Top 10 WWE Heels of the 1980s

The Top Ten
1 Macho Man Randy Savage Randy Mario Poffo, better known by his ring name "Macho Man" Randy Savage, was an American professional wrestler and color commentator best known for his time in the World Wrestling Federation and later the World Championship Wrestling.

When he arrived in 1985, he was pro wrestling's best-kept secret, and that turned out to be so much more. Once a free agent, his manager turned out to be his wife, Elizabeth. As his quest for the Intercontinental Championship got nearer in 1986, his rival George "The Animal" Steele wanted more than just the title. He wanted Elizabeth. This rivalry with Savage getting the upper hand on Steele in nearly all their matches.

With that rivalry behind him, he then targeted Intercontinental Champion Chico Santana. At the Boston Garden on February 18, 1986, he beat Santana to become the new Intercontinental Champion, kick-starting the legend of Randy "Macho Man" Savage.

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2 Ted DiBiase Theodore Marvin "Ted" DiBiase Sr. is an American former professional wrestler, manager, ordained minister and color commentator.

What made DiBiase a big-time heel was that he would do anything to make people pay. One example is when he had a room to himself at a fancy hotel at the expense of a just-married couple. He even purposely kicked a basketball so a young kid wouldn't get $500. He also allowed a young kid (who turned out to be a young Rob Van Dam) to kiss DiBiase's feet for some money.

Then he did the unthinkable: he won the WWE Championship after Andre The Giant surrendered the belt. Finally, after beating an opponent, he put a $100 bill in the mouth of those fallen wrestlers, proving that everybody has a price.

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3 Bobby Heenan Raymond Louis Heenan, better known as Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, was an American professional wrestling manager, color commentator, wrestler, and comedian.

Fans may call him the weasel, and even Gorilla Monsoon tells him, WILL YOU STOP? But Heenan is a great manager and a great mind. Ask any guy who can say that he once managed the likes of King Kong Bundy, Andre The Giant, Ravishing Rick Rude, Ken Patera, Harley Race, Haku and Tama (The Islanders), Big John Studd, and so many others.

As Captain Lou Albano said, Bobby Heenan IS the 1985 WWF Manager of the Year. He managed champions, titles, and delivered hilarious jokes. That's why he's in the WWE Hall of Fame.

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4 The Iron Sheik Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri was a professional wrestler who performed for WWE under the stage name The Iron Sheik.

The Iron Sheik's run to the WWF Championship went through Bob Backlund, the reigning champion, days before their December 26, 1983, Madison Square Garden bout. The Sheik attacked Backlund during a Persian club challenge on WWF Championship Wrestling, injuring his neck.

Then it was the night of the match, but Backlund wasn't 100 percent healthy, and it worked to the Sheik's advantage. When he put the camel clutch on Backlund, Bob's manager Arnold Skalland threw in the towel, even though Backlund later said he didn't quit. That submission helped the Sheik become the first Iranian to become the World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Champion.

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5 Roddy Piper Roderick George "Roddy" Toombs, better known by his ring name "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, was a Canadian professional wrestler and actor.

The name Roddy Piper and the WWE during the 1980s created mayhem and headlines all across the wrestling world. Piper's most notorious moment happened in the spring of 1984 when he hosted Piper's Pit with guest Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka.

Piper taunted Snuka, including making comments about how he could climb a tree like a monkey. After all the insults, Piper laid down one big one: the coconut. It would later be known as the Coconut Incident in WWE lore, and it turned Piper into a wrestling legend.

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6 Rick Rude Richard Erwin "Rick" Rood, better known by his ring name "Ravishing Rick" Rude, was an American professional wrestler who performed for many promotions, including World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation, and Extreme Championship Wrestling.

What I like to have right now is for you to read the following: Rude is the undisputed master of the rude awakening. Rude's girls cheered for him and couldn't wait to be with him.

Keep reading while we tell you about 1988, the year Rude was in love with Jake "The Snake" Roberts' wife Cheryl. It ignited a summer-long feud that drew WWF fans into arenas to see this great rivalry. Rude even had her image on his trunks. Now hit Rude's music.

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7 Nikolai Volkoff

Before Nikolai stepped into the ring, his career as a wrestler was filled with overpowering strength and his victories as either a soloist or with The Iron Sheik were the stuff of legend. Did you know that in 1983 he once wrestled in Mid-South Wrestling?

His return to the WWF in 1984 started when he beat S.D. Jones on WTBS Georgia Championship Wrestling. He once fought Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship and appeared in the first two WrestleManias. Now, please stand and respect his singing of the Soviet National Anthem.

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8 Honky Tonk Man

Turning heel turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to the Honky Tonk Man. When he arrived in September 1986, he was a face and an Elvis Presley wannabe. Even Hulk Hogan approved of him as a great guy. However, he wasn't popular, and his vote of confidence proved negative. He lashed out at a lot of people, which became a turning point in his career.

