Photo Credit: WWE

WWE Top 10: Current Heels

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Before I list the WWE top 10 current heels, I need to explain certain rules and honorable mentions.

 

If a wrestler is not a heel as of the day I am writing this article, they can not qualify. That means wrestlers such as Kevin Owens can not be on this list because he is currently a face. Some heels in the company are amazing but, in my opinion, are just short of the top 10.

These include Sasha Banks, Dakota Kai, Andrade, and Dolph Ziggler. I would like to consider Johnny Gargano and Sonya Deville, but they are too early in their heel runs for me to rate them accurately.  

 

10) Bayley:

 

Bayley was once the face of the NXT Women’s division that most people related to in one way or another.

 

Photo Credit: WWE

She was the ultimate underdog who fought with pure heart and determination. Back in NXT, she had great matches with the likes of Asuka, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks. Her bout against Banks at NXT Takeover Brooklyn 2015 is widely known as the best women’s match in WWE history. After getting called up to the main roster and beating Charlotte for the Raw Women’s Championship, her reign was seen as mediocre to most.

After a while, people started to say her good girl persona was stale. WWE attempted to position her and Banks to build up the women’s tag team division by having them win the Women’s Tag Team Championships, but that did not work out as they lost the titles to the Iiconics at Wrestlemania 35. Eventually, Bayley turned heel on an episode of Smackdown and then beat Charlotte for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Bayley has held the championship since then and has developed her character immensely. Banks is her best friend who always helps her regardless of the potential she has to beat Bayley and become the champion herself.

Bayley is always bragging about how much better she is than anyone else despite winning by interferences and cheap tactics. Her in-ring work has gotten better, and her ability to cut a good promo has improved drastically. She does a great job as an arrogant heel who is full of herself despite winning by flukes or cheating. 

 

 9) Sami Zayn:

 

Zayn was widely known as the face of NXT.

 

The underdog from the underground increased NXT’s popularity during his rivalry with former NXT Champion Adrian Neville (who later changed his name to Neville). Neville, who was surprisingly a face during this, always told Zayn that he could not win the big one. Despite a few incredible efforts, Zayn came up short every time but had one more opportunity at an episode of NXT in 2015.

Photo Credit: f4wonline.com

He finally beat Neville for the NXT Championship, and most of the NXT roster ran to the ring to hold him up. This celebration was cut short by Kevin Owens, who power-bombed Zayn on the apron of the ring in one of the most memorable moments in NXT history. Owens beat Zayn for the NXT Championship about a month later. Although his reign as champion was short, Zayn made history as a face and became more well known after challenging John Cena for the United States Championship on an episode of Raw. He came up short, but people knew who he was and loved him.

After getting called up to the main roster, Zayn was booked to lose and didn’t have many matches. This resulted in fans not having the same reaction towards him as before. They still wanted him to get pushed but knew it was not going to happen. After some time, Zayn did the unthinkable and turned heel by helping his former rival Kevin Owens beat Shane McMahon in a Hell in a Cell match. Zayn played a best friend role for Owens, which went well until Zayn was injured, and they quietly drew apart. During a segment of Miz TV, Zayn announced that he would help Shinsuke Nakamura, the Intercontinental Champion at the time, who also had Cesaro by his side.

Many fans were annoyed by this, but it eventually led to Zayn winning the Intercontinental Championship in a three-on-one handicap match against Braun Strowman. He was still accompanied by Nakamura and Cesaro, but he was great at being the annoying heel who always had his friends handing him wins by cheating. Unfortunately, he had to vacate the championship due to the wrestling shut down during the current pandemic.

 

8) King Corbin:

 

Corbin started out as a face who wrestled with a brawler style and did not talk too much.

 

NXT turned the same character into a heel. That worked out to be a roughhousing silent heel and was not a bad role for him. He did not ever win the NXT Championship but had some good matches with very few promos. He kept the same character when he got called up to the main roster, but he talked a little more on the mic. He started to be seen as a joke after cashing in his Money in the Bank contract and then losing to the WWE Champion at the time, Jinder Mahal, in a match that was less than ten seconds.

