The Greatest Villains/Heels in WWE History

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- A hero is nothing without a villain to vanquish, which is just as true in professional wrestling as it is in movies, television or books. WWE has no shortage of villains to choose from across its 60-year history, and there are hundreds of worthy candidates to make a list of "Greatest Villains/Heels."

But the best of the best deserve their own recognition for their work as villainous characters. As "Macho Man" Randy Savage once said, "the cream will rise to the top." So let's jump right in and take a look at the Top 15 Greatest Villains/Heels in WWE history.

15) "Superstar" Billy Graham

"Superstar" Billy Graham deserves a spot on this list simply for his historical significance as a heel. His 296-day reign as then-WWWF Champion from April 30, 1977 until Feb. 20, 1978 still stands as the longest uninterrupted reign for a villain. Graham's win over Bruno Sammartino and subsequent reign was previously unthinkable, as heels almost always immediately lost the title before it went to a babyface.

Graham was also one of the first so-called "cool heels" who stayed popular with fans despite his villainous status. He planted the seed for men such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock to become antiheroes that fans would love.

 

14) "Macho Man" Randy Savage

Fans fondly remember the Macho Man nowadays, specifically after his death in 2011. But during his career, Savage put forth some of the greatest heel moments in WWE history.

Savage entered WWE in 1985 and numerous heel managers, including Bobby Heenan and "Classy" Freddie Blassie, tried to sign him. But the Macho Man went a different way and elected to have the gorgeous Miss Elizabeth manage him.

This is where Savage's heeling began in earnest, as he mistreated the lovely Miss Elizabeth on screen. Macho Man portrayed a paranoid bully who would threaten to beat the tar out of anyone who even glanced at his woman the wrong way.

But when talking about Savage's heel run in the 1980s, we must give credit to his all-time classic with Ricky Steamboat, whom some consider the ultimate babyface, for Savage's Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania III. In a contrast to the style of the day, in which wrestlers called most of their matches in the ring on the fly, Savage and Steamboat carefully planned out and rehearsed each moment of this match at Savage's Florida home.

The match contained 19 two-counts, but Steamboat ended the almost 14-month title reign when George "The Animal" Steele shoved Savage off the top rope.

Savage would again famously turn heel after he attacked Hulk Hogan to break up the Mega Powers. He would lose the WWE Championship to Hogan at WrestleMania V.

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