One Year of AEW: Ranking the Top 5 HeelsMay 7, 2020
The first edition of Double or Nothing was almost a year ago, and we've since seen new stars and established talent showcase their talent in All Elite Wrestling. Many have left a particularly big impression on the fans, but not necessarily in a way that makes them happy.
In fact, chances are you've heavily rooted against everyone on this list of the top five heels in AEW over the past year. We took into consideration fan reaction, entertainment value, general heel work and success at AEW so far to determine our five.
Here are the wrestlers who did the best job of being the absolute worst. Disagree? Let us know who you would've included in the comments.
5. Dr. Britt Baker
Best heel moments: Insulting the Texas crowd, roasting Tony Schiavone, "How to Be a Role Model" promos
It took Britt Baker all of 2019 to find her footing at AEW, but she finally did so when the new year came around.
Originally pushed as a face, there was little reason for fans to get behind her other than the fact she's a real-life dentist. Baker, needing to jumpstart her gimmick, took her dentistry role and started bragging about it ad nauseam to anyone who would listen. She also insulted crowds, fellow talent and even Tony Schiavone.
Her character took another step recently by cutting condescending promos on "How to Be a Role Model." It will be interesting to see where Baker takes this. It's been fun heel work to watch come together for someone who seems to be enjoying it.
4. Sammy Guevara
Best heel moments: Helping the Inner Circle in various feuds, crushing Darby Allin's throat with a skateboard, 630 flip at Revolution
Chris Jericho's Inner Circle has been a great breeding ground for some of AEW's heels, and no one has benefitted more from learning under his wing than Sammy Guevara.
Guevara had little character development before Inner Circle's formation. Fans quickly noticed the athleticism he possessed, but it wasn't until Dynamite began that we saw him go from a good wrestler with heel-ish tendencies to one of the best things about the Inner Circle.
The Spanish God manages to walk the line between being entertaining and annoying. He was also on the forefront of helping Jericho stage attacks against The Elite and Jon Moxley while carrying out a quality feud of his own against Darby Allin.
The next step for Guevara in Year Two is showcasing even more of his personality. His wrestling is already good. Now he just needs the presence to back it up.
Best heel moments: All three matches against Kenny Omega, match against Orange Cassidy
Speaking of presence, there's something about PAC that just captures a fan's interest.
Those familiar with his work before AEW knew what he was capable of once he joined the promotion. He's delivered so far. His clash against Kenny Omega at All Out was one of the best technical matches of 2019. Their feud reached its peak last February when the two competed in a 30-minute Iron Man match after PAC attacked Michael Nakazawa, Omega's close friend. The Bastard lost in sudden-death overtime, but that match is considered one of the best to take place on Dynamite so far.
Other highlights from his time at AEW include coming out of a rivalry with Adam Page on top, defeating fan-favorite Orange Cassidy in his in-ring debut at Revolution and forming the Death Triangle stable with the Lucha Brothers.
PAC's stern, no-nonsense approach demands attention whenever he's in the ring. It appears that tag team action with the Death Triangle is in his near future, but don't be surprised to see him make a run at the AEW Championship by the end of the year, too.
Best heel moments: Fyter Fest promo (watch below), turning on Cody and eventual feud
Anyone who watched a moment of MJF over the past year probably felt a sense of disdain for him that only wrestling can conjure. Every time he picked up a microphone, there was an overwhelming urge to wish the worst on him. That's exactly why The Salt of the Earth is one of the best heels in the world.
Top wrestlers provoke emotional reactions from fans, good or bad. MJF does that better than almost everyone on the AEW roster through his harsh words, backstabbing and cowardice. He quickly established himself as one of the company's best talkers at Fyter Fest.
The 24-year-old aligned himself with Cody, referring to the American Nightmare as his mentor and helping him fend off attacks from the Inner Circle. Cody, who announced before facing Jericho for the AEW Championship at Full Gear that he would never challenge for the title again if he lost, was defeated by Le Champion after MJF threw in the towel and signaled a forfeit. Initially apologetic, MJF then turned on Cody and cited a lack of opportunities from his former ally as the reason for doing so.
This would turn into AEW's feud of the year. Layered with intricate storytelling already, MJF told Cody that the only way he would get a match against him at Revolution is if he defeated his personal bodyguard Wardlow in a steel cage match and took 10 lashes on national television. Both the cage match and lashes were tough to watch at times as Cody's body showed the effects.
Although Cody did accomplish both tasks, MJF still came out victorious in their match at Revolution. He was sensational throughout their feud and had fans hanging on every word he said and every action he took. At 24, we haven't even seen the best of what MJF has to offer yet.
1. Chris Jericho
Best heel moments: Becoming the inaugural AEW Champion, forming the Inner Circle, "Le Champion," "Little bit of the bubbly"
There wasn't a better person to crown the inaugural AEW world champion than Chris Jericho. The well-established heel main-evented the company's first show at Double or Nothing and won the title at All Out. Now known as Le Champion, Jericho formed the Inner Circle on the first Dynamite episode and made it clear that they were the most dominant stable at AEW early on.
With the help of his new allies, Jericho terrorized The Elite as well as anyone who he defended his belt against. This included successful defenses against Darby Allin, Cody and Scorpio Sky. His reign as Le Champion lasted over six months until Jon Moxley dethroned him at Revolution last February.
Jericho's time as the inaugural champion was an entertaining one as he delivered inside the ring while also coining phrases like "a little bit of the bubbly" outside of it. Despite his heel work, fans also can't help but sing along to his theme whenever he makes his entrance.
There's still a level of respect from fans toward Jericho, an icon of the wrestling industry whose wisdom for the business made a lasting impact on AEW in its first year. Time will tell what the 49-year-old has to offer inside the ring for the remainder of his contract, but AEW would do well to keep him around in some role for as long as they can.