He lost to John Cena at Summerslam 2017 right after that. He also played a somewhat comedic assistant manager role on Raw. That made him into more of a joke. After that stint was over, he ended up winning the 2019 King of the Ring tournament. This made him change his in-ring name from Baron Corbin to King Corbin. This changed his character a bit, too. He was the same brawler but talked more and wore a crown. He had an entrance on a throne to show off his arrogance. He had many mid-card wrestlers like Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler help him win matches in his rivalry with Roman Reigns.

Photo Credit: WWE

This rivalry lasted for months, and Corbin won his matches with constant interference by Roode, Ziggler, and The Revival. He even had security guards help him during his match at TLC 2019 against Reigns. His storyline with Reigns was seen as annoying since Corbin kept bringing up a theme of dog food, which many found stupid and childish. One of Reign’s nicknames was the big dog, so Corbin always mocked Reigns with dog food and spilled some all over him on an episode of Smackdown.

After a few matches of this storyline, Reigns won their match at the Royal Rumble 2020 and got revenge by pouring dog food on Corbin during another episode of Smackdown. This plot had fans sick of seeing Corbin all the time, which developed go-away heat that still lasts to this day.

Even though the booing in arenas was going away heat, he has developed his character and utilizes the heat well. He is better on the mic and a great wrestler in the ring. Everybody hates him. People should realize that he received the heat because of being booked poorly, which was not his fault. He is a great heel that has improved and presents his character well. He is good at utilizing his heat, which makes him a good heel regardless of the way he has been booked. 

 

7) Charlotte:

 

Charlotte had huge expectations to live up to once she entered NXT due to being Ric Flair’s daughter.

 

Regardless of how high those expectations were, they did not get to Charlotte at all. She started as a face but was missing some character development despite being Ric Flair’s daughter. She was already amazing in the ring, but after a run as Divas Champion in the main roster, WWE decided to turn her heel. This heel character always boasted about being the best. She bragged about being genetically superior and made fun of her opponents to the point that fans began to root for whoever she was against.

Photo Credit: WWE

She’s had great rivalries with Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch, and Ronda Rousey. During her heel run, she slapped Ric Flair on an episode Raw. The majority of her storylines sell whoever she’s against as an underdog, which makes the story even more captivating. She’s done great with or without her father ringside during her matches and has helped evolve the Women’s division as a whole. She’s the first Raw Women’s Champion and is one of three women to main event Wrestlemania. She has achieved a lot which has developed some heat from the fans, but everybody knows her talents.

It’s not arguable that she is one of the best in the ring and on the mic. She has developed her character immensely and is currently the best heel in WWE’s Women’s division.

 

6) The Miz:

 

The Miz has been a heel for the majority of his career.

 

There are many examples of Miz getting the fans to despise him. Some of it was known as go-away heat during his run with the WWE Championship. A lot of his heat came when he beat John Cena at the main event of Wrestlemania 27 due to The Rock interfering. Even though a lot of his heat has been go-away heat, nobody can deny what an amazing heel he is.

After cutting one of the best promos of his career during an episode of Talking Smack in 2016, people started to realize how good The Miz actually was. He has held the Intercontinental Championship eight times, and the majority of those reigns have been as a heel. WWE has tried to turn his face because of his charisma, but every time they tried, they turned him back to a heel quickly. He has some of the best charisma people have ever seen.

Photo Credit: WWE

His ability on the mic is stellar, his in-ring work is great, and his ability to perfect his character is unmatched. He can be a face since none of his face runs were atrocious, but his character is clearly meant to be an arrogant heel who thinks he’s better than everybody else. As of now, he is utilized on the tag team division with John Morrison. This has resulted in some of the best and most humorous segments ever seen.

An example is the dirt sheet segment with Otis that took place on a recent episode of Smackdown. He was hilarious but still managed to be the obnoxious heel that he’s built himself up to be. It doesn’t matter if he is in the Tag division with Morrison, has a ringside manager, or is alone. He always finds a way to be one of the most intriguing heels in WWE.  

 

5) Adam Cole:

 

Adam Cole is arguably the best thing in NXT as of now.

 

Ever since he joined, he’s been a cocky heel who is full of himself. He formed a faction named the Undisputed Era, which includes Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and Roderick Strong. As the leader of that faction, Cole has cut some of the best promos in NXT. The Undisputed Era is a group of arrogant friends who everybody wants to see beat up.

