Every great rivalry thrives from the presence of a strong heel. The good cannot truly shine unless the bad looks predominantly fatal. WWE has never had a dearth of villains across its history and the fans have been rewarded with some spectacular heel vs face rivalries over time.
Whether it's an old school classic like Andre the Giant vs Hulk Hogan or an attitude era staple like The Undertaker vs The Authority, every hero has always needed a good villain to captivate the audience across the world.
Sometimes though, the villainous trash talking comes with a bitter dosage of truth. There have been several heels throughout WWE that have not only made sense but forced the WWE universe to do a double take on who the heel really is.
Here, we take a look at 5 wrestlers who's heel personas were actually right and not such 'heels' after all.
#5 Triple H
Triple H has always been known for not pulling any punches. Hailing in the Reality Era and berating the fans for being too soft was one such incidence. The Game lambasted the current generation of WWE fans for being hypocritical. His mockery of the twitter trolling fanbase did hold true for at least a part of the fanbase that just does not seem happy with any direction the company takes and is all too happy to criticize it over social media.
While it was very in-character, his words did ring true. The current fan base has been spoiled for choices, becoming a bit fickle in their adoration and abandonment. The hardcore fanbase of the Attitude Era is a thing of the past as fans raise and drop superstars on a whim nowadays. Over the past few years, there have only been a handful of WWE superstars that have managed to keep the WWE Universe's favour.
#4 AJ Styles
AJ Styles has repeatedly proven that he is Phenomenal not only in the ring but on the mic as well. His heel promo against John Cena (Cena is never the heel anymore, right?) was not only accurate but made one wonder as to why AJ Styles was representing the dark side for this one.
It was a simple statement that made this promo stand out "Guys like you bury guys like me". It might not be the boldest of words but every word of it has been touted as the truth by the WWE Universe itself. John Cena has the infamous reputation of not putting over new talent and adjusting WWE bookings to suit his needs.
Whether that is true or not, historically there have been a lot of instances where Cena did, in fact, bury guys like AJ Styles. The Nexus is a prime example of this. At one point of time, Nexus was the hottest thing in the WWE. That is until they ran up against John Cena. Against popular advice, Cena decided to defeat the Nexus almost single-handedly and bury them in so deep that most of them have not recovered yet. The only Nexus guy to make it really big was the one who left i.e. Daniel Bryan.
So all in all, Aj Styles fears were not ungrounded and it was a classic example of times when heels were right.
#3 The Miz
The Miz is truly 'Awesome' when it comes to mic skills but his finest work was on display against his segment with John Cena. The Miz calls out Cena for being a hypocrite and doing the same things he accused his rivals of in the early days. Namely, leaving WWE in jeopardy to pursue his Hollywood ambitions. He also called out Cena for manoeuvring the WWE to suit his needs.
While the script wasn't original and has been used often against Cena, the delivery from The Miz, who has been toiling away in the WWE for years, had a ring of truth to it. His accusations of Cena being 'in' with the higher-ups and manipulating the trajectory of his career is something the WWE Universe has long cribbed about.
The back and forth only got better with time as Miz and Maryse went up against Cena and Nikki Bella and presented the WWE Universe with hilarious "lost" footages from Total Bella which dug into the very nature of John and Nikki's relationship.
All in all, it was a good rivalry to watch and we found ourselves agreeing with The Miz more than once.
#2 CM Punk
Love him or hate him, CM Punk has a knack for creating hype and controversy. It's worth noting though that most of what Punk ends up saying in his heel promos would be common sense coming from another source.
A prime example of this would be his straight edge gimmick. Punk's straight edge promos against Jeff Hardy garnered a lot of heat. He would berate Jeff for his lack of abstinence and irresponsible life choices. Now as a beloved fan favourite, of course, Hardy had the full support of the WWE universe and Punk was hated reverently. For a moment though, hear the content of what Punk is saying.
He is basically taking the tone of the WWE corporate when he's asking Hardy to clean up his act and focus on his career, bringing up things such as Jeff's two wellness policy strikes. He sounded more like a harassed parent admonishing his kid rather than a truly mean spirited heel. He even appealed that Hardy should think about the young fan base that he has and be more than his best. It sounded like a tough love motivational counselling more than anything.
Now, these demons have long haunted Jeff Hardy and it might be argued that it was in poor taste to bring it up live but since it was clearly done with the consent of both parties, it just made for good TV.
The promo had all the right things to say, but they were said so obnoxiously that they ended up becoming great fodder for a heel promo.
#1 The New Daniel Bryan
This is a classic case of a right message but a wrong presentation.
The New Daniel Bryan is championing a healthier eco-conscious lifestyle every week and is getting booed for it. His message of cleaning up the earth with conservatism and restraint is totally logical and hard to argue with.
With the current ecological conditions, conservation is the need of the hour and Bryan's current gimmick just bolsters that fact. His plea for the WWE Universe to live a healthier and cleaner lifestyle might not be going over well with the audience but it is only because truth can be a bitter pill to swallow at times. Nobody wants to come in to catch a show and be told off for being fat, lazy and a threat to the environment. That does not make it untrue though.
It is only Bryan's excellent delivery and obnoxious style that keeps generating the heat for promos that are otherwise very positive and logical in content.