After WWE struggled with their Reality Era, it was time for them to come out with something different for the next phase. The changes they made then led us straight into the present era: The New Era.
The New Era started in May 2016 and is currently still going on. It saw the WWE branching out into more shows and getting talent from all over the globe. They tried a different approach and it definitely worked in their favour.
Today, we’ve got heels who are both well-established having spent years on their careers, as well as those who are still up and coming, yet equally threatening.
The PG restrictions may still be in place, but that clearly hasn’t stopped these superstars from raising the standards. Here are the 10 best heels of the current era.
Ever since Gunther arrived on the main roster, he’s been an absolute revelation. He doesn’t hesitate to take down anyone who crosses his path. Whether it’s Imperium or SmackDown, he dominates the ring wherever he goes.
Gunther’s match against his rival Sheamus will forever be iconic. But what really stood out was his match against The Ring General, where he had the crowd actually wishing for his victory because of the serious beating he had taken.
Gunther’s intimidating aura makes the fans hate him, which only adds to why he’s such a great heel. He’s also one of the very few wrestlers who has stayed loyal to the heel character by never turning for almost 20 years.
It took a while for Finn Balor’s talents to be recognized by WWE, but once he got Triple H’s creative direction and Judgement Day on his side, he became an unstoppable force.
Finn Balor has already defeated legends like Rey Mysterio, AJ Styles, Edge, Dolph Ziggler, and even one of the current greats, Matt Riddle. He intends to stay on top and make sure everyone is aware of the power he holds.
Finn may have turned heel only about a year ago, but the damage he’s done puts him at the level of a veteran heel. He taunts his opponents and makes them suffer, all while still maintaining a huge fanbase.
Edge has taken a run at being both a babyface and heel, but his “evil guy” character is just so creative and interesting that it’s hard to picture him as anything else.
Edge has made his rival, AJ Styles’ life a living hell while preaching from his “Mountain of Omnipotence”. His latest heel turn has resulted in him embracing a darkness similar to one of his previous personas, The Brood, with him using harsher words and actions.
Edge’s legendary career is more than enough explanation for his inclusion in this list. He continues to prove time and time again why he deserves his spot in the Hall of Fame.
Charlotte Flair’s conceit and arrogance make her so unlikable and easy to hate and that’s exactly what a heel is supposed to be. She’s truly one of the greatest wrestlers of her generation and she takes pride in knowing that she’s better than everyone else.
Charlotte has several championship titles to her name and she has the ability back up everything she says on the mic. It doesn’t matter whether she’s facing veterans or newcomers; she will always bring her A-game.
Not to mention, the great Ric Flair being her father gives her an advantage over everyone else in the mentor department. Even still, she deserves all the credit for making herself the superstar that she is today.
Before Becky Lynch, she called herself The Man. But after she got back from maternity leave and saw Bianca Belair rising to the top as the next big babyface, she filled herself with vengeance and this helped her take on the intriguing persona of the heel she is today.
She became insecure, oppressive and didn’t hesitate to cheat to keep her Raw Women’s Championship title. It was almost inevitable for her to become a villain.
Once Becky embraced her inner heel, she changed her wardrobe to make it flashier and didn’t hold back on the mic. She is truly entertaining to watch and turning her heel was probably one of the best decisions WWE made.
Sami Zayn’s best quality is his ability to twist the truth and make everything seem like a conspiracy against him. He finds ways to blame everyone else for his shortcomings.
Zayn sells this character so well that he’s able to get negative reactions from the crowd and make them as well as his opponents absolutely hate him. This is what sets him apart from the other heels on the list.
Zayn’s most prominent and over-the-top match would probably the one against Johnny Knoxville. It was a circus show of madness and pranks which would have otherwise been a very forgetful fight if not for Zayn and his charisma. He made the feud worth watching.
Seth Rollins has created such an obnoxious and annoying heel character that anything, even his laugh and his loud suits, is enough to irritate the fans. And to make it worse, he won’t stop complaining about not having a WrestleMania match.
Rollins is one of the finest wrestlers right now. One of his best matches was against Cody Rhodes. But even bigger than that was his feud with Edge, during which Rollins went as far as terrorising Edge’s family and ending his career.
Even still, the fans love singing along to his theme song and they appreciate his skills inside the ring. They love watching him manipulate his opponents into thinking he’s actually a good guy before luring them into his trap and striking them when they least expect it.
Bayley was one of the most beloved babyfaces but her heel turn was fantastic and only allowed her to show how much more she was capable of as a wrestler.
Bayley returned in 2022 as the leader of the heel faction, Damage CTRL, with the same momentum she had before and even more perseverance to prove herself. She constantly inserts herself into championship matches and gets under the skin of fans.
But the crowd loves her villainous side. She has the unique ability of making it super challenging for her opponents to take her down. By taking help from Dakota Kai and IYO SKY, she has converted herself into one of the most ingenious wrestlers in WWE.
The Miz has and always will be one of the greatest heels in WWE history. He is arrogant and self-centered and is extremely good with the mic. He truly embraces his heel character and it’s glorious for the fans.
The Miz loves to show off his Reality TV life, his celebrity fans, his gorgeous wife and his Hollywood career, which only makes the crowd feel more detached from his personality and makes it easier to hate him.
They love to denounce his in-ring abilities and The Miz uses the hate to fuel his anger. In spite of everything, he wins titles and championships and proves that he’s more than just a big talker. His ability to remain relevant even after 17 years is genuinely impressive.
Roman Reigns is the greatest heel of the WWE’s New Era. He has everything a dangerous heel should; he’s manipulative, violent, cold, devious, cruel and just an overall awful person.
Reigns is the top star of the WWE right now and he is very much aware of his value to the company. He is more than just muscle; he is also incredibly smart and knows how to control a situation, whether it means dealing with it on his own or getting other allies involved.
Reigns’ current championship titles make him WWE’s undisputed world champion and the record holder for longest-reigning Universal Champion. He lets his ego get the best of him but that only makes him more intriguing to watch.
Everything about Roman Reigns makes him worthy of this top spot. It doesn’t matter how loud or flamboyant or angry any of the other heels get; there is only one Roman Reigns and right now, no one else comes close.
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., doing business as WWE, is an American professional wrestling promotion. A global integrated media and entertainment company, WWE has also branched out into other fields, including film, American football, and various other business ventures.
WWE shows are sports entertainment, featuring story line-driven, scripted, and partially choreographed matches; though including moves that can put performers at risk of injury, even death, if not performed correctly. It was founded in 1953 as the Capitol Wrestling Corporation and is the largest wrestling promotion in the world. It is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.