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WRESTLING COLUMNS

What Makes A Heel"
July 7, 2005 by Adam Sparks


We're going to take a look at some of the greatest heels in the Golden Years of the WWF. I'm interested in knowing the person everyone else would pick to be the best heel. This is in no way, shape, or form a Top 10 (or 7 in this case), it's just 7 of the greatest heels, in my opinion.

1. "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase: The Million Dollar Man will go down in history as one of the absolute greatest heels in the World Wrestling Federation. With his "Every Man has a Price" segment, he was able to connect with the fans. He would pay a fan to do odd jobs or tasks for him. In fact, current WWE Superstar was one of those lucky fans. DiBiase created the Million Dollar Corporation, which was, at the time, the greatest stable in the industry. "The Million Dollar Man" has recently signed on with the WWE to become a road-agent.

2. Sycho Sid: Having gone through many monikers in the world of wrestling, no matter what he was always Sid. However, the Sid I'm talking about is Sycho Sid. Sycho Sid returned to the World Wrestling Federation with the Million Dollar Corporation. Soon after that, Sid disappeared again. Shawn Michaels brought Sycho Sid back into the realm of the WWF for a 6-man tag match, shocking the entire promotion. Sid and Michaels had a run as tag-team partners before Sid snapped and turned against HBK. They started a short-lived feud, culminating at Survivor Series 1996, where Sycho Sid captured the WWF Title. Sycho Sid continued his reign of terror

3. Hunter Hearst Helmsley: No, no, no silly. I'm not talking about "The Game" that you see today. I'm talking about that snob from Greenwich, Connecticut. This one had to have been a given. This is the Triple H that I really loved. He played it off so well, the fans really did hate him. If not for the fact that he was a snob, but for the fact that in his first ten matches, he only lost one. The fans hated seeing this rich snob get everything he wanted plus all of these wins! The WWF really did an excellent job at building this jobber in WCW up to a Superstar in the WWF. Kudos...

4. 'The Heartbreak Kid' Shawn Michaels: Shawn Michaels, after splitting with Marty Jannetty, turned against his fans and showed his cocky, sexy attitude that we've all come to know and love. HBK is at his best when he's a heel. He faced people like Razor Ramon, Diesel, Bret Hart, and Stone Cold Steve Austin. HBK has proven that he is one of the top heels in the World Wrestling Federation.

5. Mr. McMahon: Entering the WWF Attitude Era, Vince McMahon took the real-life situation with Bret Hart to make him the evil boss. It worked like a charm as the sinister Mr. McMahon became the biggest heel in the World Wrestling Federation. He feuded with - who else" - Stone Cold Steve Austin. This feud not only put both of these men on the map in the fans'eyes, but also turned the World Wrestling Federation around.

6. The Undertaker: Known by many as the Phenom, he has destroyed greats such as Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Diesel, The Rock, and Steve Austin. He debuted as a heel, teaming with Ted DiBiase at the 1990 Survivor Series. Later on in his career, during the McMahon/Austin feud, he created the Ministry, later joining with Shane McMahon to create the Corporate Ministry.

7. The Rock: It wasn't the WWF who turned the Rock heel, it was the fans. Rocky Maivia was quick to join the Nation of Domination. He soon took over control of the Nation by kicking Farooq, the then leader of the Nation, out. This started the feud of The Rock and Steve Austin. Stone Cold helped push the Rock to superstardom with the many matches and feuds. As well, the Rock turned heel again, this time feuding with Hulk Hogan and Goldberg.

Those seven men helped catapult the World Wrestling Federation into the mainstream public eyes. The ratings were at their highest. Their competitor, World Championship Wrestling's popularity was rapidly declining. Things couldn't get better. Coincidentally, 5 of those 7 men are still employed by the now World Wrestling Entertainment in some fashion, and they will continue to make news stars to keep the WWE spirit alive!

by Adam Sparks ..


wrote:
Great Column. However, I think there's a few others who have, or have had legendary heel runs in the WWE and other promotions.

1. Ric Flair, the greatest heel in ALL of wrestling.
2. Kurt Angle, the next Ric Flair.
3. Mankind, once a sadistic heel with his "Ode to Freud" entrance music and boiler-room brawls.
4. Randy Savage, Mach goes down in my book for hitting Steamboat with the bell and turning on Hogan.
5. Bobby Heenan, the most hated manager of all time (remember the Matilda "invisble" incident) classic.
6. Volkoff and Iron Sheik, the greatest heel tag team of all time.
7. Brock Lesnar, makes the list for beating up Zach Gowen in front of his mom. LOL.
8. Roddy Piper, how could you forget Hot Rod.
9. The Honky Tonk Man, I REALLY hated that guy.
10. Mr. Perfect, was Kurt Angle before there was a Kurt Angle.
11. Andre The Giant, no need for a comment.
12. Kane, needs to get back to his 'destroy everybody' persona.
13. Eddie Guererro, his feud with Rey is becoming the stuff of legend ("don't make take away their papa...Rey").
The Dust wrote:
Now, now, fellas. Let's not forget about Bash at the Beach '96 where Hulkamania became Hollywood. In fact, one could venture to say that the nWo as a unit was the greatest heel figure ever.