Along with manager Jimmy Hart, Honky Tonk Man used his guitar as his weapon, calling his attacks his greatest hits. In 1987, he became the Intercontinental Champion, holding the title longer than any other champion, a record that still holds true to this day. He's cool and cocky, he's bad.

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9 Paul Orndorff Paul Parlette Orndorff, Jr was an American former professional wrestler, best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling.

Wonderful, that he truly was. The summer of 1986 was truly his summer - I remember it well. He was targeted as being called Hulk Junior, which turned Orndorff into the side fans didn't know. Then it happened: after helping Hulk Hogan in a tag team match, he clotheslined Hogan and then gave him a piledriver. Those unforgettable images marked the beginning of the feud between Orndorff and Hogan.

It became such a big deal that Pro Wrestling Illustrated launched a new award category called The Feud of the Year, and Orndorff vs. Hogan was its first winner.

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10 Andre the Giant André René Roussimoff, known as André the Giant, was a French professional wrestler and actor. André He most famously feuded with Hulk Hogan, culminating at WrestleMania III, and his best-remembered film role was that of Fezzik, the giant in The Princess Bride. His size was a result of gigantism... read more

Earlier I told you how popular he was with the fans in this decade. Now here's the heel version. He and Hulk Hogan were the best of friends until Andre in 1987 decided he wanted a piece of the World Wrestling Federation Championship. When Hogan first declined, Andre tore the shirt off Hogan.

At WrestleMania 3, Andre gave Hogan a battle, and though he lost, he still claimed at WrestleMania IV that he was still undefeated. Take it from a true legendary giant.

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As a heel, Andre fought many great Hall of Fame superstars besides Hogan. They were Jake "The Snake" Roberts, the Ultimate Warrior, Ted Dibiase, Randy "Macho Man" Savage, and even Bob Uecker. At WrestleMania IV, he choked Uecker and made pro wrestling history.

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The Contenders
11 Danny Davis

We have individual wrestlers, even a tag team, but how about a crooked referee? We got it here. He was okay as a wrestler named Dangerous Danny Davis, but as referee Danny Davis, he was as crooked as he ever was. Flashback to February 1986, when Randy Savage beat Chico Santana at the Boston Garden. Davis saw a foreign object in the ring but never disqualified either star.

The fall of 1986 was his time, favoring heel wrestlers with fast 3-counts or disqualifying face wrestlers for reasons I don't know. But as a crooked referee, he was truly famous.

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12 King Kong Bundy Christopher Alan "Chris" Pallies was an American professional wrestler, stand-up comedian and actor, better known by his ring name, King Kong Bundy.

Although this giant is gone, he left scars on any wrestler trying to beat him. If records are right, he's the first wrestler to have a 5 count. Since then, no other wrestler can claim that fact.

Bundy had a great working relationship with Hulk Hogan, and their WrestleMania 2 clash was a pure classic. Even though he was a heel, off the mat, he was a nice guy, proving that not all heels are bad guys off it. One more thing: he should go to the WWE Hall of Fame because of his 1980s impact.

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13 Ken Patera

Before Patera became an inspiration to all in 1987, he was a rule-breaking yet powerful Intercontinental Champion in 1980 when he beat The Grand Wizard's former protege, Pat Patterson, at Madison Square Garden for the title. He was brash and cocky but good. Then he hooked up with Big John Studd to form a deadly team that was good enough to become tag team title contenders but never champions.

Yet, he was a powerful superstar back in the day.

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14 Hercules Hernandez Raymond Fernandez was a professional wrestler who primarily wrestled in Florida and Texas before joining the World Wrestling Federation. He was best known by the ring name Hercules Hernandez or simply Hercules.

When he arrived in the World Wrestling Federation in very late 1985, he had the power, the backbreaker, and later the full Nelson. But none of this can compare to his unforgettable battle with Hulk Hogan for the World Wrestling Federation Title on Saturday Night's Main Event. Please tell Hogan he quit in that backbreaker.

Sadly, Hernandez is long dead, and so is Bobby Heenan, so we'll never know the real truth. But one thing is clear: Hercules always gave 100 percent in every match.

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15 The Fabulous Rougeaus

How about 2 for the price of 1? You got this team. In the spring of 1988, after 2 years of moderate success, the Rougeaus were at a crossroads. They began to hear boos, but not much yet. Fans even told them, "Frogs go home." So, they went to the owner of the WWF, Vince McMahon, and asked if the Rougeaus could become heels. Vince smiled and said yes, suggesting they act like they're all Americans.

Within a few months, they grew into a cocky heel team, and by the fall of 1988, they had a manager named Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart.

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16 Big John Studd John William Minton was an American professional wrestler and actor, better known by his ring name, Big John Studd.

He's famous for the fact that, according to him, he can't be slammed. Throughout his Hall of Fame career, he was unstoppable. His famed $15,000 Bodyslam Challenge is his hallmark.

But despite his size, speed, and strength, he couldn't win the WWE Championship. Even in 1983, he had a backbreaker on Bob Backlund during a match for the championship, and according to Studd, Bob quit. He also teamed with King Kong Bundy to form the team that couldn't be slammed.

