10 Best Heels In WCW History, Ranked By Intelligence
The best heels aren’t always the ones who are bullies or cheat to win. The best heels are the ones who use their brains to get ahead and always end up getting the upper hand because of strong planning and devious tactics. While WWE always used mostly heroes and villains in a comic book style, WCW was always a little more cerebral.
From the days of Crockett Promotions and the NWA, when it came to WCW, the villains were very human and very cunning. Whether these heels used factions to ensure their safety or manipulated the situation around them to get what they wanted, they always came out on top, and fans hated them for it every step of the way.
Lance Storm joined WCW in 2000 after a very successful career in ECW. Once he arrived, WCW moved him into a Team Canada angle where Storm led a faction of Canadian superstars who wanted to prove that the most talented wrestlers came from north of the border. He then did the unthinkable, winning the United States, WCW Television, and Hardcore titles, holding them all simultaneously before handing them out to faction mates. His manipulation knew no bounds as he even convinced Hacksaw Jim Duggan to turn on the United States.
One of the smartest heels in professional wrestling history was the man known as Ravishing Rick Rude. He proved his value in WWE, where he used his brains to beat unbeatable men like The Ultimate Warrior and drive master manipulators like Jake The Snake Roberts into a frenzy. He also proved this repeatedly in WCW, as he worked as a top-level world champion in the early ’90s and later made WWE look foolish by showing up on Raw and Nitro on the same night.
Lex Luger never seemed like the smartest knife in the drawer, but he was smarter and more cunning than fans give him credit for. Look at his time in WCW in the pre-nWo days, where he convinced Sting he was a babyface as the two men worked as a tag team but worked as a heel anytime Sting’s back was turned. Luger manipulated people from his debut in WCW, joining the Four Horsemen, and later cemented his status when joining the nWo.
Kevin Sullivan is the perfect example of a master manipulator in professional wrestling. While WCW had mostly real human villains working in a devious manner, there was a point when Hulk Hogan arrived that WCW tried to create monsters that Hogan could knock down as he did in WWE.
This was the Dungeon of Doom, and Kevin Sullivan was the ringleader. He brought in monsters, used them for his evil purposes, and then discarded them. Later, he took his evil to another level in battles with Chris Benoit and Brian Pillman.
6Paul E. Dangerously
Paul E. Dangerously wasn’t a wrestler, but he was one of WCW’s top heel managers in the early ’90s. The man that people know now as Paul Heyman was just as smart, calculating, and evil when he was younger as he is in WWE today. He came in and challenged Jim Cornette and eventually ended up managing one of Cornette’s own wrestlers in Beautiful Bobby. Dangerously put together the Dangerous Alliance, the best faction in WCW for many years, with some of the best wrestlers in the company.
Jeff Jarrett knew how to play the game long before creating his own company in TNA Impact Wrestling. Jarrett was languishing in WWE and finally got the call that Vince Russo had joined WCW on the creative team. Jarrett quit WWE, went to WCW, and used his connections to ensure he won multiple world titles in WCW. He was part of the nWo and part of the New Blood, and he used his cunning and political pull every step of the way.
Eric Bischoff was the mastermind behind the nWo from the start. He brought in Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, and they began their hostile takeover. He convinced Hulk Hogan to turn heel and betray the fans and helped created Hollywood Hogan.
Through it all, Eric Bischoff was the puppet master. He ensured his nWo wrestlers held all the titles and gave them the power to cheat to win all along the way. Fans eventually cheered the nWo, but they always booed Bischoff.
Kevin Nash built a terrible reputation in WCW as a man who pulled his weight behind the scenes and put himself over everyone. He is the man who used a cattle prod, thanks to Scott Hall, to beat Bill Goldberg for the WCW World Championship, and then he laid down for Hollywood Hogan to reconstruct the original nWo once again. Nash rarely lost to anyone and used his friends and creative control to make sure that he was always at the top of the card, with or without a title over his shoulder.
2Hollywood Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan was the ultimate babyface in professional wrestling for a decade, both in WWE and WCW. However, when Hogan turned his back on the fans and joined the nWo, he became Hollywood Hogan, and he changed. Instead of Hulking Up and being the superhero he always was, he cheated to win. He relied on outside interference and Eric Bischoff changing the rules for him. Hogan surrounded himself with the nWo to protect his title and discarded anyone who didn’t prove their worth.
1Nature Boy Ric Flair
Nature Boy Ric Flair was always the smartest man in the ring, and he is one of the best heels ever to wrestle, regardless of the promotion. Flair created the Four Horsemen with the Anderson brothers and Tully Blanchard and used them to ensure he was always the champion.
Flair was smart, calling Anderson a “world champion” when he was the TV champ, pumping up the egos of his stablemates and ensuring they always had his back. When a Horsemen got out of line, Flair would kick them out and beat them down. He was the smartest heel champion in wrestling history.