Many people these days have began to discuss who the best heel in professional wrestling might be. Without question, that man has to be Randy Orton with no close second. He's a far better heel than Chris Jericho, Edge, or JBL.
The reason I feel that people sometimes have a different opinion is because there is some confusion regarding what a great heel does.
Obvious things that come to mind would be the wrestlers ability to get booed, make the fans angry, and motivate them to pay to see the heel get their rear-end handed to them.
Other times, star-power is something completely overlooked.
After all, how couldn't it be? If your in the camp of feeling that JBL or Vicki Guerrero are some of the best heels in the business, then you are clearly one of the people who overlooks the value of quality talent.
Having the ability to get the fans to boo excessively left and right does not make you the best heel in the business if your not also excelling in other areas as well.
Randy Orton has often become a focal point of some confusion regarding his heel value due to the fact that he has become so well-liked.
He's not taken on a role similar to what Steve Austin went through in 1997 where he is meant to be a heel but possesses various attributes that make him become appealing to some of the fans.
Orton has arguably the hottest entrance music in the business, some of the very best finishing moves of all time, and is one of the best in-ring performers there is. The combination of these attributes make it easy to take a liking to Orton.
If being booed is the measuring stick for a heel's greatness, Orton could easily do a few things that would make him far less popular.
If Randy Orton stopped using the RKO and the Unprettier became his finisher, he'd be far less liked. If his entrance music was no longer "Voices" and they switched it to Mike Knox's entrance music, people would become far less pumped.
Things like this would change the fan's reaction drastically. Luckily for us, the WWE is smarter than that.
Randy Orton's role is a heel plain and simple. He never sucks up the fans like Triple H, he never acts politically correct like John Cena, and he doesn't live off the past like The Undertaker.
Randy Orton is Randy Orton and his character is one of the most versatile of all time.
He has the ability to get the fans to boo and cheer him. He has the ability to make every feud seem important. He has single handily made Monday nights far better than they were in his absence.
That versatility is something that no one else possesses to the same degree.
Let's look at Chris Jericho, for instance.
He's one of the very best at getting people to boo him. He has actually done much of what I suggested would make Orton less popular.
He changed his wardrobe to look ridiculous and silly. He walks to the ring in the most boring fashion you'll ever see, possessing no intensity what so ever.
If the WWE were to remove Chris Jericho from the roster today, they would easily be able to replace his services. The WWE would not be in any major danger and the wrestling fans would not be destroyed.
We all saw what happened when Randy Orton was gone for only a few months. Monday Night Raw went through one of the worst periods in years and the product was clearly damaged.
As much as his absence hurt the WWE, his return has rejuvenated the product.
If JBL left, half of the fans would say good riddance and the other half wouldn't notice.
Then we have Edge and Vickie Guerrero.
Vickie is booed for all of the wrong reasons.
She kills the credibility of Smackdown completely. It seems beyond unrealistic that a billion-dollar corporation like World Wrestling Entertainment would hire such an unqualified person to be in charge of one of their main programs.
People boo Vickie because they just want her to leave for good. There is a difference between being booed because you're hated and booed because your worthless and Vicki Guerrero is certainly the latter.
Edge is the one and only man who can give Orton a run for his money as being the best heel in professional wrestling.
Edge is a great performer, a solid character, and quite entertaining.
But as good as Edge is, Randy Orton is a step better.
Orton is a better in-ring performer. Although Edge has an edge (no pun intended) when it comes to jumping off of ladders, he is not better in any other area that I can think of.
Orton is more exciting in regular matches (which are the majority of what most guys at his level do anyway) has much better finishing moves, and is more interesting to watch.
Orton's character is head over heels better than Edge's.
Randy Orton has the benefit of being a third-generation Superstar, he was a member of Evolution, and just has a character that is overall more interesting.
What stable has been more interesting to watch, La Familia or The Legacy?
Again, it's not that Edge is not in Orton's league, he's just a few steps down the ladder.
Essentially, Randy Orton is the best heel in professional wrestling. For all of the various reasons I explained, Orton sets himself apart from the competition and stakes legitimate claim to being the very best heel there is in the business.