Batista

 

Lex Luthor hated Superman because The Man of Steel became the savior of humanity and Metropolis, something Luthor strived for his entire life. That legendary comic book rivalry draws strong parallels to a WWE enmity between Batista and John Cena.

Although he broke out in WWE as the powerhouse of Evolution, Batista always despised being overshadowed. All of his villainous actions over the years came to light when he attacked John Cena to win the WWE Championship after Cena survived a grueling Elimination Chamber Match. Just as Superman became the savior of Metropolis, the Cenation leader had become the face of WWE — something that did not sit well with The Animal.

Finally, after years of questionable actions, Batista revealed his ultimate jealousy, believing he should be the face of WWE instead of Cena. Unfortunately for The Animal, he was unable to defeat Cena again and eventually tucked his tail and ran, quitting WWE altogether. — KEVIN POWERS

49.Randy Savage

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Sure, “Macho Man” may now bring nostalgic smiles to the faces of the WWE Universe, but in his heyday, Randy Savage was the prime antagonist to WWE’s top heroes.

After debuting in WWE in 1985, Savage introduced the lovely Miss Elizabeth, but “Macho” often shielded his beautiful manager from the bright lights of stardom, much to the dismay of WWE fans. The unpredictable Superstar even accused Hulk Hogan of having “jealous eyes” for Elizabeth, and the two met in an iconic clash at WrestleMania V. Savage later donned the crown of “Macho King” and called on the devious Sherri to be his Queen. He targeted Ultimate Warrior with a series of heinous attacks, and the two battled in a Retirement Match at WrestleMania VII. “Macho” remained a villain during his days as a member of The nWo in WCW, and had a bitter rivalry against Diamond Dallas Page.

While Savage’s legacy left an indelible mark on the squared circle, was the “Macho Man” a macho villain? Oooh yeah. — ZACH LINDER

48. Vickie Guerrero

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“Excuse me!”

By screeching this simple and seemingly innocuous phrase whenever she steps through the curtain, the shrill and shrewd Vickie Guerrero elicits an immediate response from crowds in arenas around the world. However, Vickie’s transgressions against the WWE Universe extend far beyond her numerous, ear-splitting aural affronts.

A former Raw and SmackDown General Manager, the self-professed “Queen Diva” has used her cunning business savvy and unique feminine wiles to repeatedly climb the corporate ladder and pull the necessary strings for her friends and business associates, including the likes of Team Lay-Cool, 2012 WWE Hall of Famer Edge and her current client, “Mr. Money in the Bank” Dolph Ziggler.

In WWE’s animal kingdom, this notorious “cougar” is always on the prowl and, as is the case in the wild, morality is seldom a factor when it comes to getting what she wants. — JAMES WORTMAN

47. Mark Henry

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Some WWE fans were critical of the fact that it took Mark Henry 15 years to embrace his status as the squared circle’s most intimidating figure. Truth is they should be thankful. Had the powerhouse from Silsbee, Texas, spent the last decade behaving the way he did in fall 2011 then WWE history would look a lot different. Imagine rings destroyed. Legends hobbled. The Streak? A few digits less impressive.

So be grateful that Henry chose 2011 to construct what he called his “Hall of Pain” out of the broken bones of fallen opponents like Kane, Big Show and Randy Orton. Had nagging injuries not slowed him, Henry may have depleted an entire roster. Even fans in the front row seemed uneasy in the looming presence of the former Olympic power lifter.

Broadcasters who bandied around the word “monster” in regards to Mark Henry missed the point. Monsters are fiction. It is men that are real. And Henry was the meanest man of them all. — RYAN MURPHY

46. The Iron Sheik

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The Iron Sheik was easily the most recognizable villain of his era.

Proudly claiming to have come from “10,000 miles away in Teheran, Iran,” the former bodyguard of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi enraged American fans by flaunting his Arabic heritage. But The Iron Sheik wasn’t just a blowhard. A dangerous Greco-Roman wrestler, he garnered headlines on Dec. 26, 1983, when he humbled WWE Champion Bob Backlund in Madison Square Garden with the dreaded Camel Clutch.