We've also forgotten Triple H (not the Bluelblood, either), Owen Hart, and Yokozuna. Just trying to keep the record accurate!
Frank Benpensata wrote:
One must not forget one of the greatest heels ever- Jake "The Snake" Roberts. "Trust Me"
Sexy Sadie wrote:
I may be showing symptoms of a slowly advancing case of "old fart", but I feel any list of great heels should include | 1-The Sheik | 2-Abdullah the Butcher | 3-Kevin Sullivan | 4-Adrian Street (got over so good as heel they had little choice but to turn him face) | 5-The Great Kabuki (greatest martial-arts gimmick EVER) | 6-Ernie Ladd | 7-John Studd | 8-The Road Warriors (when they looked like bikers instead of sideshow freaks) | 9-"Shaska" Whatley (bitch-slapped GORDON SOLIE!!! Oh my GAWWD-YOU CAN'T HIT GORDON SOLIE!!!) | 10-Bob Armstrong (anybody old enough to remember Bullet Bob's heel turn in the Southeast knows what I mean. I was 12 or 13 at the time, and just about started crying. That's the last time I can remember being really distraught at something that happened on wrestling.)
Steve H wrote:
Randy Savage! He nailed Steamboat with the bell, and the ENTIRE crowd at WM3 was against him in his IC Title match with Steamboat because of it! (Thats a lot of people)

Incidently, that was THE greatest match I've ever seen - drama, a thousand near falls - and not a chair shot in sight...

He then twatted the Warrior with his sceptre at the Royal Rumble, setting up an end of career match in which he was the perfect heel...

And of course turning on Hogan...

After all of that, the fans still hated seeing him get bitten by a snake at the hands of Jake Roberts - These two men were possibly the greatest heels of all time in terms of making the fans actually care - and actually believe...
David Youngblood wrote:
Why aren't we mentioning Shane Douglas anywhere in here" He took real hated toward one of the most important wrestlers of our time, and disrespected an entire organization for the greater good of ECW! He spat on the legacy of the NWA and basically told Ric Flair to lick the dog$&%t off of his yellow boots. He far outranks these mid card heels everybody keeps throwing out there because he really is a condescending jerk and plays it off with his character so well. Does anybody remember a time when they actually cheered Shane besides when he announced the birth of Extreme Championship Wrestling" "The Franchise" was hated in WCW, in WWE, in ECW...its because we hated him so much in the past that we love him now in TNA! Respect this man, please!
ian morrison wrote:
Here is my personal list of the Greatest Villains in Wrestling History

1) Vince McMahon- Narrowly beats out The Million Dollar Man because Vince was the real deal. There was no gimmick behind the fact that Vince really was the most powerful man in the business and could do what he wanted.

2) Ted Dibiase- The best heel gimmick ever conceived because it drew on our human nature to despise those that are more fortunate than us. Unfortuantly he was never shown as unbeatable, losing cleanly to every WWF face at one point or another.

3) Andre The Giant- Honestly, not a great wrestler and was past his prime in his heel days but he was the ultimate "unbeatable" heel. Only cleanly pinned once Andre's record as a monster was second to none.

4) Randy Savage- Despite being perhaps the best worker of the 1980's Savage still relied on sneaky, tasteless, underhanded tactics to win matches. (Crushing Steamboat's throat, hiding behind Elizabeth) He also used his intensity and unusual look to become the best heel champion (IC Title) of the 1980's. (Flair fans aren't going to like that last comment)

5) Ric Flair- Great wrestler, great gimmick, slightly overrated but overall a great heel. The reason he isn't higher on the list is that he was so cool that some of the fans wanted to cheer for him anyway. This is a list of greatest heels after all.

6) Stone Cold Steve Austin- Late 1996 to Wrestlemania 13. Awesome kick-ass heel that unfortunately was so good that they made him a good guy and he was eventually watered-down as a face.

7) Gorgeous George- No, not Randy Savage's old girlfriend. The homoerotic heel gimmick was a very disturbing success for Golddust in the mid 90's. No take a similar concept and place it 50 years earlier. Now that's controversial.

8) Triple H- Never before has one wrestler infuriated know-it-all geeks quite like HHH. And aside from that is actually a good wrestler who can put over an opponent cleanly and still look good in the process. (Benoit @ WM20, Batista @ WM21 and 2 other PPV's, HBK @ Summerslam '02)

9) Bobby "The Brain" Heenan- No doubt the greatest manager of all time. It was Bobby that made the fans hate Andre The Giant going into WM3. It was also Bobby that made great heels out of King Kong Bundy, John Studd, Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, Nick Bockwinkel and, yes, even Ric Flair in the WWF(by making fans unfamiliar with Flair and the NWA hate Flair instantly)(P.S. The men mentioned here were good but wouldn't have been as great if it weren't for The Brain)

10) The Honky Tonk Man- Bad gimmick, mediocre wrestler yet quite possibly the best pure heel of the 1980's. The other's on this list could have easily turned face and been accepted by the fans (aside from Dibiasi) but it would be impossible for The Honkytonk Man to be welcomed into the fans good graces, he was just so corny that it worked like a charm.
wrote:

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