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One of the reasons I'll never forget watching WWF Championship Wrestling was that Studd put $15,000 on the line for anyone trying to slam him. It was like a weekend tradition. I even did a parody on wrestlers trying to slam Studd but couldn't, by having me being slammed myself without success. That was what it was like back in the day.

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17 Adrian Adonis

The adorable one, Adrian. His 1980s were highlighted by two parts. Part one saw him and Captain Redneck Dick Murdoch rumble through many tag teams until they reached their destiny: the WWE World Tag Team Championship, which they won on April 17, 1984, over Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas.

Then came part two, where he became wild and different. He turned blonde and gained weight but still had victories. At times, he acted like Angie Dickinson, yet was one of the top heels of this decade. Truly one of the all-time great characters.

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18 Dino Bravo

The image seen here is not a mistake. This image was taken at the very first WWE Royal Rumble in 1988, where Dino Bravo set a bench press record of 715 pounds. Even though there was some controversy with spotter Jesse "The Body" Ventura around, the record stands.

Bravo was as strong as his bench presses. His sidewalk slam was one of the best finishing moves of this decade, and he formed a great tag team with WWE Hall of Famer Greg "The Hammer" Valentine.

Dino, a guy who left us way too soon.

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19 Terry Funk Terrence "Terry" Funk was an American professional wrestler and actor. Funk was known for the longevity of his career - which spanned 50 years and included multiple short-lived retirements - and the influential hardcore wrestling style he pioneered in the latter part of his career.

This great legend only spent two years in the WWE, but he left behind a great number of victims, including Mel Phillips, a non-wrestler who got his when Funk made his in-ring debut on Championship Wrestling. You can tell Hulk Hogan he beat him on Saturday Night's Main Event IV, it's just that the referee was slow for the count.

While he was denied a championship, he had a great rivalry with The Junkyard Dog. Terry Funk, a legend for all times.

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20 Larry Zbyszko

In 1980, he shocked the wrestling world by betraying his mentor Bruno Sammartino on WWF Championship Wrestling. After the shock, Larry became a killer heel. He was so hated that, according to him, he was stabbed by a fan at a show in Albany, New York, and in Boston, after his match, his car was overturned by fans.

He was so hated that fans at Madison Square Garden jammed the place to see his war with Bruno Sammartino go to the extreme.

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21 Bad News Brown Bad News Brown was a professional wrestler, born Allen Coage, who gained prominence in the 1980s. He wrestled in various promotions including WWE, where he was known for his "bad guy" gimmick and loner personality. A notable aspect of his career was his participation in the first-ever Royal Rumble match... read more

He was Stone Cold before Stone Cold Steve Austin was cool. We're talking about a great gimmick from Harlem, New York: Bad News Brown. He was a loner. He didn't need fan support, a tag team partner, or even a manager.

But what he had was a fighting spirit, a ghetto fighter who once locked up with Hacksaw Jim Duggan at the 1989 edition of WrestleMania. He also had the famed Ghetto Blaster as his finishing move. He even walked out on his tag team partners in 2 straight Survivor Series (1988, 1989).

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22 The Islanders
23 Don Muraco

He was called a beach bum, but nobody can deny his great wrestling skills and his titles, especially the Intercontinental Championship. He won it twice, and both times were against a very good champion in his own right, Pedro Morales. The Muraco-Morales rivalry was nothing compared to his feud with Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka. It was a hot and bloody feud that lasted throughout 1983.

Two years later, he took his talents to Hollywood, where he appeared on the groundbreaking show Fuji General and Fuji Vice. Truly a legend and a talented man for all times.

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24 Sgt. Slaughter Robert Remus, better known by his ring name of Sgt. Slaughter, is an American semi-retired professional wrestler currently signed with the WWE in the ambassador program.

Once upon a time, he wasn't America's hero. When he arrived in the WWE in 1980, he was with manager Ernie Roth, AKA The Grand Wizard, and drew a lot of heat from the fans who called him Gomer! Slaughter had his famed Cobra Clutch, and in 1981, he put up a lot of money - $15,000 - to give to a wrestler who could break his hold. Rick McGraw almost did it.

Eventually, Slaughter earned a WWE title shot but never beat Bob Backlund. He was also involved in a big rivalry against Pat Patterson, culminating in the first-ever Alley Fight at Madison Square Garden. Slaughter is a true legend.

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25 Greg Valentine Jonathan Anthony Wisniski is an American former professional wrestler, better known as Greg "The Hammer" Valentine.

The 1980s were filled with wrestlers with painful submission holds, and Valentine's figure-four leglock was one of them. His career was filled with great moments, including crippling Tito Santana so much that on September 24, 1984, he used that to his advantage to become the WWE Intercontinental Champion, his only time as Intercontinental Champion.

He successfully teamed with Brutus Beefcake to form the Dream Team. Then he went back to solo and in 1988 created havoc as he injured Superstar Billy Graham, adding another great moment for Valentine.

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