Ranking the 10 Best Heels in WWE and AEW Today
Professional wrestling is built on the concept of good vs. evil, hero vs. villain, or in this case, heel vs. babyface.
Being the best possible bad guy requires more than just attacking the good guys. It's about embracing that sinister side we all have buried deep down inside of us and showing it to the world.
Some Superstars have to work hard to earn the contempt of the crowd, but it seems to come naturally to some of the heels we have come to know over the years. They have that indefinable quality that makes them easy to hate.
A good villain also has to match their in-ring style to their personality. That is why you will see guys like Seth Rollins work a more methodical style when he is a heel. He still hits a few exciting moves but not nearly as many as he would as a babyface.
In order to be considered for this list, a Superstar must have been a clear heel for at least a month. Tweeners who received cheers like Eddie Kingston, Bobby Lashley and Edge do not qualify.
With that said, let's take a look at the top 10 heels in All Elite Wrestling and WWE.
10. King Corbin
Whether you like him or not, King Corbin is one of the most valuable heels WWE has right now.
The reason he is so useful is that he is physically imposing enough to play a bully but not so big that he is unbeatable by smaller opponents.
The King is somebody who is easy to hate, so he is always going to be booed over his opponent. If WWE wants to introduce somebody or give a Superstar a boost, having them beat Corbin is a good place to start.
He is also a reliable worker who takes care of his opponents. When he slams somebody, he does it the right way every time. He can work with anyone from a cruiserweight to a super-heavyweight and adjust to their style.
Above all else, Corbin is willing to look like a fool for the sake of a storyline. If you need a heel to be embarrassed, he's your guy.
9. Seth Rollins
After taking a few months off due to the birth of his child, Seth Rollins returned to WWE with a renewed sense of purpose and a collection of outlandish suits.
There are few things in this business he can't do. He can hang with the best talkers when delivering a promo, and he can outshine just about everybody in the ring.
The Messiah combines athleticism, agility, power and technical skill to make him one of the best all-around wrestlers in WWE today. He's already secured his spot in the Hall of Fame and he's not even 35 yet.
What makes him such a great heel is his willingness to be mocked. Whether it's Cesaro swinging him around by his ankles or Dominik Mysterio beating him with a kendo stick, Rollins will sell whatever he is doing as if it's the greatest segment ever.
8. Sami Zayn
Naming a Superstar who is as consistently entertaining as Sami Zayn would be difficult, especially during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic era.
The Great Liberator has so much goodwill with the WWE Universe that he could lose 100 matches in a row and still be viewed as a credible challenger to any title. He's that good.
His recent work on SmackDown has been comedic in nature. He has produced multiple GIFs of himself dancing and somehow managed to make Logan Paul's presence less annoying simply by being there.
Whether he remains a heel or eventually turns babyface again, Zayn will continue to be one of WWE's best utility workers in 2021.
7. Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair was left off the WrestleMania 37 card this year. When she returned on Monday's Raw, she let everyone know she did not appreciate being overlooked.
Later in the show, she attacked Rhea Ripley and Asuka during their rematch for the Raw Women's Championship, immediately putting herself back into the title picture in the process.
The Queen is a cut above most Superstars. She has the pedigree of being a Flair, the size and power to dominate most competitors and the skill required to put on a show-stealing match.
Some fans complain about how she is always booked as one of the top women in the division, but it's hard to come up with a good reason why she shouldn't be pushed. She can do it all and does it better than most.
6. Britt Baker
When AEW initially launched in 2018, Britt Baker was among the first talents to be signed by president Tony Khan.
She began as a whitebread babyface, but the crowd began to tire of the constant references to her dental career and turned it into a joke. Not only did she embrace this, but she also used it to fuel her heel turn.
The Role Model has become one of the most entertaining stars in all of AEW thanks to a change in attitude. Now, Baker has her own talk-show segment and a lackey to help her win in the form of Rebel, and she appears on Dynamite and Dark: Elevation almost every week.
It would be shocking if we made it to the end of 2021 without Baker winning the women's title at some point.
