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Top 15 Characters In WWE History

Top 15 Characters In WWE History

Kane
Kane - WWE Universe Facebook

Professional wrestling is full of colorful characters, wacky gimmicks and a mixture of brutality and fun. Here are the top 15 characters in WWE history who embody that ideal.

15 - Repo Man

Any list of characters needs someone ridiculous, and this list has the Repo Man. Played by Barry Darsow, who spent a career as one half of the best tag teams of all-time in Demolition, also found himself playing some of the worst characters ever. Repo Man makes this list thanks to his awesome catchphrase: "What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine too."

15 - Repo Man

repo man
Youtube

The Repo Man doesn't make appearances any longer, nor do any of the other failed or weird characters portrayed by Barry Darsow. He is best known as Smash from legendary tag team Demolition and still wrestles on a fairly regular basis today, reprising his role as Smash, even at 55 years old.

14 - Waylon Mercy

Many people compare Bray Wyatt to the very likely inane Waylon Mercy character, but outside of the Hawaiian shirts and cryptic words, they are very different at the core. Wyatt is a man with a cult leader personality who makes a lot of vague statements and claims to have a plan when, in reality, he has no true goal. He does what he does because he can, as he is a sadistic man who has been blessed with the gift of gab. Mercy on the other hand was soft spoken, disturbed and didn't appear to be fully cognizant of his actions inside the ropes. It had potential to grow into something different or something revolutionary, but it never had time to get off the ground as much more than a concept in its rough stages.

14 - Waylon Mercy

waylon mercy
Youtube

Dan Spivey, now 62 and retired from pro wrestling, had his most success in the business as one half of the Skyscrapers tag team in WCW alongside Sid Vicious and later Mean Mark Callous, who you might know better as The Undertaker. Waylon Mercy was the final character he portrayed in wrestling.

13 - "Ravishing" Rick Rude

Wrestling is jam-packed with characters who are just completely full of themselves; as narcissistic as men can possibly be. Rude, however, was on a different level. He was a narcissist, he was oily, he was hairy (from his chest to his mustache and possibly beyond) and, as a person, he was an outright slimeball. It worked because he knew it and used it to his advantage. Rude came across as an extraordinarily self-involved man, but he was actually very self-aware, which makes him possibly the best narcissist of all-time and one of the best overall characters, as well.

13 - "Ravishing" Rick Rude

rick rude
WWE Youtube

Rude retired in 1994 after a back injury during a match in WCW. He is infamous for his November 17, 1997 appearances on both WCW Nitro and WWF RAW on the same night (WCW was live and the WWF was taping shows weeks early). He passed away in 1999 at the age of 40 while training for a return to the ring, and it was reported to be due to a mix of medications.

12 - Val Venis

Similar to Rick Rude, Val Venis was as off putting as they come -- a gravely voice, a hotel room towel and constantly wet, Val Venis was the Attitude Era's answer to Rick Rude and other narcissists of wrestling past. It was the Attitude Era, of course, which meant not only was he full of himself, but actually a porn star who had gotten into pro wrestling. It was a pretty dumb character, but his dedication to pulling it off is what makes this grappling adult movie star a memorable character.

12 - Val Venis

val venis
Twitter @ValVenisEnt

Venis saw success as an Intercontinental Champion on a few occasions and after a short absence returned to WWE under his real name Sean Morley as a member of then General Manager Eric Bischoff's regime. He is now a strong proponent for the legalization of marijuana and hosts a podcast under his nickname Kaptain Kannabis.

11 - Mr. Backlund

In the 1970s and '80s, Bob Backlund was the preeminent All-American, white bread, hot-dogs-and-apple-pie baby face, and it led him to a six-year run with the WWF Title. After an absence of eight years, he returned and soon became a raging lunatic, something he had shown the potential for on a few occasions in his earlier stint with the company. He had a hot feud with Bret Hart and even won the WWF Title for a second time (only for a couple days). He wound down his in-ring career, but only ended up getting crazier, and his-suspenders-and-bow-tie look, extreme patriotism and erratic behavior has made the Mr. Backlund character one to remember.

11 - Mr. Backlund

backlund
Twitter @BobBacklund

Backlund was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 and appears yearly at the WrestleMania Axxess fan events. He failed at a bid for a seat in Congress in his home state of Connecticut in 2000 and made an appearance for TNA Wrestling in 2007. Backlund most recently appeared on WWE TV as part of a weekly series with veteran wrestlers having issues with Heath Slater.