In the years that followed, Sheik continued to draw the ire of fans in the U.S. as he aligned himself with Russian baddie Nikolai Volkoff and, later, Sgt. Slaughter when Sarge outed himself as an Iraqi sympathizer. — HOWARD FINKEL

45.Andre the Giant

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What happens when the friendly colossus who could always be counted on to do what’s right turns his back on his friends? The WWE Universe found out in 1987, when Andre the Giant bitterly betrayed longtime ally Hulk Hogan. It began when WWE, in recognition of the giant’s 15-year undefeated streak, presented Andre with a trophy. One problem: “The Eighth Wonder of the World’s” trophy paled in comparison to a trophy Hogan received to honor his three-year WWE Title reign.

Andre stormed out of his ceremony, and the next time he appeared on TV, he had Bobby Heenan by his side. As Heenan claimed the giant was overdue for a title shot, Andre ripped off the cross from around Hogan’s neck, ending a friendship that years earlier saw Andre pour a celebratory bottle of champagne over Hogan’s head. Suddenly, the globe’s most beloved performer became WWE’s most hated Superstar. — JOHN CLAPP

44. Eric Bischoff

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Eric Bischoff has been called many things throughout his sports-entertainment career. “Visionary” and “ambitious” have been used to portray the former WCW President, but the word “sleazy” has also been drawn to casually describe the man who nearly won the Monday Night War.

Bischoff’s reputation as “Sleazy-E” didn’t begin when he revealed himself to be a member of The New World Order. In fact, his earliest villainous acts weren’t even inside the squared circle — they came from behind a suit, a tie and a corporate desk. In 1994, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat was sidelined due to injury when he received a package from Bischoff containing his pink slip. In 1995, Steve Austin was out with an arm injury when he answered a phone call from the WCW President and was subsequently fired.

Inside the squared circle, following his revelation as the corporate power behind The New World Order, Bischoff had the power to bend the rules to serve Hollywood Hogan and the black and white clad faction’s needs. He offered no apologies for the decisions he made. — K.P.

43.Eddie Guerrero

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One of Eddie Guerrero’s best-known mantras — “I lie, I cheat, I steal!” — sums up the darker side of the WWE Hall of Famer. In his early days competing south of the border, “Latino Heat” appalled fans by mocking their Mexican pride and gesturing as though they should be swimming to the U.S. Later on in WCW, he claimed his wallet had been stolen and in trying to find the perpetrator, forced every WCW luchador to break a time-honored lucha tradition by removing their masks.

Yet, none of these bad deeds could compare to the inglorious offensive Guerrero launched toward Rey Mysterio in 2005. Believing The Ultimate Underdog to be an ungracious tag partner and friend, he not only ended their team by bailing on Mysterio, but also sought to rip apart Rey’s very family by threatening to take custody of their son, Dominick, whom Guerrero had actually sired. — J.C.

42.Brock Lesnar

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Throughout his entire career, Brock Lesnar has lived for one person and one person only: Brock Lesnar.

Making his WWE debut in 2002, Lesnar dominated anyone in his path and the WWE Universe loved every second of it. However, by the time WrestleMania XX came in 2004, he abandoned WWE to pursue a career in the NFL. During Lesnar’s match against Goldberg on The Grandest Stage of Them All, the WWE Universe turned their backs on The Next Big Thing and he responded with equal negativity to the crowd.

Fast forward eight years to the night after WrestleMania XXVIII, John Cena was still reeling from his loss to The Rock the night before when Lesnar made his shocking return to WWE. The WWE Universe was initially elated. However, the truth about Lesnar once again became clear. He was less interested in entertaining the fans and more interested in showing the world he was the toughest man alive — for a price. — K.P.

41.Kane

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Freezing his father alive? Check. Electrocuting a McMahon? Check. Launching a wheelchair-bound Broski off the entrance ramp? Check. Burning and burying his half-brother alive? Checkmate.

In his fiery tenure with WWE, Kane did his part to heinously torment everyone who stepped in his path. Anytime he remotely hinted at remorse, The Big Red Monster became more despicable than ever.

Kane’s most vile behavior came after losing his mask in 2003. During an interview with Jim Ross, Kane flipped out on the helpless WWE Hall of Famer, saying he needed to “feel [his] pain.” The Devil’s Favorite Demon then attacked J.R. and doused him with gasoline. As the production crew pleaded for mercy and J.R.’s longtime friend, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, watched helplessly from the arena, Kane ignited the legendary broadcaster.

Any Superstar willing to burn another defenseless human being warrants a spot as one of the baddest of all time. — JEFF LABOON Continue Reading This Story

 

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