Photo Credit: WWE

They make storylines interesting by beating down faces and talking all the trash in the world. Fish and O’Reilly won the NXT Tag Team Championships while Cole had the NXT Championship, and Strong had the NXT North American Championship. During a period, the entire Undisputed Era held a championship in NXT.  This made people appreciate Cole’s talents while making him over as a heel. As of writing this article, Cole still holds the NXT championship.

He is the longest NXT Champion in history, and this reign has made for some exciting storylines. He’s had outstanding rivalries with the likes of Ricochet, Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano, and many others. His in-ring talent has been some of the best seen. He won the PWI Wrestler of the Year award in 2019. Cole is incredibly charismatic and spectacular at being his character. This has resulted in him making history in NXT. Even if casual fans hate him, the majority of them have chanted “Adam Cole Bay Bay” at least once. 

 

4) Randy Orton:

 

Orton has been a top draw in the WWE for many years.

 

Most of those years, he’s been used as a heel due to his great ability to make crowds hate him. The reactions he gets don’t come from heat. People know how talented the apex predator is. His mic skills and in-ring work are tremendous like they have always been. He’s had different roles in the WWE such as being a member of the highly talented stable Evolution, defeating as many greats in the WWE as possible as the legend killer, and even fighting for the fans as a face.

Photo Credit: WWE

Orton works best when he is booked as a heel, which has gotten different reactions. His current storyline against Edge has been some of his best work yet as he backstabbed his former best friend at an episode of Raw after this year’s Royal Rumble. He has backstabbed so many wrestlers in the WWE that fans have made memes of how many times he’s done it. He’s been able to get fans engaged in his storylines where he does vicious actions such as hitting Beth Phoenix with the RKO, hitting Edge on his previously-injured neck with a chair, and hitting Stephanie McMahon with a DDT off the ropes.

He’s been talented for years and is still one of the best at making fans root for whoever he’s against. His ability to make a plot interesting makes him one of the best heels today. 

 

3) Seth Rollins:

 

Rollins started out as an acrobatic face and has changed many times.

 

He still keeps an acrobatic style in the ring, but he has altered his persona. As the first NXT Champion, he was a face. This character was missing something, but most that watched him knew he was special. Eventually, he made his debut on the main roster as part of the historic heel faction, The Shield. Survivor Series 2012 is a major day in WWE history. The Shield assaulted Ryback and John Cena to help CM Punk retain his WWE Championship. That event started arguably the best stable in the PG era.

The other two wrestlers in the stable were Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, who have both achieved a lot for themselves. The Shield was cheered on so much by the fans that the WWE had to turn them into faces. Shockingly, Rollins was the one to betray his friends and join forces with Triple H and The Authority on an infamous moment during an episode of Raw. The moment Rollins beat down Reigns and Ambrose with a chair and stood by Triple H’s side is remembered by many.

Photo Credit: WWE

Rollins became a cowardly heel who did not want to face any challenge alone and always had his friends handing him victories. Although this kind of heel is cliche, Rollins’ acrobatic style in the ring made fans love him while he still managed to be a detestable person. His promo ability was good enough to make his storylines interesting. At Wrestlemania 31, Rollins managed to cash in his Money in the Bank contract to win his first WWE Championship. Even though he was a heel, fans loved it and remembered this as one of the best endings to a Wrestlemania.

On an episode of Raw in 2016, Triple H turned on Rollins by helping Kevin Owens win the vacated Universal Championship against him at the end of a fatal four-way elimination match. This made Rollins a face because he wanted revenge against Triple H. They had one of the most underrated Wrestlemania matches against each other at Wrestlemania 36. This no-holds-barred match consisted of Dramatic kick-outs, Triple H using weapons on the injured knee of Rollins, and Stephanie McMahon getting hit unintentionally by Triple H. After this, fans loved Rollins, and many thought he was the new face of the WWE, but that didn’t last long.