5. Kenny Omega
Kenny Omega has long been considered one of the biggest success stories in pro wrestling because he achieved fame and fortune without the WWE machine behind him.
He was only in the developmental system for a short time, so the vast majority of his career has been spent in various indie and international promotions where he perfected his craft.
Turning heel and aligning with Don Callis has allowed him to bring back elements of his Cleaner persona and form a new group with The Good Brothers and The Young Bucks to capitalize off of their time as members of The Bullet Club years ago.
The AEW world champion has proved he can put on a technical clinic with PAC or compete in a barbed wire deathmatch with Jon Moxley. His versatility is his greatest asset, but the reason he is such a good heel is his ability to make you want to see him get punched in the face.
4. Randy Orton
Do you want to know how good Randy Orton is? He is so good that WWE can put him in the most ridiculous situations and nobody will think any less of him. Just look at what happened at WrestleMania 37.
The Viper's feud with The Fiend went on for way too long and had just as many embarrassing moments as it had show-stealing segments. Somehow, Orton came out of it without losing any momentum and went right back to chasing the WWE title.
His long career in WWE has given him the chance to work as a babyface and a heel several times. He knows how to play both parts to perfection, but it's the villainous side of him that tends to have the most success.
Orton is the prototype for a perfect Superstar. He has the physical skills needed to have a great match with anyone and the ability to deliver a memorable promo at the drop of a hat. Few have mastered this craft as well as The Legend Killer.
3. The Miz
If you're surprised to see The Miz this high on the list, then you need to look back at his WWE career because he is one of the greatest heels of his generation.
He knew coming to WWE from a reality TV background might make him unpopular with the talent, but he didn't let that get in his way. The A-Lister has earned the respect of his peers through hard work. Now, he is one of the company's most prominent mainstream Superstars.
Do you need someone who will give a great interview? Send for The Miz. Do you need someone to host a game show? Get The Miz. Do you need someone who will be willing to look like an idiot for the sake of a storyline? The Miz is your guy. Is a celebrity coming to work with WWE? Put them with The Miz.
Some of the most passionate promos of the past 10 years have been delivered by The A-Lister, but some of them have gone unseen by the majority of fans because they took place on WWE's various recap shows and YouTube series.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman turned 25 on March 15. Think about that for a second: He is only four years past the legal drinking age and is already one of the best talkers in the entire wrestling industry.
MJF has blended an old-school approach to being a heel with a new-school style to create a gimmick that is both a throwback and contemporary at the same time. That's not as easy as it sounds.
When he gets on the mic, he eviscerates just about anyone he is talking to. He knows exactly which insults will get the biggest laughs and when to reel it back in so his rival can get the upper hand.
The two-time Dynamite Diamond Ring winner now has a stable built around him with FTR, Wardlow, Shawn Spears and Tully Blanchard. If he doesn't win the TNT or world title within a year, it will be a travesty.
1. Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns spent years working as a babyface while many members of the WWE Universe booed him at every opportunity. Now, he relishes those boos as The Tribal Chief.
Turning heel was the best possible thing WWE could have done with Reigns. He is too strong to be an underdog and wins too many championships to be a man of the people. He is an elite performer who has finally embraced that status to become the top villain in the company.
His alliance with Paul Heyman helped cement his turn, but the way he has treated his own cousin, Jey Uso, is what has made it so easy to hate him.
The Tribal Chief talks a big game and backs up every word of it. Every line is delivered with an intensity that can't be faked. When he made his entrance at WrestleMania on Sunday as a heel for the first time in front of a live crowd, he got the jeers he had been waiting months to hear. It must have been satisfying to know all of his hard work was not wasted.
For now, Reigns rules over SmackDown with Uso as his enforcer and Heyman as his advocate. If Edge and Daniel Bryan couldn't stop him, it's hard to imagine anyone will take that title away from him anytime soon.
These 10 Superstars are among the best heels in pro wrestling but much of this comes down to personal preference. Who do you think is the top heel in AEW or WWE right now?