Top Twenty Five Heels in Wrestling History Part Five
We continue a look at the very best of the very vile with the Top Twenty Five heels in wrestling history, counting it down from five to 2.
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Let’s continue our look at the very best of the very vile as we continue to look at the Top Twenty Five heels of wrestling. We’re getting down to the wire with number five through number two.
5) Harley Race
Harley Race was one of the most rough and tumble wrestlers in the entire history of wrestling, holding the NWA World Championship eight times, which was the record for years, until Ric Flair broke it in the 1990s. Harley Race had a series of champion versus champion matches with than WWF Champion Bob Backlund in 1980 but nothing was settled. Race put a bounty on the head of Ric Flair, injuring him before the first Starrcade, but Ric Flair triumphed to become the champion for only the second time in his career. Race moved over to the WWF, where he became the King of the Ring and had feuds with the likes of Junkyard Dog and Hulk Hogan, before leaving. Race would lead his expertise as a manager, taking the likes of Lex Luger and Big Van Vader under his wing, after retiring but as a heel, Harley Race was as rough and tumble as he came. He was a huge influence to many heels of today, making such moves like the diving headbutt and the kneedrop famous.
4) Randy “Macho Man” Savage
One of the greatest superstars in wrestling history and one of the biggest names would have to be Randy Savage. The Macho Man was a tremendous babyface but he was an even better heel. He was one of the first man to introduce tables into professional wrestling in the Memphis area, when he teamed up with his brother Lanny against the Rock N Roll Express. He stepped into the WWF, where every top manager gunned for him but he choose an unknown by the name of Miss Elizabeth, who was his real life wife for many years. Savage forced Elizabeth to hold the ropes open for him when he entered the ring. He got into a huge feud against the simple minded George “The Animal” Steele, who had a crush on Miss Elizabeth. Yet the height of his first heel run, was when he crushed Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat’s throat with the ring bell, leading to their classic match at Wrestlemania 3. He turned babyface short after, but turned heel against Hulk Hogan, leading to the Mega Powers exploding at Wrestlemania 5, with Hogan winning and Savage’s manager Miss Elizabeth reunited.
Became the Macho King in 1989, with Queen Sherri, feuding with Jim Duggan and Dusty Rhodes, before stepping into a huge feud with the Ultimate Warrior, leading to the huge career ending match at Wrestlemania 7 in 1991. Savage tried to put the Ultimate Warrior down with a series of Flying Elbow Drops but Warrior kicked out and beat Savage. Sherri turned on Savage, incensed, but Miss Elizabeth made the save. Savage would finish off his WWF run and go into his WCW run as a babyface, but turn heel to join the NWO in WCW. Had a huge feud with Diamond Dallas Page, when he revealed the Playboy centerfold of Page’s wife, Kimberly, and also that DDP and Kimberly were married. This would Savage’s really final hot final run, although he did play heel wrestler Bonesaw McGraw in the 2002 Spider-Man movie. Sadly passed away just earlier this year, in May of 2011 but the Macho Man is one of the premier heels in wrestling. Dig it, oooh yeah!
3) Ric Flair
To summarize the career of Ric Flair in a few hundred words and what he meant for wrestling as a heel, would be a hard task to begin with but naturally I’ll do my best to hit the high points. Ric Flair wrestled all over the world, with an insane schedule for many years. He held more World Championships than everyone else in wrestling. He formed the premier heel group in wrestling, the Four Horsemen, a group that influenced pretty much every heel group in some form or fashion. Ric Flair had many classic feuds, against Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, Ronnie Garvin Sting, Lex Luger, Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, the list goes on and on. Ric Flair is even still heeling it up to this day, part of the group Immortal in TNA, although to be fair, he’s not the man he used to be in the ring. Of course he might be more insane than ever. Before in character and perhaps in real life, but we’re not here not here to judge. He was know as the dirtiest player in the game, do you really need any more reasons why Ric Flair is one of the greatest heels of all time. Space Mountain might be the oldest ride in the theme park but it is still going strong. Wooo!
2) “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
If a live microphone becomes a pipe bomb in the hands of CM Punk then it must become a nuke in the hands of Roddy Piper. The Hot Rod had a tremendous gift of gab on the microphone and one of the more sadistic heels of the Rock N Wrestling era of WWF. He came from the Portland and Mid Atlantic era with solid runs, but his biggest run came where he feuded with many people, including Jimmy Snuka, Mr. T, and of course Hulk Hogan. No one is likely to forget the time where Roddy Piper smashed a coconut over the head of Jimmy Snuka. Piper’s run as a big time heel in WWF only lasted for a few years but he made the most of it and its still being brought up by fans today. He did return to his heelish ways briefly in WWE for his return in 2003, aligned with Sean O’Haire during his Devil’s Advocate gimmick(one of the most prime examples of an idea that was awesome that never went anywhere. But I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.) Regardless, Roddy Piper is the second greatest man in wrestling to ever be a heel and really left a memorable body of work.
I’ve talked about twenty four great heels in wrestling but there is one man who stands above the rest. One man who is the greatest heel in wrestling history. Stay tuned for the sixth part where the number one heel in wrestling history will be revealed.