Fans turned on Rollins due to a badly booked match against The Fiend at Hell in a Cell 2019 and his controversial real-life tweets bragging about his salary to a talented independent wrestler, Will Osprey. After getting booed by fans, WWE was forced to turn him heel again, and he started calling himself the Monday Night Messiah. He is committed to getting revenge against all those who have doubted him or don’t believe in how good he is. This character has become a unique side of Rollins and has made for some fascinating plots. 

 

2) The Fiend:

 

Bray Wyatt, whose alter ego is “The Fiend,” is a creative genius when it comes to developing his character.

 

Early in his career, he was the mysterious cult kind of leader who would utilize disturbing and creepy promos. He had Luke Harper and Erick Rowan by his side and referred to his stable as The Wyatt Family. WWE booked him to lose many big matches that could have elevated his career if booked differently.

Photo Credit: WWE

Examples of these include losing to John Cena at Wrestlemania 30, losing to The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 31, and losing to Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 33. During that period, he quietly separated from The Wyatt Family, and everybody went their ways. Later on, he introduced the people to The Fiend through segments of his show, The Firefly Fun House. This show included Wyatt doing unthinkably weird things such as interacting with odd puppets and making humor out of alarming situations with the theme of a Mr. Rogers childlike show.

His alter ego, The Fiend is a no-nonsense, monster type of character that wears a sinister mask and demolishes every opponent that has done him wrong in the past. This has worked tremendously well for him as he plays mind games with his opponents by doing all the talking as Bray Wyatt and attempts to scare them off by saying things like, “The Fiend does not forget.” His promo ability is still stellar like it always was, and his character has even more edge to it than before. This character is one of the most intriguing ever seen, making him one of the best heels in the WWE today. 

 

1) AJ Styles.

 

Styles was widely known as one of the best wrestlers in the world but many assumed he was comfortable in the independent scene because he’d been there so long.

 

Eventually, dreams came true, and he made his WWE debut at the Royal Rumble in 2016. He was actually over as a face and had a short stint as Chris Jericho’s tag team partner. Jericho turned on Styles and ended up beating him at Wrestlemania 32. He was naturally over as a face, but his character was not developed, and his promo capacity was unstable at best.

On an episode of Raw in 2016, Styles turned heel by attacking John Cena with his friends, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. This formed a stable known as “The Club” at the time. His storyline with Cena managed to get reactions that make him a developed heel regardless of how much the fans actually liked him. He defeated John Cena at Money in the Bank 2016 by interference. Gallows and Anderson hit their finishing move, the magic killer, on Cena while the referee was down after being hit inadvertently during the match.

Regardless of the interference, beating Cena made it clear that Styles was the main event material. His promo skills became stellar, and his promos during his rivalry with Cena showed off how much potential he had as a heel. He came up with the saying “Beat up John Cena,” which was repeated by many fans as a funny catchphrase. His plots were always interesting, especially his rivalry with Dean Ambrose in 2016.

Photo Credit: WWE

At this point, Ambrose held the WWE Championship. Although he was a heel, fans wanted Styles to win the WWE Championship so badly they started booing Ambrose at Backlash 2016. Ambrose was an extraordinarily talented and famous face. Even though Ambrose did not deserve this treatment in the slightest, it showed how desperate fans were to see Styles win his first WWE Championship.

Because he was liked so much by the fans, WWE decided to turn his face on an episode of Smackdown in 2017. He won his second WWE Championship by beating Jinder Mahal on an episode of Smackdown shortly after. This face run lasted longer than the first but reached its end on an episode of Raw in 2019.

Similar to the way he turned heel the first time, he reunited with his friends Gallows and Anderson and beat up Ricochet. His phenomenal (no pun intended) in-ring work and promos have kept him in the main event scene for a while. He won the PWI Wrestler of the Year award in 2016, 2017, and 2018. His power to be the heel that everybody wants to see defeated is comparable to the best heels of all time.

Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

Many still love him and appreciate his talent, but there are no problems with him being a heel. He is arrogant, annoying, full of himself, and desperate for opportunities just like most major heels should be. His recent promos before his buried alive match against The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 36 made most fans eager to see The Undertaker shut him up.

Styles maintains his status as a heel since his character works best that way. It’s disappointing that Styles joined the WWE rather late in his career, but at least he is here now. As the saying goes, better late than never… especially in this case!

 

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-Kyle Randolph – Franchise Sports Media

 

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