10 - Demolition

"Here comes the Ax, here comes the Smasher..." -- an opening lyric that any wrestling fan in the '80s and early '90s will be familiar with -- led out a dominant tag team known as Demolition. Faces painted, clad in leather and metal and a take-no-prisoners attitude made these men an iconic tag team and a pair of the best characters ever.

10 - Demolition

demolition
Demolition Facebook

Both men still team together as Demolition in different independent promotions around the country. Ax, portrayed by Bill Eadie, didn't have as many runs in wrestling with different characters, generally sticking to the character that made him famous. He is 67 and Smash (earlier in this list as Repo Man) is 55.

9 - The Brood

It started with the vampire-like Gangrel, who carried a chalice purportedly filled with blood to the ring. He introduced his follower, the young Christian and, after a struggle, his brother Edge as well. The men would enter the arena by coming up from the fires of hell (or just an elevating platform surrounded by a controlled blaze), which made for a spectacular visual. Their signature became the Bloodbath, in which the lights would go out, and when they came back on, the target of their ill intentions would be covered in a symbolic red liquid.

9 - The Brood

brood
Facebook The Brood WWF

Gangrel, Christian and Edge. The Brood began as just Gangrel, who brought in a protege who went only by Christian. A man watched them from high above in the arenas, perched in different sections of the audience. It was eventually learned that this man was Christian's brother Edge. After a short feud the three men began teaming. Edge and Christian are retired from active competition and Gangrel has made wrestling appearances as recently as 2014.

8 - Kurt Angle

Angle debuted as a real life Olympic wrestling gold medalist and immediately got on the nerves and under the skin of the WWF audiences by patting himself on the back for his prior accomplishments, often mistaking the crowd reactions to him as positive, which kept his ego rolling. Whether as a goofy heel who preached about his Three Is (intensity, integrity and intelligence) and even one time for abstinence, or, as the still goofy and awkward baby face protecting America, entertaining the masses and always getting the job done in the ring. The Kurt Angle character was a joy to experience.

8 - Kurt Angle

Kurt Angle
TNA Impact Wrestling Facebook

Kurt Angle is the current TNA World Heavyweight Champion. He recently signed a contract extension with the company after apparently holding out for an offer from WWE which never came. He continues to be one of the best wrestlers in the world even in his deteriorating physical condition and is a sure WWE Hall of Famer when he eventually retires.

7 - Mr. Perfect

When you think of gimmicks in professional wrestling, one name that always comes to mind is Mr. Perfect. Introduced as a superior athlete and able to back it up in the ring, Perfect played his cocky jock persona to, well, perfection. He was so good at what he did both inside and out of the ring, yet still was never given a run with the WWF Title, something that most fans still talk about to this day. He is often labeled as the best wrestler in the WWF to never win the Heavyweight Title.

7 - Mr. Perfect

mr perfect
Twitter @RealCurtisAxel

Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig passed away in 2003 at the age of 44. He is the father of current WWE supertstar Curtis Axel. Perfect had a stellar run as a wrestler, and although he never won the WWF or WCW World Titles he is still considered by fans and wrestlers alike as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.

6 - Kane

The long-lost half brother of The Undertaker, Kane was brought into the WWF with much fanfare. News of his arrival was hyped for weeks and when he finally appeared, he did so in a very impactful manner -- ripping the door off of the Hell in a Cell and using The Undertaker’s own move against him. Kane’s mannerisms and gestures while under the mask were an important part of his character’s fear factor. His transformations throughout the years have been very hit-or-miss, but with every tweak and change, the man behind the mask (and sometimes without it) played the character he was given with full commitment, and continues to do so to this day.

6 - Kane

wwe Kane
Kane - WWE Universe Facebook

Kane has been this character since October 1997, a staggering 17 and a half years. He started with the WWF all the way back in 1995 as Jerry Lawler's personal dentist Isaac Yankem, DDS. If that didn't get him to quit, nothing would, so all of the ridiculous things he has done over the years as Kane (Katie Vick, for example) are child's play.

5 - Razor Ramon

The Bad Guy spoke in a slow drawl with a thick accent attempting to sound like a Cuban big shot (drug dealer). While it wasn’t the greatest accent of all-time, his slow speech patterns and the physical mannerisms that accompanied them were completely in sync at all times. He was such a good in-ring performer that the character took a backseat to the performance. Scott Hall’s ability to play what sounds like a ridiculous character on paper made it an icon instead of a joke.

5 - Razor Ramon

Razor Ramon
Scott Hall - WWE Universe Facebook

Scott Hall wrestled for 26 years, and his biggest success came from his time in the WWF as Cuban sensation Razor Ramon followed by his time in WCW as the invader from the WWF and one of the founding members of the nWo, under his given name. Hall has had many problems with substance abuse and the law but has finally been working toward turning his life around. He entered the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014.

4 - The Rock

He may be the fourth-wall breaking Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson now, but when Rocky Maivia started going solely by his nickname, a classic persona was born. He spoke about himself in the third person, talked down to everybody in a way that made it feel like he really believed that there wasn’t a single person in the world qualified to shine his shoes or lace his boots, including his allies. His facial expressions came across as genuine and his timing was impeccable. He was able to seamlessly become a face by only slightly tweaking a few small character traits without changing his brash, cocky attitude.

4 - The Rock

The Rock dwayne johnson
Getty Images

Now a Hollywood superstar and arguably the biggest crossover star in the history of pro wrestling, The Rock returns every once in a while to show his face or main event WrestleMania in two "once in a lifetime" matches in a row. Rock will never be separated from WWE, something that he finally embraced a few years ago after he distanced himself for a number of years.

3 - Three Faces of Foley

Mankind, Cactus Jack and Dude Love -- while Foley became internationally well-known while playing the Cactus Jack role, when he was brought into the WWF by Vince McMahon, he was commissioned to play a much different character. He still, at his core, was a man who held no regard for the physical well being of himself or his opponent, but while Jack was a wild man, Mankind was a tortured soul with a history of abuse and neglect. Mick Foley got the opportunity to debut Cactus Jack for the WWF audience after success with the Mankind character, but eventually switched back to being Mankind, just with an evolved persona and different wardrobe. Never one to be creatively pigeonholed, Foley was given the chance to live his dream by bringing his backyard wrestling gimmick, Dude Love, out of the mothballs and onto worldwide television. The character was nothing like his two prior incarnations, but it was fun and different, and Foley was able to play it as a clueless heel and a wacked out baby face. Plus, in the 1999 Royal Rumble, all three of the faces entered.

3 - Three Faces of Foley

mick foley
Mick Foley Official Facebook

Of course his fourth face is Mick himself, missus Foley's baby boy. Foley was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013, capping off a 30-year career in the business. From Japan, to WCW, ECW, WWE, Ring of Honor and even TNA Wrestling, Foley has done it all and then some. He's a writer, a comedian, an actor and a wrestler. He also decided to wear Christmas-inspired clothing for a full year. Because that's what Mick does.

2 - Mr. McMahon

Vince McMahon started out on camera as the unassuming and pretty dorky commentator, not too unlike Michael Cole. This went on for about a decade until he showed some signs of frustration due to Stone Cold Steve Austin, and then the Montreal Screwjob happened. Overnight, commentator Vince McMahon became WWF Owner Mr. McMahon, telling the live audience that “Bret Screwed Bret;” the WWF’s newest mega heel was born. It was a role he seemed born to play. Mr. McMahon was biased, unfair and straight up evil, and he was very happy to embrace it. The inception of the character helped usher in the company’s most successful era of all-time, thanks to the feud between the corrupt boss and his everyman anti-hero counterpart, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

2 - Mr. McMahon

Vince McMahon
Getty Images

Vince himself grabbed the brass ring when he bought a regional wrestling promotion from his father and turned it into the juggernaut it has become. The Mr. McMahon character was absolutely genius and came at the right place and the right time. Sadly, Vince has lost touch with, well, reality or so it seems, and doesn't think anybody exists that is trying to grab the brass ring that he has actually stopped dangling.

1 - The Undertaker

Few people will argue that The Undertaker is the most legendary and iconic character/gimmick/persona in the history of professional wrestling. A character that would be mocked and booed out of the building if he were to debut today, The Undertaker’s debut in 1990 shocked and awed fans who had never seen anything like the expressionless and dauntingly huge mortician. As is the case with all successful characters, the man’s dedication to never acting like anything that he was doing was silly -- even though much of it in the early years certainly was -- truly made his character a success. The character has been able to grow and evolve with the different directions the company has taken over the years and, when all is said and done, he will enter the annals of history as the most memorable and iconic character of all-time.

1 - The Undertaker

Undertaker
WWE Universe Facebook

Whether he's the Deadman, the American Badass or even Mean Mark Callous, this man has been a staple of professional wrestling for as long as many people can remember. Even though he has been showing up only once a year for a while, it may actually help the mystique of the Deadman. Every year the rumors come of his retirement and every year he shows up for WrestleMania. He lost in 2014, though, so the retirement rumors are stronger than ever.

Professional wrestling is full of colorful characters, wacky gimmicks and a mixture of brutality and fun. Here are the top 15 characters in WWE history who embody that ideal.

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